I think it's about high time that we centralized a thread with helpful hints and and information that will help newcomers to this forum to get the best out of SHIV. What I'm hoping for is that if I can get the ball rolling that the rest of you SHIV veterans will jump in and add your suggestions to the fund of knowledge.
Here are few things I've come across since I've been playing SHIV.
* Supported OS: Windows® XP/Vista Only * Processor: 2GHz Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon (4 3GHz Pentium or AMD Athlon recommended)
* RAM: 1 GB (2 GB recommended)
* Video Card: 128 MB RAM DirectX® 9compliant, video card capable of rendering Pixel Shader 2.0 (256 MB RAM recommended) (see supported list*)
* Sound Card: DirectX 9 compliant sound card
* DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c or later (included)
* Hard Drive Space: 6 GB
Multiplayer: 128 kbps upstream or faster (512 kbps upstream or faster needed to host online games)
*Supported Video Cards: ATI® RADEON® 9600/9700/9800, X300 to X850, X1300 to X1800 NVIDIA® GeForce 6200/6600/6800/7800
1. Be sure to install the DirectX that comes with the game even if you are running Vista on your computer.
2. Reboot your PC after installing SH4.
After installing a PC-game, many players are tempted by the last setup-menu, asking them if they want to start the game straight away.
And then wonder why the game runs with bugs and glitches.
The reason why you need to reboot is, to make sure that the Windows-registry gets updated properly...new files & folders need a registry-entry, user-accounts need an update in the registry, dll's that came with the game need to be registered etc.
Only a reboot can make sure about that.
It's no garantee, that the game will run flawlessly...but it's always better to exclude as much error-sources as possible on 1st hand.
3. Defrag your HD after installing and rebooting.
4. When installing SHIV on your computer don't install it to the default location which is C:\Program Files. Just install it directly to your c: drive.
5. Have you got all the latest drivers for your computer, sound card, graphics card, motherboard, ect.
6. To improve performance on SH4, you should update your computer(obviously). But another way is to go to Start,Run..(type MSCONFIG),Click on general tab then click on selective startup, and finally uncheck Load Startup Items! Click Apply then close. It will ask you if you want to restart the computer, click yes. After restart, play any of your games! If you want to switch back repeat my instructions but just click on Normal startup not selective!
For those Vista users
Control panel > system and maintenance > Performance info and tools > manage startup programs
FUEL and BATTERIES
(Info contributed by dgrayson)
There is nothing worse than running out of fuel before you reach your home port. Your career is in effect finished if you run out of diesel while out at sea. There are no tugs, you can't radio for help, there is no way to get home, period. US Fleet boats do not have oars or sails.
There are many factors affect fuel range. Each class of submarine has it's own set of built in range factors with the S Class having the shortest range. The following conditions affect the range of all classes. Some MODs make changes to the stock values, but the factors listed below are true for stock and most MODs.
a. The best fuel economy is found between 8 and 11 knots. In the stock game the ideal speed for maximum range is 10.95 knots. Mods alter this slightly so experiment a bit. Speeds above or below this speed increase fuel consumption.
b. Flank speed will result in the highest fuel consumption, so use it sparingly.
c. Slow speeds, below 8 knots, will also decrease your range. If you are low on fuel, heading home at 5 knots will use more fuel than 8 to 11 knots.
d. It is easier to set your speed with the knotmeter rather than the 1/3, 2/3 etc. Engine Telegraph. Click on the stem of the Engine Telegraph and it will change to the Knotmeter. See Picture below:
2. Battery Charging
a. When you are charging your batteries, you are running one of your engines at Flank speed to charge them. (You do not really have four engines in the game, you only have two.) During this time your fuel economy drops dramatically. To conserve fuel do not travel using batteries unless you have to. Just submerge and sit there until it is safe to travel on the surface.
b. Battery charging is automatic and unless you manually turn off battery charging, every time you surface ( see picture below) the crew will run the charger until the batteries are charged to 100%.
c. Damaged batteries will decrease your range by 2/3. See section 3. b.
a. Leaks. If your fuel tanks are damaged, head for home. Even if the crew "repairs"? the damage you will still lose some fuel and only a return to base will completely repair your boat. A refit will NOT fix a leaky fuel tank.
b. Battery Damage. Your crew can not completely repair damage to your batteries and they will stop accepting a charge at something less than 100%. If this happens and your batteries will not charge to 100%, but your crew will not turn off the battery charger without your intervention. Battery charging is automatic and unless you manually turn it off, every time you surface, it will continue to use diesel at a very fast rate. Do this if your batteries are not charging to 100% or you will never get back to your home port.
As with diesel fuel, you range with your batteries is affected by speed. Use the knotmeter to set your underwater speed rather than the Engine Telegraph. Different boat classes have different underwater ranges and different lengths of time to recharge, but in general the following rules apply to all classes. The slower you go, the longer your batteries will last.
At 1 knot or less you will probably run out of air before your batteries completely discharge.
At 2 knots you will easily make it from sunrise to sunset and in some classes 24 hours.
At 3 knots, generally less than 12 hours.
At 4 knots 6 to 8 hours depending on your boat class.
Above 4 knots the batteries discharge fairly quickly.
(Info contributed by vietvettwo)
OK, here goes. First of all I am basing everything on the stock game, patched to 1.4. There are too many variables on the mods to try and content with. I play on the generic "hard" setting, if you use any of the other settings you may have to adjust.
Over time I will try and post threads on specific aspects of the game, and I invite others to join in. For openers, just an assortment of odds and ends.
1. This is not a first person shooter. If you expect to attack the Japanese Fleet with flags flying, guns blazing, the band playing on the deck, you will have a very short, unsatisfying career.
2. Although unsaid, the object is to survive as long as possible. Yes, it might be impressive to get sunk at the completion of a 100K ton war patrol. It's much better to have 6 patrols at 20K tons each (do the math).
3. Every skipper is going to play differently. And there are always exceptions to every rule. Everything I post is a suggestion I have found helpful. Obviously you can do what you want. The trick is to survive long enough to build up your own list of tactics that work for you.
4. Don't screw around with aircraft, they aren't worth that many points and they can sink you. Even if you don't get sunk, if they wound some of your crew that can come back to bite you in the butt later in the patrol. You have air search radar from day one, use it. Unless it is impossible to dive pull the plug and come back up later. If you have to stay on the surface, go as fast as you can and zig zag. Don't make yourself an easy target. Put the AA gun(s) on auto crew and concentrate on being as unpredictable as possible.
5. Assume that any contact is the enemy until you can prove otherwise. Just because you are close to a friendly port, it doesn't mean that the contact reported isn't the enemy.
6. Time Compression can hurt you. When a contact is reported you will notice that your computer slows down. There's a reason for this. If you kick it back up to a TC of 300K, or whatever you system can handle, don't be upset when the enemy fires 100 salvos in a split second and you are now scrap metal. It will also slow down if you are about to beach your boat. Cruising along at a high TC, suddenly your computer slows down. No contacts reported, the map is clear, if you are on the surface, go to the bridge and look through your binoculars. There's an island out there with your name on it.
7. Watch your fuel. Lane is working on a tutorial on this one, so I'll just say it ain't the star ship Enterprise, you can't rely on Impulse power when you can't use Warp drive anymore. Run out of fuel, you are screwed.
8. A refit will top off your fuel and reload torpedoes and gun ammo. It will NOT, repeat NOT fix any battle damage.
9. Unfortunately, no matter how close you get to the bottom, you can't hide from enemy sonar. Yes, in real life, the bottom bounce should distort enemy sonar enough so they can't pick you out, but in this game, it doesn't work.
10. Lastly, there are some bugs/gliches/screw-ups/oddities/mistakes that you will just have to live with until such time as Ubi patches them or a fellow skipper mods them out. It's just the way it is, you have to deal with it.
SURFACE DECK GUN ATTACK
1. I always have my deck gun bow mounted, I just find it easier to control what's going on. If you prefer a stern mounting, some of these pointers will either not apply, or will need some modification.
2. If you manage to get later into the war, mount the 40mm guns when they become available. I have found them to be very effective in dealing with merchants and escorts.
3. You are going to have to get in fairly close (1500 yards or less), and I recommend that you operate the gun yourself. I prefer to use the open sight setting (the red aiming icon) much like using a rifle as opposed to using the sights and having to input range etc.
4. No matter how hard you try, you will almost never be able to destroy the gun or kill the crew so don't waste the time or ammo. Go for shots low into the hull, especially around the engine room (look for the stacks).
5. Surface attacks against escorted ships is just a bad idea, don't do it. Even a few shell hits can cause residual damage that can haunt you for the rest of your patrol.
6. As the war progresses you are much more likely to come up against armed merchant ships. In most cases they have one big gun mounted either on the bow or stern. Find out where the gun is and come in from the other direction. They can't shoot through their own superstructure. The smaller automatic weapons will not cause any damage to your boat, but it may injure or kill any crew on deck.
7. When you approach try and come in head-on. You boat is only about 30 feet across, it's about 250-300 feet long. Coming in head on makes you a much smaller target.
8. As I close the range I usually go to the bridge position and conn the ship from there. Observe where the enemy shells are landing. If two or three rounds have landed on one side of your boat, but have been getting closer and closer, it's a good idea to crank in some serious rudder to throw the gunners off. Stay on a straight line long enough, they will get the range and you will take a beating. You can also vary your speed to help throw them off.
9. You are faster than almost any merchant you come up against. Use the advantage. If it's a single ship avoid their big gun. If there are several merchants, pick an angle to attack one ship while keeping the others from firing at you (come in from the front or back of the line, not broadside where they can all fire at you).
10. When you do get in close, be careful you don't get rammed. Sometimes we get tunnel vision and forget what is going on around us. I've had to slam it into reverse more than once to keep from getting run over.
11. Choice of ammunition. I'm not really sure if there is any advantage in using one over the other. In reality, the escorts will have minimum armor at best, and the merchants none. Using that as a guide High Explosive (HE) should work as well as Armor Piercing (AP). I haven't been able to determine if the game models the blast effects of HE vs the penetration of an AP round on a target. If anyone has solid information on the subject I would defer to their information.
12. As you fire on your target hopefully at some point you will see fires start to break out on the vessel. You might want to slow down your rate of fire, or shift to another target at this point. With patch 1.4, if additional fires are breaking out, you've probably inflicted fatal damage.
(Info contributed by Sparhawk81)
Sooner or later, you'll meet some enemy ships. It might be a lone merchant, a patrolling Destroyer, a convoy or, even better, a Task Force.
Usually, a gun fight isn't the best approach to choose: chances of being sunk or receiving heavy damage are ways too high. Deck gus should be used ONLY to finish off damaged ships, and only if you're sure they can't fire back at you (even if your target is a simple Merchant, this does NOT mean it's defenseless).
Being a submarine, you are far weaker than almost every other ships you might meet , BUT you have two great tactical advantages on your side: silence and surprise.
If you manage to strike your target without being spotted, probably you'll also manage to sneak away totally unscratched.
Silence and surprise: this should be your philosophy when approaching your target.
Another aspect you have to consider, is that while submerged you won't be able to move very fast (max speed is less than 10 knots), and your batteries get depleted quite quickly.
So, you should find an interception point, get there (surfaced) as fast as you can, then dive, be quiet, undetected, hit hard, and get the hell out of there.
It may seem tricky at first, but as soon as you get the hang of it, you'll do it quite smoothly.
So, let's see how the procedure might be:
1. A contact is reported. A first glance might tell you if it's worth the try or not (a contact 200 miles away, travelling fast and moving away from you, is NOT worthy).
2. You can use your map tools to estimate distance: point the ruler or compass on your sub and then trace a line towards the contact, and you'll have a good idea of how far the contact is.
3. Ok, you've picked a good contact: it's not very far away and it isn't moving too fast. You can plot an interception course.
4. If you haven't installed any mods, you'll see a little "tail" over the contact: it shows its course. So, with your ruler, draw a line overlapping this "tail", and extend it for several miles. The more precise you are, the better. Ok, now you have a projection of your target's path.
5. Now, you have to outrun your target (all ahead full should be enough in most cases) and reach a good interception point along its path before it arrives there. In a nutshell, you'll have to literally ambush your target. Your course should also be perpendicular to the contact's course.
Obviously, stay OUT of your target's sight (usually, a circle around your contact will show its range of sight... typically, merchants have a range of sight of approx 5 miles, warships might reach 10 miles or more)
6. Bear in mind that ships did usually zig-zag.
So, while you're running to the plotted interception point, your target may also change its course. Later in the war, your radar will help you to understand if the target has changed course or not. In the early months, tho, you should periodically check your hydrophones (by going to periscope depth) and try to understand if everything is running smooth or not: if you think that bearing and loudness of the sound match your esteem, probably the target hasn't changed course (you'll learn by experience here).
7. Ok, you've reached your interception point. You should stop at a distance of approximatively 700 to 1000 yards from your target's path: thus, your torpedoes will have enough time to arm, and your target won't have (usually) enough time to avoid your torpedoes if they are spotted.
8. Dive (possibly below a thermal layer), rig for silent running, and wait patiently. From time to time, check your hydrophones to see if your target hasn't changed course, and undrestand WHAT your target is (different ships make different noises: with some experience, you'll undrestand if what you're listening to is a merchant, an escort or a capital ship)
9a. If you only hear merchant ships, head to periscope depth, perform quick scans with your periscope (don't keep it up for too long, or japs might see it and flee away), set up your torpedoes (depth, speed and detonator), eventually do little course/position adjustments and as soon as you have a good firing solution, give 'em hell (keep in mind that your target should be closer than 1000 yds, or else might easily dodge your torpedoes)!!
9b. If, on the other hand, you also hear warships (or if you ONLY hear warships), then you're facing an escorted convoy or task force!! In this case, your main concern are the escorting DDs. Usually you'll find one or two of them ahead of the convoy/TF, and one or two behind. Also the sides might be protected, so be careful!
9c. Dive as deep as you can, in order to remain undetected. As soon as the frontal escorting DDs have passed your position, go to periscope depth. In the meantime, check your hydrophones, to understand where ships are. You'll have to act very quickly in order to remain undetected as long as possible. As soon as your depth allows it (approx 80/90 ft), open your torpedo tubes. Perform a quick scan with your periscope, and pick your targets (the closer they are to you, the better, unless they're too close - if the distance is less than 450/500 feet, your torpedoes won't arm), and as soon as you're ready strike, and strike hard, because you won't have a second chance!
9d. Go deep and sneak away, because DDs will be as mad as angry wasps!! They'll be desperately looking for you, pinging and releasing depth charges. Dive as deep as you can, be as silent as possible (2, max 3 knots). Unluckly, there's not a golden rule. Let's say that if you're lucky and have performed everything well, chances are that DDs won't even know where you are, so you will easily sneak away. Some other times, things will be a little more tricky, and you'll have to work your way out a bit, using the environment at your advantage (sometimes, heading staright into the convoy/TF might be useful, because DDs will have much a harder time chasing and listening to you).
SUBMERGED ATTACKS....ACT TWO
1. Some additional pointers to add to another skipper's post. Generally, Japanese merchant convoys are small, usually 8 or 9 ships. They tend to be "wide" as opposed to a box or rectangle such as the allied convoys, which could be 40+ ships. The good news is, because they take this wide stance, there is usually a gap in the escort screen you can exploit.
Here's an example:
The escorts (E1-E3) are screening in a sort of V shape pattern. Your goal is to get into the gap and go after the merchants (M1-M8)
For our example, let's assume that the convoy is heading due South and you are at position S. Go slow and quiet (below a thermal if you can) until Escort 1 has passed you. In most cases I basically run at the point where E1 is initially, he'll be gone by the time I get there and it gets me well past the flank escorts at the same time. Escorts have a hard time finding you when you are astern of them because of the noise of their screws.
Plan your attack, let's make it easy, M1 is a small cargo vessel, M2 is a medium cargo vessel, M3 a large modern tanker. You want to target the farthest target first. With a little luck, your torpedoes will arrive at several targets at about the same time if your go from farthest to closest. OK, you set up on the tanker, fire 4 bow tubes. Now set up on M2 and fire your two remaining bow tubes. Drop the scope, go to ahead slow if you were going any slower, and put in hard right rudder. When you are pointing roughly South East, bring your scope back up and see if you can line up M1 with your stern tubes.
If everything works out, you should be scoring 3 kills. Drop the scope, head as deep as you can, rig for silent running and pick a heading that takes you away from the escorts.
2. Don't be too concerned about reloading tubes. You probably will not be able to attack again without doing another intercept a few hours later anyway. Just concentrate on getting clear of the area.
3. Sometimes just when you think you can start working your way back to periscope depth, because the remaining merchants are moving away, one or more of the escorts will perform a wide sweep. If you can still hear them on your sound gear, they're too close.
4. Another trick is to have one of the escorts go to all stop and just sit there waiting for you to poke your scope up for a look. They are especially inclined to do this if you manage to bring a merchant ship to a complete stop, but not sink it.
5. Just get far away (I usually allow myself at least 30 minutes of real time quiet travel without being attacked). Then, come up nice and quiet to periscope depth. If you don't see any escorts, surface, secure from silent running and then figure out if it's really worth running another intercept on what's left of the convoy.
6. Oh yeah, once I surface, I secure from general quarters. Even if I plan to attack the convoy again, it lets the crew rest, and even the duty watch will get the tubes reloaded long before I'm back in position to make another run.
7. Long range "Hail Mary" shots, especially at a ship doing more than 5 knots are usually just a waste of time. If you can't get in close (1500 yards or less on your initial target) I wouldn't bother. Either sneak away and try to set up again or just abandon the attack and see if something else turns up later.
1. If you play long enough, you are going to take damage. From reading through the posts since the game's inception, it seems that a fair number of skippers aren't too sure what to do when that happens.
2. Before you go on patrol, make sure that all of your damage control team slots are full. Yes, you can pull a damage control team together from other compartments if you want to, but why? It's not like the game is going to reduce your crew's oxygen consumption if you have less men on the boat. Pick at least one chief petty officer, fill the other slots with guys who have engine (propeller) qualifications. Get the green status bar on the left as close to the top as you can. And when you are handing out promotions and medals, not a bad bunch of guys to keep happy and efficient.
3. If you take damage and you haven't done so already, A) send your crew to general quarters. This activates the damage control team, and at least in theory allows them to utilize the regular crew in the compartments as well. B) Secure from silent running. I don't know if that mode keeps repairs from being made, but why chance it.
4. What to pick from the damage control list? Well, that's your call, but I tend to put things into a couple of broad categories, going from most important to least important:
3. Everything else
Survivability, fix leaking bulkheads, make sure my main pump is intact to pump the water out, and that my compressor is working so I can surface. Also, the amount of blue in the gauge on the right shows how badly the bulkhead is leaking. The more blue you see, the higher on the list I would put it. Blue in the compartment indicates how much water is in there. Again, more blue is bad. Fix the worst flooding first.
Maneuverability, diesels, electric engines, batteries, props, dive planes and rudder. If I get through all the stuff above, I'm going to need these.
Everything else, as the name implies, is just that. If I've taken any sort of major damage, I'm not attacking anything anymore. Why worry about my attack periscope, or my deck gun when I plain to dive if I see so much as a seagull checking me out.
And keep in mind, that some items (such as deck guns) an only be repaired when you are on the surface.
3. While you are trying to get flooding under control it may be necessary to increase your speed to keep from sinking below crush depth. And keep in mind that if you are taking on water, crush depth is a lot less that it used to be. I try not to run flat out at a sustained speed, unless I have already sunk the one escort that was in the area. Otherwise, crank on the speed and move towards periscope depth, reduce speed when I get there so my batteries last, and hopefully sink slowly back down. Repeat as necessary.
4. If your batteries took damage be very careful. If and when you get back to the surface watch your battery status bar to make sure you are getting a charge back in the batteries. If you are, be sure they recharge to 100% (wait for the text message). If they don't turn battery charging off when they've taken all they can or you will suck up fuel like there's a hole in your tank.
AGENT INSERTION/TROOP INSERTION/SUPPLY DROP/PHOTO RECON MISSIONS
1. In reality, the first three are all the same mission. the recon mission is only slightly different. The main change is "does your cargo climb into the raft on it's own, or do you have to load it?".
2. Read your orders carefully. There is usually a phrase in there about the necessity of secrecy. I don't know if the game would penalize you, but to stay in the spirit of the game you probably should not attack anything on the way to the drop point.
3. I always make my drops at night. I've never read a post where someone made a drop during the day and had a problem, but again, just to stay in character, plan your approach so you get there at night.
4. OK, now the nuts and bolts. So far every insertion and supply drop mission I have had took place on a deserted, undefended beach, that was essentially right on the coast. Didn't have to work my way to some major inland harbor or pass through any really tight choke point.
5. The most common problem folks seem to have is, how do I make the drop. You have to be within one mile of the beach, stopped and on the surface. Here's what I've found helpful. Use your map tools to draw a circle 1 mile out from the drop icon. Plot your course into that circle. Once inside I usually throw a turn in since I prefer to be on the bridge instead of looking at the map. As soon as the boat makes the turn, I know I can go to all stop. The text box pops up, I click the launch raft button, and the rest of the stuff happens. BTW, the rafts always launch from the starboard side, so if you want to plot your turn, go to port so you steer clear of the raft. I also come in at 5 knots or less. I haven't run aground yet, but again, why take unnecessary chances.
6. Photo Recon Missions are probably the most hated assignments in the game. These are dangerous missions made worse by the facts that they are also boring and tedious. We bought the game to blow stuff up, maybe they should have called it Silent Hunter 4, FedEx of the Pacific.
7. Unlike the drop missions above, the harbor they send you to is usually not directly on the coast. You are going to have to spend a lot of time covering ground within sight of land so managing your batteries is key. These ports are also usually well defended. Expect to encounter patrol craft as well as coastal gun emplacements. I've also ran into (literally) submarine nets, and some skippers have reported mines as well. In most instances you are not going to have a lot of deep water to work with either. Add everything up, and the odds are stacked pretty heavily against you. If you get spotted, there's no place to hide.
8. It may be cheating, but I make liberal use of the save game function on this type of mission. Usually, I save at the point where I start my final approach, and when I have taken my photo(s). Also, if I find my attention wandering, it's time to throw another save in and go do something else.
9. If it's day time, you had better be submerged. Stay clear of the main shipping channels, as previously stated, the water is usually shallow, you can be submerged and still get rammed. Keep your speed to one or two knots, there is just no way to complete this mission quickly. If you must recharge your batteries, wait until dark, go to all stop and surface. If you try and move on the surface, someone will spot your wake and/or bow wave.
10. Taking the photos. Up scope, lock onto the target, click the camera icon. The game wants you to photograph a specific ship, make sure the log shows mission complete before you leave the area.
11. Often times the target ships are very tempting targets. Just keep in mind that if you go after these sitting ducks the chances of you sneaking away and back to the open sea get pretty slim. Depending on how much distance I have to cover to get away, time of day, battery state, and how well defended the area is, I've been known to hide in some quiet little corner for a day or so to get a good charge back in the batteries before I try and get out.
Reach the patrol zone: you have to be within a range of approx 50 nautical miles of the star center (you can use the compass tool to mark the radius: point the tool at the center of your patrol zone, and draw a cirle till the numbers measure between 45nm and 48 nm, just to stay on the safe side); stay there for 48 hours and don't leave the zone, or else the counter will reset.
At the end of your patrol time, you might be asked to sink enemy shipping.
If you don't have any Mods installed, you'll have to sink at least 10.000 tons of MERCHANT shipping.
Mods might change this.
Completing Objective, Refitting and End Patrol
(Info contributed by Yooperbacker)
The date is February, 1945. My Primary Objective was to Deploy to South China Sea. I set a few enemy freighters to the bottom and had over 10,000 tons sunk, so I had enough tonnage to complete my objective. I then set sail to the black binocular with orange icon.
You have to wait there for 48 hours. You have to stay close to the binocular icon for the 48 hours. Different Skippers do this in different ways and for other examples of this, just ask in this forum. What I do is stop under the binocular icon, at periscope depth, (with my periscope down). If a convoy or warships come by I go deeper, below the thermal layer and select Silent Running. As you dive deeper you will hear someone on board say passing thermal layer. A thermal layer is a difference in water temperature. (I am not sure if this is a good example of thermal layer or not but if you have ever been in a pond or lake that is spring feed, you will notice when swimming how nice and warm the water is on the top surface but if you dive down deeper, all of a sudden the water is cold, like there is a layer of warm and cold, that to me is a thermal layer.) It seems that enemy ships with sonar can not get a good reading where you are because the sonar has a hard time getting below the thermal layer. (If you have more questions about thermal layer there are others on this forum that may be able to explain it in more detail.) When the 48 hours is close to being completed I zoom in and out in the map view now and again. Not sure if this makes the icon change quicker or not but it gives me something to do. You have to stay there until the black binocular with orange icon changes gray.
After the icon turns gray I decide I would go refit. A refit port has an Anchor Icon that is positioned straight up and down. You can not end your patrol there but you can get more torpedoes, ammunition and minor repairs done. The port you are to report to after you have completed your patrol is an Anchor Icon that is slanted to the left with a rope going down its shaft. As you can see in the picture below the anchor near the top of the picture is a refit port and the anchor near the bottom of the picture is my home port.
In this next picture you will see I zoomed out a bit to show you other refit ports. Remember that the time of this patrol is February, 1945 and near the end of the war. There were a lot of ports that were in the hands of the US by then.
I decided to go to the Exmouth Gulf and refit. I had 4 torpedoes left. 3 torpedoes forward and 1 aft.
As I got closer to the refit anchor icon a screen popped up, that looks like the picture below.
You will notice that the End Patrol is grayed out. That is because this port is just a refit port. I select Refit and another smaller box comes up that says Refit Complete. I select OK.
I then go to the Torpedo room and drag a torpedo into one of the empty firing tubes. When you do this you will notice the rest of the slots will start being loaded with new torpedoes as seen in the picture below. (You must have automatic loading selected to have this happen.)
If you look close at the picture above, you will see that there are now empty slots for more torpedoes because you have taken these torpedoes and put them in the firing tubes.
You must refit again to get the rest of the torpedoes. To do this you click on the Anchor Icon that is in the top right of your screen, as shown in the picture below.
The same box will come up again after you click on the Anchor Icon.
And then the smaller box.
Click Ok and you will now see you have a full load of torpedoes.
After refitting I decide to go back to my home port and end my patrol. I head for the Anchor Icon that is slanted to the left.
As I approach the port a box comes up and looks like the piture below.
I then clicked on the End Patrol and another box comes up that says Do you want to Dock. I click yes and my patrol has ended.
This is just a short course on what happens when you complete an objective, refit and end your patrol. Hope this helps you understand better what is going on. If you may have any more questions feel free to ask.
They will top off fuel and torpedo reserve slots.
They won't top off torpedo tubes.
Solution: Refit, then pull the torpedos in the reserve racks into the tubes, then refit again. This gives you a full load of torpedos, as well as a full tank of fuel.
Watch out for this one, it can come as a nasty surprise to find upon reaching your million mile away patrol zone that you only have 14 torpedos when you thought you had 24.
There have been many questions about how to perform Lifeguard Duty and hopefully with the aid of some screenshots you will be able to get a better idea on what to do.
Once you have reached the area where you have been assigned to pick up the aviators. The symbol will look similar to the screen below.
Once you get close to the symbol on the map go the bridge station and using the binoculars start scanning the ocean ahead of you lookout for telltale puffs of pink smoke such as below. One thing to take note of is that the aviators may not be in the immediate area of the yellow lifeguard symbol because they may have drifted off with the current which might be prevalent in the area where you are supposed to rescue the downed aviators. You may have to scan the area quite closely to pick them out.
As you get close to the pink smoke you will see through the binoculars a man looking like he is dangling from a parachute, only you won't see the parachute. Then down on the taskbar you will see an icon with a life preserver on it.
Once you are close enough the life preserver will light up, click on the life preserver and you should get notification that the aviator has been rescued.
(Info contributed by sneakattacks)
"Decks Awash" (DA), as used here, means to operate at the deepest depth that the diesels will run continuously . The advantage in doing this is that, when compared to being fully surfaced, much less time is needed to disappear below the waves. If a threat appears, go to DA early and avoid being pounded (or sunk) as you wait, and wait, and wait, to submerge.
Running DA is mainly useful to avoid air threats. If battery recharging is critical and aircraft might be near you can safely recharge until the aircraft are spotted before quickly diving. Or, if you have radar, you can surface to DA and check for enemy aircraft before coming completely up with the comfort that if aircraft are present, they can still be avoided with a quick dive. With practice you will find other times DA is a lifesaver (rescuing downed airmen with enemy guns nearby, etc).
Two important points must be remembered, to use DA successfully. First, the critical depth for running at DA is often different between classes of submarine. Second, the critical depth for the diesels is usually deeper than that for CO2/O2 exchange and using the deck gun. This means CO2 can build up inside the sub. So there is a second DA to remember, DA(CO2). It, too, varies between sub classes but as a rule, it's 2-3 feet less than DA (diesel). DA(CO2) is always the same as the critical depth for using the deck gun, or DA(Gun), so the two can be combined.
Below is a guideline which lists the critical depths for DA(diesel) and DA(CO2/Gun) for the different classes of sub in SH4. [Measurements were made at flank speed, in calm seas, with 100% battery charge.]
DECKS AWASH DEPTH IN FEET FOR SUB TYPES
As a rule, 28 feet is a good rough guide for DA(diesel), unless you're in an "S" boat (where it's 26). "SALMON", and "NARWHAL" classes can run slightly deeper. "GAR" and "TAMBOR" CAN DO 32 feet.
For DA(CO2/Gun), 26 feet is a good guide for getting rid of CO2 for all boats except the "PORPOISE" class, where you must be at 23 feet, and the "NARWHAL", "TAMBOR", and "SARGO" classes, where it's 28.
The time needed to reach periscope depth is affected by 1) the depth at which the "dive" order is given, 2) the dive depth ordered ("periscope depth" vs "CRASH DIVE!"). "CRASH DIVE!" is always faster. But to avoid suicide, remember that ordering "CRASH DIVE!" takes you to 160 feet. Without that much water under you, you will die, unless you can successfully change the order (after submerging) before hitting bottom. Use "CRASH DIVE!" with caution.
Below are dive times (in seconds) between classes of boats for the order "periscope depth", fully surfaced and at DA(diesel). Times to reach periscope depth on ordering "CRASH DIVE!" will be faster. [Times were obtained at flank speed, in calm seas, with 100% battery charge.]
TIME TO REACH PERISCOPE DEPTH
The difference between dive times is dramatic, and clearly shows the advantage of running at decks awash when a fast dive is important. It should be remembered that the DA strategy doesn't work in rough seas, where the electric engines will cut on and off, discharging the batteries.
Also remember that you get poor fuel efficiency (fewer MPG) and lower speed when running at Decks Awash since you are, after all, partly submerged.
(Incidentally, "CRASH DIVE!" from DA(diesel) will reach periscope depth for all boat classes in 17 seconds, except the NARWHAL class which makes it in just 14. Now that's a fast dive!)
NB: The above pertains only to SH4 and does not reflect the performance of historic submarines.
If this thread really takes off like I hope after awhile I'll make an attempt to categorize the information.
Plotting Interception Course
(Contributed by LtCdr Ace McGraw)
I get a contact report for a task force heading south and its last known position is shown on the map. With every contact report for convoys/task forces, text is generated that shows the convoy's heading and speed, in this case south-southwest (SSW) and at 11kts:
Step 1: The first thing I do is plot the target's course using the ruler. Lay it over the tail and line it up, then extend the line to project the course. Then I pick a rough intercept point. Halfway between you and the target is good. If they are travelling fast, move the point closer to you. If slow, move it closer to them. In this case the intercept point is 40.1 miles from the target's current position. Let's call it 40 miles.
Step 2: Now I work out my distance from the planned ambush site. I simply measure the distance between my sub and the point I chose on the target's projected course. In this example it's 27.2 miles but we'll just say 27 miles.
The final step is to calculate the minimum speed I need to make the ambush on time. We know the target has to travel 40 miles at 11 knots. To calculate the time, we simply divide distance by speed, so 40 divided by 11. This gives us 3.64 (rounded up). (Don't worry about the time figure, it's simply an arbitrary figure used to calculate our speed.) Now we divide our distance, 27, by the time figure, 3.64, to give us a speed of 7.4 knots. Now just set the course and speed and you'll arrive there when the target does.
It's probably best to add on a knot or two to account for back-current and such. It may make you early but that's better than being late. If you miss the convoy, you'll be hard pressed to get ahead of it again and you'll burn a lot of fuel, possibly for nothing. Remember the speed you calculate is the MINIMUM required.
This method works pretty well, but bear in mind that convoys and single ships do sometimes change course, so it's not infallible. But it will give you the best possible chance of intercepting your target.
KEY TO REMEMBER THIS METHOD: Distance is always the figure that gets divided. Divide distance by speed to get time, then divide distance by time to get speed.