Invincible uboats under 1.00.071?

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baloo7777
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by baloo7777 »

Why do surface ships have varied anti-sub values, if they can not attack subs?. For example, the German destroyer group that starts the 39 scenario has an anti-sub factor of 4 while the CA group has a 2? What is the purpose of those numbers?
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sillyflower
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by sillyflower »

In the unlikely event that a sub attacks you.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by sveint »

Please everyone remember that these results are an outlier. In ALL my other games the subs are quickly sunk or damaged.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by Harrybanana »

If it is just luck (and I did say it might be just that) than OK. We will have to wait to see if these results are occurring in other games. But I would still like my questions answered. It will help me and others plan our strategies for the War in the Atlantic.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by Dalwin »

DD groups should have some chance to engage subs even when they are raiding and not along the coast. This system is, at the very least, counter-intuitive.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by baloo7777 »

1. Do the game mechanics make groups of 3 subs more effective than if those subs were attacking separately? If so, what is the logic behind this? I realize that historically the u-boats attacked in killer packs; but that didn't mean the entire u-boat fleet was in a single pack. I assume each submarine unit already represents a wolf pack (or even several packs).

From WarPlan Dev Diary #3 - Naval System Operations:

[/quote]
The naval scale for WarPlan is 5 different types of naval groups consisting of….
Carrier Group = 2 large aircraft carriers or a mix of smaller aircraft carriers with 150 – 200 combat aircraft.
Battle group: 2 battleships/battle cruisers + support ships
Cruiser group: 4-6 heavy cruisers + escorts
Patrol group: 4-6 light cruisers + escorts or a destroyer patrol
Sub group: 10-15 active submarines out at any one time

2 convoy groups…

Escorts – 6-8 frigates, escorts, and corvettes for trade routes
Merchant Marine – cargo ships ferrying resources

Hope that helps with question 1. I'd like to know the answer to the others as well...
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by ncc1701e »

ORIGINAL: baloo7777

Why do surface ships have varied anti-sub values, if they can not attack subs?. For example, the German destroyer group that starts the 39 scenario has an anti-sub factor of 4 while the CA group has a 2? What is the purpose of those numbers?

Ships with anti-sub values can attack subs if they are near coastlines.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by baloo7777 »

ORIGINAL: ncc1701e

Ships with anti-sub values can attack subs if they are near coastlines.

Thanks. It seems like a hard concept to get my head around, so I keep reminding my self that this is 5-15 subs deployed weekly during a two-week turn.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by ncc1701e »

Subs are not invincible... [:)]
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by AlvaroSousa »

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

1. Do the game mechanics make groups of 3 subs more effective than if those subs were attacking separately? If so, what is the logic behind this? I realize that historically the u-boats attacked in killer packs; but that didn't mean the entire u-boat fleet was in a single pack. I assume each submarine unit already represents a wolf pack (or even several packs).

2. Is the Manual correct that the maximum number of convoy escorts that are effective for each route is 10?

3. Do the number of escorts help reduce the number of merchants sunk?

4. Do the number of sub units in a fleet effect the likelihood of being found and attacked by air units? Logically, a fleet of 3 sub units would be easier to locate than a fleet of 1 sub unit.

#1 Depends. Early on when the Allies don't have enough escorts spreading them to different convoy lanes every turn is a tactic all the way up to 1941. Later you want to 3 group them.

#2 Yes. This is based on real data about convoy escorting research from Black May by Gannon

#3 No they sink subs

#4 Yes by a small amount.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by Harrybanana »

ORIGINAL: Alvaro Sousa

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

1. Do the game mechanics make groups of 3 subs more effective than if those subs were attacking separately? If so, what is the logic behind this? I realize that historically the u-boats attacked in killer packs; but that didn't mean the entire u-boat fleet was in a single pack. I assume each submarine unit already represents a wolf pack (or even several packs).

2. Is the Manual correct that the maximum number of convoy escorts that are effective for each route is 10?

3. Do the number of escorts help reduce the number of merchants sunk?

4. Do the number of sub units in a fleet effect the likelihood of being found and attacked by air units? Logically, a fleet of 3 sub units would be easier to locate than a fleet of 1 sub unit.

#1 Depends. Early on when the Allies don't have enough escorts spreading them to different convoy lanes every turn is a tactic all the way up to 1941. Later you want to 3 group them.

#2 Yes. This is based on real data about convoy escorting research from Black May by Gannon

#3 No they sink subs

#4 Yes by a small amount.


Thank you Alvaro. The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is that escorts don't reduce the number of merchant ships sunk. Historically, early in the War escorts sunk very few subs. But the mere fact that there were escorts forced the u-boats to stay submerged, generally attack from further away (though at times a u-boat would penetrate the escort screen and get right in among the merchant ships) and run away or submerge when threatened by an escort. The net effect is that well escorted convoys generally took fewer losses than unescorted or poorly escorted convoys even if no u-boats were actually sunk. If escorts don't affect the number of merchants sunk and (at least in 39 and 40) have little chance of sinking a sub, then Flavius might be right that the best strategy might be to save them until they can actually do some good. Accordingly, my suggestion is, if possible, work it so that if a player has fewer than 75% of the maximum number of escorts than he loses even more merchants than at present. But if he has 75% or more than there are fewer merchants sunk. Of course it would be scaled all the way from 0% to 100%.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by Harrybanana »

I ran some tests to determine the most effective way to use u-boats and discovered that Flavius is right. It is better to group your u-boats into fleets of 3 groups rather than several fleets of 1 group. At least when the u-boats have 40 tech and the escorts have 39 tech.

In the first test I had one fleet of 3 groups attacking a single convoy route (the South Atlantic). The route was guarded by the maximum 10 escorts. I played 4 consecutive turns starting in December 39. I then repeated this 5 more times for a total of 20 turns of attacks. I averaged 5.75 merchant ships sunk per turn. 0.8 escorts sunk per turn and 0.35 subs sunk per turn.

In the second test I had three fleets of 1 group each attacking 3 different convoy routes (the North Atlantic, South Atlantic and African). each route was guarded by 5 escorts each (ie 50% of the maximum). I again played 4 consecutive turns and then repeated this 5 more times for a total of 20 turns. I averaged 4.85 merchant ships sunk per turn, 0.35 escorts sunk per turn and 0.85 subs sunk per turn.

The most surprising thing to me wasn't that grouping subs sinks more merchants ships; but that when grouped they sink escorts at a 2:1 ratio (even though the escorts are at maximum effectiveness) and when not grouped the escorts (even when not at maximum effectiveness) sink the subs at a ratio of 2:1.

Of course, it could also be that 20 turns is not enough of a sample size.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by AlvaroSousa »

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana
Thank you Alvaro. The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is that escorts don't reduce the number of merchant ships sunk. Historically, early in the War escorts sunk very few subs. But the mere fact that there were escorts forced the u-boats to stay submerged, generally attack from further away (though at times a u-boat would penetrate the escort screen and get right in among the merchant ships) and run away or submerge when threatened by an escort. The net effect is that well escorted convoys generally took fewer losses than unescorted or poorly escorted convoys even if no u-boats were actually sunk. If escorts don't affect the number of merchants sunk and (at least in 39 and 40) have little chance of sinking a sub, then Flavius might be right that the best strategy might be to save them until they can actually do some good. Accordingly, my suggestion is, if possible, work it so that if a player has fewer than 75% of the maximum number of escorts than he loses even more merchants than at present. But if he has 75% or more than there are fewer merchants sunk. Of course it would be scaled all the way from 0% to 100%.

I was realizing this as I read the thread. Let me think about how to handle this. Right now the sub war is pretty balanced. The way the impact on MMs is happening is that in 1942+ the subs get damaged more and have to go back to port effectively not destroying MMs.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by Harrybanana »

Very early results suggest that Flavius was probably correct (big surprise) when he posted that grouped CVs are the way to go against subs. In 6 attacks (in two different games) with a fleet of 3 CVs + escorts I have successfully found and attacked u-boats 3 times. 50% is far better than the at best 10% I was getting with 1 CV alone. Of course, I may just be getting lucky; but I don't think so.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by magic87966 »

Yes, very good shooting, Harry! [:@]
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by baloo7777 »

ORIGINAL: magic87966

Yes, very good shooting, Harry! [:@]

+1 [:(]
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by baloo7777 »

So, if the CV's are grouped together in a massive fleet, are the subs better off not grouped in threes? That is, are they better at hiding when there are fewer wolfpacks together in same hex?
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by Harrybanana »

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana
ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

I see nothing unusual here, and this is well within the range of results possible for the Axis. I've had games where the Axis sinks 60+ merchants by May of 40.

60+ by May 40 is tough on the Allies. But if I am counting correctly Sveint has sunk that many (or very close) by February 40. At this rate by the end of May 40 he will have sunk around a 100. That means about 50% of the UKs starting merchant fleet sunk in the first 9 months of the war. I know they gain some from Neutrals, but that is still a lot. But maybe he is just getting lucky and things will calm down. Oh yeah, historically the "Happy Hunting" time didn't begin until June 40 after the Germans captured the French ports.


Don't know where I got the figure of almost 60 merchants sunk by February 40 in Sveint's game vs Sillyflower. Was actually only 40; sorry for the misinformation.
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by Rand6897 »


Is there a limit to the number of u-boats that may stack in a convoy hex? To learn the game I was playing v. AI axis, midway through the game I updated to the most recent version. The UK was limited - if I recall - to three subs in a convoy hex. Reports were indicating up to 13 German u-boats goups in a hex taking out over 15 MM at a crack.

Anybody else see this?
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RE: Invincible uboats?

Post by ncc1701e »

ORIGINAL: Rand6897


Is there a limit to the number of u-boats that may stack in a convoy hex? To learn the game I was playing v. AI axis, midway through the game I updated to the most recent version. The UK was limited - if I recall - to three subs in a convoy hex. Reports were indicating up to 13 German u-boats goups in a hex taking out over 15 MM at a crack.

Anybody else see this?

Perhaps in an older patch but the stacking limit for Germany is now 3 subs per stack.
Which patch are you running?
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