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#4555902 - 02/13/21 01:11 AM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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33lima Offline
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Well it's up and running - defaulted to 'extreme' video settings which was stutter city on my 1.5 Gig card, but seems ok if dialled back a bit. Decided to drop straight into a patrol with U-96 of Das Boot fame but had to settle for exploring my boat after I couldn't find out how to get things moving along - I think half my crew were running around the quayside!

So far it looks quite impressive, tho I hope there's a way to toggle off/on all the on-screen icons and stuff, and forbid crew members other than myself from wearing any form of white-topped cap.

I interact with, or try to, a senior officer and his staff officer on the quayside. I'd prefer it if I could just get aboard and order the crew to sailing stations.

[Linked Image]

U-96 at la Pallice, complete with the swordfish emblem - nice!

[Linked Image]

One of my jolly matelots is mopping the floor in the zentrale, while the helmsman is at the station in the conning tower.

[Linked Image]

Closer view of the tower with the attack periscope nicely modelled on the left.

[Linked Image]

Down in the forward torpedo room, there's some serious synchronised reading going on.

[Linked Image]

Up on the bridge, that's me with my back to the camera. To the right is one of the boys who I need to stop from wearing that white-topped cap, even if it's not a peaked one like mine. The RDF loop looks like it was made from bent scaffolding and should be a lot slimmer. I also hope it can be retracted into its slot, not sit like that the whole time. And the bridge watch shouldn't be watching their arcs till at least we've left port.

[Linked Image]

In the diesel room, looking forward.

[Linked Image]

Another machinist is taking a leaf out of Johann's book in Das Boot and listening to whatever it is the diesels are telling him.

[Linked Image]

In the e-motor/aft torpedo room - most impressive.

[Linked Image]

The soup or stew in the petty officer's quarters looks quite appetising.

[Linked Image]

The helmsman's position in the zentrale is on the left, with the hydroplane controls on the right. I wish I could get tooltips which told me what everything did, which is a feature of another upcoming U-boat sim.

[Linked Image]

Looking aft in the zentrale. The shaft of the sky/navigation periscope is very dark, to the point of looking untextured, methinks.

[Linked Image]


All I need to do now is get out of port! Maybe I should have swallowed my pride, and accepted those training missions!

Attached Files La Rochelle - 1941.1 - 1.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 2.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 3.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 4.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 5.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 6.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 7.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 8.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 9.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 10.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 11.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 12.jpg
Last edited by 33lima; 02/13/21 01:37 AM.
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#4555948 - 02/13/21 02:35 PM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Well I managed to put to sea for my first patrol, so we'll see how this goes!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Attached Files La Rochelle - 1941.1 - 3.3.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 10.10.jpgLa Rochelle - 1941.1 - 2.jpg
Last edited by 33lima; 02/13/21 02:37 PM.
#4556021 - 02/13/21 11:13 PM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Hey, nice! Did you go with any mods or just vanilla for now? As I mentioned, when you get a chance, you should pop into the steam forums and hop in a dev thread to get your critiques in, the guy who is the developer liaison is on quite frequently!


The older I get, the more I realize I don't need to be Han, Luke or Leia. I'm just happy to be rebel scum...
#4556048 - 02/14/21 08:47 AM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Will do Rick!

No mods in use here at the minute; I could only find one site with them and it just had a handful.

At the moment it's Frustration City. I've tried setting up watches with 10 sailors apiece, matching the 'officers' rosters with the watches, one to each shift, assigning each a couple of sailors (!) to support each officer, moving the moveable crew figures around, and I can't get the watches to cover their duties right. For example the radio room is regularly left unattended even after I manually order someone to move in there. And the bridge watch seems to consist of only two people (plus one on a fag break), not the required four (including the officer of the watch) and nothing I do seems able to change that.

It took me a while to appreciate that the wargame layer in Steel Armour Blaze of War added more than just a more complicated interface to the underlying tanksim, but at the moment I'm finding the extra crew management in U Boat gets in the way of running the boat rather than helping with that or adding an interesting additional layer. And there are few hotkeys! If I want to do a crash dive I have to turn the interface on (I usually play with on-screen aids toggled off till needed, in all sims), then click the depth gauge icon, then click the 'dive deep' icon. As if, in a emergency, having to use 2-3 mouseclicks instead of hitting a hotkey isn't bad enough, the boat takes forever to get off the surface!!!

On the plus side, while the resurfacing animation looks a bit weird (the boat seems to surface in a horizontal attitude) I'm not conscious of excessive bobbing and most of the visuals are good, walking through the boat being a great experience.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


Attached Files North-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 8.jpgNorth-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 7.jpgNorth-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 11.jpg
Last edited by 33lima; 02/14/21 08:52 AM.
#4556087 - 02/14/21 06:40 PM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Haven't got far enough to comment on gameplay beyond cruising to my patrol area and trying some practice dives, but the following is my current list of bugs and realism issues, which I posted on the Steam 'Feedback' discussion for U Boat:

1. In patrol, I want to assign 4 specific sailors (kitted with grey leathers, so-called NCO fore & aft caps and binos) to a new 24 hour shift with observation their only task, so they mount a permanent, realistic 4-man bridge watch (which I will reduce to 3 if I find one of the officers/petty officers is permanently on bridge watch). But after creating the new shift, the management dialogue is broken, displaying only the crew tab.

2. UZO pedestal should be central not offset to one side (exceptions on other classes of boat notwithstanding).

3. Flag and mast should either be player-removeable, or removed permanently, as there were taken down when on patrol.

4. RDF loop is too thick and should either be player-retractable into its slot, or permanently retracted as it was only extended when in use.

5. Biscay Cross RWR antenna should come down when diving.

6. Bridge watch should default to 1 watch officer + 3 ratings, the player should not need to arrange this, it is SOP.

7. Bridge watch should be stood on the bridge, not on the flak platform, with minimum of moving about.

8. Radio room should be permanently manned by default, the player should not need to arrange this. In fact each watch/shift should have sufficient crew auto-assigned to all necessary stations before undocking, with the player only having to intervene by exception and able to revert. The ability to intervene is one thing; now we have unrealistic micromanagement.

9. Slope to rear of tower, below+behind flak platform/wintergarten, is too raked, should nearer the vertical; ditto rear walls of bridge.

10. For missions from about mid-1943 and certainly by 1944, boats should not have a deck gun but should have a two-tier flak platform, with two twin 2 cm on upper platform and either one 3.7 cm or one quad 2 cm on lower platform. Most should also have prominent rectangular bulge to LH rear of bridge, housing retractable Hohentweil radar antenna.

11. Caps - no-one except the commander should have any sort of cap with a white top. And the fore-and-aft cap is not an NCOs cap. NCOs should have the option of a peaked, blue-topped cap, similar to that worn by (real) officers but with no braid on the peak.

12. Grey leather jacket (and trousers) should be available in a mid-grey colour (the present grey is too dark).

13. There should be hotkeys for important actions including ordering a crash dive, surface, move to periscope depth. toggle silent running (as per Silent Hunter 3). Even two mouse clicks is a poor substitute.

14. Boats should dive and surface with a pronounced bow up/down angle, not as now, near horizontally.

15. Diving time should be reduced, at least for a crash dive, at present it takes too long to get off the surface.

It's hard not to like the good things in this sim despite the number of issues that could do with attention.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


Attached Files North-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 1.jpgNorth-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 1-1.jpg
Last edited by 33lima; 02/14/21 06:43 PM.
#4556095 - 02/14/21 07:47 PM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Excellent list, I hope they take it to heart or at least some one mods it. Have you tried to change uniforms on the crew yet? There are many mods in the steam workshop that you just subscribe to and they are installed automatically.


The older I get, the more I realize I don't need to be Han, Luke or Leia. I'm just happy to be rebel scum...
#4556147 - 02/15/21 11:29 AM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Thanks Rick, will check out that steam workshop thingie for mods, I hadn't noticed it! I did find a pair of vids on crew management, which is where I got the idea to set up a permanent bridge watch by creating a 24 hour shift and assigning 4 individual sailors to it, each dressed for the part:

[Linked Image]

This dodge depends on the fact that fatigue is monitored for 'officers' (real officers and CPOs/POs) but not for sailors. It would be better if the devs just implemented a proper watch system with each watch allocating the right number of people to the right task. 'Crew Roster Simulator' is not something that interests me much smile

Attached Files North-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 5.jpg
Last edited by 33lima; 02/15/21 11:30 AM.
#4556184 - 02/15/21 04:34 PM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Yeah, I saw your post over there and it looks like it is already getting some good discussion. You and McDewgle are on a level beyond me so I feel like the game is in good hands. Have you noticed that if you click on menu and then crew management you can click on any individual sailor and change pretty much everything about them including their dress and even body type?

As for the crew management part, even if the devs don't go in that exact path, I can't imagine that there won't be a mod for that shortly after stable release...

*edit: looking at the picture, I guess you did!

Last edited by Rick_Rawlings; 02/15/21 04:38 PM.

The older I get, the more I realize I don't need to be Han, Luke or Leia. I'm just happy to be rebel scum...
#4556257 - 02/15/21 10:45 PM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Thanks Rick and keep the reports coming!

Following Mcdewgle's tip about disappearing the flag, I tried again but discovered I wasn't getting close enough to the flagstaff before taking down the flag.

Before (with one of the mods you pointed out to me applied)...

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

...and after...

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The flagstaff should come down too (somebody will hit it with a 2 cm round at some point, otherwise) but I'll settle for taking down the flag.

Attached Files North-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 7-1.jpgNorth-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 5-2.jpgNorth-East Atlantic - 1941.1-37.jpgNorth-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 6-3.jpg
Last edited by 33lima; 02/15/21 11:29 PM.
#4556258 - 02/15/21 10:47 PM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Did you see the mod that lets you expand the crew up to 27 members? Still, not a full complement, but I imagine navigating inside the boat with that many AI characters might be extremely frustrating!

Another essential mod is the TDC mod.

Off topic, I picked up Steel Fury on sale for $2.99 on Steam. By chance, do you have the STA mod? I hear that mod is necessary to correct some of the outdated graphics, but may have been withdrawn by the modder some time ago.

#4556267 - 02/15/21 11:20 PM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Yes I got that mod thanks, not applied yet. I might be able to get adequate shifts/watches with the default 5+17 officers/senior ranks+ratings, but might want to make the boat look a bit more crowded, even tho maybe half the crew might be off watch at any point in time.

Re Steel Fury, the major mods don't update the graphics (but see below) they add vastly to the numbers of playable AFVs, missions, seasonal terrains ('scorching summer' is a good substitute default), theatres, troop types etc.

Current choices I have (and I play and recommend both) are the Japanese Community Mod which is based on the STA 2.2 mod; Edge translates this page fine and it has all the links and info needed, including IIRC how to set AA compatibility in Nvidia Inspector so AA works without corrupting the graphics:

https://wikiwiki.jp/pzfr/Steel%20Tank%20Add-on

This is freeware. The other major mod is the TIM mod, formerly STA 3.x, requires registration here and a modest one-off donation to be able to see all the subforums, get active lings to the mod, and obtain the passwords for them:

https://2021-itmtank.forumgamers.net/forum

ITM gets regular updates and additions. It's based I believe on a slightly updated engine with slightly better graphics (maybe including inbuilt AA, aka 'smoothing' IIRC) and the AI is maybe a bit less reckless.

There's a Reddit post by (IIRC) Godzilla1985 which has links and info to Mediafire downloads for STA 1.2 but while good, it's been well overtaken by the JCM and the ITM.

With any mod, it's important to enable the items in the order specified (and in the case of the ITM mod because of more frequent updates than JCM, to use the right version of additional elements available like seasonal terrains, which also get updated).

Last edited by 33lima; 02/15/21 11:23 PM.
#4556279 - 02/16/21 12:42 AM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Thank you for the information and links, mate!

Considering how little I had to pay for the game, I shouldn't have any problem with a modest donation to get the TIM mod. Now, it's only a matter of finding time to play the game! I haven't even installed my copy of U-boat yet!

#4556411 - 02/17/21 12:01 AM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: BuckeyeBob]  
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Originally Posted by BuckeyeBob
Thank you for the information and links, mate!

Considering how little I had to pay for the game, I shouldn't have any problem with a modest donation to get the TIM mod. Now, it's only a matter of finding time to play the game! I haven't even installed my copy of U-boat yet!


That should have been the ITM mod, sorry about my typo.

Meanwhile, back in the North Atlantic and learning from McDewgle's tutorial videos on crew management, I managed to create a 24-hour bridge watch shift with the sole priority 'observation' and assigned three grey leather-coated sailors and one leather coated watch officer to it. So I'm now getting the desired 4-man bridge watch and I hope it stays that way. Only hitch is that I'm not consistently getting the 4 assigned sailors so some are better dressed for the engine room, which I may be able to fix. Oh and there are sometimes two men watching the same arc and there's still to much wandering around and standing on the flak platform instead of the bridge. But it's better, as I saw for myself when I took the commander up to the bridge to test the UZO.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Some sources say the watch was 1+4 but I'm back with 1+3 as it's less crowded (there always seems to be one bloke on a smoke break) and per no less than Lothar-Gunther Bucheim in 'U Boat War' (not the novel, this later book had around 200 of the photos he took on U-96) says 'each watch is comprised of one officer (the navigator in the case of the third watch), one petty officer and two seamen.' Good enough for me.

I'll see if it's possible to use similar methods to provide sufficient permanent cover in the engine room and radio room at least. The tricky bit may be having two of the bridge crew man the two hydroplane stations when they come off bridge watch for diving stations, plus the helmsman coming down from the conning tower to man the helm next to the hydroplanes. at the very least I'd want some sailors to cover all three of those stations for diving.

The plan would be to have this as a mod which would ensure that as it should be, watches are properly organised before the boat leaves port on its first war patrol.

Attached Files North-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 16.jpgNorth-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 13.jpgNorth-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 14.jpgNorth-East Atlantic - 1941.1 - 15.jpg
Last edited by 33lima; 02/17/21 12:03 AM.
#4556420 - 02/17/21 02:24 AM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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ROSENCRANTZ: Dark, isn’t it?

GUILDENSTERN: Not for night.

Looks like it's coming along nicely! I went with that tutorial as well but just ended up sticking officers where I needed them when I needed them there as I mostly wanted to see where the rest of the sim was at this point. I think crew management will still be cleaned up at some point. Looking forward to seeing you tackle some of that Allied shipping. I am going to get back to some synchronized reading...


The older I get, the more I realize I don't need to be Han, Luke or Leia. I'm just happy to be rebel scum...
#4556421 - 02/17/21 02:25 AM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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ROSENCRANTZ: Dark, isn’t it?

GUILDENSTERN: Not for night.

Looks like it's coming along nicely! I went with that tutorial as well but just ended up sticking officers where I needed them when I needed them there as I mostly wanted to see where the rest of the sim was at this point. I think crew management will still be cleaned up at some point. Looking forward to seeing you tackle some of that Allied shipping. I am going to get back to some synchronized reading...


The older I get, the more I realize I don't need to be Han, Luke or Leia. I'm just happy to be rebel scum...
#4558025 - 02/28/21 01:52 AM Re: UBOAT Test Patrol [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Here's another run at the tail end of the same patrol, with the same North Atlantic fogginess that foils my first approach. It's the same build as the last one, so ships still sink too fast. I also have the same tendency of not looking at my target as the torpedo strikes...



The older I get, the more I realize I don't need to be Han, Luke or Leia. I'm just happy to be rebel scum...
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