Silent Hunter series

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Silent Hunter series

#1  Postby Rome Existed » Dec 30, 2011 12:42 pm

I decided to pick up Silent Hunter 4 Wolves of the Pacific a few days ago.

I don't like playing games like this on anything but ultra gonna die in agony hard difficulty levels.

That means doing everything from working out which ship I'm aiming at in the periscope to calculating how fast in knots the target is moving. Needless to say I get killed, a lot.

I tried the latest one (back to being German) and I must say I don't like it. It was advertised as having a dynamic campaign but you're given missions that you have to complete and if you fail then it's reload and try again. Fuck that.
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Re: Silent Hunter series

#2  Postby Jumbo » Dec 30, 2011 1:18 pm

I have been playing the series since the original in about 96. its one of those games thats dripping atmosphere and the sound effects are an integral part of the game.

Silent hunter 4 for me is the best of the bunch. The US Pacific boats interest me more than the U Boats anyway so I haven't tried 5 but the general opinion seems to be apart from graphics its a step back from even 3.

I play on full realism apart from map updates. I know that might be a bit of a cheat but on a real boat there are other crew members doing a variety of the tasks that the game makes you do. The manual TDC is far more satisfying than letting the computer do it for you. Plus if you are in a harbour you can pull off some interesting curving shots if you set it up right.
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Re: Silent Hunter series

#3  Postby Rome Existed » Dec 30, 2011 2:27 pm

Jumbo wrote:I have been playing the series since the original in about 96. its one of those games thats dripping atmosphere and the sound effects are an integral part of the game.

Silent hunter 4 for me is the best of the bunch. The US Pacific boats interest me more than the U Boats anyway so I haven't tried 5 but the general opinion seems to be apart from graphics its a step back from even 3.

I play on full realism apart from map updates. I know that might be a bit of a cheat but on a real boat there are other crew members doing a variety of the tasks that the game makes you do. The manual TDC is far more satisfying than letting the computer do it for you. Plus if you are in a harbour you can pull off some interesting curving shots if you set it up right.


I've been trying with map updates off. When my sonar guy gives me an update on the direction of a contact I draw a line in that direction out from my sub on the map. Helps me keep a bit of situation awareness.
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Re: Silent Hunter series

#4  Postby Jumbo » Dec 30, 2011 3:12 pm

Have you ever managed a sonar only attack?

Apparently that was the recommended method taught to skippers before the war. Dive to 120 ft and shoot soley on sonar bearings and ranging. I have tried and never hit anything let alone sunk anything. its hardly surprising all the successful commanders developed rather different methods of attack. The most successful seem to have opted for night surface attacks but in SH4 the Japanese seem to have super human vision at times. Reading books i hear of attack at within 2000 yards on the surface at night but in the game thats suicide.
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Re: Silent Hunter series

#5  Postby Rome Existed » Dec 30, 2011 3:50 pm

Jumbo wrote:Have you ever managed a sonar only attack?

Apparently that was the recommended method taught to skippers before the war. Dive to 120 ft and shoot soley on sonar bearings and ranging. I have tried and never hit anything let alone sunk anything. its hardly surprising all the successful commanders developed rather different methods of attack. The most successful seem to have opted for night surface attacks but in SH4 the Japanese seem to have super human vision at times. Reading books i hear of attack at within 2000 yards on the surface at night but in the game thats suicide.


The Japanese were highly trained in night spotting and attacks, at least against other warships. Look up the Battle of Savo Island. It wasn't against submarines, but the Japanese ships came in and surprised the hell out of the Allied fleet and kicked the crap out of it due to their superior night training. It's regarded as possibly the worst US naval defeat in terms of ships lost to enemy ships lost (0 on that part of the score).

Submarines of course would be harder to spot, being smaller and all, but it wasn't impossible.
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Re: Silent Hunter series

#6  Postby Jumbo » Dec 30, 2011 4:34 pm

True but the Japanese lookouts seem to be good enough that any surface attack is not really an option.

Conversely sneaking into many harbours is rather easier than real life and there are virtually no anti submarine nets or mines unless the game is modded.
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Re: Silent Hunter series

#7  Postby Shagz » Dec 31, 2011 8:08 am

I used to play the original Silent Hunter a lot. I would always do everything manually, too. Maybe I'll check out SH 4.

Jumbo wrote:
Conversely sneaking into many harbours is rather easier than real life and there are virtually no anti submarine nets or mines unless the game is modded.


That's a problem with every submarine simulator I've played. It's always a little too easy to sneak into a major harbor, and there always seems to be a juicy fleet of battleships and carriers in port when you get in. It kinda made tracking moving ships in the open seas pointless, if all you cared about was racking up a huge tonnage amount sunk. I eventually gave myself a "no ports" rule to make it more of a challenge.
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Re: Silent Hunter series

#8  Postby Seabass » Dec 31, 2011 8:34 am

Rome Existed wrote:I decided to pick up Silent Hunter 4 Wolves of the Pacific a few days ago.

I don't like playing games like this on anything but ultra gonna die in agony hard difficulty levels.

That means doing everything from working out which ship I'm aiming at in the periscope to calculating how fast in knots the target is moving. Needless to say I get killed, a lot.

I tried the latest one (back to being German) and I must say I don't like it. It was advertised as having a dynamic campaign but you're given missions that you have to complete and if you fail then it's reload and try again. Fuck that.


Hell yes. SH3 and 4 were great. 5 was a bit of turd unfortunately.

Manual solutions are good fun at first, but after a while it starts to get a little tedious. Part way through my first SH4 campaign, I said fuck it and started letting the AI handle geometry.


If you fancy some hot u-boat action, and don't like SH5, you should check out the Operation Monsun mod for SH4. You can download it here: http://www.subsim.com (It might require the SH4 expansion, I can't remember for certain...)
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Re: Silent Hunter series

#9  Postby Rome Existed » Dec 31, 2011 8:40 am

From what I've read in the past a lot of sub skippers would estimate speed of their targets on the fly and fire off a spread of torps and see if any hit.

Basically, ok, gotta make this shot in the next 10 seconds so the target looks like it's going fast, it's capable of 30 knots....... probably not that fast, ok we'll go for 25 knots, ok fire, fire, fire, fire. Ok, dive and let's listen for a hit.
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Re: Silent Hunter series

#10  Postby Rome Existed » Dec 31, 2011 8:42 am

Ok, earlier I had a mission where I had to go to an enemy dock and take pics of their carriers........ they weren't in dock. I thought maybe they're going to be so I parked my sub in the enemy's dock at periscope depth and waited. Nope, they didn't rock up so I fired a torp into an enemy mechant at the dock and wtf! 7 enemy destroyers rocked up but they couldn't find me, I guess because in the mean time I went and parked next to the burning wreckage of the ship I just destroyed and using that as cover I sunk 4 of the enemy destroyers and damaged the rest so badly that they buggered off.
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Re: Silent Hunter series

#11  Postby Jumbo » Jan 03, 2012 1:54 am

Rome Existed wrote:From what I've read in the past a lot of sub skippers would estimate speed of their targets on the fly and fire off a spread of torps and see if any hit.

Basically, ok, gotta make this shot in the next 10 seconds so the target looks like it's going fast, it's capable of 30 knots....... probably not that fast, ok we'll go for 25 knots, ok fire, fire, fire, fire. Ok, dive and let's listen for a hit.

The methods they used were actually quite complex but all involve an estimation of target speed.

Depending upon the method the last portion can seem like the are shooting on the fly though. What become known as the "Dick O Kane" method involves estimation of target speed at the start and then unlike other methods (which either track the target or use repeated observations of the target along with the position keeper on the TDC) it involves fixing the periscope rather than tracking the target. Combined with a bit of trickery and winding various gears/clutches on the torpedo data computer backwards he would wait for areas of the target ship to pass certain hash marks on the periscope. Once a certain point was crossed then he would fire a torpedo and then another as the target progressed etc. This would mean there may be a torpedo fired, a pause , fire two,pause, fire three. The end result was a spread hitting from aft of the target forwards.

Spreads were generally there to compensate for changes in target course or speed during the run of the torpedoes.
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