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Torpedo acquisition range


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As many of you know, HCE has some difficulty with the geometries of short range engagements (witness the ATA gunnery issues).

 

Aggravating this limitation is the fact that the seeker acquisition range of many torpedoes is 1,000 yds (roughly 0.5 nm) or less.

 

This can make effective engagement of submarines, even submarines that you have precisely located, a 'challenging' exercise to say the least.

 

Currently the seeker acquisition ranges reflect the actual best guesstimate of their real life effective range (according to H4 specs).

 

I am currently considering, however, introducing an artificial boost to the acquisition range to improve torpedo performance and alleviate the aforementioned problem.

 

Perhaps something like a floor value of 1,000 yd plus the real life range?

 

Open to thoughts and suggestions.

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I think it can be a good idea in more modern torpedoes, advances in digital procesing of the signal and similar facts. But we can remember also the failures in torpedoes fuzes from the WWII start to mid-war, both British, German and US, in a apparently mature technology from 1918 (Well, now remember it was the change from impact to diverse influence fuzes the problem).

 

I doubt, as example, the adquisition range keeps on the same 4000 yards in all the Mk48 iterations on forty years, from the early Mk48 Mod 0 (1972) models to the Mk48 Mod7 CBASS (2006) variants.

http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTUS_PostWWII.htm

Its acoustic homing system is reported to have an acquisition range of 4,000 yards (3,640 m), about four times that of the Mark 37.
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I think it can be a good idea in more modern torpedoes, advances in digital procesing of the signal and similar facts. But we can remember also the failures in torpedoes fuzes from the WWII start to mid-war, both British, German and US, in a apparently mature technology from 1918 (Well, now remember it was the change from impact to diverse influence fuzes the problem). I doubt, as example, the adquisition range keeps on the same 4000 yards in all the Mk48 iterations on forty years, from the early Mk48 Mod 0 (1972) models to the Mk48 Mod7 CBASS (2006) variants.

 

Not sure what to take from all that, but I'm guessing you think it might be a good idea to fudge the seeker acquisition ranges?

 

By the way, what is the significance of the adquisition range values in straight-running torpedoes ?

 

No significance. :)

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As many of you know, HCE has some difficulty with the geometries of short range engagements (witness the ATA gunnery issues).

 

Aggravating this limitation is the fact that the seeker acquisition range of many torpedoes is 1,000 yds (roughly 0.5 nm) or less.

 

This can make effective engagement of submarines, even submarines that you have precisely located, a 'challenging' exercise to say the least.

 

Currently the seeker acquisition ranges reflect the actual best guesstimate of their real life effective range (according to H4 specs).

 

I am currently considering, however, introducing an artificial boost to the acquisition range to improve torpedo performance and alleviate the aforementioned problem.

 

Perhaps something like a floor value of 1,000 yd plus the real life range?

 

Open to thoughts and suggestions.

My thought is that you're dead right about using torpedos as being "challenging".

In my game experience (and obviously many others judging from posts) it is often beyond challenging - down right unbelievable.

Obviously Harpoon is about being realistic and this seems to be a case where in order to get the realism a fudge is necessary.

Have you tried any runs with the fudge in place? If fudge + actual = 1 nm, is that still a bit tight for game engine?

Once acquisition is obtained there is still a less than 100% probability of a hit isn't there?

Is there a probability aspect of obtaining an acquisition even when within acquisition range, I'm assuming it is like sonar contact probability?

Unless the target has really scarpered or the original computations for the fire were way wrong, it surely has to have a few throws of the dice for acquiring the target. The fudge has to be enough to give the torpedo its chance of getting its contact. If the acquisition range fudge needs to be significant to do that then the probability of getting the contact (once in range) could be fudged down a bit if needed to balance any overly large acquisition range?

Should we do a few tests of different fudge levels?

Do any of the logging readouts give 'die throw' results for obtaining acquisition or anything that would indicate that the torpedo is getting its chance of acquisition?

What ever I vote for the fudge.

Don Thomas

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Subhunting has always been my bane, and watching torpedoes vanish from the screen after finally locating a target can result in impulsive, unspeakable acts against an innocent computer.

1000 yards doesn't seem to be so much of a fudge as to tip the balance critically. I'd got for it and hope for more "booms" in the end. (Of course, when one of MY subs gets nailed....)

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Have you tried any runs with the fudge in place? If fudge + actual = 1 nm, is that still a bit tight for game engine?

 

When the database for Harpoon Classic was first cracked open, the torpedo acquisition ranges were already artificially higher, actually considerably higher than I am now proposing to adjust them. It was too much in the other direction; for example, a Type 65 could track you from dozens of miles away.

 

Once acquisition is obtained there is still a less than 100% probability of a hit isn't there?

 

The hit probability of the torpedo (its PH field) only comes into play in the 'endgame', so adjusting the acquisition range will only improve the torpedo's probability of finding and chasing a target, not whether it will result in a hit.

 

Is there a probability aspect of obtaining an acquisition even when within acquisition range, I'm assuming it is like sonar contact probability?

 

A good question for Tony if he has an opportunity to look at the code. I expect it works much the way as missiles when it comes to targets within the seeker cone.

 

Unless the target has really scarpered or the original computations for the fire were way wrong, it surely has to have a few throws of the dice for acquiring the target. The fudge has to be enough to give the torpedo its chance of getting its contact. If the acquisition range fudge needs to be significant to do that then the probability of getting the contact (once in range) could be fudged down a bit if needed to balance any overly large acquisition range? Should we do a few tests of different fudge levels? Do any of the logging readouts give 'die throw' results for obtaining acquisition or anything that would indicate that the torpedo is getting its chance of acquisition?

 

My approach is going to be conservative (adding only a 1,000 yd (0.5 nm) fudge) because I still want to be able to simulate the disparity between torpedo generations.

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I think you need some kind of a fudge, for sure. As to how big it needs to be, I've noticed at high magnifications that the maps seem to get rather granular - one can tell a unit to go to point A, or to point B, but one cannot tell the unit to go to point C, which is located somewhere along the straight line connecting points A and B. I'm wondering if the size of these 'map granules' might influence the size of the fudge that is necessary to make torpedoes work properly? That is, if points A and B are always going to be at least 1500 yards apart due to map granularity, it might be that the minimum seeker range needs to be 1500 yards, otherwise the torp needs to be literally in the same place as the sub to acquire?

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I think you need some kind of a fudge, for sure. As to how big it needs to be, I've noticed at high magnifications that the maps seem to get rather granular - one can tell a unit to go to point A, or to point B, but one cannot tell the unit to go to point C, which is located somewhere along the straight line connecting points A and B. I'm wondering if the size of these 'map granules' might influence the size of the fudge that is necessary to make torpedoes work properly? That is, if points A and B are always going to be at least 1500 yards apart due to map granularity, it might be that the minimum seeker range needs to be 1500 yards, otherwise the torp needs to be literally in the same place as the sub to acquire?

 

Not neccessarily. The game tracks distances in a fictional unit called a DU (distance unit). There are 6211 DUs per nautical mile. That said the game processes at most once per game second and some actions occur less frequently (sensor sweeps generally 30 seconds except sonar at once every 5 minutes, launcher ROF checks every 10 seconds, weapon checks for acquisition are more dynamic in nature depending upon intercept time so you can make a roughly try statement that they are checked every game second). Making that long story shorter, even though the map has a limited granularity, that is a much broader granularity than the game mechanics. It may be that a fudge factor needs to take the map granularity into account in terms of the challenges of a human plotting a torp drop run but not in terms of the game's internal distance granularity.

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My approach is going to be conservative (adding only a 1,000 yd (0.5 nm) fudge) because I still want to be able to simulate the disparity between torpedo generations.

So if I have kept up, that would double the range at which many common torpedos might gain acquisition (but they still have a PH <100%), but for top shelf items it won't be making more than about 25% improvement in acquisition range.

Taking Tony's ball park one second game time per 'look' once in acquisition range that does sound like a pretty good fudge, still maintaining a noticeable difference twix varying levels of sophistication but giving standard gear a more realistic chance of a hit.

It will be a vast improvement (some of us will keep our hair for a decade longer I think :D ).

Don Thomas

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The HCDB (official), HCDA and HCCW databases have all been updated now with the torpedo acquisition range adjustment.

 

I'd be grateful for your reports of how it impacts on game play.

 

Keep in mind that your tactics should remain the same, i.e. confirm your target's position and get as close as possible before launch.

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And what's now, from some years ago, the rule to determine the Hit Points infringed by a Torpedo Warhead ?

 

My most modern paper rules, High Tide, states the same old reason of:

DC/Influence mines = Square root (warhead weight)

Torpedo/Mine contact Hit = warhead weight/4

Torpedo Influence Hit = warhead wt/2

DE Torpedo Warheads = warhead wt/2

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Anyone have experience to report with the new torpedo acquisition range model?

 

Personally, I think I have seen a noticeable improvement.

 

Uncertainty zones are still a b*tch, but I am finding that if you have a solid contact and drop close to the target, chance of acquisition is considerably improved.

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Anyone have experience to report with the new torpedo acquisition range model?

 

Personally, I think I have seen a noticeable improvement.

 

Uncertainty zones are still a b*tch, but I am finding that if you have a solid contact and drop close to the target, chance of acquisition is considerably improved.

 

Okay, I just tried Backyard II again, with the new db, and got almost immediate contact with a group of four Red subs - 2 Charlies, a Victor I and a Victor 2. I sent 3 SH-60J and 3 Vikings out to play with them, with a total of 15 ASW torps carried. After expending all 15 torps, acquisition still seems to be something of an issue - more than half of the torps failed to acquire, even though none were dropped from more than a mile away, and most were dropped with the a/c icon literally on top of the sub icon at *64 magnification on the unit map, and in every case with a solid lock on the target sub. However, with that said, I have to report a significant improvement in results. In the game for which I posted the AAR recently, I expended something like 20 torps to kill one sub. This time, 15 torps got me 3 of the 4. This is still a rather small sample size, IMO, but it certainly looks like an improvement! B) B) B)

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