View Full Version : Are these fools blind?

04-22-2005, 04:56 AM
Okay I have some questions about AI and depth charging. Here is what I did:

Experimenting with different types of subs on the single missions I started practicing depth charge defence. After some practice and thinking it was to easy, I loaded up a '39 type IID against the '44 battleship group. Lots of destroyers, my little outdated IID. I figured I would be dead.

But no. Granted, I think I know a good deal about being depth charged, but cmon. Using my standard tactics my sub didn't get scratched.

Then I decided just to go in one direction at standard speed. No silent running. No decoys. Just ahead standard at 140 meters. Even blurping a ping here and there to get the ocean floor depth and let em know were I was.

So destroyers make several passes dropping cans. They know were I am. Using the observation periscope I saw hedgehogs pass within 3 meters of my boat. That was cool...and scary...but in several passes only one DC came even close and scratched the paint of my AA gun.

In each pass, the DCs detonated at my depth and heading but behind me. If I droped speed I'm sure I wouldn't have survived, but it seemed to me the AI was either misjudging my speed or failing to lead me properly. It was way to easy.

Is there something wrong here?

I am reminded of a funny pic someone posted just before the game's release: A u-boat on the surface running at a destroyer with a lit flare saying "Improved AI my ##!, these fools are blind!"

04-22-2005, 05:01 AM
A couple of patrols ago, I was detected by a DD near Dover. It started to depth charge my, at first not very accurately, but as it closed on me, it really became scary, makeing my IIc shake like mad despite all the maneuvering to avoid it. It seems the DD radioed for help, and 2 more DDs appeared, and they finally got me...They damaged my sub, making me unable to surface it, so it sank to the depths, with irreparable engines damage...I just waited till CO2 killed all the crew.

04-22-2005, 06:47 AM
I did the gibralter single mission on 100% and plotted a straight line through, at the same depth (cant remember) without using silent running and popped up at the other end.

I got depth charged many times but sustained almost no damage.

work that out.

04-22-2005, 06:56 AM
i heard a few different peple saying this...i hope its not true. Im playing early war, ive only been depth charged twice, but they havent even "rocked my boat". if i go ahead one third, 50 metres,ping regularly,they still always miss. i was hoping it was just reflecting the escorts inexperience early war. They regularly miss behind me too.

man i hope thats it. Silent hunter 2 was lethal when u were getting depth charged. it had to be toned down in the patches!!

04-22-2005, 07:02 AM
Some Destroyers are still pretty harmless in `44.
I find Hunt`s very easy to shake off, but I did had a 2.5 hour clash with Black Swan Frigate.
I don`t know if all of them are the same but that one was deadly.
Haven`t seen another one yet, but I sure will stay clear of them from now on.

04-22-2005, 08:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Messervy:
Some Destroyers are still pretty harmless in `44.
I find Hunt`s very easy to shake off, but I did had a 2.5 hour clash with Black Swan Frigate.
I don`t know if all of them are the same but that one was deadly.
Haven`t seen another one yet, but I sure will stay clear of them from now on. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

yeah...I had the same. I stayed under for about 2hrs real time untill i shook him off. Now i'm wondering if all that zig-zagging and changing depth was acyually worth it; maybe i could still have avoided him if i stayed on same course/ depth etc.

i'l have to try that out.

04-22-2005, 08:42 AM
My only chance was to blow it out of the water since my hull was down to 46 %.

04-22-2005, 08:50 AM
I think I was first here to make a stink about the D/Cs. I tested and tested. But the upshot was this for me:
1. the D/c seem to be a tad on the weak side, but not enough to raise a stink about. (however I think before they can make a Destroyer Command2 they will need to boost the D/Cs to give the destroyer players a chance)
2. The AI makes the DDs usually give up a bit too soon (I was not the first one to mention this), but I stress the word BIT. The game is a tiny BIT off. The more I researched it the more I came to the realization that the D/C attacks are fairly historical as per the early part of the war. Since there is a problem in the career mode of the proper DDs spawning in the later war, there is a problem with the D/Cs I suppose at that period.
3. The best tactic in deep water is just to park and count on the fact that only 1 out of 20 D/Cs tend to find their mark (likely historical but not perhaps so good from a game angle). Once DDs pound a spot a few times, they move on if they hear nothing at all - not even electrics on 1 knot.
4. In shallow water - in the later war, corvets can take you out easily. I've been knocked out using different tactics in shallow water sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly. The older DDs continue to be weak though.
5. Alot of this all depends on whether the DDs are assigned to a convoy, in which case they tend to leave so as to keep uf with the convoy which is moving on. If they are not assigned to a convoy they MAY stick around as long as you keep making noise - like running your engines to escape what you think is a dangerous D/C attack.

In any event, making a game with a perfectly balanced AI: giving both fun in a game but also trying to attain a historical balance, is very difficult. The best option for Ubi would have been in all cases to offer MORE OPTIONS. They should have either made more of the code open to the Mod makers, or provided more buttons in the game to give the players choices. Either way the customers would have been happier, and the Dev Team would have had less fixes they'd have to do.

04-22-2005, 09:22 AM
I wonder what was the success rate of attacks against a submerged U-boat? Even at the end of the war I expect the rate per engagement was fairly low and that boats were sunk at high rates only because there were many engagements per boat per cruise, rather than because any encounter was automatically fatal to the boat. However, I don't know and would be interested to find out more.

In Black May, Gannon points out that at the height of Costal Command's Biscay offensive the fraction of successful attacks by an aircraft was still quite small. I haven't got the book in front of me but, IIRC, it was only about 5-10% of attacks executed that actually sank or seriously damaged a boat. In other words, the great majority of attacks were not successful but increases in detection efficiency meant that there were many more attacks made and statistical inevitability meant that many boats were sunk.

If the same were true for attacks by surface vessels then outwitting DDs once or twice should be comparatively easy. But on a late-war cruise you should be having to do this quite often and they will get you in the end.

Of course, all this ignores the air-dropped acoustic-homing torpedoes used in the latter years. Fortunately they are not in the game otherwise things would be unplayable.

The other thing to bear in mind is that the loss rate among U-boats was so high that by the end of the war most crews were very inexperienced. In contrast, the Allied escort crews suffered few losses and so could accumulate experience. By the end of the war novice submariners were facing veteran ASW experts. In the game, we are all expert submariners.



04-22-2005, 09:45 AM
If a uboat got deep it was very likely to survive, most of the early war boats caught by depth charges were caught in attacks near the surface. Thats why they had a chance to get off radio messages ect. They didnt have the time needed to reach depth.

Once you are deep it becomes very hard for early war destroyers to get you, its like dropping stones off a building and trying to hit someone, only they fall slower then stones and you dont really know where the someone is.

Also late war the ships have more racks on them and side racks (K guns) to make the spread of charges larger. Against these its a lot harder to escape. The game is simply brilliant depth charge wise in my opinion. With the ai not being omnipotent and even guessing where you are sometimes.

It was a very tough thing to depth charge a sub at depth, weather and sea state come into play also. At depth and speed you should be surviving.

That said, its not much use in a campaign running from a destroyer at full speed knowing he is unlikely to hit you as soon you will run out of battery, then he will hit you.

Escort behaviour is also excellent for modelling the late war escorts as they didnt hang around to sink uboats knowing it was a difficult task. Instead if they didnt get them on the first few passes near the surface they would leave knowing they had pushed the boat under and could return to the convoy.

The only possible flaw is that early war the escorts show this behaviour though when in real life they chased contacts for hours at a time sometimes, often while the uboat was back at the convoy destroying ships...

Finally most people cheat compared to uboat captains. They could not :

<LI> Look through the scope and watch charges
<LI> Switch to outside view and watch charges/ships
<LI>Know exactly what they were up against and how it worked.
<LI> Load and save if it went wrong (making them more carefull).
<LI> Speed up time, making them more impatient.

All these things add up though im not saying you should play realistically if you dont like it.

Also depth charges though amazing, were not perfect, and in many cases uboats took direct hits and they did very little. Some even hit the uboat and then went off and didnt kill it.

Hedgehogs on the other hand are undermoddelled but they would ruin the game were they realistic. Once you have a hole in the hull its game over, and a hedgehog would punch a small hole in most cases.

04-22-2005, 10:10 AM
Very eloquent post Dom.
However I only once felt a hedgehog. It fell on my stern and IT WAS game over.

04-22-2005, 10:30 AM
Hahah thanks same for me but i hear rumours of people surviving tens of hedgehog hits.

If you guys think the destroyers are rubbish you should try the mission at our website, for sink the SS Cuba. Its a historical mission and VERY hard to survive (the real uboat was sunk also, and by hedghogs!)

04-22-2005, 12:46 PM
Hedgehogs are nasty devils! You don't know when they're coming, unless you watch the escort from external view, and it doesn't take many to do a lot of damage. I was playing the type XXI single mission and acouple hours after I sank the carriers and having done something stupid, (Fired a gas torpedo at the withdrawing destroyers so I could use a homing torpedo), The River class escort, the only one with hedgehogs in that mission, found me and fired a perfect hedgehog shot. There wasn't anything I could do but blow ballast and make it to the surface. I had take 3 or 4 hedgehog hits with that one shot. I was going down and only just made the surface. Mission over.