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The Cherry Tree Suppplement


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#1 Christopher Cafiero

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 08:34 PM

Hi all,


As some of you may have noticed, ODGW has gifted us with a nifty free Christmas present; a new supplement for Sudden Storm, called "The Cherry Trees".

The supplement takes a look at the "missing" ships from Sudden Storm, the battleships and battlecruisers cancelled by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. Included are the Japanese battleship Tosa, the battlecruiser Amagi (and two near sisters), along with the US battleship Washington (16" gun Maryland class, 74% complete when scrapped!), the powerful South Dakota, and speedy battlecruisers Constellation and Constitution. Not to be left out, the Royal Navy gets its excellent G3 class battlecruisers (fast battleships in many respects) and the Anson, an improved sister to the Hood, to enforce the NEZ. Also included are two articles on the Washington Treaty process, and the Imperial Japanese Navy's "8-8" program, along with options for adding a few of these ships to Sudden Storm campaigns. There's also a good scenario for a clash between the Royal Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy along the NEZ (with options for the US and Dutch for a good measure!) All in all, lots of fun stuff!

As one of the designers of this supplement, I'm glad to answer any questions, or field comments, critiques, or suggestions. I plan to write a brief "designer's notes" soon, which I will post to share the thinking behind the module and the choices made in it (why there are no No.13 or N3 battleships, why we had the Royal Navy build a sister to the Hood, etc.)

In the meantime, Merry Christmas, I hope everyone enjoys the new treat!

Sincerely,

Christopher Cafiero
Christopher J. Cafiero

"I shall have no connection with any vessel that is not fast, for I intend to go in Harm's way..."

#2 Christopher Cafiero

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:19 AM

A few Designer's Notes on "The Cherry Trees"

The choice of ships for this module reflects, ultimately, some carefully weighed decisions that I think might be useful to share. This module started as a short article on Japan's "8-8" naval program, and an idea to include sample ship logs of the ships that were meant to complete it, but cancelled by the Washington Treaty of 1922, specifically the battleships of the Tosa and No.13 classes, the battlecruisers of the Amagi class, and the fast battleships of the Kii class. Encouraged by Lonnie Gill, the idea of the module expanded to include the two other major powers (the United States and the United Kingdom), and fit nicely into the Sudden Storm timeframe. Lonnie is, rightfully, somewhat sceptical of hypotheticals, pointing out that ships that exist only on paper invariably possess better qualities than ships that are actually built...this point was well taken, so I decided to limit my Japanese ships to the two classes that were actually fairly well along in the construction process, the Tosa and Amagi classes.

The Tosa may be thought of as an enlarged Nagato, with an extra pair of 16" guns, similar protection, and slightly better speed. The lead ship was launched and fitting out at the time of the Treaty, and was used in a variety of tests (particularly to evaluate its underwater protection) before being expended as a target in 1925. Her sistership Kaga, was also to be sunk as a target, but the original plan to convert the battlecruisers Amagi and Akagi to carriers had to be modified when Amagi was severly damaged on the ways during the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Accordingly, Kaga was slated to take her place (an interesting discussion of he consequences of trying to convert the slower battleship to a carrier is contained in excellent book "Shattered Sword" by Parshall and Tully, for those so inclined). The Tosa was sufficiently adavanced in construction, and similar to the Nagato class, that she was sufficiently "concrete" enough to meet Lonnie's criterion, and her capabilities well know enough for her to be rendered in game terms.

The Amagi class battlecruisers were extremely powerful ships for their time, nearly as well protected as a battleship, very fast, and armed with heavy firepower; 10 x 16" guns like the Tosa class battleships. The first two were reasonably far along by the time of the Washington Treaty, and as mentioned, allowed to be used for carrier conversions, with Kaga ultimately replacing the wrecked Amagi. While never built to as advanced a level as battlecruisers as the Tosa was a battleship, these ships also seemed to be capable of being accurately rendered in game terms. Two additional units were named Takao and Atago, names ultimately used for new heavy cruisers.

The No.13 class (so named as the 13th thru 16th battleships ordered by the IJN) would have been huge battleships with 8 x 18" guns and 30 knot speed, protection on par with the Tosa and Nagato. These ships never advanced beyong the planning stages, and were never saddled with compromises that inevitably result from actual construction. Personally, their proposed speed alone is cause for scepticism on my part, even the Yamato could not reach such speeds, with more powerful engines and a better designed hull-form. Important markers on the road to the Yamato design, these ships were, nonethless, simply to conjectural to create in game terms with a sufficient level of confidence.

Likewise, the additional battlecruiser/fast battleship Kii class (officially referred to as 'High Speed Battleships') faced similar objections, really nothing more than a design study with some (for the time) astounding performance figures.

So, this left the Tosa and Amagi classes as ships that could have ship logs created with sufficent confidence to warrant their inconlusion, but now the question was how many and under what circumstances?

It was wisely suggested early in the design process that the fewer changes from the actual historic treaty timeline, the better, so it was agreed to leave the Kaga and Akagi as carrier conversions ( I had thought to have an option for players to not convert any if they wished). This now left Tosa, Amagi, Takao and Maya. Tosa was an easy choice to include, but the battlecruiser situation was less clear, Amagi was wrecked, and the two additional battlecruisers were far less adavanced and would cause naming confusion. After some discussion, I suggested pushing the treaty back a year or two; this not only was quite possible, it would have likely made the scrapping of some of these ships political difficult; the taxpayers would be sending brand new ships from completion to the breakers yard! By moving the treaty back a year or two, it would allow the completion of one or two extra ships (presumably offset by scrapping a few older ones). By having the Japanese bite the bullet, and pay the costs to repair the Amagi (perhaps using materials from her two sisters that were to be disposed of anyway), we now had a reasonable explanation to add two nifty new units, Tosa and Amagi. Tosa would have integrated easily with Nagato and Mutsu, but Amagi, would have been a bit more difficult to assign with the Kongo class, which where much worse off in regards to protection and gunpower, but surely a worthwhile trade as compared to breaking her up.

To address the admiral's desire to make more standardized squadrons, an additional option (which would have financially all but broken Japan) allowed for the completion of two additional battlecruisers. To avoid confusion we "renamed" these units Kii and Owari, after the cancelled fast battleships, and set them as very near sisters to the Amagi. This added enough battlecruiser to form a new squadron of similar ships.

So, that in a nutshell is how the Japanese ships were chosen for this module, and how he options for their use followed. After settling on the Japanese additions, a benchmark was therefore set on what to include for the US and Great Britain, which I will perhaps address another time.

I hope this "look under the hood" of the design process is not only imformative for its own sake, but useful to other budding designers in their own projects as well!


Hi all,


As some of you may have noticed, ODGW has gifted us with a nifty free Christmas present; a new supplement for Sudden Storm, called "The Cherry Trees".

The supplement takes a look at the "missing" ships from Sudden Storm, the battleships and battlecruisers cancelled by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. Included are the Japanese battleship Tosa, the battlecruiser Amagi (and two near sisters), along with the US battleship Washington (16" gun Maryland class, 74% complete when scrapped!), the powerful South Dakota, and speedy battlecruisers Constellation and Constitution. Not to be left out, the Royal Navy gets its excellent G3 class battlecruisers (fast battleships in many respects) and the Anson, an improved sister to the Hood, to enforce the NEZ. Also included are two articles on the Washington Treaty process, and the Imperial Japanese Navy's "8-8" program, along with options for adding a few of these ships to Sudden Storm campaigns. There's also a good scenario for a clash between the Royal Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy along the NEZ (with options for the US and Dutch for a good measure!) All in all, lots of fun stuff!

As one of the designers of this supplement, I'm glad to answer any questions, or field comments, critiques, or suggestions. I plan to write a brief "designer's notes" soon, which I will post to share the thinking behind the module and the choices made in it (why there are no No.13 or N3 battleships, why we had the Royal Navy build a sister to the Hood, etc.)

In the meantime, Merry Christmas, I hope everyone enjoys the new treat!

Sincerely,

Christopher Cafiero


Christopher J. Cafiero

"I shall have no connection with any vessel that is not fast, for I intend to go in Harm's way..."

#3 Chris Lane

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 04:22 PM

Cracking release!!! I can't wait to get these ships under sail.

I'm intrigued to find out why the N3 class has been omitted :)

Interesting about the No.13 class. I didn't realize it was so highly speculative.

#4 Christopher Cafiero

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 05:03 PM

Thanks Chris!

The N3 class ommission boils down to a few factors; while the G3 class was at least actually ordered (and suspended pretty quickly), the N3's were never ordered, and their 18" 45 caliber guns never manufactured or tested. This put them beyond the criterion for inclusion, and for the excellent reason there is no gun chart for them ;-) (Making one would be to speculative in any event). With the Royal Navy allowed to build the Rodney & Nelson, incorporating many of their features, it was pretty easy to exclude them.

Another thing to consider in regards to the N3, and a theme of the Cherry Tree Supplement, is that the rapid pace of technological change during this period, really made them obsolete before they were even ordered. The N3 was the battleship partner of the G3 battlecruiser, and was shorter, slower, somewhat better protected, and had larger guns. The G3 battlecruisers, had they performed as advertised, were really knocking at the door of the true fast battleship...why build a ship with marginally superior firepower and protection, that was vastly slower and smaller? Also, the Rodney & Nelson showed in service that the blast damage generated by their big guns was tremendous, and more than anticipated (the blast ripped of the orginal deck covering, and the damage the Rodney suffered by her own guns shelling Bismarck is well known)...there was serious talk of staying with 16" guns, which would have further undermined the rationale for building them.


As to the No.13 class, they were assigned yards, but nothing had been done in regards to construction (The 18" guns would, eventually of course, be employed in the Yamato). You might see my previous comments regarding their attainability of their design speed of 30 knots...while you can certainly make up a ship log based on the proposed design, it was our opinion that you would end up with an stimate of an estimate of a ship never even laid down...

Cheers,

Chris Cafiero


Cracking release!!! I can't wait to get these ships under sail.

I'm intrigued to find out why the N3 class has been omitted :)

Interesting about the No.13 class. I didn't realize it was so highly speculative.


Christopher J. Cafiero

"I shall have no connection with any vessel that is not fast, for I intend to go in Harm's way..."

#5 Chris Lane

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 06:34 PM

Thanks Chris!

Really interesting, I didn't realize that the N3 would be so inefficient nor the blast damage of the Rodney's 16inch guns. Very interesting indeed!

#6 simanton

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 12:29 PM

Several sources indicate that the difference between the Amagi class and the Kii class lay in minimal differences in armor thickness. I think for gaming purposes, "Machts Nichts" So, Kii and sisters may turn up in my Cherrytree games with the same characteristics as Amagi.




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