Destroyer The UBoat Hunter - Steam Game- Command a convoy escorts in battle

Started by Destraex, June 22, 2020, 10:14:13 AM

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Hey Admiral, thanks for the reply... great stuff... informative as usual. I'd like to add that in spite of the mildly ahistorical concept of Fletchers combating U-Boats, I'm really looking forward to this game. Anything that models a Fletcher is right near the top of my mental wish list. I must admit that I'm a bit concerned with the pick action A or B in an interactive movie game play but I'll just wait hopefully until the game is released.

Drifting a little bit off topic... When I think off WW2 naval action the image of Carriers, Subs and Destroyers jumps to the fore. With Subs, the boats that come to mind have names like Wahoo, Flasher, Tang and the rest of the USN fleet boats (a bit of a contrast to many of you who seem to be more interested in U-Boats and the Battle of the Atlantic) and my image of a destroyer is a Fletcher with a bone in her teeth driving forward to attack a Battleship. If that seems idiotic to you, you might explore the story of Taffy 3 and the Battle off Samar.
or video

To say that this was THE example of "Tin Can Sailors" at their finest is a massive understatement.


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It's fine but in effect Samar is one illustration that is more an exception than anything. The only comparable action I could think of was in the MTO, and Glorious for the lack of planes doesn't even qualify. Same with sub/air naval combat interaction - Nautilus' action at Midway being the single most famous example perhaps.

Otherwise the three aspects (aka surface, sub & air combat) of naval warfare very, very scarcely interacted with each other within the same action/engagement. And the three of them I dare say never ever did. Doesn't mean they didn't over the course of several days of course, like in Midway - but that's something else entirely.


It all sounds very interesting, but it also sounds kind of like one of those play-it-once games.
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Submarines were more a tool of strategic/economic warfare, as opposed to anti-combatant tools.  Although, as noted, the primary use of submarines in major fleet engagements seemed to be as picket ships.

Submarines played a critical role in two major periods of the war:  The first 42 months of the Battle of the Atlantic and the last 24 months of the Battle of the Pacific.  In both cases, the primary reason that they were so successful was the same:  The enemy didn't dedicate enough resources to stopping them.

The Japanese simply never built enough escorts, destroyers, or ASW planes in the first place.  They couldn't really afford to, especially not if they wanted the capital ship force that they did.  The end result was free range hunting by US sub captains, once they got their torpedo woes sorted out and enough forward bases established that they could roam the South China Sea.

The Brits had largely fought the U-boats to a standstill by late 1941.  U-boats were still sinking freighters, but the rate was no longer in their favor.  It was only after the US entered the war, and the USN spent the first 6-12 months of the Atlantic War with their head stuck up their ASW asses, that the war started to tilt back in the favor of the U-boats for a while.

By mid-1943, the Americans had finally embraced a mature ASW doctrine, and the Allies finally had enough DDs and DEs, to say nothing of land-based ASW craft and the newly deployed CVEs, to put the squeeze on the Germans.  The ability to finally deploy long-range ASW craft to the Azores was not exactly a decisive blow, but it was in many ways the final nail in the U-boats' coffin, as it eliminated the last major land-based air coverage gap for convoys steaming directly from US or South American ports to Africa (where a lot of traffic was being sent directly, to support the war in the Mediterranean theater).


Demo for this is out now. Requires you to opt in to the test via their Steam store page, then you can install the demo. Limited number of demo downloads apparently so get in quick.

Videos of demo gameplay look good, right up my alley.  Looks like they pushed back on the publisher's desire to simplify things (demo was delayed because it was 'too realistic').


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Quote from: Tripoli on September 28, 2022, 11:01:37 AM
Available for purchase now on Steam for $26.99.  Launching the Alert 5 credit card......

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FarAway Sooner

At the risk of being a total sub warfare geek, do the German U-boats attack like they actually did, on the surface and at full speed?  Or do they attack more like American subs did, submerged and lurking at periscope depth?

The ASW history of WW II is very interesting, because it occupies such a different place for different countries.  For the Germans and the UK, the submarine Battle of the Atlantic was the defining naval battle of the conflict and it got such treatment from historians in both countries (but especially the British).

For American historians, it received more treatment as a side show.  Not because it was less important, but because it was less dramatic, less varied, and lacked the sort of narrative that many popular readers prefer.  I think the literature ranks were also pretty crowded earlier on:  The British invested A LOT of money in framing the history of WW II immediately after the war, so there was simply less English-language material available on most of the Pacific conflicts by the time American historians and authors started producing lots of scholarship on the topics.

Father Ted

I've just read "A Game of Birds and Wolves" by Simon Parkin which is primarily about the use of wargaming to develop ASW in the North Atlantic, so this game definitely ticks a box for me.  Especially as nearly all previous games came at the fight from the opposite direction.  Book is highly recommended btw.


I toyed around with the tutorial...

Very, very, very early impression is...positive.

I don't know much about the actual controls used on WWII destroyers, but this seems to be authentic, or at least "authenticish". The player has to learn to use analog controls, mechanical computers and the voice reports of your crew to find and then move to enemy submerged subs. Not to mention the nifty mechanical computer that helps calculate optimal depth charge drop points. 

It makes you realize how most games on this subject 'baby' the players. This game gives you an appreciation of how difficult it really was to find and destroy subs in real life, using the tools they had in the 40s. For example, because there is no digital map (as in every other game out there) I found that it was better to actually listen to the voice reports of the sonar man to make decisions, than to use the tactical map table. This tactical display seems true to the period. It is just a map table that one of your anonymous crew marks with a grease pencil whenever your sonar man calls out new contact reports (BTW, one nice touch is that you can actually do the plotting yourself and not leave that to your robo-crew). 

The game has somewhat of a technical learning curve. But is not out of reach for PC simulation jockeys.

Given the realism in the interface, one area I found strangely gamey, was how to direct other destroyers in your convoy. Basically, you click on them on the map, and then click where you want them to go and how to direct their sonar: just seems too easy and precise. Maybe this will become more realistic as the game matures

One nice thing. The game is forcing me out of a gaming comfort zone that has been forged over many destroyer simulations going back to the days of my C64; while the subject matter is familiar, the mechanics make the gameplay fresh.

I still need a bunch more time with the game to really judge it however...but as I said, initial impression is good.
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Can't rebind keys. EDIT;  I decided to hold on to it. 

The interface is a bit weird.  You can use the mouse to control most functions on the interface with WASD acting as a backup but if you use WASD, you have to confirm any inputs by pressing ENTER.

The game is still early access and needs some more polish.  The area that I've really noticed it so far is in sounds.  There just isn't a lot there at the moment and it feels a bit sterile.  Hopefully they'll add more effects in.

Gameplay-wise, I've only played a bit.  I've got a lot of time in with the Silent Hunter series, the app driven board game UBOOT, and Dangerous Waters so most of the systems felt familiar enough that I was able to jump in without much difficulty as far as the interface went (as far as my performance, that's another story). 

Overall, I like the look and feel of things.  Hunting a submerged contact is tough yet engaging.  Having said that, I felt like a had a good initial fix on a U-boat.  I picked it up on radar and charged after it.  Got a few rounds off with the deck gun as it submerged but didn't hit anything except ocean.  Picked up the sub on sonar a few seconds later.  This it where things got weird.  The speed at which the sub appeared to be moving while submerged was ridiculously fast.   Like Soviet K-222 speeds fast.  I could barely keep the sonar beam aligned with the sub as it was moving so fast, let alone turn my destroyer to intercept.  Posts on the forums show that others have noticed this as well.  One guy crunched the numbers and thinks the U-boat is sometimes moving at upwards of 60 knots.

Destroyer escort AI.  I had an AI controlled destroyer working alongside me to protect our little convoy.  This guy was a madman.  He was able and willing to avoid collisions with ships in the convoy, but not with me.  He nearly rammed me2-3 times during my little playthrough session.  Again, others have noticed this behaviour as well and some have said they've lost more scenarios due to friendly AI collisions than from enemy action.


Thanks, everyone. This one is looking more and more like a buy now.