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Old 09-29-2021, 01:15 AM   #1
SeanHolland
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Support Newbie questions

Is this the right place to ask really basic questions about playing SH4? I've just started playing and there is so much I don't know. I've set realism to zero to give me some chance. I'm playing without any mods and using automatic targeting.

Here are my most pressing questions:
  1. If you have a long journey ahead, do you just ramp up the time compression all the way until you are a few hours out?
  2. If I'm at periscope depth in good weather, can I still be seen by aircraft? If so, should I just go deep if I detect aircraft?
  3. How do I detect other vessels? Right now, they seem to show up on my map if I'm on the surface or have my periscope up. Do I have to actively spot them with my periscope, or do I have people for that?
  4. If I detect them, does that mean they can detect me?
  5. Are there any mods I should consider at this stage, or do I wait until my level of incompetence is lower?

I've watched a few YouTube videos, but they seem to be for people that know what they are doing.

Any help greatly appreciated
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Old 09-29-2021, 02:20 AM   #2
Bubblehead1980
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Originally Posted by SeanHolland View Post
Is this the right place to ask really basic questions about playing SH4? I've just started playing and there is so much I don't know. I've set realism to zero to give me some chance. I'm playing without any mods and using automatic targeting.

Here are my most pressing questions:
  1. If you have a long journey ahead, do you just ramp up the time compression all the way until you are a few hours out?
  2. If I'm at periscope depth in good weather, can I still be seen by aircraft? If so, should I just go deep if I detect aircraft?
  3. How do I detect other vessels? Right now, they seem to show up on my map if I'm on the surface or have my periscope up. Do I have to actively spot them with my periscope, or do I have people for that?
  4. If I detect them, does that mean they can detect me?
  5. Are there any mods I should consider at this stage, or do I wait until my level of incompetence is lower?

I've watched a few YouTube videos, but they seem to be for people that know what they are doing.

Any help greatly appreciated

Welcome Aboard Yes, you are in the correct forum. We have a great community here, a lot of helpful people.

[*]If you have a long journey ahead, do you just ramp up the time compression all the way until you are a few hours out?

Yes and no. Time compression is of course to be used as a real time journey is not practical for most and could get extremely boring. I did it once on a second PC, left it running for all 44 days of the patrol lol. Of course, not good for the PC, so not something would do regular basis but it certainly was immersive , as it was like a patrol, boredom punctuated by moments of excitement/danger/fear. I just wanted to try it out. I did this without the map contacts and trying celestial navigation mod lol so half the challenge was not getting lost.

Having said that, yes use time compression for the journey, it is best to keep time compression at 1556 or lower as it can make the sim do funny things, especially with weather. When in patrol area, would keep time compression at 512 or lower as it can cause you and crew to miss contacts, putting boat in danger.

[*]If I'm at periscope depth in good weather, can I still be seen by aircraft? If so, should I just go deep if I detect aircraft?

Yes, you can be seen by aircraft for sure if periscope is raised. Of course it depends variables such as sea conditions, light, skill level of the enemy aircraft etc. Honestly, its been years since have ran stock version of the sim, so not sure if they can see you under water if scope is down but to be safe, go to 100 feet or so if aircraft is around, wait a few, come back to scope depth.

Unfortunate bug in stock is an absurd amount of aircraft, just a heads up.
[*]How do I detect other vessels? Right now, they seem to show up on my map if I'm on the surface or have my periscope up. Do I have to actively spot them with my periscope, or do I have people for that?

Your AI crew are lookouts and have visual sensors, these are affect by factors such as light, fog, range, and profile/angle to their line of sight. There is also a great smoke mod for merchants by vickers03, it an help visually track merchants from a distant. unfortunately the AI crew does not see the smoke, but it can help you.

If you are submerged, yes, periscope must be raised to get a visual sighting, crew will report a visual sighting to you when your scope is up. Of course, visual range is less than it is on surface when using the periscope.

[*]If I detect them, does that mean they can detect me?

No, not always but sometimes yes. Again, many factors at play such as , range, profile, light, clouds, are you submerged or surfaced, are you moving slow speed or high speed, skill of the enemy unit, which ranges from novice , competent, to veteran, and elite. Later in war if enemy has radar, may detect you at same time or even first. A plane may see you diving and you are not aware.

A submarine is an inherently difficult target to spot on the water. In stock their visual sensors are of course a bit more than reality but you are still more difficult for them to spot first, usually.

[*]Are there any mods I should consider at this stage, or do I wait until my level of incompetence is lower?

I would first suggest getting a feel for SH 4 via stock, WW II submarine warfare in general (if not already familiar) since as a simulation, a lot of tactics and understanding of things will benefit play immensely, especially when moving on to the mods. Maybe two or three patrols in stock then move on to mods when think you are ready. You will truly appreciate the great mods this community has produced as it corrects the glaring bugs and flaws, and adds so much to the sim.

Definitely encourage learning manual targeting , use of the TDC/PK and running patrol with most realism options, really enhances the sim. There is a learning curve for sure , but it is a blast.

The gold standard of mods for SH 4 now is Fall of the Rising Sun (FOTRS). Excellent mod and is still being refined.

Trigger Maru Overhauled 2.5 is an amazing mod as well, but it is a difficulty mod, quite a challenge and likely daunting for the inexperienced player.


I hope this helps, let us know if have further questions.
[/LIST]

Last edited by Bubblehead1980; 09-29-2021 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:23 AM   #3
SeanHolland
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Default THANK YOU!

Thanks for taking the time to put together such a helpful response, I really appreciate it.

I'm going off on patrol now. I may be a while.
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:54 AM   #4
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Thanks for taking the time to put together such a helpful response, I really appreciate it.

I'm going off on patrol now. I may be a while.
Not a problem. On patrol myself.
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Old 09-29-2021, 08:48 AM   #5
Ludwig van Hursh
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I figured I would throw in a few suggestions as well that will help you be a bit more successful and perhaps live longer as well as feel more like a real US Fleet Boat skipper, though I am no expert like BubbleHead. I do remember when I first started playing SH3 and not even knowing how to get out of a turn because I didn't know what "Amidships" meant haha.

*Dive during the day when you are a few hundred miles from enemy territory or you will be detected by aircraft then surface at night. When you get more confident and start adding consumable resources like your batteries you will want to run at low speeds so you don't have to surface before the sun goes down to recharge.

*Use your deck gun against unarmed merchants since torpedoes are a precious commodities when on patrol and you want to save them for when you really need them like convoys. Don't be a hero and try to get into a gun fight with a destroyer, you will lose or the victory will be very hard won.

*When you chart you course, double check that you are not passing over any little tiny islands, take this from personal experience, you don't want to ground your boat when you are riding high on success or just super early. However this is realistic and the US Navy has had a alarmingly large number of groundings in its history, look up the Honda Point Disaster to see one.

That's all I can think of right now but as you go you will get more and more bold and experimental with your realism. Currently I'm working on making my own plots to better track targets to eventually get rid of the map contacts to do them on my own. I would also suggest looking up some YouTube docs on US Fleet Boats to get a better idea how they operated and the challenges they faced, notably the Mark 14 Torpedo which luckily the game doesn't fully incorporate all the little quirks it has.

Enjoy the game and good hunting!
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Old 09-29-2021, 05:28 PM   #6
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Thanks LvH, appreciate the advice
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:25 PM   #7
Bubblehead1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludwig van Hursh View Post
I figured I would throw in a few suggestions as well that will help you be a bit more successful and perhaps live longer as well as feel more like a real US Fleet Boat skipper, though I am no expert like BubbleHead. I do remember when I first started playing SH3 and not even knowing how to get out of a turn because I didn't know what "Amidships" meant haha.

*Dive during the day when you are a few hundred miles from enemy territory or you will be detected by aircraft then surface at night. When you get more confident and start adding consumable resources like your batteries you will want to run at low speeds so you don't have to surface before the sun goes down to recharge.

*Use your deck gun against unarmed merchants since torpedoes are a precious commodities when on patrol and you want to save them for when you really need them like convoys. Don't be a hero and try to get into a gun fight with a destroyer, you will lose or the victory will be very hard won.

*When you chart you course, double check that you are not passing over any little tiny islands, take this from personal experience, you don't want to ground your boat when you are riding high on success or just super early. However this is realistic and the US Navy has had a alarmingly large number of groundings in its history, look up the Honda Point Disaster to see one.

That's all I can think of right now but as you go you will get more and more bold and experimental with your realism. Currently I'm working on making my own plots to better track targets to eventually get rid of the map contacts to do them on my own. I would also suggest looking up some YouTube docs on US Fleet Boats to get a better idea how they operated and the challenges they faced, notably the Mark 14 Torpedo which luckily the game doesn't fully incorporate all the little quirks it has.

Enjoy the game and good hunting!

Solid advice.
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:32 PM   #8
Bubblehead1980
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Thanks LvH, appreciate the advice

For some great information, which can be applied in many cases to how operate in SH 4 (especially when move on to mods) would read (if you have not) CLEAR THE BRIDGE! and WAHOO! by Rear Admiral Richard O Kane. Two excellent memoirs about his time as Executive Officer on Wahoo and Commanding Officer of Tang. Then Thunder Below by Admiral Eugene Fluckey, which is probably the finest submarine memoir to date. Get the hardcover if you can find it, nice book.

Great book from the enlisted man's perspective during the war are Torpedoman by Ron Smith (who is one of the vets interviewed in the documentary below) and while have not read this one have heard "The Men:American Enlisted Submariners in World War II; Why they joined, why they fought, and why they won." is excellent as well.


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Old 09-30-2021, 06:42 PM   #9
SeanHolland
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Great documentary, thanks for sharing.

I've added the books to my kindle list. I have a feeling that this is not your average video game.
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Old 09-30-2021, 07:36 PM   #10
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Great documentary, thanks for sharing. I have a feeling that this is not your average video game.
You're NOT just whistling Dixieland there, bub...

In the right hands, it's not a game... it's an adventure.... to borrow a ad slogan/quote for Army/Navy... some time back (It's not a job, it's an adventure...)

M. M.

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Old 10-01-2021, 03:20 AM   #11
Bubblehead1980
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Originally Posted by SeanHolland View Post
Great documentary, thanks for sharing.

I've added the books to my kindle list. I have a feeling that this is not your average video game.

You are welcome. Definitely not your average pc game, which makes is great. Especially once you master stock, and get into the mods.
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Old 10-01-2021, 07:52 PM   #12
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Really? Not a single mention of the hydrophone for detection of other ships? I forgot the actual range that SH4 has. Your crew calls out targets at a fraction of max range. You will have to do it yourself. But it is well bigger than visual range.

And obviously radar helps whenever it becomes of age for your boat.
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Old 10-03-2021, 11:54 AM   #13
Bubblehead1980
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Really? Not a single mention of the hydrophone for detection of other ships? I forgot the actual range that SH4 has. Your crew calls out targets at a fraction of max range. You will have to do it yourself. But it is well bigger than visual range.

And obviously radar helps whenever it becomes of age for your boat.

You're correct, not sure how I forgot about checking hydrophones.

Yes, check hydrophones yourself as may hear contacts your crew does not report since they are only supposed to her at a certain range.
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:51 PM   #14
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