Torpedo targeting in Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific is very hard. The manual doesn’t correctly explain it and the online videos I saw are incorrect and incomplete.
1. Bring up your periscope and look at the target
2. Press L to lock the target. This way the periscope keeps looking at the target.
3. Press N to bring up the target recognition manual.
4. (In hard you can do this, but not realistic) Press Less than and Greater than to look at your target with the free camera. This makes identifying it easier.
5. Find the target in the target recognition manual, and press the checkmark in the upper right.
6. In the mid-left and upper right will be slider tabs. Press both of them to expand new windows.
7. In the upper right slider tab, press the button for target distance estimation. This is as described in the manual.
8. Drag down the mirrored target until the waterline of the mirrored version reaches the top of the mast of the real version.
9. Wait 5 seconds or more. The longer the better. The manual incorrectly tells you to press the clock button twice. During this time, I adjust the torpedo settings in the left slider window. Always set the torpedo to fast (I’m not sure why this is not the default). If you set the depth according to the target recognition manual you will shoot under the target. I’m not sure why. I’d just go by the manual, 20 feet for battleships, 12 for cruisers and large merchants, 10 for light cruisers and small merchants, and 6 for destroyers.
10. Do step 8 again.
11. Switch to the speed estimation tab (as per the manual)
12. Press the clock button. You will get a speed and bearing estimate. The manual is wrong about this, instead telling you to press the clock button twice. The online videos do not do this. Instead, they just guess at the speed. Anyway, the speed will be set automatically when you press the clock button using this method.
13. Press the red button to enter the speed into the TDC
14. I haven’t found a better way to do this, but you need the angle between the front of their ship and your submarine. As the online videos do, go to the navigation map and use the triangle. Click in front of their ship, online the bearing. Click on their ship. Then click on your submarine.
15. Quickly enter this angle back at the periscope screen. Then press the red position finder button. If it was already on, turn it off then on again. This locks the angle at your periscope, and updates the position according to the speed and angle entered previously. If you turn it on too early, as they do in the youtube videos, the the angle from you to the target will be when you first pressed it, using the default target speed of 0. So it will fire at an angle behind the target. When the position keeper is on, the point to shoot at will move as your sub moves, and will also move using the speed and angle values you entered in step 13 and 14.
16. If you are in hard rather than realistic difficulty, you should go to the attack map and check your work. The white X should be on top of your target. THe line from the X should match the bearing of your target. The most probable error is that the range is wrong.
17. Mathematically, the distance to the target doesn’t matter if they are directly in-line with your sub (0 degrees ahead for forward tubes, 180 for rear). So if you fire closer to these angles, then distance estimation errors hurt you less. But generally, you will need to correct the range to be quite accurate if you want any chance of hitting.
18. Adjust the spread, and fire a torpedo. You can also adjust the spread to compensate for errors – if the range estimate is too long, then your shot will go behind the target. You need to adjust the spread for each torpedo. For whatever reason, the speed and depth is saved per-torpedo but the spread is not.