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Allied Sub vs. Axis Sub

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Colin I

As a fix to the most ridiculous aspect of the problem, I am indeed impressed with the simplicity and ease of your proposal – silent mode for subs versus subs at all times would indeed deal with the most gamey aspect of the current situation. I would think that this might even be quick and easy to program, although that is speculation on my part – my programming skills are non-existent. Anyway, as a minimum fix it sounds like a good idea to me.

General Problem

However, although these next comments go beyond the thread, I would suggest that the general problem is that submarines are, in general, badly modeled in SC. I don’t have any great solutions, but the degree of the problem should not be underestimated. The Battle of the Atlantic is actually NOT the worst example – US submarines in the Pacific are considerably less effective in the SC model than they were historically.

Historically, US submarines not only crippled the Japanese merchant marine, but sank “one battleship, seven carriers, nine cruisers and about thirty destroyers and seven submarines.” (van der Vat, Stealth at Sea, p 311). This is a SIGNIFICANT proportion of the Japanese navy. Yet in SC PT, it is rather challenging to accomplish anything close to this level of destruction in naval terms, and crippling the Japanese shipping lines requires an inept opponent’s active cooperation (in my experience anyway - and unfortunately none of my opponents are inept). Submarines are either slow (in hunt mode) or slower (when silent) (the parallel with ‘dumb and dumber’ is not intentional, but not inappropriate). I have gone on frequently about naval game speeds, and I know Bill 101 argues that speed changes would not make the game better, but I would argue in return that submarine speeds distinctly penalizes this class of vessel more than any other.

US submarines proceed at speed 8 (hunting) or 6 (silent) regardless of tech level. In very rough terms that gives US submarines the capability in game terms to cover approximately 400 miles in 10 days (50 miles a square, ten days per turn). That works out to an average speed of under 2 knots when hunting, 1.25 knots when silent. In reality, submarines had quite good operational or strategic speed, because they could maintain about 11 knots for very long ranges (destroyers were notoriously short ranged, cruisers were a good combination of speed and endurance – though not in SC PT – and carriers and battleships had good strategic mobility IF they did not use high speed constantly). Tactically, submarines could be constrained to perhaps 2 knots for short periods (their batteries would not last all that long anyways), but when transiting from bases to patrol areas they moved relatively quickly. This rapid movement was in fact an important part of their strategic strength, yet it is completely absent in SC. Submarines are the SLOWEST vessels in the game at the moment, period, whether you consider hunting or silent mode. Simply ridiculous is my view of this speed penalty for submarines.

Carriers received a major capability upgrade in SC PT, and carriers certainly were important in the Pacific. Yet submarines were not given much all that much attention, and they were an extremely important part of the campaign as well.

I really think submarines need a third, or transit, speed that would allow them to at least get close to their patrol areas. Currently it can take a very, very long time to get a submarine from the US west coast to a patrol area off Japan, let alone think about sending one to the west coast of Australia. Alternatively, perhaps the possibility of “operating” submarines from the US west coast to the west coast of Australia or to Midway Island could be considered – in strategic terms it probably makes more sense than ‘operating’ aircraft units similar (or longer) distances.

I am not sure what all can be done, but I am sure that US submarines in the Pacific are the least satisfying example of naval warfare in SC PT, when game possibilities are compared to historical accomplishments.

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I have to agree Ludi, when you really think about it, there's a lot lacking in the SC naval model, but somehow it works, not magnificently, but it provides a decent simulation. I really detest the "corral" aspect where a naval unit can be trapped by surrounding with enemy units and in combination with land tiles. It really makes the restricted areas deadly to any naval units and even the open ocean if your opponent brings enough assets.

I suppose you could argue that if your opponent brings that many naval units to the battle then the surrounded unit shouldn't have a chance to get away, but with 50 mile tiles it seems a little farfetched to close a piece of ocean completely.

As I remember the max AP for any units in SC is 25. You could have greater for land units with level 5 mobility and use the max 5 APs per level, then max is like 50 for land units. I did something like this for my mod PZAA and it added a lot to the fluidity of the situation, even the naval units had 25 AP. It made the simulation more base oriented. What I mean is the units tended to stay at a port location and would move out, strike, and then move back to port next turn. They could linger if you wished, but they were hard to track down as there was lots of open ocean.

Carriers were particularly deadly as they had the 25 AP and then the max range of the CAG on board, but not double strikes. I still think all naval units should have a "silent" or "pass through" capability if that mode is chosen by the player where they have a good chance of not being detected or at least on enemy contact, disperse, especially in stormy weather conditions.

Let's face it, all naval units had the ability to make smoke and cloak their situation somewhat(depending on conditions), especially in the task force configurations that SC naval units are suppose to represent. Maybe, given AP25 to all naval units, there should be a direct correlation to supply, morale and efficiency when using a percent of the max AP, break it down. Your unit loses 5% per 5 AP used per turn(1AP = 1% loss), so that if they move the max allotment first turn down to 75%, next turn they are down to 50%, 3rd turn 25% and finally after four turns using max AP, they're zero, all used up, time to make port and replenish, R & R leave.:)

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