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Blondie_the_Good

Beta Testers
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    [DEEP6]

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About Blondie_the_Good

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    Ensign
  • Birthday 09/13/1976
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    upstate South Carolina
  • Interests
    Boating, Fishing, History, and my Wife.
  1. In another thread, I was asked what tips I had for playing destroyers more effectively and I figured that starting a new topic was the best way for me to share what I have learned so far. I also thought it would be a great way for people that play destroyers to share their experiences and any tips for improving other player's destroyer tactics. I do not claim to be an omnipotent destroyer captain, but I do feel I have done reasonably well, since starting Beta testing. That said, it would be great to learn what has worked for other destroyer addicts out there and try new tactics. I main USN destroyers and have currently played up to the Farragut class (tier VI). But, I have also played with the USN cruisers up to the Phoenix class (tier IV) and the IJN Battleships up to the Myogi class (tier IV). I would love to test other classes of ships, but, until Wargaming allows us more ship slots in port, I will have to limit what I can I play. My time spent playing the USN cruisers and IJN Battleships was more centered around learning about my adversaries than a love of cruisers or battleships. Though, I have not played the IJN destroyer classes yet, I feel many of the USN destroyer tactics I have learned translate well to their IJN brethren. USN Destroyers: I think the primary attribute of the USN destroyers is that they are a fairly well-rounded class, given their diminutive size. Overall, the guns, while much weaker than primary armament of a cruiser or battleship, have good traverse speeds, a fast rate of fire, and can effectively apply damage while waiting for the torpedoes to reload. The guns on the USN destroyers typically provide a distinct advantage when engaged in 1 V 1 fights with IJN destroyers. I tend to use HE ammo to disable enemy destroyers and cause damage to larger ship's modules as well. The torpedoes, while still providing the primary damage output, are hindered by a severe lack of range when compared to that of IJN destroyers. From tiers 2-7, players utilizing USN torpedoes must learn to deal with the short 4.5-5.5 km range limitations of their primary weapon. The best way I have found to overcome this handicap is to have keen map awareness, utilize islands for cover/concealment, and ambush targets. Many torpedo kills can be made by predicting a targets movement, setting up at a choke point along its path, catching the target flatfooted, and withdrawing before the enemy can react in force. IJN Destroyers: Though I have not played the IJN destroyers yet (please add slots so I can Wargaming), I will share what insight I have, based on fighting against and with them. I consider the primary attribute of the IJN destroyers to be their excellent torpedo attack capabilities. Historically speaking, the Japanese are regarded as having had fantastic torpedoes and I feel this is accurately reflected in World of Warships. From tiers 2-7, IJN destroyers have torpedoes with a range of 7-10 km, significantly better than that of the USN. This advantage gives the IJN destroyer captain more flexibility in regards to torpedo attack strategies. The extra range can allow for blind firing wide torpedo spreads into cap areas/choke points and for attacks on battleships and aircraft carriers from beyond visual detection range in some cases. That said, the ambush tactics I utilize with USN destroyers certainly will work as well. The IJN destroyer's weak link is its primary gun armament. The rate of fire and traverse speed of the gun mounts are a major hindrance in close-quarters turning engagements and the primary reason I would recommend not purposely engaging USN destroyers in 1 V 1 duels. That said, it only takes 1-2 torpedoes to sink a destroyer. Therefore, such fights are not a foregone conclusion. If you find your IJN destroyer in a disadvantageous 1 V 1 fight, I recommend firing one wide torpedo spread, predict the targets course change in reaction to this, and then follow up with further spreads along the target's altered course. The first spread usually leaves the target with less room to maneuver, making the follow up shots more effective. Also pre-aiming your guns toward expected enemy locations and using right mouse to free look can help make for faster firing of your first salvo. Overall: I love the destroyers ability to scout early for the team and try to give an impression of the opponents disposition. I feel the USN destroyers have an edge in the scouting role due to the fact that their superior firepower can overcome an opposing IJN destroyer performing the same duty, should you meet one. The big punch of the torpedo tubes can devastate large targets such as battleships and aircraft carriers. It is in this role that the IJN destroyers excel. Their excellent torpedo range leaves them less vulnerable to counterattack and gives greater versatility in choosing approach vectors. The destroyer can be a fantastic asset to the team. It can provide scouting information, suppressive torpedo fire that hinders enemy movements, and, above all, the ability to assassinate large targets. Never forget that the destroyer is a fragile vessel and mistakes will cost dearly, usually your life. The destroyer's small size, speed, and agility is its best defense. Whether you prefer the USN or IJN destroyers, try to avoid cruisers. Cruisers are typically fast, can out gun you with rapid fire main armaments, are often nimble enough to avoid your torpedo attacks, and quite a few carry torpedoes themselves, which can limit your maneuverability during efforts to dodge them. Cruisers are the scissors to your paper. I know it can be a challenge to balance the bold aggression needed to play destroyers with the cautious cunning that allows you to survive into late game, but getting to late game can provide a destroyer player with prime opportunities against solitary targets, as opposing forces tend to string out. Stay smart and bold while helping your team achieve victory! So which destroyer tree do I think is better... USN or IJN? Well, having not played the IJN, I will certainly reserve judgement and, honestly, this is a question that only individual players can answer for themselves. I feel this historical quote answers the question far better than I can anyways. "I think the world is sadly mistaken when it supposes that battles are won by this or that kind of gun or vessel... The best gun and the best vessel should certainly be chosen, but the victory three times out of four depends upon those who fight them..." Rear Admiral David G. Farragut to the Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, 8 November 1864 Things I have learned: 1. Turn your AA/secondary guns off when the game starts. The AI's gunfire will announce your presence to the enemy much sooner, removing the element of surprise. I only reactivate it if I feel I need to help with fleet AA duties or I am attacking an aircraft carrier that is already aware of my presence. 2. Scout early. The stealthiness of the destroyer can easily get early spots on enemy battleships and cruisers. This provides valuable information for your team and often allows for some early damage to be applied to targets via your team's long range guns. That said, I tend not to be overly bold in scouting, preferring save my health for later actions. 3. Communicate your intentions to your team. If you are going to early scout, tell your team so they can get into a better position to fire on targets you light up. If you are going to fast cap an objective, your team will be able to better support you if they are aware of your intentions. Teamwork wins battles. 4. Map awareness and predicting enemy movements. This skill is absolutely vital to be a successful player of any class, but doubly so when captaining a destroyer. Knowing your enemies disposition will allow you to determine whether you should fight or flee. Pay special attention to choke points that lie along your opponents path. These are prime torpedo ambush spots that can lead to very swift kills, often with little retaliation. 5. Be bold and cunning... not reckless. Being reckless may get you some kills, but being bold and cunning will better serve destroyer players in the long run. Recklessness will often lead to an early demise. Know when and where you should attack, but also when you should retire, regroup, and think about how to reengage an opponent. The smart destroyer player will use the speed and agility they have to react wisely to fluid battle situations. 6. Torpedo targeting. I tend use close range torpedo tactics because I drive USN destroyers. I also try to predict what my target is going to do. Simply firing when torpedoes when the cone gives you the green light will result in kills, but you must also be aware if your target is executing a turn, speeding up, or slowing down. The target cone will be rapidly shifting if the target is doing any of these things. You must predict these changes and manually aim the torpedoes outside of AI launch cone if you wish to score hits. The AI launch cone can't predict these sort of changes. It simply show the proper track for that exact instance. You, as the player, must recognize what the future path or speed of a target is and adjust your torpedoes accordingly to be most effective. 7. Choosing to fire a wide or narrow torpedo spread. In case you didn't know, not saying you don't, you can select how wide your torpedo spread is. Using "3" to select your torpedo armament will result in a default wide spread pattern. Hitting "3" a second time will change the torpedo spread to a narrow angle. Choosing which spread is the best option is subjective and varies greatly depending the in-game situation. I tend to rely on narrow spreads quite a bit because I often do some very close range torpedo shots and it is usually easy to inflict massive damage with a narrow spread at said ranges, especially against slow turning battleships and aircraft carriers. Narrow spreads are also very good against targets that are unaware of your presence because you can more accurately predict their path. But, wide spreads are very useful against targets that will die in one or two hits. Also, over laying multiple wide torpedo spreads from varying angles has served me well when dealing with other destroyers, when trying to break contact with a cruiser, or trying to finish of a wounded cruiser that is jinking like its life depends on it. 8. You are part of a team... act like it. Engaging glory seeking solo mode is not a recipe for consistent success in World of Warships, no matter what class of ships you choose. It usually results in being engaged by multiple enemy vessels, shot to pieces, sunk, and generally not contributing a whole lot to the overall team effort. I tend to pack up with other destroyers and/or cruisers. Running with other destroyers make for more concentrated torpedo spreads that are harder for the target to evade and also you have extra smoke available to use offensively as well as defensively. Packing up with cruisers is nice because they are usually fast enough to keep up with your destroyer, have good gun fire to cover you, and are guardian angels should an enemy cruiser begin hounding your destroyer. Smart cruiser players can also make great use of your smoke's concealment properties. 9. Speaking of smoke... Be smart when choosing to use smoke. The cool down is long and it is an absolute "Ace in the Hole" for the destroyer player. Smoke can save your life if you are trying to break contact with superior forces. It can be popped to allow ships following you to engage in sneak attacks. It can be used to hide friendly forces while trying cap objectives. It can screen a line of friendly ships while you light up targets for them to shoot at. Though this tactic can be risky (bordering on reckless), as you will be getting shot at for sport, and relying on your teammates to reduce the enemy for you. In short, be wise with your use of smoke and seriously consider getting the extra smoke and reduced cool down ability available to your Ship's Commander. 10. "Situational Awareness"... the Ship's Commander skill. If you have played WoT you will understand this skill immediately. It is just like "Sixth Sense". This skill will save your life by giving you the priceless information that your destroyer has indeed been spotted by enemy ships or aircraft. This allows you to appropriately make preparations for an attack or retreat. It will also let you know if you are able to turn on your AA guns without needlessly suffering stealth penalties. It also gives a good heads up for whether you should start evasive maneuvers or not. 11. Evasive Maneuvering. The destroyer's diminutive size, speed, and agility is its primary defense. Do not forget to use it, even when firing your guns. Running a straight and true course only makes it easier for the enemy to hit you and please please please, no matter what ship you drive, don't sit still and get shelled to death by the enemy team. This isn't WoT and your ship isn't more accurate when sitting still. The only thing that is more accurate when you are sitting still is the enemy guns hitting your ship. You are a destroyer.... envision Neo in The Matrix. You are The One. Except that you can't stop the shelling. So maintain high speeds, dodge those incoming rounds, and seek the shelters of islands. 12. Learn from your victories and your defeats. Honestly assess and critique what happened during the game. What mistakes were made and how can you improve to minimize them in the future? Mistakes are often lethal when driving a destroyer so all possible efforts should be made to gain wisdom and not make the same mistakes repeatedly. Don't rage and start flaming your team, even if they did make you facepalm. We are all human and make errors in judgement. None of us are perfect and, despite a catastrophic loss, take a deep breath, reflect, and learn from the experience. The same can be said of a fantastic victory. Certainly celebration is in order, but think about how you and your team achieved said victory and try your best to still learn from and repeat this kind of performance. In Summary: Well, I have been pretty long-winded and, despite trying hard, I know I have forgotten some items I positively should include. But, I never intended this to be the definitive guide on how to captain a destroyer. I simply wanted to reflect on what I have learned so far and share this information and my opinions with fellow players. Please feel free to add your own experiences and wisdom on this topic. Listening to other players is a great way to learn as well and I know there is certain to be a wealth of information that can be shared by destroyer players with a lot more experience and talent than me. Fair winds and Following Seas
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