Silent Hunter III Career Patrol I

This post marks a new career effort under the guise of Lieutenant Jr. Klaus Walther (I made the name up) starting in 1939 with the 1st Flotilla based in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. I start in port on September 1st having just been issued a Type IIA vessel, the U-2. After staffing up on petty officers and sailors, I am ready to head out to the unknown perils the North Atlantic.

The BDU Commander orders are to depart port and proceed to grid reference AN16 to patrol for 24 hours. The cash in this game is renown, and you gain it for following orders and sinking vessels. When it comes right down to it, everything is a matter of tonnage in the end. When you are down to one fish left to fire, aim for the biggest ship that can be brought down with one torpedo.

The U-2 departs the pen while spectators and a band loiter on the docks.

I plot a course for AN16 just off of Scapa Flow knowing full well war with England will break out before I arrive and all of those ports colored green will turn red (designating enemy installations).

Erich Raeder issues the boilerplate order: from this point forward much of what occurs in the game is up to me and the AI, as the dynamic campaign is one of the best in video gaming and never, ever plays out the same way twice.

My first target of opportunity also became my first kill. A 1,960 (estimated) ton Coastal Merchant is spotted off of my starboard bow and I launch a TI (G7a) gas/steam torpedoes set at a 5 m running depth with a magnetic pistol (quite risky with these pre-war issued relics).

The fireball on the horizon ends the lives of countless avatars. The orange ring in the water closer to the status bar is the position of my ship, at periscope depth.

I reach the patrol grid to achieve the first objective and then go to periscope depth to begin running the grid search laid out by the navigation officer.

Running underwater uses up the batteries quite fast, so it is a dance between running on top to recharge and risk being spotted and running below to avoid detection.

Another coasty is spotted and this time I let him get in close (within 2,000 m) to launch a single fish on an impact pistol aimed right for his smoke stack.

One of the shortcomings of the early pre-war issued gas/steam torpedoes: they leave a visible trail of bubbles on the surface (drawing a line right back to my sub as well).

The map is updated with a simple yet telling icon: a broken vessel sinking below a waterline.

With both objectives complete, I am free to roam around for additional targets or head back to port (all depending on weather, fuel and most importantly – contact with the enemy).

I decide to head for home and come across a Small Merchant estimated at 3,700 m distance.

I set the torpedo up to run at a depth of 3 m with an impact pistol, on fast speed.

Splash one Small Merchant vessel for 2,334 tons.

I hope the crew showered as this is going to be a long trip home.

Along the way another coasty ventures across my path.

Turning in a futile effort, the merchant cannot avoid the fish in the water.

I normally run on top ahead standard at night during early war periods, but this trip had an enemy tug boat harassing me for a good part of the journey home.

A grid and a half from home port, I receive a warning from the engineering officer that the diesel fuel reserves are down to 10%, so I have to creep into the docks.

At this point I am about to order my men to swim for it.

Home sweet home!

After-action Reports

Four allied ships sunk for 8,430 tons and all crew returning home healthy.

The patrol ended September 11th and I picked up 687.75 renown points which I can accumulate and spend on equipment upgrades and even a new ship when they are issued to the Flotilla.

The Captains Log lists the engagement information for each successful attack.

I am not operating in a vacuum here as there are other submarines prosecuting targets in the dynamic, unscripted campaign I am undertaking.

Post Mortem

For this career, the realism settings are at 54% with the following assists enabled: no manual targeting system, map contact update, external view, stabilize view and weapons officer assistance.

This after-action report of a new career started in Silent Hunter III is actually being written approximately three months after the actual mission was played. It was around this time that I became very ill and ended up in the hospital, ultimately requiring surgery. A good many things went by the way side during that time, but I did manage to have these screen shots in the Fraps folder.

The career file is still active in the game so I plan on continuing this effort, possibly once a month. This iteration is being played through Steam on my Windows 7 gaming rig, and unfortunately the Steam overlay is not supported in the game so screen captures have to occur using third-party software (as mentioned, in this case that being Fraps).

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