I Would’ve Sucked as a Sub Commander.

During this past Christmas Steam had a massive sale on video games.  Among other things I picked up a package deal that included Silent Hunter 3, Silent Hunter 4 and an expansion pack to Silent Hunter 4.  I’ve been sticking to SH4 in a Porpoise class sub based out of Pearl Harbor.  Mainly because I am used to SH3 where the player can upgrade boats later on.  I always like running a few patrols in the older boats and earning a newer one at a later date.

First couple of patrols were no problem.  Mostly uneventful runs though one patrol I did bag a pair of merchants.  Then, shortly after the events of Midway, I pulled a patrol in the China sea.  Topped off at Midway (the Porpoise in game cannot make it that far from Pearl Harbor) and started the long trek across the Pacific at 10 knots just to conserve fuel.

1 night out from Midway the radar officer picks up several warships closing from the south.  I take the sub underwater and let them close on my position.  It’s a Japanese task force, 2 DDs, 1 CA and 1 heavy CA.  The DDs and CA pass me by but I end up with a perfect shot on the trailing heavy CA.  1500 yards, nearly 90 degrees off his starboard.  I fire all 4 forward tubes.  2 torpedos run under his hull.  I had set them to contact so, wiff and wiff.  3rd was a dud.  4th hits him in the rear quarter.  Severe listing but he’s still able to crank it up to 23 knots (5 faster than my boat can do on the surface) and get away.  I slink off before the DDs can come back to trounce me.

2 nights later I get another batch of ships coming from the north.  4 escorts with a 5th ship in the middle of a diamond formation.  That’s got to be something juicy!  So I get my sub in position, drop to parascope depth and let the formation run right over me.  The 4 escorts are all DDs, the 5th ship is a troop transport heading for Guadalcanal.  Not only that but again, set up the perfect shot.  Less than 1500 yards, 90 degrees off his port.  Set the torpedos for contact and just shy of his draft.  Fire all 4 forward torpedos again.  All 4 sail right under his hull.

I didn’t even slink off that time.  I just quit out.  I’m going to redo that patrol or maybe start out with a boat that has a little more legs to it than a pre-war sub.  But it’s clear I need to rethink my torpedo tactics.


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