Partial Damage of Shipping
With the release of HSFX5, the Mod suite specifically designed for advanced SEOW campaigning, we have the ability to track partial ship damage events, including near-misses, in the game eventlog. This raises the prospect of successive missions against capital ships, slowly wearing them down before finishing them off with a minor hit. This makes the administration of naval campaigns much easier. Here is how it works.
HSFX5 Ship Damage Mod
The HSFX5 Ship Damage Mod (which supersedes the earlier HSFX4 trial Ship Damage Mod) logs damage events involving all ships. Damage events may be ballistic events (damage from being struck by high-velocity projectiles) or explosive events (damage from being exposed to explosive charges) or near misses. A single large-calibre shell may cause simultaneous ballistic and explosive events. The events are logged to the game eventlog, in the following format
12:02:49 ExplosiveDamage 0_Static Hull1 0.12301275 damaged by 5GvIAP010 at 46584.55 51988.35
The line shows the event type ("ExplosiveDamage"), the victim ship ("0_Static"), the damaged part of the ship ("Hull1"), the amount of damage to the part ("0.12301275", or approximately 12.3% from this event), the successful object ("5GvIAP010", in this example an attacking aircraft) and the map location of the hit. This has been play-tested in several large-scale campaigns and works exceedingly well, as long as all pilots and the server use the same HSFX release.
The size of the damage is important. In order to stop every MG round causing a damage event when you strafe a ship (and consequent degrading of server performance) the damage Mod places a threshold on the damage. Small hits are ignored, even though they may cause noticeable flashes/explosions and smoke on a ship. So, you have to work hard to damage a capital ship. 100 kg bomb hits might register, but 250+ kg hits will definitely register, as will all torpedo hits. Large rockets may also register. Kamikaze hits will also register.
SEOW Ship Damage Tracking
SEOW will parse the eventlog during the Analyze cycle and collect all such ship damage events. Each ship will have its detailed damage state tracked, including specific damage levels for the critical Hull sections (Hull1, Hull2, Hull3). Other damage to the deck, guns and bridge superstructure is also tracked and aggregated into a "combined kill target". Enough hits in any of the Hull sections or the combined kill target will cause the ship to sink (in between missions) even if the rest of the ship is undamaged. So if you know you have damaged the stern of the Hiryu in mission 1, you would be advised to target the Hiryu's stern in subsequent missions.
Ships will repair themselves over time. If you have Supply Tracking OFF, then ships will repair themselves according to the industrial repair rate and will eventually be completely repaired. If you have Supply Tracking ON, ships will repair themselves at a similar rate but will never achieve full repair for the remainder of the campaign, and they will expend supply at an increased rate while they repair.
What Ship Damage Means
Apart from the fun of hitting a ship with a bomb, rocket or torpedo, what does damaging a ship mean for the campaign? Well, you will see several effects:
- You will see all ship damage events in the mission statistics summary, with the successful attacker identified.
- You will see the ship damage status in the ship's icon inside the MP (undamaged, lightly damaged, moderately damaged, heavily damaged, sunk).
- The detailed ship damage state is held and tracked in the SEDB - full knowledge of damage is not shown to either side.
- The damaged ship's maximum speed will reduce in proportion to the overall damage level. For example, a 30% damaged ship can only travel at 70% of its normal maximum speed or less. If your ship is part of a task force, then the whole task force may have to slow down to keep pace.
- The damaged ship's rate of fire is reduced in proportion to its overall damage level. For example, a ship operating under "Historic Rate of Fire" settings that sustains 50% damage will have its individual reload time doubled. That means it is at a significant disadvantage in ship-to-ship actions and is more vulnerable to air attack.
- Partial damage to ships also leads to partial destruction of any freight carried (supply, combat units, aircraft).
- Partial damage to ships reduces the amount of freight that can be carried.