08 April 2012

Turn 16: On performing suboptimally

1—8 April 1942

So how’s that New Era working out for you?

This will be a record setting entry in the category of “brevity,” because this was a record setting (technically, tying) week in the category of “futility.” Nothing went right.

How bad? Well. Seventeen boats conducted patrols this week—an entirely respectable number. Six of them failed to find targets—a 35% “no contact” rate, where the war-to-date rate had been 17%. The boats who did make contact only managed to generate six attacks (not one but two boats had to abort due to mechanical problems). That’s (coincidentally) a rate of 0.35 attacks per boat on patrol. The wartime rate had been over 1.1 attacks per patrol week. Kind of stunning.

But, how did those attacks fare?

That’s how. They missed.  They all missed.

So: a shutout. Zero ships sunk for zero tons. Only the second of the war (I can’t count Turn 1), and the first since early January (Turn 5)—when Manila fell.

I’m aghast, but there’s nothing to be done, other than press on. One encouraging thing is that the boats at sea this week did pretty well on their Endurance rolls—nine passed out of the 15 taking the test (the two boats who had the “Mechanical Difficulties” combat event didn’t have to). That’s exceptionally good, considering that the wartime pass rate had been just 38%.

The good luck on Endurance rolls and the fact that we have new boats in theater mean that we have a lot of boats at sea to hunt next week. Twenty-five, to be exact, including three of the four new Gatos. That’s by far a record high. Just average luck should result in a pretty good week.

Let’s see if we can get some average luck.

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