View Full Version : How do YOU engage this Problem?

07-24-2009, 07:24 AM
Ahoi Skippers,

I have a question for captains with more experience in the single mission department.
I have playing SH4 for quite some time. I do well in the career mode, but as I never hold out long enough never finished a career. So I thought maybe single missions are better for me, especially as one choose a mission an face immediatly a large invasion force or anything similar. Yet I have the problem that the stating position of the sub is somewhat different from the stating point I try to get in my careers:

My stratedgy is:
1. get ahead of convoy/task force if possible
2. submerge and face the sub towards the enemy
3. keep creeping (ahead slow and silent running) towards the convoy (on a parallel course with 3000 yards distance between my and enemy course) until
4. turning towards the course of the convoy to get an AOB of 45-90deg while being in a range of 2000 yards to the target to go in for the kill.

Realistic or not this has gotten me pretty far... so far. This does not work for large invasion forces where a convoy of juicy BBs is protected by ring of pesty DDs around it. In my careers those were always to fast to get ahead. and in the quick missions I am submerged and the stating point is too close to the convoy to get ahead without being spotted by the DDs, and I am to far away to engage the BBs in the middle of the escorts without going flank for 30min. If I do, I get detected and it then get's really hard to get into a position for the shot. basically I keep running with flank at periscope depth to get into shooting range (ca. 3000 yards) and then go for deep dive and hope the escorts let me get away with it:timeout:. As if...

So my questions are (for everybody that has read until here):

What would you do in a situation like this...
...in game?
...if it was real?

An answer to the second question would be most interesting to me as I would probably not engage the enemy at all, as this seems to be a much to dangerous operation to risk a sub with its crew just for a mere possibility to sink a BB. Rather I would call in the big dogs with their busty ladies and airplanes. How would have a real WWII submarine captain decide?

Thanks for any thoughts on this topic!

07-24-2009, 08:31 AM
go fllank below the thermal layer... that gives you some noise detection cover

07-24-2009, 08:42 AM
First, ComSubPac would want you to assess the situation, and if it warrants an attack, to attack, however, they don't want you to be a cowboy and destroy one of the navy's good boats :D

Morpheus, below the thermals you got right, but usually you don't want to break 5 knots. even 5 is a little iffy, because even though the colder water keeps the sonar pings away, that doesn't mean the japanese destroyers don't have a vigilant soundman listening to your every sneeze, breath and fart.

Rosentorf, that sounds like a textbook torpedo attack.
This is what I do.

First, I take a position mark on the whole convoy (where its just a huge square) wait for about 5 minutes, then make another mark.
take your compass tool and connect the dots.
then you would place your boat to where by the time the convoy passes by, you are right there, ready to attack.
Nothing like blasting them from both ends as a convoy passes!
"fire tube one! Fire tube seven!"
the sweet spot where you can use both the bow and stern tubes on targets, of course you have to eyeball the range, thats easy enough, but this isnt the thread to explain.

07-24-2009, 09:17 AM
Attempting to "knuckle around" a convoy or a task force is a historical and tactical method. Speed is an issue as the task forces are clipping along very fast. So I usually will not chase them down. But if I get a radio that they are coming my way then I position myself accordingly. I stay below the thermal and and come to PD as soon as the first lead escort passes and usually can nail a BB with all six fish before I deploy decoys and split the scene. The AI seems to be better at detecting subs when a task force is being protected. So using the thermal layer is a must with silent running employed. Sinking a BB is great fun...:arrgh!:

07-24-2009, 11:37 AM
... Morpheus, below the thermals you got right, but usually you don't want to break 5 knots. even 5 is a little iffy, because even though the colder water keeps the sonar pings away, that doesn't mean the japanese destroyers don't have a vigilant soundman listening to your every sneeze, breath and fart...

I agree with you. But in SH4 stock game i can go flankspeed below thermal layer, keeping some distance (like 4-5k yards) between myself and the convoy, and they won't hear me.

But not sure if Rosentorf is using any Mods that would increase AI tactics/capabilities ...


Lt. Staumeier
07-24-2009, 01:15 PM
Try doing that in RFB or TM...you'll be eating depth charges in no time.

07-24-2009, 06:59 PM
I have the GFO and the real environment mods installed but those should not influence the ai too much. I guess the environment mod might have an effect on it but not sure how much.

So it seems that the only way is to steam towards the marks and then go for a noisy hit/miss and run/crawl. This will end you up in a situation when the escorts basically know where you are right before and after the attack. In this particular scenario (quick mission: philippene war) the DCs localized very too early as I always got to periscope depth too early and couldn't go deeper again as I was too close to dive and come up again before shooting from this point on.

They knew exactly where I was because they would immediatly spot the periscope and start shooting with their guns. So what I tried was to dive after the attack and then try to get beneath the convoy or other ships. This was a stradegy I used in "Aces of the Deep" (there it worked all the time). But I assume it should not make a difference as the DDs should be able to detect me with active sonar even beneath the surface ships as they have already an idea where I am. Still it might help in creating some kind of confusion for their passive sonar guys. So if you make some quick turns and do some unexpected moves you might get out of there passive sonar tracking long enough to disappear.

07-24-2009, 09:33 PM
Some of the starting points are stupid. Many members here make great special missions, you may want to try them.

Sometimes it's best to stay 3-4000 yards and shoot wide spreads and slow them down.

07-25-2009, 01:50 AM
yeah I usually do a wide spread in those situations as most often the target is already zig-zagging when you get into firing position.

You're right I should try single missions that have better starting points. Or I could edit the missions myself and just move the sub to a better starting point. Depending on the enemies speed and course. Probably if it is the correct time of war in radar distance or similar. I think some of the stock missions got edited by the GFO mod. One thing was that now all the starting points were submerged at periscope depth instead of being on the surface. Stuff like that. But I'll have to check before I tell lies.

However it definitely would be good for a quick mission to be starting before detecting the enemy so you have a chance to change the odds in your favor and decide for yourself where you'll end up in the close vicinity of the enemy.