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Online since 1997

SUBSIM TACTICS & TIPS

Silent Hunter II

TACTICS

Tactical Notes and Related Info: SH2 release version - For Subsim.com by WPL member Rommel McDonald. Excellent tips for conserving fuel, compressed air, tighter turns and more, as it relates to the sim. Download and print.

 


General

If you conclude a campaign scenario and the Summary says you failed to complete the Primary Objective the program forces you to replay the mission until you do. If you don't feel like replaying the whole mission, you can hand-edit the scenario file and remove the Primary Objective. This will allow you to skip it.

The scenario files for the campaign are located in the C:\Program Files\SSI\Silent Hunter II\Shell\CampaignFiles (provided you installed the game in the default directory). The files are .SDF files which can be opened and saved with Wordpad. Open the scenario you wish to bypass and look for the line:

;;; Objectives ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Now look in the first [OBJECTIVE] block for the phrase:    Primary = TRUE

[OBJECTIVE1]

Objective = TONNAGE

Tonnage = 2500

Type = WARSHIP

Primary = TRUE

Score = 101

 

Simply backspace this line out and now the scenario has no Primary Objective. You may start the scenario and press ESC after it starts. Then return to the HQ Office and start the next missions. I advise you use this very sparingly. One, it will keep you from getting medals and promotions as readily, and two, it could become a crutch and speed you through the campaign at a fast clip.

 

 

 

Attack strategy

  • As with reality and previous subsims, attack at night when possible.
     
  • Always avoid destroyers and escorts. No, REALLY avoid them. Most DDs in SH2 are very difficult to evade and they can kill you on the first pass.

 

Torpedoes

  • Forget the one ship/one torpedo practice you were used to in Aces. If you have high realism options (dud torpedoes, limited visibility), you will need to fire a two torpedo spread for each target. Sure, you won't realize the 100,000 ton patrols you had in Aces but this is more in line with the pressures the real U-boat crews felt when deciding when to allocate torpedoes for targets.

 

AA guns and Deck gun

  • Use the  ,  key (comma key) to switch between guns while one is reloading.
     
  • When trying to target approaching aircraft, let them come within range before shooting. We've had the best luck at ~1500m.
     
  • Go to flank speed when being attacked by planes on the surface.
     
  • Torpedo bombers will attack from steep angles.
     
  • Use the Z key to toggle on high magnification while gunning.

 

Evasion

  • The #1 rule of survival in SH2 is do not get within sonar range of British DDs in shallow water (>50m). You will die, be dead, that's spelled D-E-A-D. Unlike previous diesel subsims, the AI DDs will get a good fix on a U-boat in shallow water and with less vertical range to choose from, they can set their depth charges very effectively.
     
  • If you are cruising on the surface at greater than 64 time compression and you see it drop to 4x, that means your lookouts have spotted a glint in the sky, which will very soon be an "aircraft spotted!" Take this extra time to dive as deep as you can.
     
  • If escorts do detect you and attack, go as deep as you dare. The red zone on the depth gauge indicate below test depth. Ease you way into the red but don't venture too far or you'll be crushed instantly. It's a challenge knowing how deep to go.
     
  • Like real engines, if you push an SHII U-boat at flank speed too long, the Chief will warn you to reduce speed. If you are in desperate need of speed, simply drop to full and then ring up flank again. The momentary relief on the bearings will work magic (actually, the program probably times it but we like to use our imagination when working a cheat. )
     
  • During Depth Charge attacks, I stay at 1X and use the sonar station to monitor the DD's position. While at 1/3rd speed, I would make sure that they stayed off either beam, manuvering the boat as necessary. Then bouncing back and forth from gages to sonar, listen and when I could start to hear them at the gage's station, I'd speed up to std bell. After the bell was coming up, I order all ahead full. Then after "DC's in the water", I'd go to flank until they finish 'splodin. After they are done, slow back down, manuvering to open then putting them back on the beam. I did all this in 80-100 meters of water. Deeper water works better. Have not been killed since doing this. - Frank Kulick
     
  • When an enemy DD spots you and vectors to intercept, get a good firing  solution and fire a few degrees ahead of it (only one or two). Then Dive deep  and go as slow as you can. The best way to avoid the depth charges is to move  to a perpendicular course relative to the attacking DD.
     
  • If you are out of torpedoes and out of depth, you might want to consider RAMMING the destroyer in question. Sure, you will get damage, but it will be less then from DCs. Once  ‘welded to his hull’, you can surface (he cannot fire that close), and rake him with cannon and MG fire. The destroyers are not heavily armored and you should be able to sink him right then and there. Admittedly, this is a desperate tactic, but it works. -  Alex K.
     

Orders

  • As you might assume, Crash Dive (C key) will get you down faster than setting a subsurface depth or pressing P key (periscope depth).
     
  • Blowing ballast uses a great deal of your compressed air. Be careful when using time compression, it appears to use more air than at normal time compression.

 

Interface

  • In the map screen, press the space bar and right click the mouse to instantly center the map on the mouse cursor.
     
  • Use the CTRL-UP ARROW and CTRL-DOWN ARROW zoom in and out while in the external view. *Rainman
     
  • The depth gauge (where you set your depth) includes 3 needles, one for actual, one for "set", and a third one (gray, looks like) that indicates water beneath the keel. Good to know how much maneuvering room you have before making the attack run on those escorted convoys! -- James
     

 

Miscellaneous

  • Before starting a campaign, be sure you are satisfied with the realism settings. Once you begin the game, you cannot alter the setting through the normal Configuration menu.
     
  • SH2 escorts have a depth charge accuracy level that exceeds what you are used to with AOD and SH1. When they find you on sonar, they will come right over and drop on you. Using the 3D screen, you can see exactly how deadly their targeting is. To compensate for this, we suggest turning the vulnerability realism setting down a few notches, ~70%. This will allow you to survive a few direct hits, in effect, rendering the accuracy factor less potent.

 

Mission Strategies

  • In the Blitzkrieg mission, after hitting objective point #1, you'll make contact with a northbound convoy. It's best to let them by, the DDs guarding them are nearly unbeatable. Simply stay away and then work your way south for objective point #2. Easier pickings are ahead.
     
  • As in SH1, convoys follow certain "lanes" during their trips. Before ordering flank speed after you spot a new contact on the map, take a look at the map and see if you can find any other contacts. You may find that there is a region at which you will spot the most number of ships, and even more, you may be able to find a "node" in that region. A node is the junction of two "lanes", meaning, convoys heading different courses will sail through the same area. The best node is a region in which you can spot the most number of convoys WHILE BEING IN DEEP WATERS. You don't want to be in a crowded place with less than 50m of water under the keel if warships -specially DDs, show up. A good example of this tactic is mission #3 in the campaign ("Western Approaches"). The north east part of Grid BF13 is like rush hour! WaWa
     
  • First Campaign mission: If the three Polish DDs sail away before you can sink all three of them, surface so they can see you. That will make them turn around immediately and start chasing after you. Now do this: 1. Get her deep 2. Rig for silent running, 3. Head for the west-southwest (about course 235) 4. Be prepared for the ash cans rain, and go to the sound room to track those DDs during their run. The Skagerrak strait has a lot of thermal layers, they will soon lose contact with you and be far behind inside the strait. You can go again to Periscope Depth, turn around and fish them all again, since they will have to face towards you to resume their trip to England. You may have to repeat this a couple times (up to one per destroyer in the worst case), but you will sink all 6,000 tons of them without problem. By the way, use one torp for each DD, they are not that much armored.  Cheers, WaWa
  • On the Scapa Flow, I entered and maneuvered with my electric motor, instead of diesel engines. The escorts picked up my diesels and were all over me, but on my E-motor, I was able to enter, attack and escape w/o ever seeing a single escort. Jason U-9 #794
     
  • At Scapa Flow, you can to the strait ESE of the base and transit there.  It is only about 750 meters wide, do you have to zoom WAY in.  once you are in, you have avoided the destroyers most of the time.  Last time, I got the battleship, went back out the side door, reloaded then got the cruiser in one round.  --CBG
     
  • Scenario hint: In Mission 3, Western Approaches, the Royal Oak and its escorts normally dock on the little islands south of the BF13 grid after a while. You can go there and give a try to sink the carrier, but be careful: depth is less than 50 meters, and there are at least 5 DDs (one or two active, the rest are stopped until you start hitting the carrier), and a light cruiser.

 

Campaign Tips by Andy Howard-Jones

Scapa Flow - Although it is possible to get through a small entrance on the NE side of the bay (as Prien did!), I find the direct approach better. Get up to flank speed and steam straight into the bay at night, avoiding the most southerly destroyer. The remaining destroyer in the bay will pick you up. When it does, slow down and go to back emergency and kill it with deck gun. Then proceed to the warships and sink at your leisure! (Note: don't try to go to periscope depth @ flank speed, you'll run aground!). Leave the light cruiser until last. I play this at 100% realism and usually have no torpedoes at this point, so retire to safe distance (ca 2500m) and finish off with deck-gun & cannon fire (you need a high arc). Then after sinking all moored enemy shipping, go home via Prien's route.

 Sub hunt - After the primary objective, find the battle cruiser and get in quite close on the surface, then submerge and attack. After disposing of most of the escorts, the last one wont bother you as long as you don't get too close. As the battle cruiser goes at a fair rate of knots, you'll probably have to do multiple attacks. (Don't worry about chasing the battle cruiser it will do many circuits, so try to intercept) If you don't catch up with the battle cruiser eventually you'll get a contact report near South Africa, don't go there - trust me, just don't!

 Enemy landings - I found this tough. My tactic was hiding in the fjord then chase and destroy the leftovers.

 Western Approaches - Sink the minimum merchant shipping to obtain primary objective, then head for the moored carrier. Careful approach and positioning ensures the escorts don't bother you too much.

 Blitzkrieg - Kill the enemy destroyers with deck gun (approach, get their attention, then back emergency) - don't bother about the corvette, its not so brave after you've sunk its big chums! Then sink merchant shipping at your leisure. Don't go home via the English Channel - it can get painful!

 Lone wolf - go to meeting point then stay ahead of the first contact to your east (you sail west). Eventually the escorts leave the convoy and head for home. You will also pick up a big convoy to the west. Attack both at leisure, using deck gun and cannon after all torpedoes are expended to notch up the tonnage.

 Shadow duty - Attack from the front at flank speed, submersing ca. 1500m from target. When inside the convoy have some fun and use the merchant shipping to get in between yourself and destroyers as much as possible. Save some torpedoes for any troublesome escorts. Best escape route I found was to surface at least 1500m from escorts then flank speed away, using cannon / deck gun to take care of any persistent escorts.

 Other general advice is to get all torpedoes into internal storage asap, and to set them very close to the surface when attacking ships at close range. Also when attacking convoys try to time the torpedoes to hit at the same time. There's nothing more annoying than a tanker taking evasive action after hitting a small merchant! All above information is based on 100% realism, and night attacks, (except Blitzkrieg) Hope the above is helpful, thanks for everyone else's advice - some good stuff in there.

 

 

------ 2 ------

Multiplay with Destroyer Command - by Frank "Torpex" Kulick, SUBSIM.COM

The following is an extremely reliable method of conducting SH2~SH2, and SH2~DC MP operations. I have used this over the last week and have had excellent results hosting up to 4 players on a 56K modem. I have no data for DSL or Cable hosts but it should only be better.

First each player needs to check his/her computers resources. As a host I made sure I had nothing less then 80% free. As players I urge nothing less then 75% free. Use of "End-it-all" is highly recommended.  Another little utility I used (Thanks to Ol'man) is "Cacheman" to manage my memory better and have it configured for 3D games. Once everyone is ready, tell them to give you 2-3 minutes to start the server and setup as host. 

The next part is for the host. Go into Windows explorer and under SSI/Silent Hunter II/Dedicated Server . Click the RT.bat file to launch the RTime server. Allow it to stabilize for 20 seconds before launching SH2. Close windows explorer, and shrink the RTime server. Launch SH2.  After selecting "Host a Multiplayer Game" you select "remote server" under "Advanced Features" there is a block there for an IP address, enter your IP and then click the button "validate". If you have done it all correctly, that button changes to "Start server", click it and now you are running on Rtime server.

This has worked very well and the only reasons people were dropped was due to a poor ISP line, or a poor computer, not in the best of health. If you suspect your ISP, reconfigure your dial-up to use another number. I did this once and sure enough it eliminated all lag encountered.

 

 

Saved Games

Saving during campaign missions

When you want to save your actual position, quit the mission. Now you are in the headquarter. Try alt+tab and go to the explorer. You will find 2 files in the folder *\SH2\Save\Campaigns
[campaign name].usr (your campaign data)
[campaign name].gam (your actual mission position)
Copy and rename the files (e.g. [campaign name]_1.*]. Go back to the headquarter. Try play mission and accept use existing file. Now you are in the same position. Shot the enemy down, if not, quit the mission again. Go to the explorer rename the previously copied files back. Change to the headquarter and play the mission again. Now you have a second change.

Take into account, that same of the computer which already have problems with the janus.err don’t like the alt+tab maneuver. In this case there is no way for saving during campaign missions at the moment.

greetings,  Guggel

 

Mission Editing

See DOWNLOADS for the SHII Scenario Hand Edit Guide

 

BUGS

The most common "bug" is the player not reading the manual and understanding the simulation. Before you cry "bug!", read the manual carefully.

  • Cannot select messages on the radio pad while submerged (Lanzfeld);  Occurs occasionally, does not affect gameplay
  • Slow mouse movement unless Anti aliasing turned off or playing in 32bit mode rather than 16bit.

 

TIPS

Troubleshooting Tips

It's been five years since Silent Hunter gave you command of a US submarine in the Pacific, six years since Aces of the Deep thrust you into the Battle of the Atlantic. After a protracted development period which involved two dev teams, and several company buyouts and asset shuffles, SSI/Ultimation is proud to offer the new WWII subsim standard: Silent Hunter II.


Installing

  • Before installing Silent Hunter II, check your graphic card and sound card drivers with the latest offered on the company website. Up-to-date drivers are the biggest reason why some people cannot get their games to run and it is up to you to rectify this.
     
  • After installing, run the Configure program so the simulation can adapt to your graphics card.

 

Graphics card issues

Voodoo 3000 - must have the new Voodoo drivers for SHII and newer games to work.
1)  Find the v3-w9x-1.07.zip file downloaded from
this website.
 2)  Extract that (if it asks you for a folder to extract to, pick  c:\temp\)
 3)  Go to that folder it extracted to.
 4)  Run the application v3-w9x-1.07.exe.
 5)  It will ask you for a directory also.  Go ahead and pick c:\temp\ again.  (that's right, the same directory)
 6)  Look in that temp folder again.
 7)  Now run an application called setup.exe.  This will set up the video drivers on your computer.
 8)  After it's done, you will need to restart your computer.
 9)  After restarting, go ahead and try Silent Hunter II again
 

For Voodoo 5500 and similar cards, try this website for new drivers: http://www.windrivers.com
Resources:
Voodoo Files nVidia Files

 

Saving games

Method to save and load in SH2 as many times as your wish.
 
Open "ResultsDlg.dsf" in your sh2\sim\dsf by Notepad.exe or other text editor.
Add following to the end. This will add a "Yes" button when you press ESC.
 
 
[CONTROL]
Type = BUTTON
Priority = 12
Bounds =  256,446,384,470          ;The location of button. Change to your pleasure.
Image = #{IMG_DIALOGBUTTONS}#
UVUp = 0,80,98,100
UVDown = 0,100,98,120
Prompt = #{QUIT_PROMPT_SAVE}#
Transparent = FALSE
Action = SaveQuit
ID = 65                       ;This is important! Do not type others or you will crash you system.
KeyCmd = OKAY
 
 
You can also copy above from your "Quit.dsf" in your sh2\sim\dsf\, or just modify a new one.
 
When you press "Yes", a dialog box will popup and ask you a name. It will automatic add a "xxx" to the end of your name used in campaign. "xxx" is a number. The save file is in save\campaign\ folder. When you want to load you file, quit your mission (press ESC twice), then use the one your wanted to cover the autosave game file (*.gam file which has the same name as your *.usr file in save\campaign\. "
 
This has been tested in Win98SE. Submitted by bin bin

 

 

Troubleshooting

  • Read the manual before announcing to the world you have found a bug. It could be part of the game design.

Not supported on Win NT, XP, or 2000 but with the v1.1 patch does seem to run fine on XP.

Patches for SH2

 

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