You need a computer with Windows 7, 8.x or 10, with a 3D card supporting DirectX 10. Then follow the below steps:
- Install Fighting Steel
- Install the Fighting Steel Project that you can download here. For those who don't know what it is, I will make it short: it is a awesone free addon that add a lot of extra ships and realism to the game.
- Once done, go to the FS directory, and with a text-file editor (e.g notepad) open the file DbzLib.ini located in the Ini directory. Here, you can change many parameters for the game. Below are listed the most important ones to make the game more able to run without troubles, realistic and compatible with external addons:
- “INTRO” : set to 0
- “GUNNERYLOG”: set to 1
- “SYSTEMCHECK”: set to 1. It will make a quick check-up of your installation at the game launch, and could help to detect and understand any troubles
- “TORPEDOTRACKS”: set to 0
- “PLAYMOVIES”: set to 0
- “FATIGUEGUNNERY”: set to 1
- “SHOWALLSPLAHES” : set to 1
- “TAGS”: set to 1
- "sky textures" to 0
- "smokestacks" to 0
- "sea swells" to 0
- "rolling ships" to 0
Note that there are also some parameters in this file that you can "play" with to make the game to run. For example on one of my laptop I add to set the "AGP" parameter to 0, while I let it to 1 on my desktop computer. Another parameter is to set the game in to windowed mode instead of full screen mode. Try it if it doesn't work.
Last but very important step: download the last version of dgVoodoo2 here. Unzip everything in your Fighting Steel folder. Also copy all the DLL files located in the subfolder of this archive in the root of your FS folder.
Launch Fighting Steel in administrator mode: the game should work now.
Reminder: FS has the bad trend to unexpectedly crash to desktop, randomly. So remember to activate the autosave, and on top of that, to manually save your game after each "critical move" with your fleet.
2) A little bit of realism
You have probably noticed that I make you enable the "GunneryLog" and "FatigueGunnery" parameters. It is obvisouly for realism purpose. So let's continue! Launch the game, and before starting any new game, set your options as the following:
Just once: in preferences when launching a scenario:
- set auto save to 5 minutes
- disable navigation plot camera
- disable torpedo plot camera
- set “forced camera” to off
- enable restricted visibility
- enable restricted camera
- enable restricted ammunition
- enable restricted enemy damage info
- enable restricted victory point info
- enable mistaken manoeuvers possible
- enable limited precontact course changes
- enable dud torpedos possible
- enable nationality preference active
As you noticed it, we disabled the auto camera. It is very important, otherwise the game will track events and ships and give you information you couln'd get in real life scenario. You are stuck to each ships of you fleet. Nothing much. Realism wins!
Tip: if you need to pilot other ships from you fleet, use the strategic map (2D view).
3) Even more realism and immersion: use the Thunder At Sea scenario simulator
Thunder At Sea (TAS) is a little diamond realease by NWS and that you can buy here
for 20$ (US) (note, a demo version is available to try it). It is a campaing and scenario simulator using a real world map that must be used with Fighting Steel. it allows you to drive you task force in the world, refuel in harbord, create divisions, shell ennemy ports and try to catch ennemy ships. It comes with many real scenarios (like the hunt for Bismarck one) but also allows you to create one.
If you use Thunder At Sea, do not forget to
- launch in administrator mode,
- enable "Unrealistic reports" and "Breakdowns" to make it more realistic.
A screenshot of a map in Thunder At Sea. The picture show the Mediterannean Theater but all the world is navigable.