Silent Hunter III: smoke on the water

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After we surface, I see a sizable plume of smoke in the distance, more than can be justified by even a large ship. Seems like I hit something sensitive that may be worth investigating further — but after dark. If it ever gets dark in this blasted land of sun, anyway. I’ll just keep plodding along here submerged, since I can also see that escort a bit too starboard as well. A quick check on batteries and CO2 level tells me we’ll be fine for a while; the action against the convoy and subsequent evasion were surprisingly swift. Shifting those external torpedoes will just have to wait.

After the jump: “oops”, or what happens when you forget your XO Continue reading →

Silent Hunter III: actually sinking things

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On my way north to intercept the other convoy I run across a strange sight in the night — a fully lit up ship. Having operated near territory at war where all ships are running without lights, I take a moment to remind myself that the Gibraltar Strait services many, many nationalities and ports, and some of them might not even be at war with us. Bugger. Time to run some drills!

After the break, I lose half of my torpedoes. Continue reading →

Silent Hunter III: missed it by that much?

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While I’m out there hustling (well, as much as hustling is possible at 1/3 speed) through the middle of Bay of Biscay, let’s talk some terminology. Things like crash dives, ballast blowing, silent running and torpedo impact. All of these things are part of your Silent Hunter III experience, but let me tell you about the most fascinating part of the game that you will get to know intimately: your navigational chart.

After the jump, who knew charts could talk? Continue reading →

Silent Hunter III: it’s 1940, do you know where your DJ18 is?

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For the next five days, I’ll be playing Silent Hunter III with the Grey Wolves mod, which fixes lots of bugs from the original game and tweaks tons of environmental values, ranging from visibility and detection ranges in low light to crew fatigue factors. The result is the most solid, real-feeling submarine experience, and the only way to play Silent Hunter III.

For this patrol, our destination grid is the farthest I’ve ever been. Even the letters look unfamiliar. I’m used to AM, AN and the Bs but this is what? DJ? Where is that? I’ve taken my little Type II boat all over the North Sea and the coast of Great Britain. With my fancy new Type VIIb, I ranged that coast and beyond numerous times in a single patrol. But this DJ18 — this is serious. This is the Atlantic. This is international traffic and massive convoys. This is deep waters and vast hunting grounds with no land in sight. This is… beyond our range at standard cruising speed.


After the jump, 40 kilometers of nailbiting tension Continue reading →