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Old 01-02-23, 04:54 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Default Manual TDC

Ok, so I've had SH4 for about 3 months now having played SH3 forever, but never played with manual TDC...With SH4 I said I needed to learn how to, because the realism, as well the FOTRS mod insists I really should to get the full enjoyment...So off to youtube I went to take in the learning curve and most were saying turn on your TDC, get ID, distance and speed, then the angle of the center of the enemy ship in relation to the center of your sub where you plan to fire your torpedoes...Every time, my torps went just to the backside of the enemy's ship. I had measured the ships speed, I had a good measure of distance most of the time. I should mention here, that I had a saved game where I could keep playing it til I got it right...So I knew everything about where this ship was going, his exact speed and where or the angle of my sub to his vessel, yet astern went all my torps...I even unloaded on him one full ship length in front of him thinking that was the solution to this immediate problem..Yet astern they went, one full ship length behind....Alas, I read an article on a blog by the name of Kevin Jenkins Blog which says all those youtuber's who say turn on your TDC first thing are wrong. You can enter all the info, save the angle, into your TDC now while it's off, you'll just need to update distance, the angle comes when you have a clear measurable bead on him and once entered only then is your TDC turned on...I did this and entered the angle a second time before firing to ensure it was correctly following...I apparently don't have the "Hard" option checked because I don't have the white line or X on attack map...In any event I fired 6 torps at a heavy cruiser because I wanted to see the accuracy of so many torp's...All hit save one because of the wide angle I used...Any way, this fellow Jenkins is right about many of these youtube videos is my point & it took me a month of Sundays to find out....At least now I can continue on with my career beyond the first mission...I figured if I couldn't fire manually, there wasn't much point of moving on...I am now the Captain of my own ship...Hear me roar

I should add to this, that I was imputting an angle of where the ship was gonna be mid-ship...That was my mistake...Not letting the TDC following him on course...and the angle I used in the end wasn't from mid-ship to mid-ship as many youtubers say, but bow to bow....Shooting mid-ship to midship puts your torpedos one full ship/sub length behind the target.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Last edited by gman9912; 01-02-23 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 01-03-23, 07:43 AM   #2
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We are talking the US TDC right? Or German? As the Uboat-missions addon allows the Germans in the pacific theatre too.

It would be correct to aim mid-ship of the target. Only pointing at the bow would cause it to miss halve the time when your errors are on the front side of it. Best is to even those out. It is best to point consistently at a easily distinct marker on the ship like a mast or funnel or something spike-like. But a front/back wall-face of a structure might also work.

The US TDC has the option to input a range (with the stadimeter) and a bearing (just by pointing to something) and send it to the TDC. When you do that again after a certain time in between (minutes rather than seconds to average out any position errors) then there is a button to ask for the solution. Then you get the target course (or AOB, I forgot) and speed between these positions. You can use those to set the AOB and speed dials in the TDC. But any torpedo fired from then on will assume that last bearing set to be where the target is. It will lead the torpedo according to the speed and AOB as set. But as the target moves away, any delay in firing from the last bearing will cause it to fall behind. That is why you need to use the Position Keeper that updates the position of the target as it goes. Based from the last bearing and range, and set speed and AOB/course.

So if you know the speed, set it right away. If you know the AOB/target course. Set that too. Then turn on the position keeper. This starts the position calculations. But with a false position as no bearing/range was set. Don't fire a torpedo yet!!! Do a bearing/range measurement on the mid of the target and send it. Now the TDC is getting the right approximate updated position of the target. Why approximate? Because the AOB might have changed during setting it in the TDC and the first bearing fix being sent. But in the short term, it would be correct enough to fire a torpedo. After a few minutes you can do a 2nd bearing range fix. Let the TDC calculate the speed/AOB solution, and update them and send it back to the TDC. Now the position keeper is properly synched to the target movement.

Personally, when it comes to learning and training targeting I wouldn't use salvo spreads. As then you have multiple torpedoes going out. And you don't really know which one of them was pointed at the aiming spot. Go for single shots to verify/learn how that TDC setting turns out. Single shots should explode on the place where you aimed the periscope at. If you get a dud, it means it hit a target. So your job with the TDC was well done. I would only use a salvo in a campaign patrol (when tonnage is important and stuff actually needs to sink) to account for premature detonations, dud-hits and if I knew 1 torpedo warhead wasn't enough to sink that size of the target.
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Last edited by Pisces; 01-03-23 at 07:55 AM.
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