That can be a good thing or a bad thing. I have played Dangerous Waters and 688I Hunter/Killer on my current laptop, I hope this will run, but while the depth of those (no pun intended) are great, It can get in the way of actually effectively commanding your sub in a war situation.
I think that in some ways games that take an approach like Cold Waters are more realistic, as the captian of a real submarine probably is not concerned a whole lot about the little details of the Sonar and such, that's why there are the highly trained Sonar techs. But I always thought that a Submarine simulator could actually be a pretty awesome multiplayer (especially LAN Party) co-op experience, with each player controlling a key station against AI targets.
You're right - I have enough trouble working out the sonar in Dangerous Waters to ever get very close to firing on something, let alone paying much attention to tactics! I think I'm particularly attracted to Dangerous Waters because it's a puzzle that I'd never really known about; I came to it with no idea of how sonar stations actually work (beyond how sonar itself works).
Your point about co-op is interesting - you can do that in Dangerous Waters, but there's no way to speed up time, so unless you can find a group of friends with a desire to learn sonar and 12 hours to spare, you're not going to get very far!
For me, I prefer total control of an entire fleet, with micromanagement inside the commanding ship. Like the game "Destroyer", sister of Silent Hunter series.
I've never heard of that game, sounds interesting. It's a shame that there don't seem to be as many big, complex games being released these days. The naval (and flight-sim) genre needs a resurgence, I'm sure I remember playing lots of ship games as a child, even though I didn't really understand them.