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Old 08-04-2018, 12:12 AM   #1
Greystone
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Default Air attacks I despise thee

How do you guys do it? I picked the game up when released and played 4 or 5 times from beginning of the war until late 41, start of '42, or thereabouts, losing interest from seemingly endless roaming without contact; ie: I got bored.
When I picked it up this time I wanted to make it to war's end, and was kind of getting into it by ignoring crash-dives when approaching planes were sighted & defending with a flak gunner instead. Those were the early days when Hurricanes were the only ones that showed up, and they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. When I installed a 2nd flak, I left port thinking 'now I'll really let'm have it..
Well, that was sometime mid to late '42 & my first air contact wasn't a few Hurricanes, but 6-8 Sunderlands! Forget flak defense; it's crash-dive or game over.
It's now mid '43 and I'm lucky if I can stay on the surface long enough to get the batteries charged. I switched from the B type to the C for the extra second or two saved on dive time and even then, going ahead full, I've barely enough time to slip away from their attacks, which puts diesel consumption through the roof. The uboat's primary mission of sinking merchant shipping has become a borderline forgotten aim now. Getting through the Bay of Biscay shallows is a bloody nightmare. All of you who've made it through the late war already know all this, which brings me back to "How do you guys do it?" I've found that playing in real time makes the frequency of air attacks seem more plausible, if one doesn't mind spending a couple weeks at the computer to get through a patrol.
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:15 AM   #2
blackswan40
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Hi Greystone when leaving the channel ports 1942-43 onwards as soon as you have enough water under your keel dive to periscope depth in a type VIIB/C 13 meters and depth under keel will be 3/4 meters sweet head to your patrol grid.
At 3knts no more use time compression but mindful of batterie level and air for your crew you don't want them to suffocate through lack of air once your in the BF grids 11/19 north west of Ireland surface
and recharge your batteries use time compression 32-64x no more or you wont see the aircraft coming and your a dead duck.
Also try to time your recharge always early hours of the morning 1:00am - 3:00am and dive to periscope depth before dawn.
A full Batterie Charge completed at 2:30-3:00am then diving to periscope depth continuing to patrol grid at 3knts would give you 18/20 hours batterie time so your able to surface again in the early hours
When out in the Atlantic and you need Fuel and Torpedo reloads head for the Milkcows in the Atlantic
the Atlantic is a big place to hide in only go back to your home Port Lorient St Nazaire if you need Critical Repairs like a new Engine or Replacing 6 dead crew.
Hope this helps you some

Attacking Convoys Mid 1942 onwards

the days are over when you could slip inside the thin Convoy Screen get inside the Convoy and pick the best targets.
The Allies now have better Escorts and there are more of them protecting convoys 9-18 escorts so any Uboat Commander worth is salt shouldn't put himself or his Uboat and Crew to any unnecessary risk without the good prospect of inflicting greater damage to the Enemy.

The Standoff Attack

Approach Broadside of Convoy Port or Starboard as situation dictates creep toward the convoy at two knots then turn on a parallel course to Convoy when you get to 800-1200 meters from nearest line of merchants.
Don't attack them yet target ships in the fourth-third line from you and then the second line from you then fire your last Torpedo from your stern tube firing at the furthest targets first when the Torpedoes strike home on ships in the middle of the Convoy the Escorts will go to that area doing sonar sweeps looking for you and as other Torpedoes find their mark the Escorts think theres more than one Uboat attacking so you have confused the escort screen.
Then creep away you don't want to stick around you only have to worry about the two or three escorts on your side of the Convoy nearest to you the other escorts are too far away unless you stick around reloading for a second crack at the Convoy
making noise reloading play to your strengths be stealthy silent and deadly never push a bad position.


Last edited by blackswan40; 08-11-2018 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:01 PM   #3
Greystone
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Blackswan40;
Thank you for your generous help. I'll fiddle around with your suggestions and see if it'll help out with the air attack problem.. appreciate also the convoy approach suggestions.

For what it's worth, I've gotta interject here that I'm aware that, after all, this game is a simulation, and, as much as I'm a bit thrown for a loop by the increased air attacks, the game, I assume, does simulate the difficulties uboat crews faced as the latter stages of the war unfolded.
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Old 08-04-2018, 03:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greystone View Post
Getting through the Bay of Biscay shallows is a bloody nightmare.
That is something the crews of 69 u-boats would agree if they could...


The frequency of enemy planes is horrible all around and especially around the known (to allies) U-boat bases and transit routes. The flaks seem to be useless. I've understood that GWX especially makes anti-aircraft action harder but the mechanics behind it is unknown to me. For me it seems that the flak gunners always shoot above the target missing it.

I guess the best way is to do what they did IRL, stay deep during daylight and creep your way to the target zone.
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:01 PM   #5
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Early on, when Hurricanes were the only air threat, I, at some point, downloaded and installed a mod called Improved Anti Aircraft Capability.
It didn't seem to improve the aim of the gunners, but it did pack more punch if the gunner scored a hit. Along with that one, I activated a mod called Realistic ammo amount for AA and deck guns, which gave me a hundred thousand flak rounds, which made the uboat sink. No, just kidding, but the mod did provide 100,000 flak rounds. I can't recall the original load-out of deck gun ordnance, but after installing the mod, I wound up with 220 rounds.
Anyway, with those 2 mods, I had a ball defending against the Hurricanes. I'd have 2, once 3 Hurricanes at a time shot up and plummeting down. I was beginning to really enjoy myself; to hell with merchant shipping.. I'll just shoot down Hurricanes all day. Happy times ended when half a dozen or more Sunderlands at a time started showing up, leaving flak gunners in bunks twiddling their thumbs.
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Old 08-05-2018, 03:14 AM   #6
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You should play GWX, WAC,or NYGM
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Old 08-05-2018, 03:04 PM   #7
Greystone
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Hi Niume;
You mean I should play them for the rich overall experience, or in the sense of "You think the air attack problem is bad in vanilla, you should see what it's like in GWX, etc.."?


Mussalo;
Do you know what the different colors represent in the graphic from your last post?


blackswan40;
I've been following your advice on using 32-64 (I've been using 64) time compression. I had been using 256 before. Can't say that it's a one-time random thing, but I've hardly experienced any air attacks since then. As Spock would say, "It's not logical", but I'll keep using that slower time compression and see if the trend continues.
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Old 08-05-2018, 03:33 PM   #8
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Re Colours

https://www.uboat.net/maps/biscay.htm

Last edited by blackswan40; 08-05-2018 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:02 PM   #9
Niume
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I am suggesting mods because it's not realistic to see 4 sunderlands. I hate that planes don't spawn above 512x time compression
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:06 PM   #10
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blackswan40... Thanks for the link; appreciate it.

Niumi... I see what you mean now. Regarding my 4 Sunderlands reference, it's been even more severe on a number of occasions where there'd be literally up to a dozen Sunderlands and/or one of the other heavies circling my position. After crashdiving & going back up to periscope depth, I could see all their icons up there on the overhead map, or I'd just repeatedly press the period key & count them. Some would leave while others filled their place. When they finally cleared away, I'd get another aircraft sighting within the hour or half hour. Crazy.

Actually, from my perspective, no spawning of aircraft over 512 time compression sounds like a godsend.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:48 PM   #11
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I always start a campaign at the historical outset and for my latest I started out with a IIVB, upgrading to a type IIVC when available and then to a IXC in time for Drumbeat.


Even patrolling off of the US coast the air attacks were significant in 2/42 which is total nonsense. The Eastern Seaboard defenses my understanding didn't get their act together until 6/42. I found myself facing B-24 and B-25's significantly which is ridiculous.


So fed up, end of '42 I had amassed enough renown to go back to a IIVC for the quicker diving time. I will likley stay with this boat for the duration until I have a chance at a XXIII.




I'm on the maiden voyage of that boat U-600 -- funny -- the designated patrol grid is way in the caribbean which is outside its range but we shall see.


EDIT: Just finished and DID make it with the Type VIIC to EC 18 running at 7 kn and made it wth 50% fuel so in theory can do it and return. Took me 30 days, and luckily saved the game periodically because I did get killed at least twice by aircraft -- both times at night.


It was worth the trip tho as once at the patrol grid bagged 2xT2 tankers, a Victory and a C3.

Last edited by Schnee; 08-11-2018 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:34 AM   #12
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Hi Guys
My recommendation for escorted convoys.
Post #41 John P Cromwell 45º Attack Method Revised For SHIII > Pictorial > Missing pictures replaced
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