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View Full Version : AAR: T4 (Falke) homing torpedoes



quillan
04-07-2005, 08:02 PM
So, I put into St. Nazaire in early December of 1941, at the conclusion of my 20th patrol. I pass out promotions and medals, reset my loadout of torpedoes, check for any new equipment, and then check the bulletin board for my new orders. When I actually put out to sea, I discover something odd. I left harbor on January 1st, 1942. Since it was a new year, that meant I had a new default loadout of torpedoes, which took precedence over what I had selected back in early December. Basically, out of 14 torpedoes on a VIIB, I had 4 T1 steam, 6 T2 electrics (SUCK!), and 4 Falke homing torpedoes (at no cost in renown, which is good, as they are 500 a piece). Being stuck with this for this one patrol, I have to make the best of it.

Once they appear in the game, you can click on one for a description. Basically, the game tells you that they have a range of 7500 meters, run at a speed of 20 knots, and the target has to have a minimum speed of 12 knots. All of this is true, but there is a bit more than that.

First, aside from the speed being fixed at 20, you have both the usual adjustments to the torpedo: running depth and firing pistol(s). You can run them deep trying for an underkeel detonation.

Secondly, the torpedo DOES home in on the target, and it will home in on ships moving slower than 12 knots. The four I fired went at ships moving between 7 and 12 knots speed. Now, I don't if this would show up if you have the "Map updates" realism option off, but I have it on. When you are in the TDC station, if you zoom in to at least 250m scale, you'll see a small torpedo icon when you've got a fish in the water. It tracks the icon, showing you where the torp is. I fired the Falke, and it ran right on course until it got close to a ship. It's hard to tell the exact distance, but it looked to me like between 100-200 meters, it picked up the screw noise and began turning towards it. It did steer back and forth, aiming for the stern of the target ship, and detonated every time. Again, it's hard to tell, but it looked like it began adjusting course farther out when going near a faster moving ship.

Third, the TDC apparently is not programmed for calculating a solution with a 20 knot torpedo. When fired from a perpendicular position, the torpedo would consistently lag towards the stern of the target vessel, well before it started steering itself, even over a very short range of less than 800 meters. I don't want to even think about trying a crossing shot from 2000 meters; you'd miss well astern, never even getting close enough for the seeker to pick up and adjust to the screw noise. It would seem that firing directly down the course of the ship from the stern (best) or bow (might be ok, not sure how much this thing can adjust course) would be optimal.

Fourth, while it proved totally reliable in the first run, the fact that it did steer towards every ship I targeted with one makes it unsuitable for precision firing. Don't even think about trying to kill a ship with a single one of these, except maybe a small or coastal merchant. It didn't even immobilize any of the ships it struck, though it did slow each of them to a greater or lesser degree. I was sort of hoping that it wouldn't work on anything less than 12 knots, which would allow you to use it as a slower but longer ranged and more reliable version of the T2. Alas, that is not the case. You might be able to specifically target the bow of a very long ship and not have it home in on the screws, but that isn't too effective.

quillan
04-07-2005, 08:02 PM
So, I put into St. Nazaire in early December of 1941, at the conclusion of my 20th patrol. I pass out promotions and medals, reset my loadout of torpedoes, check for any new equipment, and then check the bulletin board for my new orders. When I actually put out to sea, I discover something odd. I left harbor on January 1st, 1942. Since it was a new year, that meant I had a new default loadout of torpedoes, which took precedence over what I had selected back in early December. Basically, out of 14 torpedoes on a VIIB, I had 4 T1 steam, 6 T2 electrics (SUCK!), and 4 Falke homing torpedoes (at no cost in renown, which is good, as they are 500 a piece). Being stuck with this for this one patrol, I have to make the best of it.

Once they appear in the game, you can click on one for a description. Basically, the game tells you that they have a range of 7500 meters, run at a speed of 20 knots, and the target has to have a minimum speed of 12 knots. All of this is true, but there is a bit more than that.

First, aside from the speed being fixed at 20, you have both the usual adjustments to the torpedo: running depth and firing pistol(s). You can run them deep trying for an underkeel detonation.

Secondly, the torpedo DOES home in on the target, and it will home in on ships moving slower than 12 knots. The four I fired went at ships moving between 7 and 12 knots speed. Now, I don't if this would show up if you have the "Map updates" realism option off, but I have it on. When you are in the TDC station, if you zoom in to at least 250m scale, you'll see a small torpedo icon when you've got a fish in the water. It tracks the icon, showing you where the torp is. I fired the Falke, and it ran right on course until it got close to a ship. It's hard to tell the exact distance, but it looked to me like between 100-200 meters, it picked up the screw noise and began turning towards it. It did steer back and forth, aiming for the stern of the target ship, and detonated every time. Again, it's hard to tell, but it looked like it began adjusting course farther out when going near a faster moving ship.

Third, the TDC apparently is not programmed for calculating a solution with a 20 knot torpedo. When fired from a perpendicular position, the torpedo would consistently lag towards the stern of the target vessel, well before it started steering itself, even over a very short range of less than 800 meters. I don't want to even think about trying a crossing shot from 2000 meters; you'd miss well astern, never even getting close enough for the seeker to pick up and adjust to the screw noise. It would seem that firing directly down the course of the ship from the stern (best) or bow (might be ok, not sure how much this thing can adjust course) would be optimal.

Fourth, while it proved totally reliable in the first run, the fact that it did steer towards every ship I targeted with one makes it unsuitable for precision firing. Don't even think about trying to kill a ship with a single one of these, except maybe a small or coastal merchant. It didn't even immobilize any of the ships it struck, though it did slow each of them to a greater or lesser degree. I was sort of hoping that it wouldn't work on anything less than 12 knots, which would allow you to use it as a slower but longer ranged and more reliable version of the T2. Alas, that is not the case. You might be able to specifically target the bow of a very long ship and not have it home in on the screws, but that isn't too effective.

LW_lcarp
04-07-2005, 08:14 PM
I use the Falke on destroyers. Let em get about 3000m from you fire crash dive and wait for the boom.

Sometimes its within 2 minutes but other times you have to wait longer. Helps even the odds against those pesky destroyers in later years.

And i would say 85% of the time that tin can will sink to the bottom. Or it blows off the props or rudder and you can watch the thing sail away in a straight line and you can wave Bon voyage to it.

Ive only had maybe 2 or 3 that didnt hit there target and that was because i got trigger happy

Maj_Death
04-07-2005, 08:37 PM
Falkes are great on convoys too. Cripple a few big ships with them so you can just wait for everyone to leave them behind, then come back and finish them off.

Willey
04-07-2005, 09:08 PM
As for the 20 knots thingy. Click on the speed knob once and it's fine. There's a bug with the TDC. It won't switch to the speed of the torpedo you switch to. For example, set up a 4 shot. 2 T2 and 2 T1, the latter ones fast. As soon as you switch to the T2, it's solution is still calculated for 44kts until you click the speed knob although there's nothing to change.

quillan
04-07-2005, 09:11 PM
Ah, good to know. I'm familiar with the issue, but I thought it just ran off the last speed you set. So, I'd deal with the T1/T2 issue by manually setting a T1 to slow, then fire the T2. I didn't know you could click the non-reponsive button to adjust. Thanks for the tip. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif