As we all know diesel electric subs need to recharge their batteries and do so by running the diesel engines which need air. Would I be correct in thinking that (real) subs can do this at or close to periscope depth depending upon sea state, rather than actually surfacing.
If this is the case in game, is there a wake/periscope marker to be placed on the surface board if a ship spots it?
I was thinking that whilst surfacing is very hazardous there may be occasions where the submarine is not spotted and can slink back beneath the waves...
(I hope so).
Ah. What I’m sure you have picked up on, Mark, is Duncan’s use of the word “resurface” in Marco’s video; what he was really saying is that the submarines appear at
the surface on the Main board when recharging the batteries (i.e. expose masts at periscope depth to conduct a snort) - let me explain.
As you say, in reality a conventional submarine would conduct a snort at periscope depth (snort = running diesel engines to power generators to charge the batteries; air is drawn into the submarine via a snort induction mast and the diesel exhaust is expelled via a snort exhaust mast) and a submarine captain would expect to conduct an operational snort undetected - but on occasions the snort may be detected and that’s when knowing how to evade is essential - “clearing the datum”.
In They Come Unseen the submarines conduct a “snort move” which requires them to move to periscope depth. Each time this occurs the move is visible to the Soviet players on the Main board - this is the equivalent of the Soviets getting, what is known in the trade as, a “Sinker” (a brief radar detection on a contact and a disappearing radar contact suggests that it is the masts of a submarine being lowered below the surface) - there is a very nice playing token (DATUM token) to indicate this process. It is necessary that these snort moves are indicated on the Main board and visible to the Soviet players in order to give balance to the gameplay; if the submarines could snort undetected the game would be so one-sided that it just wouldn’t work.
Now, the submarine players do have the opportunity as part of the snort move to “clear the datum” by changing depth and moving a few squares away from the DATUM piece (their last known position). If they have been able to time their snort move to coincide with the presence of a thermal layer they may be able to use that to evade a Soviet search and subsequent attack if the depth of water is sufficient; without a layer perhaps the choice of their patrol depth and the direction of their move when “clearing the datum” will keep them safe from detection and attack by exploiting limitations in the Soviet sonar; or perhaps the submarine can move below one of the Soviet logistic ships and therefore be immune from attack (but not detection); or maybe the snort move can be timed to coincide with a Soviet destroyer being in harbour or too far away to launch an attack! These are the sort of tactical considerations and decisions that the submarine players have to make in order to survive and complete their mission ... it's tense and fun!