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Gato Leader» Forums » Rules

Subject: Reloading in Combat rss

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Bob T
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I have a Trained sub, the Gudgeon. It's surfaced so it and all the Merchant ships are at speed 2- thus there's no Lag Movement. My question is can I just sit there out of surface attack range for 10 turns to reload all my torpedo tubes, 1 per turn?
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Paul Dodds
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There is nothing in the rules to suggest that you can't do this. They say that each turn instead of attacking you can reload, and there is no mention I can see about restrictions on number of times you can reload during a contact. As the contacts are not time based you appear to have all the time in the world to reload.

Sadly, after a few plays this is turning into one of the cracks in the game. I've found that if you purchase fewer subs at higher crew levels that have a decent torpedo skill and a reasonable evasion (and torpedo modifications on the earlier scenarios) then it's an easy job to sink the escorts. Once they are gone the merchants can be picked off without any issues - you just sit two spaces away and keep reloading. I've only played short and medium scenarios and found that each sub only needs to total one big convoy per patrol and you're pretty much guaranteed a Great result.

 
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Barry Miller
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Saint Charles
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The way Silent Victory: U.S. Submarines in the Pacific, 1941-45 models this situation is almost the same. Silent Victory also lets you stay with an unescorted merchant ship and keep reloading/firing. When you think about it, it sort of sounds reasonable to real life.

There is one significant difference with Silent Victory though... that between each round of combat, you roll to see if an escort is going to show up. Thusly in Silent Victory, you have a 16% chance of an escort coming to the merchant's aid between each of your reloads.

Gato Leader seems to be missing the modeling of that possibility. I'm not an avid student of this topic, so I don't know which game models it closest to reality.

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Paul Dodds
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I'm a long way from an expert. I don't know how long it took to reload torpedo tubes in a Second World War sub but I'm assuming it was a short enough period of time that the chances of help reaching the convoy being so vastly small that it wasn't factored into GL.

It does seem realistic but unfortunately in game play terms it makes the game a little easy with a decent crew who have a good chance of sinking all the escorts.
 
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Bob T
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Don't forget that each time you attack they get +1 to their Detection rolls and Detection Range, so you can only hide from the Escorts for a few turns.
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Paul Dodds
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That's true, but we're talking about reloading during a contact to take out all the merchants once the Escorts are sunk.
 
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Mike Wall
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Have yet to play Gato Leader. This is obviously a change from U-Boat Leader, where submarines could only reload torpedoes after they had left the tactical display.

Factors to be taken into account;

Even with an Ace submarine you are only reloading 3 torpedoes at most and some may be duds when you fire.

Any of your Merchant targets that have taken damage are moving either 1 or two sectors towards leaving the target display because of the Lag rule.

Attacking Escorts first may pay off, but quite likely your submarine will take some damage in the process, if not worse!

Consequently, I don't think that it is quite the turkey shoot that you make it sound. Rather, it adds a small plus to the submarine's arsenal of tactics.

Hope to start to play my first Gato campaign this weekend, so will see how this pans out in action.
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Bret Hekking
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Thematically (though I'm also no expert) I think a sub commander would much rather use the deck gun on Merchants, unless they were well-equipped with guns themselves. Sure, you could float along nearby and reload torpedoes, but why bother, especially early in the war.

I do like the idea of the idea that an Escort could show up - I'm sure the Merchants would be frantically radioing for help, unless they had a strict radio silence command in place for some reason.
 
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