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A walk through the versions


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#1 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:45 AM

This is my first go with Classic/Commander's and as I've not had years of 'Pooner experience, I thought it might be interesting to see how the game has changed. I'll add a post as I go through each version, playing a scenario in each one.

Let's begin at the beginning, with the first Alpha build from 1988.

#2 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 11:03 AM

Alpha 880916

Oh, not as the case maybe; that scenario isn't in there.

The first thing I realise is that this is an old game. I have to hit space to get past the initial screens; a click

won't work. Also, the graphical area is pretty small.

I took a look at the databases. Only a limited amount of stuff, but a very interesting view of the world back then. Everything has cost estimates, which is something you don't get today. The drawings were used in the Battle of Brunei MBX; it's a very interesting style which has an old school charm.

I couldn't find my orders; it took me a while to find out what side I was on and I couldn't refocus the map.

Being unable to really do anything, I decided to give up and move straight onto the next version.

#3 TEPonta

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 12:32 PM

My first experience with Harpoon was either with 891212 or 1.0 by 360. I lost the disks somewhere between the KSA and here, so I'm relying on memory.

I've never been able to make heads or tails out of how to play 880916, which I first saw in the Legacy Pack I got here.

Thanks for the post. I was afraid I was the only one.

Buddha

#4 TonyE

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 01:40 PM

Looking forward to your exploration SHUK!

From Readme.txt for that alpha version:

currently active keys:

--from main screen--
F1: calls the staff assistant (not active in this demo)
F2: clears the staff assistant display
F3: sets center of tac window to location of cursor in the op window
F4: inactive
F5: go to platform display screen
F6: inactive
F7: increase time compression
F8: decrease time compression
F9: inactive
F10: resets display (use this if your cursor disappears)

Tab: zoom active window out
Shift-Tab: zoon active window in
arrow keys: scroll active window / maneuver through menus
ESC: bring up menus
Home Key: make op window active (upper display window)
End Key: make tac window active (lower display window)
Ctrl-Q: quit

--from other screens--
Escape Key: backs out one level

--from all screens--
SpaceBar: same as mouse click

I can't say that make it playable though!

#5 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 03:23 PM

Alpha 891212

The second Alpha is far more playable. It takes a while to get used to the interface. I was surprised that the ship that became Admiral Kuznetsov doesn't feature in this Alpha. I noticed that the firing arcs are clearly shown for each weapon in the DB page; they don't feature in later DBs.

I chose "Dawn Patrol", the first mission and a bit of a classic among 'Pooners. It's certainly changed over the years.

My force consisted of 4 Storm PTGs, an Oslo FF and a British Leander. I chose to have my two frigates light up their radars and headed north at about 15 knots.

The ocean is a very big place and I managed to miss the two "Nanuckha IIIs" entirely. I got one SOSUS contact, turned back to head for that then lost it.

I continued in the general direction, but the time ran out and the game was a draw. No shots were even fired.

Onto the first full version.

#6 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 03:47 PM

I think the torpedo animation is worth an extra post. :)

#7 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 04:31 PM

1.0

I moved onto "Gauntlet" and switched sides. This mission involved me having to attack a merchant group of three generic merchies (all the merchies are of one type here) with a "Victor II", two "Nanuchka III" corvettes and six "Floggers".

As soon as the "Victor" got a rough location on the group, I launched long-range torpedoes at it. They took about an hour in real time, but the results were worth it. I launched more torpedoes as I got closer.

The first ship to go was a British Type 22 and the Soviet national anthem played in cute MIDI form to celebrate my victory (it does go on for a while, but you can stop it).

I eventually sunk two merchants and got minimum victory conditions. I was asked if I wanted to play on for total victory.

When the "Victor" went out of range, I sent the surface ships after it. They were attacked by what appeared to be Harpoons and the missile animations started. They shot the missiles down; the SA-N-4 is great in this game.

They turned to pursue the group (which I only had the location of the SH-60 in at this point), using their superior speed. Eventually they got into "Siren" range. The "Sirens" were all shot down- I should have fired them all at once rather than a few at a time. I wasn't too concerned about individual target identification.

At around the same time, my six "Floggers" launched, flying at 650 knots (tad fast for a cruising speed). They had AS-7s but maybe fired one before they were all shot down by a very sharp USS Boone. They used SA-N-4s on the remaining merchant, then I think time ran out.

Nearly total victory was mine.

#8 TEPonta

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 04:51 PM

I hate to show continuing ignorance, but I still can't even locate or load a scenario in 880916. No matter what I do, I get a screen with 1 Red surface group and 1 Red sub group, neither of which appear to be player controlled. I get no Blue groups at all.

Buddha

#9 TonyE

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 10:53 PM

I hate to show continuing ignorance, but I still can't even locate or load a scenario in 880916. No matter what I do, I get a screen with 1 Red surface group and 1 Red sub group, neither of which appear to be player controlled. I get no Blue groups at all.

Buddha


Blue is hiding...

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  • WhereBlue.jpg


#10 Meroka37

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 01:41 AM

Alpha 891212

The second Alpha is far more playable. It takes a while to get used to the interface. I was surprised that the ship that became Admiral Kuznetsov doesn't feature in this Alpha. I noticed that the firing arcs are clearly shown for each weapon in the DB page; they don't feature in later DBs.

I chose "Dawn Patrol", the first mission and a bit of a classic among 'Pooners. It's certainly changed over the years.

My force consisted of 4 Storm PTGs, an Oslo FF and a British Leander. I chose to have my two frigates light up their radars and headed north at about 15 knots.

The ocean is a very big place and I managed to miss the two "Nanuckha IIIs" entirely. I got one SOSUS contact, turned back to head for that then lost it.

I continued in the general direction, but the time ran out and the game was a draw. No shots were even fired.

Onto the first full version.



I played yesterday this scenarios with versions 1.0 and 1.58e; in both cases I got the victory with the lost of the two frigates.

Nice to have this bundle of oldtime versions. I started playing harpoon in 1990 when I found in a local store a copy of Harpoon wich included only GIUK Battleset.
Later I grow up interested in the series and bought all battlesets.
All those disk were lost during a move. So luckily I've have them back again thanks to this collector offer.

It's a pitty the dosbox windows is so small, I'd been trying to play with the dosbox conf file, but no matter what window size I set, game always starts with same size.

#11 Meroka37

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 06:38 AM

1.0

I moved onto "Gauntlet" and switched sides. This mission involved me having to attack a merchant group of three generic merchies (all the merchies are of one type here) with a "Victor II", two "Nanuchka III" corvettes and six "Floggers".

As soon as the "Victor" got a rough location on the group, I launched long-range torpedoes at it. They took about an hour in real time, but the results were worth it. I launched more torpedoes as I got closer.

The first ship to go was a British Type 22 and the Soviet national anthem played in cute MIDI form to celebrate my victory (it does go on for a while, but you can stop it).

I eventually sunk two merchants and got minimum victory conditions. I was asked if I wanted to play on for total victory.

When the "Victor" went out of range, I sent the surface ships after it. They were attacked by what appeared to be Harpoons and the missile animations started. They shot the missiles down; the SA-N-4 is great in this game.

They turned to pursue the group (which I only had the location of the SH-60 in at this point), using their superior speed. Eventually they got into "Siren" range. The "Sirens" were all shot down- I should have fired them all at once rather than a few at a time. I wasn't too concerned about individual target identification.

At around the same time, my six "Floggers" launched, flying at 650 knots (tad fast for a cruising speed). They had AS-7s but maybe fired one before they were all shot down by a very sharp USS Boone. They used SA-N-4s on the remaining merchant, then I think time ran out.

Nearly total victory was mine.



Just played this one with 1.58e, from the NATO side, follows a small AAR

15:00 I command a small group of two frigates (Boone -Oliver Hazard type and Brave - 22/2 type) escorting two merchants with Narvik destination.
One Seahawk SH60B take off with the mission of scouting in front of the group. When at 22nm from the group the helo activates radar.

16:14 2 FFL Nanuchka III detected by Seahawk ESM equipment (at 187 nm north of my position). I take a look at the id book and I decide to ready the two Lynx aboard Brave with Sea Skua for attacking them. (Nanuchka are equiped with SA-N-4 SAM with a range of 8 nm, same range as Sea Skuads, so Lynxs can fire in the limit before being in danger).

17:48 Now the Russian group is inside the range for the Lynx, so both helos depart.

18:21 8 Sea Skuad launched against the Nanuchkas, only 2 of them survive SAM fire hitting one of the patrol boats, (this ship is then heading north while his fellow go on southern heading)

18:23 As the closure range will put soon in danger the merchants, I split the group, Boone is heading at full speed heading to the Nanuchka, with Brave remaining close to the merchants to protect them in case of submarine menace.

Now action speed up...

18:54 Two harpoon fired to the Nanuchka, at same time SS-N-9 appears in the horizon (Boone goes active), a number of 9 is counted.

18:57 Most of the Sirens are shotdown but Boone is hit anyway, sinking. Some seconds later a torpedo is detected by Brave (now it makes no sense to remain passive, all systems illuminated...)

18.59 One surviving Harpoon destroys one Nanuchka.

19:02 Without the SAM umbrella of the Boone now the missiles reach undisturbed one of the merchants (Easter Valor sunk).

19:05 Brave sunk by a torpedo.


Message that I have been defeated appears.

An old scenario that I have played dozens of times, and I always find something new; in my opinion a small scenario pefect when you start learning the game.

#12 TeTeT

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 05:17 AM

...
15:00 I command a small group of two frigates (Boone -Oliver Hazard type and Brave - 22/2 type) escorting two merchants with Narvik destination.
One Seahawk SH60B take off with the mission of scouting in front of the group. When at 22nm from the group the helo activates radar.
...


For this type of mission, do you use the picket sector in the formations editor or do you plot the helis course and destination as a separate group? If you use the formation editor, how do you tell the heli to turn on the radar?

#13 wombat1417

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 06:25 AM

Don't use the Formation Editor for the Seahawk. Plot a Course about 100nm ahead of the group, go as high as you can and turn on the radar. You get a really big view of the surrounding area.
If you have a helo in the Formation Editor, click it in the Unit display and push the Sensor button to activate the radar.

#14 CV32

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 08:43 AM

Don't use the Formation Editor for the Seahawk. Plot a Course about 100nm ahead of the group, go as high as you can and turn on the radar. You get a really big view of the surrounding area. If you have a helo in the Formation Editor, click it in the Unit display and push the Sensor button to activate the radar.


Yup.

I generally only use the Formation Editor for ASW search or when I have a 'busy' battlefield where I am in relatively close contact with the enemy (stealth has generally evaporated) and I need a constant AEW&C, EW and AAW patrol over my formation.

More typically I will use patrols outside the formation, as Larry has suggested, whether that be the Seahawk scanning the local area or a Hawkeye on AEW&C station. Neither will give a vector right back to your ships' location, unlike a formation patrol.

#15 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:26 PM

I've completed a 1.1 scenario; a report will follow. 1.1+ will be next.




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