So, Santa was kind to me and I got a LOT of premiums this year, including the Asashio. This is one ship that I've been drooling over since it first arrived. Not so much for it's abilities, but for it's gimmick. I like gimmick ships. I love my Atlanta and I bought the Terrible simply for it's speed. (MEEP MEEP!) So, when I dropped it in a crate, my jaw also dropped.
So, what's my take on it? I like it. A lot. Not so much for it's BB-torpedoes-of-doom, but for the package it really brings to the game. This is how a destroyer should play. More specifically, this is how an IJN destroyer should play.
Before the BB'ers blow their tops, consider this. It's so freaking easy to dodge torpedoes if you are paying attention. You really don't have to know where the torps are and still avoid them. With the Asashio torpedoes, it's more the case. Yes they are fast (I have mine to the 72 kt. version); however, they still take almost a minute, or so, to get to their full range. As soon as you see your spotted icon go off and you can't see who spotted you, you need to start turning, moving, something. Any form of deviation will throw off torps that have already been fired. I don't really feel bad a BB has had a full minute to maneuver and still hits my fish. As a BB player, I don't get salty when I get torped, I should have been more agile. That's on me.
That being said, the Asashio torpedoes aren't the game enders that they are feared to be. A savvy BB player is already taking evasive reactions. I've fired many a torpedo salvo that went wasted because people have discovered WASD hacks. (Damn you Jingles!)
The ship also isn't the one trick pony that people pan her as. It's true that her torps can only hit BBs and CVs; however, against an alert CA or DD player, you're not going to hit them any ways. You're really not losing anything there. Her guns aren't great. They aren't bad, but they aren't great.
Where the Asashio shines is her detectability. I've gotten her down to 5.4, which is insane. As long as I'm keeping an eye out, I can roam the map and never get spotted. More importantly, I can roam the map, spotting for my team. It's not uncommon for my games to end with spotting damage over 100k and 0 for my actual damage. As long as others are hitting what I've spotted, I'm happy to keep them lit.
And that's where IJN destroyers really need to be in this game. We don't need another offensively minded DD line. Originally, they were designed to be the "passive" class with the USN as the "aggressive" class. However, lazy players, both DDs and other classes, demanded a change to the existing line that pushed them from the niche. Now we have a creep to where ALL DDs are offensive weapons, not the support weapons they really are.
I know, I know, a lot of players don't want to be passive players. I understand that. There are other lines to play. If you want to knife fight, go USN. Gun and run? Go Soviet. Speedy? Go French. Agile? Go British. Go ninja? Sure, go IJN. But stop complaining when you can't delete BBs and you are relegated to support roles.
And that's the lesson from the Asashio that I'm learning. With a detection range of 5.4, if I'm playing offensive, I'm really misplaying the ship. I should be looking for ways to keep enemy ships spotted and quick cap grabs. If my actual damage is higher than my spotting damage, I'm doing it wrong. Actual torpedo runs should be when the opportunity arises, not the whole point of the ship itself.