Damage Model – U-Boat
The U-Boat damage model comprises internal and external damage, leakage’s and hull damage. You can receive damage to an internal and/or an external component or components and/or possibly suffer leakage’s without receiving any hull damage or you may receive hull damage with no damage to any component.
The ‘Hull Integrity’ is represented as a percentage figure. The percentage figure is only for hull damage and any damage to any other component will not add to the hull damage figure. The hull damage is cumulative, should you sustain 41% damage through an attack and then sustain a second instance of 31% damage then your total damage is 72%. Once you have reached 100% hull damage, your U-Boat is lost, and you are dead. The Hull Integrity cannot be repaired at sea.
When I had originally learnt that a percentage figure was used for hull damage, I immediately thought back to Silent Hunter II and shook my head while whispering, “No, no, no it can’t be”. Silent Hunter III is leagues ahead of any previous U-Boat/submarine simulation in its implementation and rest assured the hull damage in Silent Hunter III has nothing to do with the ridiculous implementation done in Silent Hunter II.
It is now possible to sink due to flooding while having near 100% hull integrity. This enhancement in-game play is immense. No longer can you assume that you are safe because your Hull Integrity is 100% as the next depth charge could sink you.
Loss of Hull Integrity has an impact upon you maximum diving depth. With 20% hull damage, i.e. 80% Hull Integrity, you will not be able to dive to your maximum diving depth. With 80% Hull Integrity, it does not mean that you can dive to 80% of your maximum depth. So how far will you be able to dive with 80% Hull Integrity? Well, when your pressure hull fails then you will know.
On the surface your U-Boat is best described as a ‘King Tiger’. Not only is the hull impenetrable; your U-Boat is also incredibly strong. With the impenetrable and incredibly strong U-Boat, it is possible to engage an escort with your over powered deck gun and possibly win or after receiving over a dozen hits from the escort’s 4″ guns at close range submerge and escape.
Being rammed by an escort when submerged, while not desirable will usually result with the escort sinking and with you receiving as little as 15% hull damage. In one test, two escorts rammed me three times, both escorts sank and I still had 62% ‘Hull Integrity’ and no other damage.
Damage can occur to internal components including such components as the periscope, diesel or electrical motors, hydrophones, radio, compressors and many other items. Externally the deck gun, the AA guns and the conning tower can be damaged or destroyed. However, I have never seen dive planes, rudder or propellers damaged even when slammed into the seabed after diving too deep and rarely from a depth charge attack.
If crewmembers are on location, they will repair any damage (contrary to what the manual states) to the compartment and any system.
To expedite repairs or to perform repairs in the sleeping quarters, the only place that crewmembers will not perform repairs (why not that area?) you will be required to assemble a Damage Control Team and then assign that team to that compartment. The Damage Control Team’s interface is in the Crew and Damage Management.
The repair team is unrealistically large, comprising up to 10 men plus an officer. I would have liked to see two Damage Control Teams as hull breaches invariably come in two’s and three’s.
If any compartment within the pressure hull is lost through flooding, your boat will be lost. This makes the single large Damage Control Team system frustrating.
Damage to a compartment or location can also result in crew being injured or possibly killed.
The realistic repair time option in the difficulty settings cannot be functioning as I have rarely had any component that is not fixed within seconds or one or two minutes. Your crew will even repair the conning tower as it is under attack from an escort.
As mentioned above, the ‘King Tiger’ damage model means that rarely is anything other that the deck and AA gun destroyed. Yes there are times when I have had components such as the electric engine destroyed, but this is the exception and not the rule.
I can only hope that Silent Hunter III has an excellent U-Boat damage model, which, like the Crew function, has not been totally finished.
That said, currently, the repair system does not work and we have a damage model that I would have expected to see in an action style war game and not in a simulation.