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Admiral_Thrawn_1

Creating Balanced Sub Gameplay

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Been thinking of what submarines will need to be viable weapons for us to use in games, but also the ways to fight against the subs. I know nobody wants things to be too one sided on this matter so going to list what subs will likely need going for then and what surface ships will need in their favor vs the subs. Wanted to run these upideas of mine by the community to see what everyone thinks. Please read both sides before commenting since I have tried to think of ways to be fair to both sides of the argument and make it so Subs can be balanced for consideration. Been debates about subs on how both use them and how to fight them as well as how to balance them so tried making this thread.

Advantages for Subs

The speed increase over the real life versions for game balance.

Probably around 10km torpedoes since their torp spreads will be limited.

Ability to not be detectable by RDF when submerge, but RDF detectable at periscope or surfaced would be fair. That way if subs are much slower tha DDs or CAs the surface ships will not have constant constant with a sub that is attempting to hide. And when you think about the radio signals RDF would be picking up on are only in use if sub was surfaced or periscope depth.

Radar only detects surfaced subs.

Maybe the ability to do the real life WWII trick of diving down and turning off the engines to evade hydro detection might be good idea since hydro technically just listens for engine noise and does not send out sonar pings With the balance of having to sit there and not be able to evade Depth Charges if they get close to the sub. With the Oxygen limiting feature Wargaming has planned this emergency hiding trick will have dangerous limitations. Since if depth charge manages to hit or if the Oxygen time limit arrives, the sub would either die or be forced to surface with enemy ships waiting above.

Surfaced subs will need Concealment rating up to DD levels since you still need stealth, but also the ability to be spotted in turn by the enemy. Or at least CA levels of Concealment.

Advantages Surface ships and CVs

Ability for aircraft to detect surfaced subs, or at very close range the periscope.

Depth Charges currently mounted on ships will need to become functional. This should include the CAs that carried such weapons.

Any gun or regular Torpedo will be able to hit surfaced sub or If aimed well a sub at periscope depth, this will include air dropped ordnance from CVs as well.

Radar will spot surfaced subs

Hydro will work on detecting even submerged subs within range, and this will include the Vigilance skill effects as well. This will include the hydro on DDs, BBs, and CAs.

Subs will have to deal with under water terrain which will likely hinder them in some locations.

Subs will be unable to fire Torps unless at periscope depth or when surfaced.

Normal torpedo spotting and torpedo bulge protection will still apply.

Subs will have thin armor so you likely will not have trouble with shell shatters or bounces.

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"NO SUBMARINES!" Is what a troll would say. Me, I have hopes that it will bring a interesting turn to the game. I have hope that they will bring a change to the game, maybe.

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What if subs started at different places in the map? Like, much closer to the enemy, or on the side lines of the map? That would make for some interesting surprise confrontations. 

 

 

I have no idea how this should be balanced... Seems like subs operate quite differently in combat scenarios. 

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Remember you are trying to make a boat designed to destroy merchant ships balance with ships designed to locate and kill commerce raiders such as subs. The effectiveness of anti-submarine warfare is seen by the very high number of losses during the war. I don't see present game level realism balance possible.

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Here is why I am not in favor of Subs in the game. Subs are for all tense and purposes a griefer class. What fun will it be to just be blindly torpedoes by something you can't see, can't defend against, and can't counter. Sure subs will be appealing to a certain type of personality but having to worry about three torpedo platforms in game as well as 2 stealth classes. No thank you......I am not going to predict doom until I see Subs in game but they killed Navyfield almost overnight.

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47 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Advantages for Subs

The speed increase over the real life versions for game balance.

In general I'm in agreement with you, except for the speed thing.

To my mind, the ability to submerge IS the balance for excruciatingly slow speed.

Otherwise what you will in effect have just created is an invisible DD.

Edited by So_lt_Goes
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Both the speed increase and the torpedo range increase means you don't want subs. You want a fantasy.

No thanks.

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All well and good and we will see how it all  works out in the initial launch but I am sure there will be a gazillion suggestions AFTER the launch.

But let me add some - some may contest it and some may LOVE it...isn't it how it works here eh?

SUBS should be able to cap but at a slower rate and controlled rate depending on if their surfaced/periscope depth or underwater. Slowest rate being underwater. This will give the Sub players some teamplay action as well as give the enemy a detection of the sub in a cap.  

Sub player killing the engine and going silent should drop all hydro detection but cause the sub to rise slowly to the surface.  Oh so slowly mind you...

All subs should go deep enough to be below the draft of all ships.   As skilled sub capt could theoretically be under a enemy BB and stay concealed under it...

As for the SUBS becoming faster..above or under water, this is a given as the tiers go up..but a the same time as many had said..other ships would have to have some push back and have weapons to counter that. Mainly stronger detection devices and also weapons which have more radius to damage when launched from ship.  

All of this is just projected and we will see how it goes.  At least its interesting to toss these ideas from different player perspectives. Many of these ideas were not hatched yesterday but from many games from long before.  

 

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54 minutes ago, So_lt_Goes said:

In general I'm in agreement with you, except for the speed thing.

To my mind, the ability to submerge IS the balance for excruciatingly slow speed.

Otherwise what you will in effect have just created is an invisible DD.

The increase in speed is mainly so they don’t creep around submerged at 2-8 knts, even an increase to 10-15 knts submerged is improvement, but balanced against surface ships that will be doing 20-40knts.

Edited by Admiral_Thrawn_1
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Before getting too far into this lets remember that we have not even seen the final product of the Halloween mode which WG is obviously going to use as a test environment. Worrying about the balance of the subs at this stage is really not constructive because few people have even tried the subs and only a handful have even tried the good subs. There has already been pages of complaints about subs by people that have only tried the first submarine when the others are great fun and extremely powerful. This conversation is basically speculation at this stage.

 

Torpedo ranges will likely be national characteristics. The IJN for example used torpedoes based on their long lance with long range while others like the germans and americans eventually had short range electric torpedoes which were much better concealed. Lets not try and lock submarines specks already since there were many different subs with different capabilities. If anything most of the sub lines will be based around close range torpedo attacks were the small number of tubes is compensated by being able to approach closer and drop torpedoes more confidently. Some like the French or british will have midship tubes and maybe better torp angles letting them fire more torps per salvo.

With how fast the subs were in the test server depth charges is almost a non threat. All the subs tested were easily able to out maneuver the depth charges and the more agile ones were able to charge DDs and torpedo them thanks to the forward facing torpedo tubes. Remember that depth charges became obsolete soon after ww2 when the type XXI subs revolutionized underwater submarine performance. Depth charges simply fall away from a ship if a sub goes more than a few knots they can easy out run any prediction from a DD or CA. Dodging torpedoes was also extremely easy because subs are immune below periscope depth. The fastest subs could even surface and recharge their O2 and then dive between cruiser reloads. Keep in mind that even the slow US anti sub active homing torpedoes like the Mk 24 and Mk 28 were considered obsolete when nuclear submarines that traveled as fast as most of the subs in the event became a thing. Think about this quote from navweaps.com:

The probability of sinking or seriously damaging a submarine capable of over twenty knots with a twenty-four knot torpedo is quite low (unofficial figures give a 10% success rate for the Mark 37)

The Mk 37 was the primary USN anti sub weapon through the 1960s and was still in service in the 90s. It could travel 37 knots in its later configurations and the success rate was considered abysmal against submarines traveling faster than 20 knots. Every submarine in the event travels faster than 20 knots and a weapon from the height of the cold war would perform poorly against against them.

A real advantage for submarines is that they were made to reload torpedoes in combat conditions, something which no destroyer was. Which could translate to faster reload on their tubes which they would need to compensate for fewer tubes.

 

 

 

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Subs probably can't be balanced, as @UssIowaSailor says they're designed to grief.

In the last 12-18 months WG has moved strongly away from 'no counter' grief play -

  • Open water stealth firing goes completely
  • Nerfs to detection for firing from smoke are imposed across the board
  • Smoke on the RN DD's is tailored to be as useless as possible for smoke shooting
  • Increase Pan-Asian smoke cooldown to increase gap
  • Carrier rework involves less alpha, more waves, more interaction, more engagement
  • Nerf Worcester radar range

To flip around and start looking at submarines is bizarre. They will always be problematic because being based around total immunity to some attacks is not sensible, and even outside of that the difficulties of 'drive right over the submarine' are immense compared to 'shoot the spotted Shimakaze 7-8km away'.

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21 hours ago, mofton said:

Subs probably can't be balanced, as @UssIowaSailor says they're designed to grief.

In the last 12-18 months WG has moved strongly away from 'no counter' grief play -

  • Open water stealth firing goes completely
  • Nerfs to detection for firing from smoke are imposed across the board
  • Smoke on the RN DD's is tailored to be as useless as possible for smoke shooting
  • Increase Pan-Asian smoke cooldown to increase gap
  • Carrier rework involves less alpha, more waves, more interaction, more engagement
  • Nerf Worcester radar range

To flip around and start looking at submarines is bizarre. They will always be problematic because being based around total immunity to some attacks is not sensible, and even outside of that the difficulties of 'drive right over the submarine' are immense compared to 'shoot the spotted Shimakaze 7-8km away'.

Lol people have long complained about camping playstyle, so now Wargaming is giving the community their answer to that, subs... You sit and camp for most of the battle and a sub will take you out since it can slip through the high tier Radar nets...

Edited by Admiral_Thrawn_1
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2 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Lol people have long complained about camping playstyle, so now Wargaming is giving the community their answer to that, subs... You sit and camp for most of the battle and a sub witless take you out since it can slip through the high tier Radar nets...

Subs are slow and will spawn (unless the game is radically changed) on the red side of things. Only by going towards them will I seriously be endangered, moving away or in the backfield will almost completely nullify them.

The best way to counter a torpedo attack is to be sailing away, you basically halve the effective range. Destroyers suffer from this, but at least have the speed to position and get on a flank. Submarines don't. Submarines will lurk around caps or objectives, be most effective against people heading toward them - the solution is absolutely not to push.

Submarines will seriously discourage pushing, and encourage camping. Why go into a cap to fight something you can't damage, or even detect.

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Every depth charge run against subs are virtually yolo runs.

Every ship that attempts to try to depth charge subs are in high risk of being shot to death by the enemy team. I doubt many players would want to do depth charge runs with that kind of risk and the maximum reward they would get is one sub that has hardly 15k health at most.

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1 hour ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Lol people have long complained about camping playstyle, so now Wargaming is giving the community their answer to that, subs... You sit and camp for most of the battle and a sub witless take you out since it can slip through the high tier Radar nets...

Anything designed to prevent camping invariably always ends up causing more of it for two reasons.

1. Anything that punishes a BB camping at the back will also punish a BB pushing forward.  This causes players to camp even harder.

2.  The players camping at the back are the lowest priority targets, so there is no point in punishing them until everyone actually playing the objectives is taken care of first.

 

I don't see how subs are going to be any different.  BB players will be even more terrified of subs than they are of DDs, and many of them won't push if there is even a remote chance there is a sub in the area.....and no sub player is ever going to ignore an aggressively pushing BB to go targets the ones camping at the back.  Subs are not going to "fix" camping.

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You do realize that you are talking about game balance on a new ship type and War Gaming has been trying for 3 years to balance CVs?

 

Just throwing it out there for ya!

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5 hours ago, Quaffer said:

Both the speed increase and the torpedo range increase means you don't want subs. You want a fantasy.

No thanks.

Exactly.

 

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1 hour ago, yashma said:

Anything designed to prevent camping invariably always ends up causing more of it for two reasons.

1. Anything that punishes a BB camping at the back will also punish a BB pushing forward.  This causes players to camp even harder.

2.  The players camping at the back are the lowest priority targets, so there is no point in punishing them until everyone actually playing the objectives is taken care of first.

 

I don't see how subs are going to be any different.  BB players will be even more terrified of subs than they are of DDs, and many of them won't push if there is even a remote chance there is a sub in the area.....and no sub player is ever going to ignore an aggressively pushing BB to go targets the ones camping at the back.  Subs are not going to "fix" camping.

Actually if you are smart and keep your BB moving you are far less vulnerable than sitting still or going in reverse for most of the battle. I just was in a battle in my Texas and had multiple DDs after me and I survived by staying at full speed so I could dodge and occasionally changing course to throw off the DD torpedo aim.

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6 hours ago, UssIowaSailor said:

Here is why I am not in favor of Subs in the game. Subs are for all tense and purposes a griefer class. What fun will it be to just be blindly torpedoes by something you can't see, can't defend against, and can't counter.

You mean like high-tier IJN destroyers do now and are already in the game?

Only difference is rather than run out of room when fleeing, a Submarine will run out of air, surface, and can't escape without staying on the surface for a while. Then there's dive time, at least with the Barracuda as an example, it's not going to dissappear instantly.

6 hours ago, So_lt_Goes said:

In general I'm in agreement with you, except for the speed thing.

To my mind, the ability to submerge IS the balance for excruciatingly slow speed.

Otherwise what you will in effect have just created is an invisible DD.

I'm fine with this, air will replace smoke, essentially. Subs don't have the secondaries/batteries and torpedo spreads that DDs take for granted either, in exchange for being (hopefully) just as fast.

Submarines won't work unless they have either the air time to remain submerged after an attack to escape, or the speed/handling to turn around and escape with the precious air-time they have. Without either extra air or faster speed, the concept is unworkable. A sub has to remain hidden during the attack run and escape to function well. Especially if it also has the requirement/demand of low health.

Now this can be balanced by plenty of cover, too. If a sub with low speed and low airtime exists, it's going to need islands to attack from and surface behind to have the cover it needs to work (presumably with decent-ranged torpedoes as well).

If you can't grant submarines this axiom at least, then you're not even trying to be open and impartial to the concept.

4 hours ago, mofton said:

To flip around and start looking at submarines is bizarre. They will always be problematic because being based around total immunity to some attacks is not sensible, and even outside of that the difficulties of 'drive right over the submarine' are immense compared to 'shoot the spotted Shimakaze 7-8km away'.

They may have been clearing the field with these adjustments so Submarines, when they appear, have the niche that other classes don't.

 

A part of me kind of wishes we had some gameplay examples of players vs player-driven submarines. It'll be painfully obvious how Submarines in the current model are going to struggle against intelligent players, without the tools they are going to need to succeed. From at least my experience with the Barracuda, they are FAR from the invisible death machines players are afraid of.

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6 minutes ago, Norsehound said:

You mean like high-tier IJN destroyers do now and are already in the game?

Only difference is rather than run out of room when fleeing, a Submarine will run out of air, surface, and can't escape without staying on the surface for a while. Then there's dive time, at least with the Barracuda as an example, it's not going to dissappear instantly.

I'm fine with this, air will replace smoke, essentially. Subs don't have the secondaries/batteries and torpedo spreads that DDs take for granted either, in exchange for being (hopefully) just as fast.

Submarines won't work unless they have either the air time to remain submerged after an attack to escape, or the speed/handling to turn around and escape with the precious air-time they have. Without either extra air or faster speed, the concept is unworkable. A sub has to remain hidden during the attack run and escape to function well. Especially if it also has the requirement/demand of low health.

Now this can be balanced by plenty of cover, too. If a sub with low speed and low airtime exists, it's going to need islands to attack from and surface behind to have the cover it needs to work (presumably with decent-ranged torpedoes as well).

If you can't grant submarines this axiom at least, then you're not even trying to be open and impartial to the concept.

They may have been clearing the field with these adjustments so Submarines, when they appear, have the niche that other classes don't.

 

A part of me kind of wishes we had some gameplay examples of players vs player-driven submarines. It'll be painfully obvious how Submarines in the current model are going to struggle against intelligent players, without the tools they are going to need to succeed. From at least my experience with the Barracuda, they are FAR from the invisible death machines players are afraid of.

They dont have to be invisible death machines to seriously screw up the game. 

So many urgent needs, so much dev time wasted on subs.

 

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6 hours ago, 1nv4d3rZ1m said:

Before getting too far into this lets remember that we have not even seen the final product of the Halloween mode which WG is obviously going to use as a test environment. Worrying about the balance of the subs at this stage is really not constructive because few people have even tried the subs and only a handful have even tried the good subs. There has already been pages of complaints about subs by people that have only tried the first submarine when the others are great fun and extremely powerful. This conversation is basically speculation at this stage.

 

Torpedo ranges will likely be national characteristics. The IJN for example used torpedoes based on their long lance with long range while others like the germans and americans eventually had short range electric torpedoes which were much better concealed. Lets not try and lock submarines specks already since there were many different subs with different capabilities. If anything most of the sub lines will be based around close range torpedo attacks were the small number of tubes is compensated by being able to approach closer and drop torpedoes more confidently. Some like the French or british will have midship tubes and maybe better torp angles letting them fire more torps per salvo.

With how fast the subs were in the test server depth charges is almost a non threat. All the subs tested were easily able to out maneuver the depth charges and the more agile ones were able to charge DDs and torpedo them thanks to the forward facing torpedo tubes. Remember that depth charges became obsolete soon after ww2 when the type XXI subs revolutionized underwater submarine performance. Depth charges simply fall away from a ship if a sub goes more than a few knots they can easy out run any prediction from a DD or CA. Dodging torpedoes was also extremely easy because subs are immune below periscope depth. The fastest subs could even surface and recharge their O2 and then dive between cruiser reloads. Keep in mind that even the slow US anti sub active homing torpedoes like the Mk 24 and Mk 28 were considered obsolete when nuclear submarines that traveled as fast as most of the subs in the event became a thing. Think about this quote from navweaps.com:

The probability of sinking or seriously damaging a submarine capable of over twenty knots with a twenty-four knot torpedo is quite low (unofficial figures give a 10% success rate for the Mark 37)

The Mk 37 was the primary USN anti sub weapon through the 1960s and was still in service in the 90s. It could travel 37 knots in its later configurations and the success rate was considered abysmal against submarines traveling faster than 20 knots. Every submarine in the event travels faster than 20 knots and a weapon from the height of the cold war would perform poorly against against them.

A real advantage for submarines is that they were made to reload torpedoes in combat conditions, something which no destroyer was. Which could translate to faster reload on their tubes which they would need to compensate for fewer tubes.

I can't agree with this post enough. We are just too early in the process to start talking about balance.

The issue about Depth Charge inefficiency is key here in my opinion as this does not seem to be somthing that can be fixed as it is baked into the game fundamental concepts. Until they figure out how they want to do ASW there is no point talking balance as the approach they take will dictate the balancing needed.

Finally there are a LOT of things still to be done before the first sub gets into the main game (Co-op and PvP). This is step one in a very long process that requires even more work than the CV rework.

  • Design an entire tech tree for subs from Tier 3 to Tier 10 (Subs predate HMS Dreadnought)
  • Decide how ASW will happen
  • Make all maps have underwater terrain (partially done)
  • Make all maps have underwater terrain textures
  • Map all the ASW weapons on the ships that have them
  • Add these weapons onto the paperdoll so players know they are broken
  • Animate the surface ship weapons and thier attack actions on ALL ships that have them. This is going to be well over 100 ships even if we just take destroyers and cruisers. This is a HUGE HUGE HUGE task.
  • Create disabled/destroyed animations for the ASW weapons for when they get hit
  • Determine the armour and HP values for destruction of ASW weapons
  • Code the vertical parameters of objectives and impliment rules for submerged capture
  • Develop submerged and periscope depth spotting rules for aircraft.
  • add new hotkeys to every ASW capable ship
  • Rework the skill tree for captains to include appropriate ASW and Submarine traits. E.g. Crash Dive ability for sub captains
  • Testing testing testing,
  • Modification based on testing
  • More testing

Given that they are hard at work on carriers right now I don't see them doing all this AND add more regular trees such as the BRIT CVs and Itallian Navy before 2020, especially if the Carrier rework continues to stretch out.

It isn't until the very last stages that balancing becomes an issue and we should be having this conversation.

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4 hours ago, mofton said:

Subs are slow and will spawn (unless the game is radically changed) on the red side of things. Only by going towards them will I seriously be endangered, moving away or in the backfield will almost completely nullify them.

The best way to counter a torpedo attack is to be sailing away, you basically halve the effective range. Destroyers suffer from this, but at least have the speed to position and get on a flank. Submarines don't. Submarines will lurk around caps or objectives, be most effective against people heading toward them - the solution is absolutely not to push.

Submarines will seriously discourage pushing, and encourage camping. Why go into a cap to fight something you can't damage, or even detect.

Subs IRL in this time period were slow, but in game they are anything but slow right now. 

37 minutes ago, Taichunger said:

They dont have to be invisible death machines to seriously screw up the game. 

So many urgent needs, so much dev time wasted on subs.

The subs dont have to be invisible either. On the test server the good subs could bounce between the surface and submerged while the cruiser guns were reloading and they didnt mind getting detected because you have to get caught on the surface or do something dumb to take damage. Just drive up to the ships and put one torpedo in, force dcp, put a second in to get perma flood and then find the next ship to sink. 

 

I am not worried about subs being under powered if there is anything to be worried about its subs being way too easy and effective to play. 

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9 minutes ago, 1nv4d3rZ1m said:

Subs IRL in this time period were slow, but in game they are anything but slow right now. 

I've not played the PT, are they that fast? I did hear that they could only dive for 90s or so. Clearly the limit is the crew holding their breath!

At the point they have silly 90s submerged times and do >8kt submerged for both, well, they're not subs any more.

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1 minute ago, mofton said:

I've not played the PT, are they that fast? I did hear that they could only dive for 90s or so. Clearly the limit is the crew holding their breath!

At the point they have silly 90s submerged times and do >8kt submerged for both, well, they're not subs any more.

As you might know there are 4 subs that people got to play and they are all somewhat different as you might expect. The one people start with was abysmal, it was slow, not agile at all, took a long time to recharge the O2, and didnt dive log. However all of the subs when at least 20 knots, one was well over 30 knots. The dive time ranged from 75 seconds to well over 130 seconds. The important thing is that WG gives subs their fastest speed all the time. So a USN fleet boat would be going 24 knots on the surface or under water on the PTS even though that was an optimistic speed on the surface. Some of the subs could also take a breath between gun salvos, just pop up after the shells land then go back down, completely immune to guns doing that and fast enough depth charges didnt even matter. 

 

These subs where not some stealthy, sneaky, fragile, ambush predator. They were completely immune monsters that had water for armor and could run right up to ships to torp them without any fear. 

 

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