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On Submarines (again)


daystrom
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I know that something similar was mentioned with regards to air fleet interceptions.

My idea is this; for one to have the ability to disable one's subs from operating against merchant marine vessels. I feel that it is entirely logical to assume that you should have the ability to have your subs not interdict British economic targets in the Atlantic. I feel that this would give the subs in the Atlantic a better chance at moving about without detection and perhaps extend their survival (and allow the Axis player to eventually get them safely into ports in France once it falls). What do you think?

regards,

Ray

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As originally posted by Daystrom:

My idea is this; for one to have the ability to disable one's subs from operating against merchant marine vessels. I feel that it is entirely logical to assume that you should have the ability to have your subs not interdict British economic targets in the Atlantic. I feel that this would give the subs in the Atlantic a better chance at moving about without detection and perhaps extend their survival (and allow the Axis player to eventually get them safely into ports in France once it falls). What do you think?

Haven't seen this idea in 6 months on the board, so bravo! smile.gif for thinking this through so that those of us who really like the Atlantic campaign (as I surely do) might see some changes enacted. Along with North Afrikan campaign this is the one strategic area that could use some immediate help.

In the fervent hopes that we will get a patch on sub-war before SC2, here are a few more thoughts (some of which have already been proposed, by myself and others).

1) Increase dive % by 10, and -- BEGIN at 50% against all attacks, naval or air.

2) Reduce BB sonar detection by one-half. I appreciate that the BB unit represents a fleet with SOME anti-sub detection, but NOT to the extent of a DD flotilla deployment with specificly designed doctrine and capabilities.

3) Leave Cruisers as is and eventually create the DD flotilla which will have higher detection.

**4) Also have the capability to toggle Royal Navy -- committed to sub chasing or not. If they choose to hunt U-boats, then their attack versus surface ships is reduced accordingly, say by one half. This would represent the complete commitment in terms of ships and over-riding fleet orders.

If fully implemented, these changes would allow a "sub-game" within the larger ocean-going game (making up for the smaller ocean hexes), thereby making each encounter somewhat mysterious... which ships are fully loaded for which kind of encounter?

It would also force the Allies to reconsider tech strategy and buying plans. Cruisers would be needed, and sonar advised if playing an opponent who will likely deploy the wolfpacks.

And best, this would add a new dimension for naval tactics, in that you would have to decide between merchant attack (or defense by the opposing surface ships) and trying to find and damage supply transports or surface fleets. :cool:

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Some great suggestions Immer. I too would love a more robust Battle of the Atlantic. Perhaps some of these ideas will appear in a future SC1 patch and if not, maybe in the (hopefully) eventual SC2.

As it stands now, in PBEM, two things happen in the "sub war"; if the Allied player does not see the UK merchant marine being attacked (according to the resulting MPP losses), then he knows you have pulled your subs northward and sends the fleet looking there. If he sees the sub activity, he knows you are heading south (and with how many U-Boats based on the MPP loss total) and concentrates his search there. The result is always the same, the anhilation of the Atlantic U-Boat fleet. And you thought those scenes from Das Boot were bad. ;)

regards,

Ray

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As originally posted by Daystrom:

And you thought those scenes from Das Boot were bad

Alongside Apocalypse Now, one of the two best war movies ever made -- IMHO, but of course. ;)

In both cases, the absolute pschological storm & stress is quite artfully re-created.

Watching Das Boot, you cannot help but feel stricken and claustrophobic, as well as somehow pulling for the crew to come through all that depth-charge battering (... nix-nein! this does NOT mean that I wanted the Germans to win the war; yet, the U-boat service WAS the most independent and least likely to salute the political regime... this was clearly established in the movie).

<... as a side note, there were a great number of psyche-casualties in WW2, and this is where the brand new category -- PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, first began... previously termed: "shell shock"; nowadays this category of persistent Pysche damage is applied -- at times perhaps too readily, to survivors of almost any personal disaster... particularly for sudden and debilitating disruptions due to accidents such as a train wreck, or natural phenomena, as hurricanes or earthquakes, etc...>

As for the proposed tweaks, I truly believe that adjusting "the battle forumula" for effectiveness -- BOTH ways -- between subs and hunters, would make for a tense and exciting game.

Even if it requires a separate category on the unit strength board. Sub attack, and sub defense. smile.gif

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as daystrom said, it is relatively easy to commit a few naval assets to the demise of the two starting subs in the campaign game. It's a "no brainer". I'm not sure how to fix the pathetic "Battle of the Atlantic". Giving the subs the enhanced ability to evade long enough to get them to air cover/french port, maybe? At best it seems only a diversion for the Royal Navy, and hardly that if they go at the game beginning. We need a representative size ocean.

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I think the biggest problem is the size of the ocean, but I like some of these ideas and they seem to fit well with the current map size and the proposed bigger map size as well. Not sure where they fit into the grand scheme of things just yet (SC1 or an SC2) but I do like them nonetheless, could add that missing element to the game ;)

Hubert

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I think you need to be a touch careful about some of these suggestions, espcially the high dive percentages. I understand the frustration over the initial 2 subs that get whacked but a good German player who gets his Ind. Tech up and also puts some research into subs can make the Atlantic a killing zone in the '43 onward period.

This will make it very difficult for the Allies to get anywhere.

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Agreed, I too have been of the opinion that the initial loss of those two subs can be frustrating but once the French coast is secured it usually can become a whole new ball game. If anything I like the idea of a larger map, could give the initial subs in the 39' campaign a better fighting chance plus perhaps a MODE selection such as AUTO, RAIDER or to run SILENT as suggested above. These kind of suggestions probably won't see the light of day until an SC2 but regardless, off hand the remaining suggestions would have to be seriously thought about before I would implement any changes.

Hubert

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Originally posted by Yohan:

I think you need to be a touch careful about some of these suggestions, espcially the high dive percentages. I understand the frustration over the initial 2 subs that get whacked but a good German player who gets his Ind. Tech up and also puts some research into subs can make the Atlantic a killing zone in the '43 onward period.

This will make it very difficult for the Allies to get anywhere.

One of the problems we have in talking about possible changes is that some people use their experience in AI games, some use their experience in PBEM games, and some use both. It'd be a little helpful to specify which is being used as the basis for opinion.

I've played all or parts of at least a couple dozen PBEM games. The only ones in which sub warfare played any significant role were where Britain fell, and the Germans built about five or six subs to keep the Americans away. (That's usually sufficient.) I've had a couple of other games where the German player built some subs, which were sunk without much problem. My experience has been that unless the German will commit to building at least half a dozen subs, and then send them out en masse rather than piecemeal, he's not going to get anywhere. And given the other demands for both research and resources, that doesn't happen.

Nonetheless, you probably do have a valid point that we could easily go overboard in making it too easy for the German. I'd suggested both increasing dive rates and decreasing the cost of subs; I think the latter is a bad idea, in retrospect. I do like the idea of increasing dive rates, although if that's done I'd also like to see the introduction of an "escort" unit, costing around 300 MPP's, for the Allies.

Whatever the solution, I think we're pretty much agreed that something has to be done to the sub warfare aspect of this game.

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One of the problems is that tech provides too much

of a boost in combat power, IMHO. In one game I

lucked out (with one research chit) into getting

level 2 subs in late '39: by the beginning of

Barbarossa my now-level 3 subs (about 5 of them)

had decimated the British fleet (and the

Americans were toast as well when they joined).

Same thing happens in the air wars; the guy who

gets even a one-tech-level advantage cleans up.

John DiFool

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Originally posted by John DiFool:

One of the problems is that tech provides too much

of a boost in combat power, IMHO. In one game I

lucked out (with one research chit) into getting

level 2 subs in late '39: by the beginning of

Barbarossa my now-level 3 subs (about 5 of them)

had decimated the British fleet (and the

Americans were toast as well when they joined).

Same thing happens in the air wars; the guy who

gets even a one-tech-level advantage cleans up.

John DiFool

Tech in the air is not always as bad as it looks, in a current game my opponent got Lvl 3 Air as the brits in mid-41.

I wanted Malta thanks to the silly interception rule I attacked the port with my HQ assisted lvl 0 fighers and then killed the remaing few strength points with the combined attacks of two BBs and two more air fleets.

In retrospect I probably should have left him at one strength point to force him to use up his MPPs reinforcing his very expensive air fleets.

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Originally posted by daystrom:

[QB]I know that something similar was mentioned with regards to air fleet interceptions.

Another idea: Perhapps Dive Rates are ok. The problem is that once the sub dives still more units can come and attack again and again until the submarine is toast.

Suggestion: Once a submarine is attacked, and losses taken on both sides, the sub should be randomly moved to an empty space and regain hidden status.

I am not sure whether the sub should move one, two or three spaces in this evasive move. But it should regain hidden status unless it is effectively cornered by enemy units around it.

Of course, it would be easier to corner subs near the shores. Since they have less room to move around. And, long range airplanes would be of great help finding evading subs.

This would induce the Axis player to move his subs further into the deep seas. Which I believe is realistic.

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I beleive the current sub rules work just fine..

If you commit to building 5-6 subs after France falls and have average luck wit tech, you have an excellent chane of destroying the allied fleet in 1941-1942 and winning the battle of the atlantic.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Originally posted by Cap:

I beleive the current sub rules work just fine..

If you commit to building 5-6 subs after France falls and have average luck wit tech, you have an excellent chane of destroying the allied fleet in 1941-1942 and winning the battle of the atlantic.

Building 6 subs is a lot. Specially if you are getting ready to fight Russia.

More important, the purpuse of the sub war should not be to sink the British Navy. The German subs were meant to cripple the British War Production without having to face the Royal Navy. And in fact, I don't know of any big naval battle between Axis subs and British Battleships during WWII.

German subs raided huge amounts of British and American ships transporting equipment and goods during the first years of the war. Until the Allies acquired adequate tech, the German subs put a lot of preasure on the British economy while avoiding the British Navy.

But note my empahsis on "avoiding". Subs were hard to catch. They were raiders, not front line troops. They used hit and run tactics. They were not intended to face Battleships in a major naval battle for the dominion of the seas.

I would like SC to better duplicate "raider" nature of submarine warfare. ..so the German player can harass the Brits for a couple of years with a couple of subs, while it commits the bulk of its resources to the Russian Front.

The sub war should be an alternative to a battle for naval supremacy. Right now subs may be an effective unit in a battle for naval supremacy, as you already witnessed, but they are not effective "raiders" in this alternative war. And, that is a pity, because that is in fact where subs excelled, both in the Pacific and the Atlantic theaters of WWII.

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Originally posted by Yohan:

I think you need to be a touch careful about some of these suggestions, espcially the high dive percentages. I understand the frustration over the initial 2 subs that get whacked but a good German player who gets his Ind. Tech up and also puts some research into subs can make the Atlantic a killing zone in the '43 onward period.

Hmm, well yesterday I tried a campaign as the Axis with the initial German sub values at +3. The British ships killed all 3 subs in the first 3 moves, and not a single one of them dived when attacked. As soon as I moved them, WHACK! This was with FOW and the difficulty at easy!

Henri

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Yes to the above mentioned :D What really would be an enormous help in making the subwarfare realistic were to have an invisibility factor - to give you an option to hide or sneak off to a friendly port below the sonar reach in the depths but at a cost you can't spot enemy convoys at the same time.This would/could at the same time keep the Royal Navy busy and when you have reseached - the subs could raid 1 turn and híde the other.

And the surface battle between Capital ships and subs as is I find farfetched. No sane skipper nor a group - wolfpack or not - would engage in combat against a group of destroyers, cruisers and battleships even at the strategic level... :rolleyes:

Hans-Micael

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Without going into alot of brits and french units can and can't do this or that, sub patrols etc...

You should be able to configure it so that your sub,s movement is the key. You want to be spotted easily use full movement on the surface.

You want to submerge then you only get half move and are spotted from 1 hex not 2.

That way you get the realism of what the sub,s do and the brit and french fleet can still move about as they like, maybe fleet wants to do ASW then decrease their movement by a certain percentage to show their not moving at full speed and they are searching... thoughts

Irish Guards :D

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I think you need to be a touch careful about some of these suggestions, espcially the high dive percentages. I understand the frustration over the initial 2 subs that get whacked but a good German player who gets his Ind. Tech up and also puts some research into subs can make the Atlantic a killing zone in the '43 onward period.

--------------------------------------------------

From my experience this is true in both hot-seat and A.I games. Leaving one point in subs is a good way to go. once they reach level-3, they are an absolute terror. But like some of you said you have to build them in numbers ( which is easy because they are cheap) get five or six subs out there at level 3 and the Brits will have their hands full.

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Originally posted by Zeres:

I think you need to be a touch careful about some of these suggestions, espcially the high dive percentages. I understand the frustration over the initial 2 subs that get whacked but a good German player who gets his Ind. Tech up and also puts some research into subs can make the Atlantic a killing zone in the '43 onward period.

True, which is why many of the prior posts imply

(and I'll make explicit) that the Battle of the

Atlantic will need a fairly major rewrite, and

not just a few band-aid solutions (i.e. wait for

SCII...).

John DiFool

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