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About MTKnife

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  1. Historically, subs did take the down-the-throat torpedo shot when they could. It might not have worked most of the time, but it was a real threat. Because of the need for torpedoes to arm--combined with the high speed of an onrushing DD--IIRC the minimum effective range was about 1,000 yards (about 1km), or a little under. If nothing else, the incoming torps could cause a destroyer to swerve, which might well ruin a depth charge attack. As I implied above, in the real world, the best defense subs had against destroyers was that they were hard to find--knowing they were there was one thing, but getting an exact position was hard, especially as a destroyer passed overhead and the sub was no longer in its sonar cone. Indeed, it was so hard to pin a sub down accurately that I recall reading that one DD wasn't typically a big threat,but two or three cooperating was lethal, since they could come at the sub from different directions, and one could keep it fixed on sonar while another attacked. From a game standpoint, subs really don't need the ability to kill destroyers consistently--if they could do a better job of avoiding DD's passively, that could work just as well. And no, I don't think "it's just a video game" is an excuse just to slap any arbitrary thing into the platform: while the demands of a video game certainly will cause serious divergence from reality, they don't justify something that's so wildly unrealistic as to be counterintuitive (meaning players have to be taught it), when there are alternative mechanisms that are more realistic and intuitive and just as effective at creating balance.
  2. While WoWs isn't terribly realistic to begin with, having subs engage DD's by surfacimg in front of them and shooting torps at point-blank range is gamey, and too absurd even for the absurdity that is WoWs (to cite obvious examples, it's a game where the captain has to aim the guns, and the best destroyer-killers are CV's--which had a lot of trouble hitting DD's historically). The last time a sub did it to me, he was actually offended that the torp I ate damaged but didn't kill my DD (he did die, to the gunfire of another nearby ship). At very least, sub torps should have an arming distance. That would kill off this absurdly ahistorical tactic, since, while surfacing would still provide temporary protection against depth charges, the sub couldn't hurt the DD close up, and being at or close to the surface would only make it vulnerable to gunfire. Historically, yeah, subs were pretty helpless against DD's: they couldn't beat them in a gun battle (they could beat some smaller ships, including some subchasers), and the DD's were too agile for most torp attacks to work--a charging DD was a lot easier to aim at, but "down-the-throat" shots at the narrow bow of a small ship usually missed their mark. I'm not sure subs really have to be effective vs. DD's for game purposes, since, in this rock-papers-scissors game, subs can hurt CA's and BB's, which can't hurt them back, and it might be better to achieve balance by reducing DDs' ability to locate subs so exactly. However, if for some reason it's absolutely necessary that subs have to be effective against DD's, can't there be a better way to do that than through a tactic that's as counterintuitive as it is hard to believe?