ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay
I think we have to avoid the 'Medieval Total War' syndrome. Yes, 'diplomat' units are nice, and so are 'merchant' units -- but are such discrete counters really the best way of modeling the effect if serious simulation is what we're after. I don't particularly want an OPART with 'staff' units and 'intelligence' units -- and 'submarine' units. It might be more entertaining -- but it would be worse simulation.
With all due respect, and I'm still a little befuddled on why when scenarios are completely designable as well as editable people would poopoo the idea of improving naval combat and unit development, why would you be comparing a submarine in a 'warfare sim' to a merchant or diplomat unit. You do realize their significance in warfare, don't you? There seems to be a 'well as long as I don't have to move units' contingent as well.
I think Colin is objecting to submarines as discrete "units", not the idea of modeling them in any fashion. As such, I tend to agree, at least in the traditonal way "units" function - holding on to their hex, subject to Theater Recon, able to seek out and attack targets at will, etc. They need to be modeled more like PacWar/WitP models them: They can be assigned to a "patrol zone". When "on patrol" if enemy TFs enter that zone, there's a chance they may be subject to submarine attack. Players would have the ability to change the patrol zone, requiring a dormant phase due to travel time, etc. Detection of the submarines would have its own algorithm separate from theater recon, ZOCs, etc.
Historically, sub sinkings of ships -- warships in particular -- were governed more by random chance than by anything else.
No upper level commander could decide to 'attack' the Barham or the Indianapolis. The subs just happened to bump into them. Even the success of a specific mission such as Prien's penetration of Scapa Flow was more or less fortuitous -- the Germans had tried to penetrate Scapa Flow repeatedly without success in World War One, and as far as I know, they didn't succeed again at a later time in World War Two. Indeed, when one considers the lack of success of the Japanese midget submarines at Pearl Harbor, one begins to suspect that the ability of any given submarine to execute any one specific attack must have been so low as to make the prospect of bothering to assign such attacks in TOAW less than alluring. I mean, does anyone want to assign 'missions' fifty times over before seeing success? And indeed, in reality, subs rarely operated that way.
Naturally, one could shift the operations area or the general emphasis -- but seeing specific subs as targetting specific enemy ships just isn't the way to go at it. If anything, one would want them to be handled more or less as aircraft currently are. You control their area of operation by moving them to the appropriate base, and you assign them to a particular class of mission. You can't decide that a specific air unit set to interdiction is going to hit a specific moving unit in a specific hex -- your actions only affect the likelihood that there will be an interdiction hit on someone somewhere.
TOAW should model things like submarines as accurately as possible -- it should model everything as accurately as possible. But given that the focus of the game is on land warfare, and given that the unit-carrying-out-a-specific-attack model doesn't really seem especially valid for submarines anyway, I don't think going down the 'sub units' route is the way to go.
Naval warfare in TOAW has bigger problems. In Seelowe I've stuck in a couple of probability events for the random withdrawal of British and German warships. Arbitrarily, some of the associated news items variously attribute the withdrawals to 'mines' or 'U-168.' The one for the Hipper is 'engine breakdown.'
That solves my problems as far as subs (and things) go. Now, the other problems the naval warfare model has -- those are serious.
I am not Charlie Hebdo