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Old 07-07-2019, 01:15 PM   #1
jimmbbo
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Default Shallow water missions

Do any of the forum commanders have a method to successfully complete shallow water search missions (e.g. Jawa/Java Sea or the southwestern South China Sea) where the depth below keel is often less than 100 feet?
In those areas I find it nearly impossible to avoid the IJN DDs no matter how quiet I am, and have taken to either parking the sub within the search radius and using time compression to run out the clock or more recently by ignoring the assignment in favor of freelancing elsewhere to increase the renown points. If there's a shallow water tactical solution, it would be good to find it.

My normal attack is to stop 90 degrees and 1000-2000 yards from the convoy course, firing the torpedoes and immediately submerging to 250 feet, and after passing the thermal layer crossing under the convoy track at 2-5 kt to use its noise as cover.
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:21 PM   #2
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Principle of calculated risk comes to mind. Some people like to play "DID", meaning Dead Is Dead, restoring a save game after you get killed is cheating. I don't do that, but I usually play careers as realistic as possible - how would I do this in real life? He who chickens and runs away lives to chicken another day. In addition to my own precious heinie I got this expensive sub and all these other guys, recklessness is bad tactics. Got too few targets with too many escorts, let them pass, avoid contact, wait for an easier convoy with fewer escorts. In fact SOP at first contact report was to turn the stern to the contact and open the range until you figured out exactly what you were dealing with, then make the decision based on calculated risk before turning toward the intercept course.

Good tactics someplace like the Java Sea would be start a plot, drag out the course line as far as possible - then look for where his course line crosses deeper water. Choose your attack starting point according to depth, if it takes him a week to reach deep water then parallel his course until they reach the deeper water.

Of course with the SH4 game none of the necessity is simulated - the objective for a career mission is actually very minor, you get very little renown for completing a mission. The objectives are simplified too;

Patrol Java Sea mans go to the star and:
1. Stay for 48 hours OR
2. On reaching the star you get another message "sink enemy merchant shipping in Java Sea".

First one just requires reaching the star and waiting for the mission complete message, after that you can go anywhere, don't have to stay in that area.
Second one just requires sinking enough marus to add up to 10,000 tons, a single large tanker will do that, and the LOCATION, unlike real life, is actually irrelevant - it says sink merchies in Tokyo Bay and you motor off to sink them in the Sulu Sea instead, the game doesn't even notice that.

Actually doing any kind of attack in shallow water is completely unnecessary in this game.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:36 PM   #3
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Just for the shallow water patrol missions, I would only attack at night or in bad weather when in / near shallow waters. If you do not have a deep area in your patrol zone to help you "hide", and your "patrol time" is continuous, I do what you do, and stay submerged in the area, in the deepest spot there is, during daylight hours, until the time is fulfilled and the mission objective completed. I come up for air at night and surface patrol, making certain I'm back at my "parking spot" for the daylight hours. Not "realistic", but the game doesn't allow too much "realistic" anyway. After completing the objective, I go elsewhere (deeper, rougher water) to do the sinkings, if I don't have any yet...
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:09 PM   #4
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My advice is that you should change your attack tactics. 1000-1200 yards range makes no sense in that environment, because they can very quickly work out where you are, but an attack from 3000-4000 yards makes it significantly harder for them.



You could always set the 14s to slow and go for an even longer range attack too. On top of this, you could use your rear tubes for these attacks, since you would gain extra time by not having to turn away from the DDs.



If it were me, I would consider firing a spread from the rear tubes and then heading away underwater at high speed. I would only slow down after my fish have hit home in that situation because I want to gain as much separation from my firing point as possible. Another thing to consider, is that the only information they have after things start exploding is the bubble wake from your mk 14s. This wake also dissipates over time, so by firing from long range, the destroyers might not estimate your firing point correctly and therefore start searching in the wrong place.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:59 PM   #5
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Thanks, Captains... some interesting options... From the comments so far, it is clear that depth and quiet are our friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkerov View Post
...an attack from 3000-4000 yards makes it significantly harder for them.
If it were me, I would consider firing a spread from the rear tubes and then heading away underwater at high speed. I would only slow down after my fish have hit home in that situation because I want to gain as much separation from my firing point as possible. Another thing to consider, is that the only information they have after things start exploding is the bubble wake from your mk 14s. This wake also dissipates over time, so by firing from long range, the destroyers might not estimate your firing point correctly and therefore start searching in the wrong place.

Interesting option... I like the stern tube idea and use it for single targets, but often I use all six forward tubes to hit several convoy targets. Have had spotty results getting solid hits on 3000+ yard shots, and likely have a higher percentage in my standard deeper water procedures.

Unsure about departing at high speed after a stern shot, as the DDs would be in my baffles, won't have a problem hearing the high speed getaway and could likely come up on me undetected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by propbeanie View Post
Just for the shallow water patrol missions, I would only attack at night or in bad weather when in / near shallow waters.
Night/bad wx is worth a shot, but IMO deep water is my friend, and we roll the dice any time above 150 ft or the thermal layer.


Any other thoughts?



Cheers!
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmbbo View Post
Unsure about departing at high speed after a stern shot, as the DDs would be in my baffles, won't have a problem hearing the high speed getaway and could likely come up on me undetected.

I don't think that's the case, either in real life or in game. My realistic argument would be that if they could hear your high speed getaway, then why can't they hear the much louder incoming torpedoes? My game mechanics argument is based on how destroyers react when not in the alerted state; they do nothing, except maybe a small search pattern around the convoy.



Also, if you're worried about them sneaking up on you, throw in a 60 degree turn in a direction of your choosing after the explosions begin.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:20 PM   #7
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Decoys also help when evading, if they're not active long enough try this mod;

http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/down...o=file&id=5186

Stern to the enemy, all ahead flank, launch decoy, etc. Sometimes I get really close, fire bow tubes, launch decoy, ahead flank straight ahead to cross under the convoy to the other side before slowing down and going quiet. I never use the pencil for anything else, so I generally (1) launch decoy (2) switch to chart (3) zoom in and mark X at the tail of my sub so I know where each decoy is, and how much separation I have when I slow down.

As for hanging out in the 'hood, I got tired of waiting two days near the star for the mission complete message on the "patrol (area)" missions, so I edited all the \Data\Campaigns\Campaign\PatrolObjectives\ files;


[Objective 1]
ObjName=Patrol Bismark Sea 01_Objective1
Obj=7
ObjType=0
RenownAwarded=200
AreaName=Patrol Bismark Sea 01_Zone1
AreaType=0
Presence=0
Time=2880.000000

The time is in minutes (60 X 24 = 1440 minutes in a day, so 2880 = 48 hours = 2 days) so change that to Time=60.000000 and you don't have to hang around.

Also note renown for completing the mission, 200 points? That's why I started ignoring all missions when playing a career, if the objectives were more important than sinking ships then the renown awarded ratio would reflect that.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:59 PM   #8
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Sniper... as usual, good gouge! Adding to my notes for SH4.

I have used decoys successfully if the DDs are closing fast and pinging like mad. In the dive I'll go to flank (perhaps crash diving depending on depth), punch out a decoy or two and run that heading for a minute or so, then while slowing to 2 kt I use the extra energy to turn to a new heading balancing the direction with maintaining a narrow aspect to the DD...

Given the freedom to do so, I try to time the decoy/flank maneuver as I approach the thermal layer, timing the power reduction to coincide with passing through it. Has usually worked, but occasionally need to "Dance With the DDs" to escape a particularly talented acoustician.

With respect to how effective DD acoustic differentiation is, does heading in the convoy's direction diminish their detection?

Cheers!
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:59 PM   #9
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Logically being close to any surface ship SHOULD mask your sub, but I'm fairly sure the game doesn't simulate that. I've seen cases where a DD is making a beeline towards me when I'm running quiet at periscope depth with a cruiser between me and the escort, and with either active or passive sonar he should NOT be able to either hear me over the noise from the cruiser or get an echo off me with the cruiser's hull between us. They do anyway, mainly because the AI cheats. The game controls the AI, the game always knows exactly where you are, simplest programming is for the game to feed your location to the enemy AI, so that's what it does. That's my theory, sloppy lazy programming, never been able to prove it with 100% certainty though. Decoys work more often than not, with the 30 minute decoys I've seen several different escorts making multiple attack runs on the decoys.

When all else fails, down the throat shots at 500-700 yards usually work, provided you make sure you're at or near a zero gyro angle so the torpedo doesn't need to make a turn.
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper297 View Post
Logically being close to any surface ship SHOULD mask your sub, but I'm fairly sure the game doesn't simulate that. ...
Decoys work more often than not, with the 30 minute decoys I've seen several different escorts making multiple attack runs on the decoys.

When all else fails, down the throat shots at 500-700 yards usually work, provided you make sure you're at or near a zero gyro angle so the torpedo doesn't need to make a turn.

Thanks for the info - will concentrate on quiet and deep using the decoys and minimum aspect to the DD if things get dicey...

Have been surprised when I attempted down the throat shots and took out the DD.. fully expected to see the "JESTER'S DEAD" screen
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:41 PM   #11
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Pretty much have to be playing with duds off and be really close to hit a destroyer. Got a lot of destroyers it's like going after hornets with a fly swatter, you miss you're screwed.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:55 PM   #12
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LOL! I actively avoid warships to sink merchants, so if I'm shooting at a DD, something went wrong and it's a bad day in Black Rock... In several hundred missions I have tangled with them only a handful of times, often 'cuz I got lazy keeping watch or was discovered in shallow water.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:10 PM   #13
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Well, again, two items;
1. Successful career depends on renown. Near as I can tell the game actually pays no attention to mission completions, only the total renown earned however you earn it. Unless you're playing a supermod that increases renown for completing mission objectives and decreases renown for tonnage, there's really no point in trying to complete objectives. I have gone through an entire successful career without ever - not even once - completing a mission objective, I deliberately ignored the objective for every patrol, even going the opposite direction. "Patrol Sulu Sea", okay, so stay out of there, run up to Osaka and blast everything in sight instead, here's your victory medal, want a new sub? No reason to go into shallow water if you ignore objectives, pick your own patrol area. Not realistic, but that's how the game is programmed.

2. You really WANT to complete objectives, go to the shallow water star, wait the allotted time, head back for deep water avoiding contact with anything in the shallows. Even if it says "sink enemy merchant shipping in Java sea" only the first part counts, for the mission complete checkmark all you need to do is sink 10 thousand tons of merchies (also unrealistic, in real life they wouldn't specify merchants and would jump for joy if you sank nothing but warships instead) and the program doesn't care WHERE you sank them, once you hit 10 thousand tons here's your mission complete renown - plus the tonnage renown, which is actually more important for success.

Obviously everyone should play however they want, but it IS a game, it IS for entertainment, if it gets frustrating and no fun then play differently.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:05 AM   #14
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I just disobey orders and dont go in shallow waters. Yellow sea is another area, nearly the whole sea is shallow.
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:07 PM   #15
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LOL...
Last night I ignored a Java Sea mission assignment to patrol in the target rich choke point west and northwest of Ternate and sank another 25000 tons. It was May '44 so the sub tender was nearby for refitting... Just kept patrolling and shooting till the calendar showed the mission was a month long then RTB with 81000 tons sunk, mostly medium and small ships.
Finding and sinking ships out of a large convoy is a lot more rewarding than constantly checking the depth knowing that prosecuting a convoy attack will likely put a submarine shaped hole in the bottom of the ocean.
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