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Old 10-15-2008, 11:28 PM   #61
Hanomag
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Steve...

Can I save before reading this....:rotfl:

Still on the road home and haven't been able to upload pics yet. Will do on Fri.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:56 PM   #62
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Hey Mike!!
I ment to tell you this!

GWX 4 will disable all saves!!
:rotfl:
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:58 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanomag
Steve...

Can I save before reading this....:rotfl:

Still on the road home and haven't been able to upload pics yet. Will do on Fri.
Only if you can hit your paper target, that activates the option.:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:03 AM   #64
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Great read Steve, even if I had skip over most of day 2 because my eyes are murdering me. I've been staring at a computer monitor (LCD mind you) for the better part of 12 hours today, stupid drafting job.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:20 AM   #65
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Take your time. I don't think this forum is going anywhere anytime soon.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:35 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor Steve
Take your time. I don't think this forum is going anywhere anytime soon.
How about yer memory?
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:55 AM   #67
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My sodas are always free-must be the uniform.
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:43 AM   #68
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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11

We actually got some sleep that night, but when Neal said "Seven-and-a-half hours! I'm ready to face the day!" I had to say "Seven-and-a-half hours! I'm ready to go back to bed!" You see, some folks like to say that old people need less sleep, but the truth is you sleep less at night, but take a lot of naps.

I then realized that our numbers had grown. Rip had arrived on his Ninja the day before, and had joined James and Jason on Neal's living room floor. James had offered up the air mattress and slept on his special marine roll-up ground pad. He said it was comfortable, but it looked like a plastic mat to me.

SEAWOLF PARK

For any of you who don't remember, We were supposed to do that this time, but somebody called Ike blew through town and sort of left a mess behind him. So we instead volunteered some of our time to clean up hurricane junk.

I forgot to mention that on Friday we were short of car-space, so Neal rode his Suzuki and we followed in his SUV, with Golden Rivet (I think) driving. This time we had some extra car space, so we were a bit more spread out. I rode with StdDev. After a stop at a donut shop for some breakfast we made our way to the Seawolf Park. The park is named for Seawolf, which couldn't make it to the park as she was lost during the war. The park contains USS Cavalla, Neal's favorite sub, and USS Stewart, an old Destroyer Escort. On the one hand I fell in love with Stewart because she's from the same era as the destroyer I served on, but on the other I couldn't help thinking how small she seemed compared to my old Gearing Class DD.

My first impression was not the devastation, but my disappointment with Cavalla. After her wartime service she had been converted to some sort of modified thing, and looked hideous. I was thinking "How could they leave her looking like that?" I make a point of mentioning this because the truth came out later, and I learned some cool things about that old sub. But all things in their own time.

We met the guy who was to be our boss for the day (Neal will have to tell you his name) and he got us organized. USLC (James) and I grabbed a hoe and a wheelbarrow each and started walking, and the others hopped in cars. You see, a big shipping container (about the size of a semi trailer) had blown several hundred yards down the road and then spit open, spewing junk...er, um...important historical naval paraphernalia all over the road, and they were having a hard time finding the manpower needed to clean it all up. James climbed inside the lower part of the container to dig through the mud looking for cool swag, and creaky old Steve stayed just outside so he could be handed stuff to put into buckets for transportation back to the main place.

One of the things we were missing was the Grey Wolves. Todd (Kpt. Lehman), Jeff (Privateer), Jim (buna) and Grant (TarJak) had taken themselves off somewhere for a private powwow. Neal said they had claimed they had too much fun the night before and needed to recover. I said they were a bunch of no-good low-down deserters, leaving us to do all the hard work, and missing out on the fun of finding cool stuff, and who did they think they were, coming all this way just to ignore m...us! Just think of how much more could have gotten done if we had had four more people there to help (well, five if you count Nancy - Mrs. Privateer - but I wasn't going to blame a woman who can't help the kind of rotter she's married to)! Of course we still had 22, but I reserve the right to kvetch if I feel like it!

John and Alicia (Mr. & Mrs. Golden Rivet) were working right next to us, and pretty soon Chad joined James down in the hole, and we had some good conversation while we were busy collecting cool old navy stuff. I noticed Dan beachcombing through the hurricane wreckage, and occassionally picking up pieces of wood and chucking them into the Gulf of Mexico. "Hey!" I shouted, "Quit polluting the harbor!"

"What?" he shouted back. "I can't hear you!" Being rather simple-minded, I thought that was a wonderful comeback and we had shared a funny joke. Later when I brought it up he said he didn't know what I was talking about, because he really couldn't hear me. Those Romanians - what a bunch of cut-ups.

The container-team turned up a couple of naval chronometers, at least one 8-day clock (don't ask, I don't remember what that is, and don't want to), a cool navy flag (seen in the group picture), another flag which was red and blue and I thought it was a Texas flag until I realized it didn't have the triangle with the lone star in it, and a bunch of old navy-issue plates and cups which had somehow survived unbroken. Also a couple of old teletype machines and some electrical equipment. Also there was a little plaster plaque of the official patch of USS Thornback (SS-418), a Tench-class boat completed in 1944. That's what I'm holding in the big ugly picture of me, in case you wanted to know.

After we were done we posed for pictures and gave them our names and addresses. Apparently we're going to get another cool t-shirt for our contribution, and we're all now official members of the Seawolf Park Association. Can't complain about that.

We couldn't go aboard Cavalla because there was no power, and the inside of a submarine can get just a little on the dark side. We couldn't go aboard Stewart because thanks to Ike she's now listing about 17 degrees to starboard, which means the boarding ladder, which is on the port side, is about 15 feet in the air. I don't think even James-the-lance-corporal can jump that high. I could be wrong, though - I certainly have been before.

We spent some time taking pictures of us beside the ships, and the exposed submarine conning tower they have on display, and then looked at the wreckage. Cavalla has part of her bow pealed back on the starboard side, which is not good, but we could see the outer door of the torpedo tube, which was cool. I asked Neal if there were plans to restore Cavalla to her Second World War state, and he snapped "Hell no! No way!" He then explained that she had been converted twice, and was one of the original experimental attack subs used to develop technology and tactics that are still in use today; and that they wanted her in that condition to represent what she means to the modern navy.

As we were driving out of the park, it was my turn to be the butt of a joke. We had gotten to talking about what a great bunch the dev team were and how Dan was so cool. I said that this was also illustrated by the great posts by their spokesman, Elanaiba, and that I'd really like to meet him sometime as well.

"Steve" said Neal, "Dan is Elanaiba."

"...oh."

LUNCH

After some misdirection, getting lost in parking lots, losing people at red lights and at least one wrong turn, we finally arrived at a seafood restaurant and had survived "Icky Ike", or so it said on the menu. Not being a big fish eater I had a cheeseburger instead. What was cool was that I ended up sitting next to Zeb Alford. Captain Zeb, as they call him, was actually the Executive Officer on Cavalla while all the aforementioned converting and experimenting was going on, and he had some great stories involving testing new equipment and sneaking up on the best task forces of the day, and getting away with it.

I've been told that submarine captains tend to be arrogant and stuck-up, and nuclear submarine captains even more so, but Zeb is a regular guy. When he mentioned that he had originally been captain of a destroyer, I told him I had served on a DD and he got interested and asked for some of my stories, which he then sat patiently through and even laughed at. All-in-all it was a great bull session.

GUNS 'N' STUFF

After lunch we finally made it to the gun range. Hanomag had brought his personal weapon, and Neal brought his, and Rebel and Renee were strapped up and ready for bear. Valerie was there, and I think Natasha was too but I don't remember for sure. I've shot guns before, and while I try to stay in practice I don't really get a big kick out of shooting for its own sake, so I opted to hang out and watch. I ended up having a nice conversation with FAdmiral, so no time was actually wasted in the making of this trip. Everybody had a good time, and so we headed out.

'THE TALK'

We got back to Neal's and sat around talking about stuff while Mike (Hanomag) cleaned his pistol and talked about how it was different from the old 1911 model .45. He didn't claim better, just different.

Then Neal ordered pizza for us all and we got down to business. I'm a little nervous about this part because I was was worried about giving anything away and PMed Dan this morning to ask if there was anything he wanted me to leave out. He said no, there was nothing said that could be considered secret, and it was on the webcam anyway. He also said he wanted to see how much I remembered about it. And that's why I'm nervous - because I'm sure I don't remember half of what was said.

The conversation consisted of Dan asking us question, and they were mostly not what we wanted in a game, though there was some of that, but what we though of each idea he was bringing up.

"What would you think of a console version?"

Most of us didn't like the idea, but not because we didn't want it but rather we couldn't see how it could work without being extremely dumbed-down. I commented that 10 years ago I would have loved a PlayStation version of SH1, but now with bigger monitors and comfortable desk chairs I couldn't see the point.

"What do you think of a more dynamic campaign, say one in which you could affect the outcome of the war?"

I've always been against such a thing, since way back when I played LucasArts' Battle of Britain game, Their Finest Hour, and when I played German we invaded Britain every time. But the discussion spread out from that point, with a lot of back-and-forth, and one idea I got really excited about was the concept of: If you raid a harbor, they beef up all the harbor defenses, so the next time is harder. If you sink several big important ships, the AI gets offended and starts hunting you, specifically. If you leave your assigned grid and go harbor raiding, you had better be successful, because if you don't you might be relieved of command for disobeying orders. And even if you do score big, at the same time they hang a medal on you you will also get an official reprimand.

Another idea that came up in that vein was the possibility of getting called to Berlin and having Donitz or even Hitler ask what you wanted. If they liked your idea you might get special praise. If not, you might find your career over.

Also, a modification of the renown concept: If you ask for special equipment before it's available to the general u-boat arm, you might get it or you might get told that someone even more respected got it first, and you'd have to wait your turn.

I know I dwelt on that more than anything else, but that's what stuck with me.

Wolf-Packs: everybody wants wolf-packs. But just having one isn't realistic. What was discussed was the possibility of being part of one but not the leader. You're ordered to one side of the convoy and from then on you're on your own. You might not even get to a good attack position, and still be playing catch-up when you hear the others sinking ships. You might get a free attack while the escorts are all chasing down your buddies. Or you might be the goat, and have them all gang up on you. All these things are possible, and we got to discuss them at length.

Multi-Player: of course we all said we wanted adversarial multi-play, like the old SH2/DC days. We discussed the possibility of interrupted team-speak, so the subs couldn't talk to each other while submerged, or if surfaced the DDs would get a huff/duff alert. This was done with SH2/DC, but it was typed, and team-speak allows excessive freedom.

Every time one of us raised any objection based on difficulty, Dan would immediately smack us down: "We can do anything! I'm not worried about that! I just want to know what you think of the idea!"

There were a lot of questions, and as I said I don't remember them all. I'm sure there will be threads on all of this soon enough. Anyone who remembers anything else is free to post it. Also, I'm not trying to push my own agenda with any of the above. I'm just posting what I remember and what my impressions were.

Rip has joked in another thread that he talked more than any of us, and bored Dan with his prattle. My memory is that he had more to say than anyone else, but pretty much everything he said was worth discussing, and he had more good ideas than the rest of us put together.

Hanomag answered just about every question with "As long as I can save it first, I don't care!" Which explains his joke on the other thread.

Overall I came away with the impression that they really want to make us happy this time, and that the immediate future of sub simming is in good hands.
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Last edited by Onkel Neal; 10-16-2008 at 04:00 PM. Reason: added link to CAVALLA Incident
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:05 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor Steve
We met the guy who was to be our boss for the day (Neal will have to tell you his name) and he got us organized.
John McMichael, curator and Seawolf Park manager, COB on several subs, and valuable person to our group.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor Steve


As we were driving out of the park, it was my turn to be the butt of a joke. We had gotten to talking about what a great bunch the dev team were and how Dan was so cool. I said that this was also illustrated by the great posts by their spokesman, Elanaiba, and that I'd really like to meet him sometime as well.

"Steve" said Neal, "Dan is Elanaiba."

"...oh."
Ha! Steve 2, Neal 1
I'm gaining! :rotfl:
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:12 PM   #70
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Steve. you write like Joel Achenbach of The Washington Post!
I enjoyed reading your adventures
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Old 10-16-2008, 03:29 PM   #71
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This makes really cool reading Steve

I'm extremely relieved your unaware of the Limo hijacking episode
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:01 PM   #72
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Added link to the for you Steve.

Neal
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:17 PM   #73
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this is a great read -- thanks a lot, steve.
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:34 PM   #74
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Wow, the Cavalla incident

I swear, next time there's a Subsim meet on a fleet boat (where I will DEFINITELY have to be), I'm volunteering for the Middle Watch!

Also, I laughed at the whole "Dan vs. elanaiba" thing. Even I knew that, and I never even got to meet Dan yet (unfortunately )
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:46 PM   #75
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About the wolfpacks, did anyone surgest that you could move up in rank. Like start out low and move up to be the head of the pack.
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