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View Full Version : Patrol Complete, Never Saw A Ship...



BaneSixEcho
03-21-2005, 07:39 PM
...so now what? Do I head back to base bummed I never had a chance to sink anything or do I venture out of my patrol area to look for targets?

What do you guys/gals do?

My mission was to patrol AN81. I never saw a single ship during the trip there or the entire 24 hour patrol. I really wanted to find a juicy convoy since this is my first patrol in a VIIB. The closest enemy port is Southend so I thought about heading in that general direction in search of tonnage.

On a side note: Can you leave your patrol zone before the 24 hours are up? Reason I ask is there were several contacts showing up on the Nav Map but they were 50-100km outside of AN81 and I wanted to go find them.

BaneSixEcho
03-21-2005, 07:39 PM
...so now what? Do I head back to base bummed I never had a chance to sink anything or do I venture out of my patrol area to look for targets?

What do you guys/gals do?

My mission was to patrol AN81. I never saw a single ship during the trip there or the entire 24 hour patrol. I really wanted to find a juicy convoy since this is my first patrol in a VIIB. The closest enemy port is Southend so I thought about heading in that general direction in search of tonnage.

On a side note: Can you leave your patrol zone before the 24 hours are up? Reason I ask is there were several contacts showing up on the Nav Map but they were 50-100km outside of AN81 and I wanted to go find them.

Athlonics
03-21-2005, 07:43 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif


I assume it was your first patrol in the early war, isn't ?

Don't worry same here.


But trust me now on my 5th patrol even with my type VIIB, I didn't have enough torpedo to sink all that I've seen.

Keep going on http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif


PS: Yes you can hunt away your assignated area, all you have to do is return to it later to finish your 24h.

Pr0metheus 1962
03-21-2005, 07:45 PM
You need to start listening for ships. Your sonar guy can hear ships at up to 20 miles. If you're only searching with eyes, then you're missing about 3/4 of the audible area you're going through.

Antiken_CS
03-21-2005, 07:47 PM
I had the same problem on my first patrol. It was 1939 and I was sent to AN18. I sank two lone merchies on the way there, patrolled the zone for 36 hours and saw nothing. So on the way home I took a little detour to the Irish coast (my mom would be so jealous http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif) and found four more lone merchies and popped them all off. So I'd say if your patrol zone is empty and you've got the fuel, scout out the nearest bases or merchie routes. It'll pay off, and most of them will be unescorted early in the war. Now... if I could just get this torp thing down right. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

ncsavoj
03-21-2005, 07:49 PM
Or just sail to the Straight of Gibralter...lmao..

BaneSixEcho
03-21-2005, 08:00 PM
This is my fifth patrol I believe. It's still 1940. I'm smack in the middle of the sub aces so I guess I'm not doing too bad...

I did stop the engines and listen with the hydrophone every once in awhile but never heard anything.

Antiken_CS
03-21-2005, 08:06 PM
I picked up a couple of my merchies with the hydrophones. I don't have a sonar specialist yet, so I'm better at it than "he" is at this point. Any thoughts on how often to dive and listen? I do it every 6 hours or so when I'm in areas likely to have targets.

Dominicrigg
03-21-2005, 08:18 PM
Your not supposed to patrol for just 24 hours, sail round till you have only enough fuel to get home (and a little reserve) The 24 hours is a minimum thing. The idea is you patrol that area because its a convoy route and they know convoys will be there or they want you in that position ready to reroute you to convoys.

So many people are sailing round for 24 hours then going home!! I think the devs need to reword that, im sure they did it as a way of making sure you actually do some patrolling of the area instead of just swanning off where you want immediatley.

mariness2
03-21-2005, 08:35 PM
Don't let the patrol bother you. As long as you ENTER the grid and REMAIN THEIR FOR 24 HRS (I advise sitting in the center of the grid with engines off for the entire 24hr period to save fuel), and you see Complete (F8), it doesn't matter really.

I usually do the normal patrol HOPING I don't see anything, than go somewhere where I know there are good hunting and have torps and ammo to spare (usual convoy lanes -- you'll learn them over time).

I don't even know WHY there are patrol requirements. Its probably SOP, but the fun is usually OUTSIDE the grid.

You don't need to do anything to complete it -- really -- don't freak out. Just go find something elsewhere.

If you have mission complete, you've done your job. You don't necessarily have to kill anything, although you won't get rank or goodies without the kills. However, you can kill em anywhere, the patrol grid is meaningless.

BaneSixEcho
03-22-2005, 06:03 AM
Cool. That's what I wanted to know. Thanks a lot.

aquasal
03-22-2005, 07:01 AM
try hitting the AM sector on route to or back from patrol area, you'll find what you want! saw about 3/4 task forces/convoys ran out of torps!

sp3irs
03-22-2005, 07:06 AM
Yeah sector AM is my favourite hunting ground.

axeman3d
03-22-2005, 07:15 AM
I have just completed my first patrol from my base at Lorient. I was assigned sector AN13 just west of Scapa Flow, so took the Channel/North Sea route to get there and sank a couple of loan merchantmen near the coast on the way there. The rest of the time was spent diving from air attacks and to avoid destroyer patrols. I patrolled my area for about 2 days and saw nothing, not even aircraft, and for a laugh I went back home via the Western Approaches, the famous AM area.

I instantly got a radio report of a slow moving convoy to the NW of me, but when I listened out I heard a whole new convoy heading right for me from the south-west. I sat and waited and sank 2 tankers before being forced away, then called in the contact report. I tried following and waiting for night but I only had deck-gun left and it's no use on a protect convoy that large.

I think there's no doubt that if you go where the convoy routes are marked on the map that came with the game, you meet the convoys. Anything else is just luck.

bweiss
03-22-2005, 07:44 AM
I'd say there are a couple points to keep in mind here. First, SH3 seems to be geared to realism, and fairly well in my humble opinion. If one reads about real U-Boat life, there were countless examples of patrols in which there was little or no enemy engagements. Secondly, as pointed out since SH3 is programmed to replicate historical reality, one should expect that the highest percentage of likelihood of finding targets would quite naturally be in the historic shipping lanes from WWII. Meaning it is far less likely one would find many targets straying on their own save for a few coastal stragglers or those washed out of the convoy formation by storms or rough weather and now on their own. But in my estimation, a patrol without finding a target is not that unusual depending ofcourse on time and location factors.

nstutt
03-22-2005, 01:47 PM
Ive found the best way to find ships is to be orderly in your search. Once youve reached your assigned patrol square start drawing circles around it with a diameter of 40nm. This is the distance your hydrophone can hear. Then head for the centre of each circle, stop engines and listen for a target. If you cant hear any go to the next circle and so on.

Once you find a target orientate the beam of your sub to it and listen to determine its exact bearing (the hyrophones were more accurate to targets on the beam of the sub). Try diving to 20m if you want it may help.

Once you have a target draw a circle 40nm from your location and estimate the strength and position a marker on the exact bearing from you. Travel a few miles directly at the target and then listen again. This shoudl enable you to figure out which way the target is heading. You should then put on another marker at its estmiates position and use the ruler to connect them to determine likely route the ship is following.

Once you know that you should measure your distance to the target and assume that it is going to travel pretty much the same distance along its route before you get to it. Therefore measure along its route in the direction of its travel by the same amount and set sail for the point. If you and the ship are moving the same speed you should intersect assuming your calculations are spot on (not likely). Keep taking bearings to home in.

Also you should take into account the sea conditions and wind speed. Wind speed will slow you down if you are heading into the wind so you may need to assume the target is moving faster than you normally would imagine. Also sea conditions will affect the distance you can hear on the hydrophone so you should take that into account when drawing your circles.

Hope this helps.

Nats

BaneSixEcho
03-22-2005, 02:05 PM
Thanks for the tips!

So far I've used my Nav Officer's patrol routes quite a bit. I think I've used the zig-zag route more than the X or spiral routes. I stop once or twice along each leg of the route and listen with the hydrophone. It usually works pretty well except for this particular patrol where I saw nor heard anything.

I like the idea of drawing 40nm diameter circles. I'll have to try that.

Capt._Tenneal
03-22-2005, 02:22 PM
Pretty much common knowledge probably, but en route to my patrol area I set my waypoints to pass by any port cities on the map. Often you'll run into some traffic near there, get some targets, then make it to your designated grid and chill for 24 hrs.

I have a question myself, do you have to send a situation report when you first get to your area then again 24 hrs. later and wait to get confirmation from BdU or does the game know when you enter your grid to get the "completed" mission objectives ?

BaneSixEcho
03-22-2005, 02:27 PM
The game knows. I never sent any radio reports in my first three of four patrols but they completed just fine.

quillan
03-22-2005, 02:45 PM
Most of the time, I pass through sector AM either on the way to, or after, completing my required patrol. I've been through sector AM on 6 of my 7 patrols thus far, and found a convoy every single time. There are 4 convoy routes that converge there, so hunting is good. In the early days of the war (1939), they weren't escorted. So far in 1940, they've had a lone destroyer escort. After Churchill and Roosevelt make the destroyers for bases lease agreement, the escort numbers should increase.

PoweredBySoy
03-22-2005, 02:47 PM
Great post, Nats.

BaneSixEcho
03-22-2005, 09:21 PM
I'm happy to report that I headed SSW towards Southend. I now have approximately 12,000 tons sunk with five full tubes and three reloads to go. By far my most successful patrol to date. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Those C3 cargo ships are monsters!

quillan
03-22-2005, 09:32 PM
Biggest merchant I've seen is a T3 tanker. 11000 tons, but usually easy to kill, because of the volatile cargo.

Frederf220
03-22-2005, 09:42 PM
You can leave the patrol area before the 24 hrs are up. Say if you leave at the 18 hour mark, then come back you only have to spend an additional 6 hrs in.

It's cumulative and doesn't reset if you leave.

nstutt
03-23-2005, 03:12 AM
The only thing I forgot to mention about hydrophones by the way - and maybe why you arent hearing anything - is that you should note the dial available just below the bearing dial. This adjusts the filtering of the sound signal to remove acoustic noise. This actually decreases/increases the sensitivity of the hydrophone. If you are listening with your engines on you will want to decrease the sensitivity so that your engines are not heard. But then most sounds from targets will be lost except the loudest ones. However if you listen with your engines off (recommended) you need to increase the sensitivity by clicking on the right side of the dial. This increases all the sounds you can hear.

So if youre not hearing anything thats probably why.

Ive also noticed that bad weather reduces the distance you can hear as well so you probably wont pick up ships within 20nm in storms. In calm weather you will pick up targets further away. Mind you I havent actually managed to assess yet the max distances that you can pick targets up. It does seems to vary though.

Nats

peteuplink
03-23-2005, 04:23 AM
When I first started playing, I would get to my patrol area and stay on the surface searching for ships... And never see any.

What I do now is drop to slow speed and move along at periscope depth during the day (keeps me out of the sight of swordfish) and at night I move at 1/3 speed on the surface. As soon as I change tactics I find that I'm getting a lot more contacts and I'm sure to sink at least 1 ship every patrol now.