Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Protecting Trade Nodes from Pirates in VH/VH

  1. #1

    Default Protecting Trade Nodes from Pirates in VH/VH

    Just completed a Maratha campaign, and I'm now going back to jolly ol' England for another grand campaign, which means I need to really focus on my naval trade. I am trying to figure out the optimal number of NON-TRADE ships I should be putting on each individual trade node so they deter pirate attacks. I am aware a stack of 1 Indiaman and 2 brigs is not going to deter a European fleet, but I'm more concerned about constant pirates raids and want to minimize the necessity of sending in a local fleet long AFTER the pirates had destroyed the trade fleet.

    Has anyone found a "Golden Ratio" of ships where pirates stop attacking a node and the costs of maintaining the node fleet do not outweigh the profits from the node? And what types of ships are most cost effective to put on the node?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Protecting Trade Nodes from Pirates in VH/VH

    It's been a while since I've played Vanilla ETW. In many of the mods, tradeships are removed and you can use any ships to establish trade routes; hence you can send up fleets of warships that can both establish your trade and fight off pirates or enemy nations.

    But if I recall my early Vanilla campaigns, my solution to protecting trade routes was to have some, but not many, fighting ships mixed in with the trade fleets. My main counter to piracy and aggressor nations was to have a fleet constantly roaming between the trade zones to serve as a quick reaction force. Mind you, this strategy really only worked with major sea-faring nations (England, France, Spain, ect.), as you need major mobilization hubs to construct and maintain your far-away fleets.

    Really the immediate goal should be for that roaming fleet to identify and destroy any potential aggressor fleets before they become a problem (preemptive attacks). The long term goal should be to destroy the pirate home bases (in the Caribbean) and to neutralize your enemyís naval forces and bases so that you donít have to worry about naval disruptions to your trade routes.

    FWIW, the pirate fleets usually arenít as menacing as the aggressor nations. The race galleons, though big, arenít very maneuverable or dangerous. I recall certain battles where I took them out with noting more than some sixth-rates, sloops, and 1 admiralís fifth rate.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Protecting Trade Nodes from Pirates in VH/VH

    Your strategy back in the day seems to be similar to mine, I guess it really does just come down to just adding more ships to the theater to the pot until it feels right. I forgot to mention I'm playing vanilla, but I guess the trade ships give it away.

    I have been playing the British campaign for a couple weeks since I last posted (on year 1739) and I don't know if I have been lucky or not, but none of my nodes have been molested by anyone yet. I had up to two brigs on each in the early game, and then scuttled them and upgraded to a single 5th rate on each when I got the tech. As for a local theater fleet, the fleet never reached more than 5 brigs early game, and now I am up to minimum 5 3rd rates per theater to keep an eye on things, so it is hard for me to say if the trade node 5th rates or the 3rd rate fleets are the bigger deterrence.

    I'm definitely going to start up a Prussian campaign in Darthmod soon, it must be really nice to profit from all your ships instead of babysitting tradeships! And I'm sure it makes it far more challenging and interesting to have to attack rival nodes occupied by actual fighting ships instead of 20-stack of Indiamen...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Protecting Trade Nodes from Pirates in VH/VH

    I think the major reason that DME moved away from tradeships is the AI spammed tradeships (including the big Spanish Galleons) instead of building proper fleets with Ships of the Line. And honestly DME's solution makes more sense; the warfighting ships establish and protect the trade node, but the actual trade is conducted by the mini uncontrollable ships that appear moving out from your trade hubs (which is how similar TW games handled trade).

    In real life, the governments protected and taxed the trade; it was up to private corporations to conduct the trade and transactions.

    The trade ship issue aside, I really do like how DME fine-tuned the game. It's close enough to Vanilla that you'll easily be able to pick up a campaign, but there are bunch of tiny, but important, changes made which really add to an immersive and more accurate gameplay experience. Lots of options to choose from too in the DME startup module.

    I've played one massive GB campaign (lots of fighting on North American and India, with hardly any direct conflicts in Europe) and my fleets and trade hubs basically made money a non-issue within the first few 2 dozen turns. I'm now playing a Sweden campaign: lots of fighting in the mainland, but I still managed to get good trade deals and get trade fleets into all of the major theaters....once again money isn't an issue. Trade is key. For Prussia, I imagine the money will be much more limited, but the fighting will be intense....should be an interesting campaign.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Protecting Trade Nodes from Pirates in VH/VH

    Quote Originally Posted by Patronus86 View Post
    I think the major reason that DME moved away from tradeships is the AI spammed tradeships (including the big Spanish Galleons)
    This is so true it is ridiculous, it becomes inevitable that my first act when declaring war on any seafaring nation is capturing their entire trade fleet effortlessly because they decided a singular sloop is sufficient protection. And just yesterday I even caught two fleets of 3-5 unattended French Indiamen heading towards the (already fully occupied) Ivory Coast.
    With all this tradeship silliness, I think you may have convinced me to join the Darth crew, I'm excited to see what other unwritten changes Darthmod makes (the main MoDDB page does not mention the tradeship change.)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Protecting Trade Nodes from Pirates in VH/VH

    Another possibility is to go on the offensive. Pirates won't spawn if their faction is eliminated, and they have just two provinces in carribean, with potential third if UP are eliminated quickly, and those provinces are not well guarded.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Protecting Trade Nodes from Pirates in VH/VH

    I always preferred to clean up the pirate fleets in those trade zones, then park a sloop or 2 outside each of the pirate ports in the carribean, making money off them while they try to run the blockades.

    Alwin made a mini-mod for naval ops which converts Trade and Military ports into combination ports (military ports have some trade ability, trade ports have some military ability) with both types remaining the best at what they do. This allowed smaller nations with only military ports still to have some trade ability. As Great Britain, it also allows for some even more serious levels of trade. That said, with the mini-mod in place, the AIs tend to build fleets of 5th and 6th raters with some trade ships thrown in and build 3rd and 4th raters in their military ports. Spain still tends to build heavy galleon fleets, but that's not common anymore.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Protecting Trade Nodes from Pirates in VH/VH

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    Another possibility is to go on the offensive. Pirates won't spawn if their faction is eliminated, and they have just two provinces in carribean, with potential third if UP are eliminated quickly, and those provinces are not well guarded.
    When I originally made this thread, I was asking still within the context of having just finished the Maratha campaign, where the West Indies were (through the shortest route around the African coast) three entire theaters away, and the starting navy is nonexistent. I definitely would have gone the aggressive route in my GB campaign as you suggest, but I got lucky and wasn't pestered a single time by them. I consider an enemy that never attacks a friend, so it wasn't necessary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Akarios View Post
    Alwin made a mini-mod for naval ops which converts Trade and Military ports into combination ports...
    If the mod's Darthmod compatible, playing a tiny seafaring nation like the Knights of St. John campaign would certainly be more feasible, but I am satisfied with the current trade/shipyard/fishing port system, I kind of like the balancing act of different types of ports. However, I had an idea for a similar mod, and tell me if this exists, where you can purchase multiple types ports on the same port node. So for example, you could have a level 3 trading port for income, but also maybe a level 1 or 2 shipyard on the same port node to build warships in a pinch, and perhaps a level 1 or 2 fishing upgrade for growth. So you still have to pay full price for all the upgrades, but could theoretically purchase all the port upgrades for all the port types and have a "superport", the caveat being that it would take an extraordinary number of turns because you can only upgrade one port type at a time.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Protecting Trade Nodes from Pirates in VH/VH

    That was kind of the point of giving a trade port about 1/3 the ability of its equivalently leveled military port, a fishing port about 1/4 the ability of an equilvalently leveled military port, and a military port about 1/2 the trade abiliity of an equivalently leveled trade port. (i.e. the biggest ships the highest level ports can build are: Trade=4th Rates, Fishing=5th Rates, Military=1st Rates. Each military port supports 1/2 the trade routes - rounded up - of the same level trade port and produces about 1/2 the money)

    I don't know if it's compatible with Darth Mod. I don't use that one. I ended up building a nice set of mini-mods I'm satisfied with (especially considering the war in India isn't a forgone conclusion). You'd have to experiment with it to see for yourself. Considering that Darth Mod (like Empire Realism) eliminated the different types of ports, I would doubt they'd be compatible.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •