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update 183

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I for one heartily approve of Kumano and Wichita's proposal. As soon as I figure out how to make sure I'm insulated from any potential international blow back, arrange an appropriate supply of libation and select who's deck I'm going to watch this shindig from. 

 

I'm sure I speak for everyone on the Discord and on this forum when I express my condolences to the team member who lost a family member this last week. 

Fair winds, and following seas. 

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who trys to arm wrestle the physical manifestation of a warship.

'puts on an eye patch' did someone say piracy

and my condolences to the team

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Well, Officer Pitt obviously. I think it's fair to assume he's an American. Which explains everything tidily if I'm honest, because that's *exactly* what I'd expect from a certain strain of American officer or common sailor. Hopefully the petty officers would know better, but... *shrug*  

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"Just keep in mind all the valuables you find, if any, will be contributed to the war effort."

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24 minutes ago, Dmnt said:

"Just keep in mind all the valuables you find, if any, will be contributed to the war effort."

minus expenses

 

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Officer Pitt: All right, come on, let’s do this! I’m not going easy on you just because you’re a girl.#
Kumano: That’s good. I won’t go easy on you just because you’re a weakling.#
The crowd: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!#
 

I'd like to express my condolences as twoheavens has done regarding the loss the team has experienced, and I appreciate the effort everyone continues to put in despite these trying times.

As for the update, I'm very interested in the idea that Kumano's officers include a "Wells" and "Pitt" which goes a long way to express the clear diversity of officers on Belle ships.  I find it actually very surprising for a Japanese vessel.  Then again, it seems Kumano is not one to have anyone say no to what she wants.  Is she the one who picked her officers, much like she picks her Captain, or does the INPF have more of a say than previously inferred in officer assignments?  I have a hard time imagining Pitt was selected by the 大日本帝国海軍。

 

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Ninja;

I'll pass on the condolences from everyone.

The crews are quite diverse- the Belles crew with whomever they can get, and although there's no shortage of volunteers, very few have any real length of experience or training. Initially it was expected that the ships would retain their professional national crew. That didn't occur for a number of reasons, especially due to the high rate of casualties at the beginning of the War.

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Even with casualties... and even with precautions of some sort as has been previously mentioned, I admit that's a hard one to get past my suspension of disbelief. I find it hard to believe parent navies wouldn't at least try to maintain national origin majority crews. 

"Right so HMS X has awoken."
"Well that's good!" 
"Her entire crew was killed or injured in the process."
"Well spit."
"The INPF has a replacement crew."
"That's good."
"They're primarily German."
"So we'll place the scuttling charges along the keel at even intervals..." 

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That's more in line with what I'd say is reasonable, but also at odds with what you just told us, so you can see why that one lit the discord up a bit. I mean thinking about it in context boggles the mind a bit and that's before we factor in random crews manning say... HMS Hood. The pride of the Royal Navy. Or KMS Bismarck in 1940 assuming she's a belle. I mean some Belles like Nuremberg are so cuddly and give peace a chance types I could see them pushing for such measures... but especially among the belligerent navies circa 1939... I think you'd see plenty rather scuttle their belles than see them handed over to random foreign nationals, no matter how neutral they absolutely pinky promise they are. 

Even the Americans, who aren't belligerents at present and so technically speaking have no enemies... would be hard pressed to hand symbols of national pride over to random foreigners who aren't even qualified sailors besides whatever rump boot camp the INPF's running to avoid making this process an elaborate form of suicide, or even worse, are volunteers from foreign national navies. I fully believe the various Admiralty boards and naval departments would accept full gender equality aboard ship a couple decades early before any of the big seven was just... "okay" with handing over their vessels. If we approach this at all realistically... 

As my dear friend Pac pointed out... Goeben was transferred to the Turks in WW1 and even THEN while flying Ottoman colors still kept her German crew.  

A handful of foreigners? Sure. Americans in particular. We have a habit of going places as volunteers, especially for causes that seem particularly dire, in the name of finding a good scrape. It's something of a national past time. We also have a habit of turning up in all sorts of odd situations by hook or by crook. Which is how you end up with an American on the bridge crew of the Yamato during Operation Ten Go. 

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TH;

We'd better wait until the full Team picks this topic up, but I think there's several factors in play.

First, the Belles. Some are very nationalistic, and it's hard to imagine them accepting anyone but the best from their own national ranks to crew in positions of leadership. Others are more practical or open, and some may even like to poke a stick in the eye of the admiralties back home by selecting, shall we say, odd crew. 

Second, the sticky business of weighing the draw of expensive personnel by ships which won't directly act on behalf of the nation in wartime (compounded by high casualties and need for replacement). That certainly affects some nations more than others, but they'd all have to consider the calculus at some point or another. I think that a national core would have to be maintained for security and prestige reasons... not to mention the ugly economics of expensive ships suddenly being unavailable for their original purpose.

Third, the expertise and training that are required to operate a warship (for instance, the Goeben) with many nation specific innovations (and in some cases, secrets.) In most (all?) cases, it wouldn't be possible for anyone but a trained crew to operate the ship at efficiency, although the Belle is likely more than capable of training.

And finally...the Story system does not account for the logical inconsistencies of the Captain's nation vs the Belles' nation, and how that would impact the command staff. Nor can it reconcile the Nation Stories with the Belle Stories, except via defined, overlapping characters. Definitely a practical consideration, if not a lore-based one. ;)

My bet is that the fourth point is going to be weighted higher overall, although not irreversibly. There's a lot of ways the Story system could grow.

My opinion, anyway. :)

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That was kind of my point with Goeben actually. Who's going to spend the money to train these random volunteers? Not like the League of Nations has a real budget from someone like the UN does modernly. Sure casualties might be high, it's called warfare. I've personally dealt with the results of that particular form of human endeavor. Luckily most belligerents have entire nations to call on, or in certain notable cases, entire empires, where they might be able to find more of their own people to invest money in before making recruiting drives in third parties and hoping the INPF can figure out how to read their manuals. It's not like the big seven didn't manage to man all this ships during the actual war after all.

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TH;

I think the general idea is that local courses (correspondence, at the worst, and volunteer classes at the best), plus aging reservists and the Belle herself do the training, on board.

But...it's probably best not to look at it *too* closely, because then you'd have to answer the question: who feeds and clothes them, and, possibly more important: who is providing the bunker fuel, the hard to get armor plates, engine parts, etc., let alone the ammunition- with the rate that you'll be using ammunition, you'd exhaust national stockpiles in a few days. :)

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1 hour ago, Legate of Mineta said:

But...it's probably best not to look at it *too* closely, because then you'd have to answer the question: who feeds and clothes them, and, possibly more important: who is providing the bunker fuel, the hard to get armor plates, engine parts, etc., let alone the ammunition- with the rate that you'll be using ammunition, you'd exhaust national stockpiles in a few days. :)

Clearly a clever blind. A couple weeks down the line they'll reveal the first super-charged personifications of factories and shipyards who have awoken in this hour of need. The great, bickering, ambition-vaulting clans of the Armstrong-Whitworths and the Krupps. The worryingly happy-go-lucky Italian arsenals. The steady, slightly-disapproving professionalism of the Royal Naval Dockyards. Kure-kun, a sweetheart to be sure, but strangely reticent about one of her little projects.

 

Still on manufacturers: Waddingtons (who made Buccaneer) released, in 1940, the extremely up-to-the-minute GHQ. The likelihood a Belles-and-Morganas game appears in next year's catalogue seems pretty strong. If Kumano acts sharpish, she might get a consultancy gig.

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First of all my condolences as well. I've been losing a couple of family members the last 15+ years..... it doesn't get any more normal.

Then I jump in to the favourite topic of the bunch: Crew recruitment.

An element I understood would take the "fire" out of the debate was diplomacy. After all I can only shanghai recruit new crew, if I have access to a harbour...... or regularly raid passenger ships, which are very likely scarce in the wake of the Morgana crisis. So at the start of the game to recruit a French crew for my Hannah would not only not happen if Alfred Korky had a say in it, but also impossible, because there are neither harbours which would let me in, nor POWs which could be pressed on my ship....yet. And even if they have to let me in under some INPF treaty reason, they can keep a close eye on who enters and leave until I'm more on the Frenches good side of things. ... probably by accident. On the other hand getting and HMS full of French could be comparatively easy. And if I had to choose between a bunch of untrained Sardinians or Bavarians to let on my ship...... well one is an island, the others three biggest bodies of water combined are about the size of Elba. And several hundred Kilometer away from any open sea. 

Quite frankly, if diplomacy has no effect on crew recruitment via mooring rights or (de-)escalating privileges while moored.....what else is it for?

Two ships racing against each other over/with the captain...... why do I have to think of Pola and Belfast?

Also remind me when was the last time we got Mail? Just to change the pace, maybe.

 

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KK;

Now, if you are considering Crew, those are chooseable and give different effects. But the Stories don't (can't) reflect that, at least for launch. So, if you want to crew a British ship with nothing but matrosen, well, have at it. There are some enhancements that could be built in, but...maybe that better come post release. :)

 

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17 minutes ago, Legate of Mineta said:

KK;

Now, if you are considering Crew, those are chooseable and give different effects. But the Stories don't (can't) reflect that, at least for launch. So, if you want to crew a British ship with nothing but matrosen, well, have at it. There are some enhancements that could be built in, but...maybe that better come post release. :)

 

I didn't think the stories would be that interactive, but I merely thought about how and where can I get crew (buying/recruiting in a harbour) and what was hinted at with the diplomacy stat (access to harbours). And stuff to buy often comes in Tiers in such games.

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KK;

Oh, yes- you get crew from the Nations using your Diplomatic Channels (although you can also get them from Belles themselves, as a part of their default complement, in some cases.)

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20 hours ago, Legate of Mineta said:

KK;

Oh, yes- you get crew from the Nations using your Diplomatic Channels (although you can also get them from Belles themselves, as a part of their default complement, in some cases.)

So some belles have crew that come with them?  Any hints as to who or what a crew would entail?  And for that matter, who has crews coming with them?

Would it be plausible that in your fleet you obtain the crew of say... HMS Hood, and you decide their benefits would better apply to USS Boise, can you transfer them over?

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