View Full Version : The beauty of realism.

05-17-2005, 10:43 AM
I got this game about a week ago, and I had played my first four patrols at 64% realism, and I had pretty good early-war results, with about 20-30k tons per patrol (I came across an unescorted convoy in the Atlantic with a couple tankers on my very first patrol). For my fifth patrol, I felt I was ready to turn on the realism options I had balked at before - realistic sinking (didn't want to wait forever to see a ship go down) and no stabilzing view in a storm. I left external views (I love to watch ships sink) and the updating nav map on.

It was in January of 1940 that I set out on a fateful fifth patrol in my VIIB.

To get to my patrol area, I decided to go via the English channel. Even though I had suffered numerous air attacks near Norfolk the last time I tried, I figured I would adopt a submerged-by-day policy and stick close to the French coast to reach my patrol zone. Skirting along the narrow channel near Dover at night, my crew spotted a warship. I dove to periscope depth and identified it as an Elco torpedo boat - the laughingstock of SH3 warships. I surfaced and a few deck gun shots later it was lying on the ocean floor. It hadn't even seen me, as far as I knew.

About half an hour later my crew spotted another warship. From periscope depth, it turned out to be yet another Elco. I surfaced once again and manned the deck gun. When I gave the order to fire at will, they did so, but they opened up on a target I hadn't seen. Some distance away an armed trawler was steaming towards me and getting smacked by my gun crew. I thought that was fine - I might as well take that ship out and kill the little Elco while I was at it. Problem was, I couldn't figure out how to man both the flak gun and the deck gun at the same time. So while I was messing with the watch officer's orders to do so, the armed trawler got closer and closer until I started taking some serious hits without having significantly hurt it. Even worse, another ship was fast approaching - a destroyer! I dove to periscope depth and prepared to evade before it arrived. The damage done to the sub so far wasn't too bad - my hull integrity had taken a few more hits than I would have liked and was down to 72%, but nothing major. Damage crews easily repaired my lightly damaged internals and I popped my periscope up for a shot on the destroyer.

Just my luck, the firing solution was slightly off for the bow shot. The torpedo glanced off the propeller (it even changed course without exploding!) With the DD approaching fast for an attack run, I dove and turned hard. Unfortunately the bottom was rather shallow - the deepest I could go here was 40 metres. I went there and rigged for silent running, and the first few sets of depth charges were off target.

Then another destroyer arrived, and I started getting pinged. The depth charges started getting more accurate, and I suffered several hits from the persistent bastards as I tried to get away. Alternately I changed speed, direction, and depth, and despite all of it I just couldn't go deep enough to safely avoid getting hit. Between the two DD's I was slowly being pummeled to death.

I rose back up to periscope depth to try and get another shot at one of the destroyers. With one gone or damaged, I might be able to evade the other one - but my timing was poor. as soon as my scope was up, it and my tower was rammed by one of the destroyers on an attack run (and I got depth charged to boot). I lost both my periscopes, and the flak and deck gun - in fact, the entire superstructure of my sub was blown away. My hull was down to 52% as I dove deep, cursing my luck. I fired a blind shot, which missed, and dove back towards the bottom.

Another DD arrived as I carefully settled on the sea floor and stopped the sub. Unfortunately, the tactic only worked for about five minutes as the new destroyer began an attack run on me. I scraped along the bottom as I took the sub up to flank speed to try and avoid the new string of depth charges, but I got hit hard. The aft torpedo room was flooding and I had lost the stern dive planes and suffered battery damage.

Setting a new course on my nav map, I noticed something odd - there was a sunken ship registered there. Peering around with the external camera, I drew some comfort in the fact that the destroyer that rammed my tower had sunk from damage suffered in the impact. It's bow was on the bottom, and the stern was sticking out of the water at an angle. I'd never seen a ship do that before, and I attribute it to the realistic sinking setting.

But that meant I still had two destroyers on me, and battery / engine damage was slowing me down. Then I got a crazy idea. I set course for the half-sunk destroyer and hit flank speed, mustering all of six knots. The depth charges hit too close on the way there - my entire sub suffered yellow and orange damage and my hull integrity dropped to 34%.

Slowly and carefully I coasted to a stop directly beneath the ship. It hovered there in the sea, like a great knife ready to come down and crush me if it finished sinking. I figured that the little bit of the ship sticking out of the water might cause a collision with any destroyers trying to make an attack run, but the AI didn't fall for it. Fortunately for me, it didn't want to get close to me at all. They had me pinged and my location fixed, but they wouldn't risk collision with the ship, and so even though a fourth(!) destroyer showed up, any attack runs they made were much too far to cause damage.

I sat there for two hours, repairing damage and reloading torpedoes, hoping the destroyers would give up and leave before my air ran out or the ship finished sinking and crushed me. I noticed some odd behavior among the destroyers - sometimes they stopped a short distance from the sunken ship and sat there, other times they would make short attack runs. But sometimes they would start to swing their searchlights away from the wreck and start circling nearby - as though they had lost me. Still, they showed no signs of leaving. I wanted to rise up for a blind shot at a stopped destroyer, but a quick look up revealed that doing so would have rammed my sub into the wreck, so I stayed put.

An hour before midnight, I decided that between losing compressed air and the risk of the destroyer sinking completely and crushing what was left of my sub, I couldn't stay down forever, while they could stay up there as long as they wanted. I waited until all the ships had stopped focusing on the wreck and were searching nearby, and set off at ahead slow to the south.

One of the DD's broke off and made a couple depth charge runs, but he didn't have a good fix on me and missed. He eventually returned to searcing near the wreck, and by midnight I was away. I limped home, and recieved a medal for my 35-ton patrol. Believe it or not, my entire crew survived.

Now I just leave torpedo boats alone, and I won't be venturing through the English channel anytime soon in my new VIIC. A route north of Scapa Flow, while longer, has proved much better - I've bagged two C3's on my sixth patrol, and been threatened only by the occasional aircraft.

And I'm definitely leaving realistic sinking on - I had no idea it would end up saving my boat.

05-17-2005, 12:37 PM
What a fantastic story! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Have you ever thought of writing for a living?

The destroyer being sunk by ramming the conning tower is a bug rather than a result of the realism setting. A destroyer's hull would cut a U-boat hull easily.

05-17-2005, 04:58 PM
yes that was a well written story http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif gj

05-17-2005, 08:29 PM
I must say that storys like that is what made me start playing this game, and even with all the bugs that do exist this game is truly THE best sim game I have ever played...

I have a simular story at the English channel, on my way back from a trip to coast of France and decided to attack a single armed merchant, witch proved to be a wrong move, got blown sky high by the destroyers that found me... ****... and I had a good almost 20000ton run... that hurt my pride badly and now a days I never attack anything at the channel if I really dont need to... those british bastards!!! :P

great story btw, gonna try that if I ever get the chanse to... YEAY TO ME AND THE LOVE FOR SH3

05-18-2005, 07:45 AM
Thanks for the compliments. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

c_mattio, the realism setting didn't affect the fact that the destroyer sunk, but I attribute it to the destroyer sinking in such a way that allowed me to hide underneath it as opposed to sinking completely to the bottom, which is what I tend to see happen with realistic sinking turned off.

05-18-2005, 08:33 AM
I would have to say that is a blatant example of UNREALISTIC sinking. I can't imagine any ship sitting there with one end on the bottom and the other end sticking up from the water. It would quickly drag the stern section below the waves and settle on the bottom.

05-18-2005, 08:37 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif Amazingly well written, really enjoyed that.

05-18-2005, 09:27 AM
How is that real? The ramming of the DD should have sunk you, or at least prevented you from diving at all!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif let alone diving "deep"

Very disapointing! Damage model definately needs work!

05-18-2005, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by fizilbert:
I would have to say that is a blatant example of UNREALISTIC sinking. I can't imagine any ship sitting there with one end on the bottom and the other end sticking up from the water. It would quickly drag the stern section below the waves and settle on the bottom.

I've read accounts of ships floating like that for days. All it needs is a good sized air pocket. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

05-18-2005, 10:45 AM
Haha.. in real life (if the destroyer had still sunk), the other destroyers would soon have figured out what was going on and blasted a couple of holes in the hull of the floating hulk. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

05-18-2005, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by Comassion:
I noticed some odd behavior among the destroyers - sometimes they stopped a short distance from the sunken ship and sat there, other times they would make short attack rus.

Great story.

I noticed that if you get on or close to the bottom and stop, the active DDs get confused and a couple stop very close to you and ping you incessantly. They will stay there until you make noise. They know you are there, but they just don€t seem to develop a good solution. If you set to quiet running you can€t do any repairs, so I guess you were not set to quiet running a lot of the time, and this is possibly why they were still trying occasional DC runs from time to time.

What I wonder is, do the DDs *EVER* run out of depth charges? It seems like they don€t.

05-19-2005, 03:16 AM
Originally posted by Comassion:

c_mattio, the realism setting didn't affect the fact that the destroyer sunk,

Sorry, think I didn't explain myself too clearly. What I meant was that the destroyer sinking because it rammed you was a bug. There is a bug in the game that regardless of realism if a destroyer rams your conning tower while your at periscope depth it will be damaged enough to sink while the sub takes little damage. It only happens when a destroyer hits the sub conning tower though. I don't know if 1.3 fixed it as I try to avoid being rammed by destoyers!

05-19-2005, 10:30 AM
Just to prove it can be done and your sub can survive.