Offensive and Defensive Eras

Most of the time in decisive naval battles, both in real life and Command, the winner wins in a lopsided manner, with very few losses. The frequently deterministic nature of it means that once force is concentrated, the result is very clear.

However, playing the still-excellent First Contact standalone scenarios included with Command, and remembering one of my playthroughs of the 1986 version, I noticed an exception to the rule. This was understandable because both the Soviets and Norwegian vessels had very limited and/or subpar defensive armament, so once you fired, you were almost certainly going to score. The result was a surprisingly “fair” fight with high losses on both sides.

The historical reverse is something like the earlier ironclads (no damage) or early 1900s naval battles (torpedoes make them keep their distance and crude fire control means they just miss at range, especially with their main guns). In the missile age, it’d probably be two fleets with advanced western-style warships (designed to be defensive and protect HVTs over being offensive by themselves) and no big carriers or substantial land-based air wings in range.