15 April 2012

Turn 17: There seems to be something wrong with our submarines this month

9—15 April 1942

All of a sudden, we are...not doing well.

“The early, desperate days of the war—when it seemed doubtful that any success could be achieved—are gone. They won’t be back.”
— Me.
 “Just average luck should result in a pretty good week.”
— Also me.

Hatsuzuki. These guys are having a much better April
than my guys.
Where to begin? How about the first combat encounter for a Next Gen sub. That’s historically significant, right? It turned out to be USS Gato (SS-212) herself who saw the first fighting for her class. Patrolling in the Coral Sea, she encountered a very small group of ships that turned out to be a smallish (5,000 ton) oiler, escorted by three destroyers. Which was...unfortunate. She managed to get off only a single low-odds shot (which she almost made) before being damaged herself in the counterattack. Hardly an auspicious start to our New Era. 

A day later, USS Silversides (SS-236) became the first Gato to score a hit—but in some ways, her initial combat encounter was even more frustrating than Gato’s. She lined up an excellent shot on a fat target {a 5,000 ton merchant “tonnage doubled” to 10,000}, put a torpedo squarely into its side—and it was a dud {rolled “0” for damage}.

Probably the most hilarious* thing that happened was that USS Grayling (SS-209) hit and damaged (note well: only damaged) not one but two targets—one of which was a tiny 1,000 ton maru. If there’s anything worse than damaging a 1k target that this game can throw at you in the “insult to injury” department, I don’t know what it is.

[* This was not actually hilarious.]

So: this is stunning, but another shutout. A record high number of boats on patrol (25) managed to sink exactly zero targets. For the second week in a row. I was aghast last week; I’m beside myself this. [Is being beside yourself worse than being aghast? I thought so at first; now, I vacillate. Please feel free to reverse those states if it suits you.]

Two weeks, forty-two attacks, zero kills. The kill rate had been around 15%. The chance of going 0-for-42 (with at a 15% success rate) is around one in a thousand—I was surprised when I did the math that it wasn’t worse than that. 

Beside. Myself.

1 comment:

  1. A depressingly large number of 40+ year old male humans in the USA would not have correctly calculated the odds of failing a 15% chance forty-two times, but you got it right. Just one more reason to admire your fine reports.