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WOWS Enjoyment - Cap Strategies & Lemming Trains

Cap Strategy Lemming Train

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hangglide42 #1 Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:09 PM

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Hi All!  Hangglide42 here again with a quick (relatively) note this time of a couple of responses I've

posted to questions posed around Cap Strategies and Lemming Trains (Lanchesters Law post). 

Many new players are not fully familiar with the strategy involved with the goals of taking and

holding a cap.


The summary below is designed to illustrate the key strategies, responsibilities and goals so

you can be more successful at following thru on what your teammates mean and expect when

you see the initial "A/B?..Affirmative!..." in chat.


Cap Strategies Goals/Strengths/Weaknesses/Responsibilities


Both the A/B - B/C or A/C strategies can work, but their success or failure will be entirely

dependent on how well your team understands the strategic advantages and their responsibilities

if they choose that strategy (and how to respond properly depending on what the enemy team

does on their own end).  In chat, you often see the strategy choice, but whether your teammates

know what needs to be done if you choose the particular strategy is usually the success or fail



Specifically, the strategic strengths, responsibilities and weaknesses of each strategy are:


A/B or B/C (End-Cap/Middle Cap Strategy)

It implicitly keeps your forces more concentrated and allows for better supporting fire.  This is why

many are are religious that one of these strategies is the best - without any other direction, at least

the ships are closer together so MAYBE there's a better chance of supporting fire if enough of your

teammates are aware of this.


What many player's don't realize is that your strategic goal is actually "easy cap A, defensive line

at B" or "easy cap C, defensive line at B".  As such, if the enemy is giving you the end cap, let

a lone DD cap the free endcap, all other ships should be headed immediately to B as soon as this

is realized.  Otherwise, what you do is cede the enemy a 12 ship to 6 ship (or comparable

advantage) at B-cap.  This will allow them to steamroll B-cap and you'll be on the defensive.  All

too often, you'll see half your team going to the end-cap to no purpose when it's uncontested or

lightly contested taking themselves out of the real strategic fight.  They will have no urgency at

pushing back into B to help your team.


If the enemy is also heavily focused on pushing the same end-cap

You have 2 choices - if your team is up to it and comparable in strength, you can fight it out at the

end cap, but, some of your ships should prioritize capping B and the other end cap ASAP.  If almost

all the enemy is at the same cap, you should have a relatively easy time capping the other two and

get a quick 2:1 cap advantage while the heavier fight occurs.


If the enemy is just overwhelming at the original end-cap - your ships originally headed to the

end-cap need to start maneuvering to defensively fallback and take B & the other end-cap.  Your

strategy needs to shift in unision to the opposite end-cap strategy to gain the best effect.


A/C (Split-Cap Strategy)

This strength of this strategy is "opening 2 flanks on the enemy".  It has the implicit downside

of splitting your forces putting more pressure on your teams to understand the details of the

strategy and the contingencies when reacting to your enemy's movements for this to succeed. 

Because of this additional dependence on how well players understand and execute this, it is a

relatively "riskier" strategy since it halves your force strength by design.


The key goal of this strategy is to try to win at least one of the end-cap fights as quickly as possible. 

When this happens, that part of your team needs to push into the central cap as quickly as possible

to open a 2nd free-fire flank on the enemy team to relieve pressure on the other end-cap team.  

When team's don't follow-thru on their responsibilities to help the team on the opposite flank, this

strategy gives the enemy team a 2:1 advantage on one of the flanks (usually) leading to the loss.


Remember, if the enemy is attacking one of your end-cap teams from the middle cap, their guns

will be pointed away from your other end-cap teams allowing you to close or pour safe fire in

from closer from the flanking position.  If the enemy maneuvers out of B to double down on your

other end-cap team - your end-cap team needs to move into the vacuum created & take B

ASAP (which also keeps you in range to continue flanking fire on the enemy).


One Cap Rules them All (1 End-Cap Only Strategy)

Some teams will chose A or C - essentially an end-cap only strategy.  This has the advantage

of concentrating all your friendly fleet and steamrolling one cap.   It's essential for this strategy

that as soon as that cap is clearly going to be captured, the team maneuver to take B.  If done

right, the idea is to get a 11-6 ship advantage on the middle cap while the enemy still split at the

other end-cap to recover the 2:1 cap advantage, then everyone defends at the B line.


Often the teams in the One-Cap strategy lounge at the capped Cap giving the enemy time to get

a 2:1 cap advantage and defend at B - this is when this strategy often fails.


When any of these 3 strategies, fail, it's usually because once the original cap movement was

executed, the understanding of what had to be done with each strategy and how to respond to

enemy actions were not well executed.



Lemming Trains (Lanchesters Law and the Good, the Bad & the Ugly)


Lemming Trains seem most common on maps such as 2 Brothers or sometimes Haven (i.e.

4-cap maps).


The effect of a Lemming Train is that it has started a cap race and your team must exploit its

numbers advantage as soon as possible or it's failed and they must consider falling back to

defend.   Note: A Lemming Train differs from a Push in that ALL the ships (practically) go

w/ a Lemming train without regard to flanking defense - whereas the portion of remaining ships

that have defeated a flank, push (technically, a Lemming Train is a Push, but a very risky one).


Lemming trains need to steamroll to be successful since you've left your rear flank undefended

and easy pickings for the enemy.  Thus, you must advance faster than they can or you'll lose -

you can't delay at all.  If a couple of enemy have stalled the train, the team has to seriously

consider falling back to defend.  Applying the Law to this tactic - is the equivalent to handing the

enemy a huge advantage w/o a fight (your undefended or sparsely defended rear).  If the enemy

delays the Lemming Train at all, you've lost the math in the equation and are facing an enemy

in your Cap (Standard Battle) or a 1:2 or 1:3 Cap deficit (Domination).  If you are playing

Domination mode and every one went to 1 cap (in a 3-cap game), it's essential that your team

push to the next cap ASAP since you've already conceded a 1:2 cap deficit to the enemy team.


When your team lemming trains, if you are one of the couple of brave ships trying to protect your

rear, your job is to generally stay alive and harass/delay as long as possible.  This usually

includes kiting strategies (defensively retreating while shooting at enemy) and preparations for

cap resets/defense (i.e. trying to stay at shot-dodgeable range while still being able to hit enemy

ships trying to take your cap).  Believe it or not, if you can accomplish this goal successfully, WG

does reward you w/ significant XP for doing this.


Other Cap Battle Considerations


When contesting caps in a 4-cap map, you will often find that one of the caps is more isolated

than the other (e.g. A cap which is physically farther away from the central map due to and island

channel separating A & B cap or D-cap which has a huge island w/ a narrow channel thru it).

If you choose to go for these caps early in the game, be aware of the following pitfalls:


- BBs - You're often slower and going for an end-cap takes your guns away from inflicting more

  potential damage on the enemy.  Lanchesters Law states why this is usually really bad.  If you are

  centrally located supporting B/C caps, you'll notice that your gun range circles encompass a large

  portion of the central portion of the map. If you go to A or D - not only do you take your guns out

  of the fight for a very long time, you can only hit whatever is trying to contest 1 cap due to range

  limitations and terrain line-of-sight blockages.  If you locate  more centrally around B/C, you have

  a lot of gun range shooting possibilities and anything trying to contest these caps are close enough

  for you to relocate quickly to support with your gunfire.


  Also, an enemy who is experienced will take one of the middle caps 1st, then defend and push

  out to the next middle cap from there.  This minimizes ship expenditure (i.e. once a central cap

  is blocked out, a low health ship or DD can easily cap the end cap) and the bulk of the enemy

  force can engage to take the next cap.  If you voluntarily send a bulk of your force to support an

  end-cap, you run the risk of getting trapped there with at least a 1:2 cap deficit and having to

  fight your way back to contest the other middle cap.  Moreover, since the end caps are

  either slightly farther away (A-Cap) or physically separated by an island that requires either

  a long sail or travel thru a narrow choke-point (D-Cap, you run a high risk that the 1:2 cap deficit

  will grow to a 1:3 cap deficit as your ships get picked off.


- All Ships (but particulary heavier firepower ships) -  If you are sailing to support an end-cap

  and  see that your DD will get an uncontested capture, your guns are not needed at the A or C cap

  at all.  Your team strategy should then immediately shift to the next Cap over.  Too often, you'll see

  players continue to sail to an already captured cap and take their guns away needlessly from

  where the real battle needs to happen.  This is usually a recipe for a loss.


  Also, if your DDs have successfully captured the middle Cap, this gives your team a large advantage

  so try to defend this cap if at all possible.   You'll find in many games, this aspect is not considered so

  a middle cap that has been won, is thrown away from lack of defense by too many ships sailing to

  capture the end-cap when not all ships are needed there.   Remember, it is easier to continuously

  reset a enemy capture attempt of an already won cap than to retake a cap that you throw away.


  Newer players should also be aware of base defense strategies  - any hit on an enemy ship will

  "reset" the capture counter proportional to that ship's time in the cap.  Thus your goal is to

  periodically hit every enemy ship trying to retake your won cap (i.e. base defense) within the cap

  timer limit, keeping them from ever capturing the base.  You can do this even if outnumbered

  since you can fire only as frequently as necessary to ensure 1-hit on every enemy ship.  In this

  way, one ship, for example can keep resetting the cap as needed if they sail defensively and

  select their fire opportunities carefully.  (Oh, and you get a pretty sizable chunk of XP doing this)


- Radar Cruisers - The Central B/C points usually contain a convenient radar cruiser location (on

  both sides of the spawn).  From this location, it is possible to light up any capping enemy DDs in

  either the B/C caps for your team within range of your radar.  If you are playing a Radar Cruiser

  (e.g. Belfast, Baltimore, Chappy - B-hull version) keep this in mind to help your team take out the

  enemy DDs.  This is usually true for end-cap strategies on 3-cap maps as well - there will usually

  be a convenient location w/ some island cover to allow you to do this.


Hopefully, this summarizes the some of the major goals, strategies and responsibilities you'll see

in the Cap Battle game that is the foundation of Domination Mode in WOWS.  Good luck and many

Caps in the future!


Battleship_Dunkerque #2 Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:52 PM

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Excellent summarization - should be required reading.

StingRayOne #3 Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:54 PM

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Good write up

1st of all 50% of players won't ever understand the usefulness of strategy because of WOWs events and rewards. Thy will dedicate their time to other endeavors.

The next 30% percent cannot read or understand English on the NA server , so no help there.

That leaves 20% of the players that might benefit.

of those 20% , half think they are a better player than you or me, or Lert, or Kombat Wombat or even Crispy Waffles.

This leaves 10% of which you will have to convince in 45 secs of typing why we should follow your plan.


I wish you luck and thanks for the good write up.


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Ace_04 #4 Posted 05 May 2017 - 06:59 PM

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Can we get this pinned?

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Apaosha #5 Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:00 PM

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Now that post deserves some cool bonus points, nice summary.

hangglide42 #6 Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:01 PM

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View PostStingRayOne, on 05 May 2017 - 10:54 AM, said:

Good write up

1st of all 50% of players won't ever understand the usefulness of strategy because of WOWs events and rewards. Thy will dedicate their time to other endeavors.

The next 30% percent cannot read or understand English on the NA server , so no help there.

That leaves 20% of the players that might benefit.

of those 20% , half think they are a better player than you or me, or Lert, or Kombat Wombat or even Crispy Waffles.

This leaves 10% of which you will have to convince in 45 secs of typing why we should follow your plan.


I wish you luck and thanks for the good write up.


Lol!  Like your summary - I put the "suggested analysis" out there for player info to decide its merits (or not..:)).  I don't think it's my plan at all so it's out there to help new players...as far as in-game chat, I prefer "Affirm" as my usual response when the team chooses it's strategy...:)...(but this does reflect how I interpret the short cap decision discussion as my mission for the game!). Many successful battles to you!

Texas_Crusader #7 Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:09 PM


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very nice post! good information! I hope more sailors read, understand, and apply.

Admiral_Franz_von_Hipper #8 Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:41 PM

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Have you seen the Yin-Yang in 4-cap domination where both teams go around in circles around the caps until the game ends?

"I had to find myself another flagship because I could no longer exercise command from one which was shot to pieces."

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Wulfgarn #9 Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:03 PM

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Very nice! :honoring:


I agree, this needs to be pinned.

Edited by Wulfgarn, 05 May 2017 - 08:03 PM.

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Morpheous #10 Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:25 PM

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Great point on slow BBs.  It is sad to see a whole team go to one of the flanks and the slow BBs think they're on some kinda of racetrack, and follow the ships all the way to "C", THEN go, "oh its been capped for 2 minutes, maybe I should go to B".  I see this more than I would like, and usually if the team is all gung ho to go to a flank, I will tell slow BBs to go to B area.  Some say, " but I have no DD cover"...ooooh man, they don't realize the DD can get to C, cap it and be close to B before the BB makes 21 knots lol.

clammboy #11 Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:51 PM

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Excellent post I will have to read numerous times to fully comprend . I was just thinking there are aiming and build up videos and I've gotten a little better with all that but I really don't fully understand my role or strategy when it comes to caps and were to go . As I said thanks I will read a few more times before I play again because I need it . Just driving around aimlessly trying to sink things = potato !!!

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