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  1. Your_SAT_Score

    Z-42 In-Depth Guide

    Table of Contents: Introduction Skill level Who should buy the Z-42 Should I spend 27,000 steel for her? Captain build and ship upgrades Ship Characteristics Armor and Durability Main Armament Torpedoes Anti-Air Defense Anti-Sub Airstrikes Maneuverability Concealment Consumables General Playstyle Gameplay Tips Final Thoughts Sources used If you just want quick gameplay help, I recommend reading the "Captain build and ship upgrades", "General Playstyle", and "Gameplay Tips" sections. If you are deciding if Z-42 is worth it, then go to the "Who should buy the Z-42" section" These section headers will be highlighted in green for convenience. Use Ctrl+ F to find the section you are looking for. Introduction The following is my review of the Z-42, the Tier 10 Premium German Destroyer. She is currently available in the armory for 27,000 steel, or 20,250 steel after using the resources coupon. My assessment is current as of February 2023 in patch 12.1. Barring major changes, this guide will remain relevant throughout the future. Summary: Gunboat version of Z-52. Highly effective against DDs, but less efficient at farming damage. This guide can also apply to the Tier 8 Z-35, though her stats will differ. Skill Level Skill floor: Low-mid High survivability due to numerous defensive consumables Similar handling to the Z-52, allows for an easy transition Versatile weapons, acceptable torp boat if guns are too risky Skill Ceiling: High Short-duration smoke makes it harder to farm, also easy to run out of charges by the halfway mark Shell ballistics is hard to aim at longer ranges in a tier full of radar and aircraft Balancing DD roles like objectives, spotting, and dealing damage is hard even for experienced players Who should play this line Recommended for: Z-52 Enjoyers - Z-42 offers a similar playstyle but with more powerful guns. You can even use the same captain on both ships. Versatility - Like the rest of the Z-52 line, she performs well in many different situations DD Killer - Z-42 excels at killing other DDs due to her amazing AP and 6km hydro. Only gunboats and Smaland will beat her. Captain/Free exp grinding - She earns a lot of exp due to her Tier 10 status. Not recommended for: Ranked/Competitive - Radar cruisers generally makes her obsolete Unique playstyle - Z-42 playstyle isn't much different from the Z-52 line. Austin is a better choice for unique gameplay. Dedicated farming - Z-42 is a good gunboat, but she can't farm as efficiently as dedicated gunboats like Kleber or Sherman Should I spend 27,000 steel for her? Z-42 is a solid performing ship, though whether she is worth the steel will differ for each player. Players should understand their own ship preferences before making the purchase. If you know how Z-52 plays, then Z-42 will likely offer similar levels of enjoyment. The extra firepower comes in handy when farming damage or killing other DDs. Though the torps are weaker and turret angle is bad, I see Z-42 as a slight upgrade. If you are willing to pay 27k steel for a slightly better Z-52, then by all means do it. While Ragnar is a powerful DD, it's an apple-to-orange comparison. Z-42 behaves like an actual DD while Ragnar is an ultra-light radar cruiser. If you want traditional DD gameplay, then Z-42 is a good choice. If you want a radar cruiser-flavored gunboat, then Ragnar is better. Ragnar also has more potential in ranked and clan battles if that is more important. Bourgogne and Mecklenberg are good steel BBs for 1st-time steel ship buyers. If you aren't interested in playing DDs, then I recommend either of those ships instead. For unique gameplay, I recommend Incomparable and Austin instead. They are difficult to play but can be hilariously fun in the right situation. Research all your options so you don't regret your purchase later. While I recommend OverlordBou and MalteseKnight, there are many other good reviews worth looking up. Captain build and ship upgrades My recommended build: https://share.wowssb.com/Upej Main Battery Mod 1 - Standard module to reduce the risk of guns getting knocked out Hydroacoustic Search Mod 1 - Extends hydro duration to over 2 minutes. Provides amazing utility Aiming Systems Mod 1 - Z-42 is a gunboat, so you want better dispersion Propulsion Mod - Enhanced acceleration is far more useful than slightly better rudder shift Concealment Module - Kinda mandatory to ambush other DDs Main Battery Mod 3 - Standard upgrade for gunboats Grease the Gears is taken first to offset her sluggish turret traverse. Otherwise, the first 10 points are standard for almost every DD. Extra Heavy AP is critical for Z-42 as AP is her primary damage output. Then take Adrenaline rush for more firepower in the mid-late game. IFHE lets you deal with cruisers and bow in BBs more efficiently. The loss of fire chance is well worth the extra flexibility. Finally take -5% main gun reload for slightly more DPM. If you don't want to run IFHE, take Consumables Enhancement and Gun Feeder instead. Much easier to deal with unpredictable DDs who constantly change angles. Radio location is also a viable alternative for hunting DDs, but sacrifices a lot of firepower in the process. Trade IFHE and Extra Heavy AP if you want to use Radio Location. The last 1pt skill can be used for Grease the Gears. Shared captain build with the German Z-52 line:https://share.wowssb.com/CN81 If you can't make a dedicated captain, you can share this build with the Z-52 line DDs. Superintendent is not optimal, but can still be useful during long matches. If you don't need SI for Z-52, then take Consumables Enhancements and Gun Feeder instead. Lutjens: I highly recommend running Lutjens for the improved reload speed talent. 140 hits easy to achieve, and -7.5% reload time is extremely useful. All you need is an aggressive BB and 1 smoke puff for an easy DPM boost. I usually proc Lutjens by roughly the ~10 minute mark. Sometimes earlier if the enemy makes an early push. Armor and durability High HP pool, though not gunboat DD levels Typical thin DD armor plating Slightly larger than normal hull size Like other German DDs, she has a bigger HP pool than other universal-type DDs like Gearing or Shimakaze. The ~4k HP can prove decisive in surviving in DD fights or focus fire. Of course, having 0 armor means Z-42 dies very quickly to anything that hits. You won't survive a direct slugging match against anything bigger than yourself. Instead, your goal is to avoid taking damage in the first place. Smoke up, dodge incoming fire, and have your teammates tank whenever possible Keep your HP high for DD fights and other decisive plays where you can't avoid taking damage. tl;dr: Above average HP pool. Still squishy though. Main Armament Uses standard Destroyer dispersion Decent HE firepower, 160k DPM with 26mm pen Amazing AP firepower, arms on almost everything Awful firing angles, requires 45° angle to fire off the bow and stern Floaty shells, practically the same as Harugumo Short main battery range Z-42's accuracy and ballistics: Z-42's ballistics are overall acceptable. She uses standard DD dispersion, so nothing unusual regarding her accuracy. The shell ballistics are very similar to Harugumo, for better or worse. Great for shooting over islands, but difficult to hit maneuvering ships past 8km 12.6km gun range is good enough as you are unlikely to hit anything past that. Turret angles and handling: One of Z-42's main drawbacks lies with her turret angles and rotation speed. At minimum, she needs to angle 45° off the bow or stern to fire all her guns. In otherwords, you need to show broadside for maximum dakka. 18s turret traverse is also quite slow for a DD. You will struggle with keeping guns on target while maneuvering. Thankfully smoke and islands make this less of an issue. If you need to open water gunboat, you can use safely use 4 guns on the attack and 3 guns while retreating. AP Firepower Despite using 105mm guns, Z-42 actually boasts excellent firepower. Unlike other DDs, AP shells are your main source of damage. While the AP lacks penetration, the AP round only needs 18mm of armor to arm the shell. In other words, the shell will arm even on a wet paper towel. The short fuse timer of 0.010s prevents the shell from over-penetrating. Your AP will almost always deal full pen damage to other ships. This makes Z-42 terrifying against other DDs, with each AP salvo dealing 5k damage. To a ship class that has 20-25k HP. You can literally kill DDs in 4-5 salvoes. Lack of penetration power holds her back against larger ships. Though her AP DPM is 307k and the 3rd highest among DDs, it doesn't matter if the target is angled or even moderately armored. Your AP can't even pen 50mm past 10km, so use HE if there isn't much superstructure to shoot at. AP is best used at ~9km and below. Target the upper belt, bow/stern, and superstructure whenever possible. HE Firepower Though not as good as her AP, Z-42's HE remains a good fallback in situations where AP is ineffective. Nominally her HE is roughly middle of the pack, aside from her improved HE pen. Unremarkable damage output and fire starting abilities, though it is more effective against lower tier cruisers. However, this completely changes with IFHE. With 32mm pen, your HE will reliably damage almost all cruisers and lightly armored BBs. The loss of fire chance is well worth the increased damage output, though knowledge of BB armor sections is needed to maximize its effectiveness. Overall AP should be your primary ammo type. AP decimates broadside DDs and cruisers in short order. Not uncommon to kill full health DDs under 20 seconds when AP is used. HE is a useful back up ammo incase the enemy angles. No matter how the enemy angles, Z-42 can farm them out with enough time. tl;dr: Amazing AP, useful HE Torpedoes 10km range, mediocre but usable 13,700 torp damage, one of the worst at Tier 10 62kts, slow at Tier 10 100s, average reload speed 271% flood chance, relatively low for ship torps 2x4 torp arrangement, poor alpha damage per salvo Z-42 torps are surprisingly usable given her gunboat focus. 10km range and decent reload lets you spam them in most situations. Don't expect game-winning dev strikes, but landing even 1 hit is usually good enough. The torps are fairly stealthy, so you will hit DDs fairly often. Just remember you aren't a torpedo boat. You only fire 8 torps per salvo, and each torp does pathetic damage. It is meant to complement your playstyle, not supplant it. tl;dr: Mediocre, but useful enough Anti-Air Defense Flak: 4 inner, 1 outer, 1540 damage per flak Long: 0-5.2km, 115dps Medium: 0-3.5km, 77dps Short: 0-3km, 98dps Z-42's AA is actually not bad due to her 5 flak puffs. She can put up a reasonable fight against lesser CV players. However, you still won't last long against CV players with hands. As always, focus on avoiding being spotted in the first place. If that doesn't work, just dodge. Only use AA if you are detected. See the Gameplay Tips section for help on how to just dodge. tl;dr: At least you can shoot down fighters, eventually Depth Charges (Ship Launched) 2200 damage per depth charge, quite bad for a tier 10 DD 8 depth charges per attack, don't expect to kill subs in 1 pass Hydro helps with hunting subs Z-42 depth charges are launched from the rear of the ship. Unfortunately, Z-42 has a very weak anti-sub armament. Don't expect to kill enemies in 1 pass even if you land every depth charge. At least your 6km hydro can force subs to dive early, robbing them of spotting and situational awareness. I don't recommend charging subs unless they are completely isolated. tl;dr: You can spot subs, but not kill them. Maneuverability Average top speed of 36.5kts Somewhat tight turning radius of 670m Slightly fast rudder shift of 4.4s Compared to other German DDs, Z-42 is slower but has slightly better turning abilities to compensate. The differences are minor and Z-42 still has average maneuverability among Tier 10 DDs. As long as you don't need to warp across the map or make an instant u-turn, the Z-42 is maneuverable enough for the job. tl;dr: Average in all aspects. Good enough for the job Concealment Surface detection: 7.6km base 6.2km best surface detection Air/sub detection: 3.5km base 2.8km best air detection Smoke firing range: 2.6km Z-42 technically has average concealment, but this is a non-issue due to your 6km hydro With a 0.2km detection-hydro buffer, even stealthy DDs will struggle to avoid you. By the time they realize you exist, you will have already smoked up and sent AP rounds to their broadside. Against anything that does outgun you, you will outspot by miles, literally. Khabarovsk, Kleber, etc. will beat you in a 1v1, but they can't do anything against something they can't see. Air detection is about the same as other DDs. CVs will struggle to spot you without prior information. tl;dr: Good enough for the 6km hydro to work properly Consumables Standard Destroyer Damage Control Party 5s immunity period 40s reload time Normal DD DCP. Nothing remarkable. Short Burst Smoke Generator (Similar to RN DD smokes) Laytime of 10s Smoke dispersion time of 40s 6 charges base, 7 with SI 70s reload time The RN DD smokes trades damage farming abilities for more versatility. While less effective at farming, shorter smokes are better suited for short skirmishes or escapes. You can afford to burn a few smokes early and remain effective. However, the short duration smoke is ill-suited for allied support. Smoke does not allow cruisers to farm for any significant amount of time, though it can be handy for escapes. 6 charges sounds like a lot, but heavy fighting can quickly leave you empty by mid-game. German Improved Hydro 3 base charges, 4 with SI 6.0km surface detection 4.0km torpedo detection 120s active time 120s cooldown time While Z-52's hydro lets her pose a threat, that same hydro transforms Z-42 into a terrifying DD hunter. A 0.2km detection-hydro buffer is not enough for DDs to consistently avoid you. Once caught in your web of hydro, all that's left is to smoke up and kill the DD for free. Oh, and the hydro doubles as a torpedo spotter. Very useful for not dying to torps for both you and your team. Standard DD Engine Boost 3 base charges, 4 with superintendent +8% to max speed, improved acceleration 120s active time 120s reload Engine boost is also the as most other DDs, useful for repositioning and even dodging in a pinch. tl;dr: Normal DCP and engine boost, versatile smoke and amazing hydro General Playstyle Z-42 is essentially the gunboat version of Z-52, trading some torp firepower for improved gun firepower. The play style is basically the same but different. Her AP outputs amazing damage as long as you don't hit the heavily armored sections of the ship. When aimed correctly, she can quickly take down even the largest of enemy ships. Restrictive turret angles can hurt her DPM at times, forcing you to choose between maximum firepower and angling to enemy fire. The RN smokes are both a blessing and a curse. Great if you need to remain mobile, but less efficient if you can just sit in 1 spot and farm. While her torpedoes have lackluster performance, it's still good enough to burn DCP or slow down enemy movement. As a universal type DD, your focus should be providing vision and contesting objectives. You can do both with your 6km hydro and smoke by killing the opposing DD. Deploy hydro and smoke as soon as you are spotted. While the DD is making his panic turn out, punish his broadside with 5k AP salvoes. Once you kill him, you have both a cap and vision control. Gunboats like Delny and Kleber will still beat you in a fair fight, but superior concealment lets you dictate the engagement. Against Ragnar and Smaland though, their radar outranges your hydro while they easily outgun you. Either avoid them, outplay them, or rely on allied support. You will mostly be in the spotting role against bigger ships. Not that you can't smoke farm, but most of the time you are the only source of vision for your team. Open water gunboating is possible in some situations and your smoke can bail you out if you get into trouble. If someone else is providing the spotting, then farm away. Keep an eye on the radar cruisers and try to use islands when possible. Z-42's optimal engagement range is ~3-7km against DDs, and 6-10km against other classes. Get as close to DDs for maximum hydro spotting, though not so close he can torp you. For cruisers and BBs, smoke farming is best done below 8km to maximize your accuracy. Stay further back when open water gunboating though. Below 10km doesn't give you much time to dodge enemy fire. Like Z-52, the key to success is leveraging your flexibility. Some games require you to play the objective, others need you to farm out the enemy team. Z-42 can do both, but the skill gap lies in know which to do and when. Early Game (20:00 - ~15:00 ingame time) Early game can be divided into two general tactics: Going for objectives or securing the flanks In low DD matches or if the cap layout is favorable, then playing for the caps can give your team an early points advantage. If you can hold on to the caps, your team will accumulate a significant points advantage going into the mid-late game. See the "How to take caps and not die" section in Gameplay Tips for more info. In radar heavy maps or if you spawn far from the caps, it's generally better to focus on spotting. Early caps is nice, but not worth losing your ship for. By winning the flanks, you can set your team to win the side so you can take the cap later. Approach the flanks as you would a cap; once you get close to the midpoint of the map, get into a kiting position. Even if you have the advantage in a DD fight, don't play overly aggressively. Your primary job is to gather info, not to force plays. Average players aim for a 1 to 1 trade, skilled players can win fights while taking little damage in return. Once you know the enemy DD lacks support, that's when you move in for the kill. Abuse your hydro smoke combo. If you catch him bow in, congrats on the free kill. Even if he escapes, you've driven him off and now have the cap and/or vision advantage Now you can setup for a push or rotate flanks depending on how the game plays out. Mid Game (~15:00 - ~5:00 in-game time, or until ~4 ships remain on each team, whichever comes first) After the first ~3-5 minutes, look at the minimap and team health and take stock of the situation. If the enemy is strong and looking to make a push, congrats you get to farm damage. Torps can cause some mild discomfort, but the real killing power lies in your guns. DDs are your biggest threat, but if he dies then usually the push stalls. See the "Smoke + Hydro Gimmick" in Gameplay Tips for more info. Assuming all goes well, you will farm a lot of damage while the other flank hopefully hasn't died. If both sides potato and enemy walks into spawn uncontested, then gg farm damage. If your side is much stronger than the enemies side then set up for a potential push. Killing the DD will give you the freedom to spot and encourage your team to push. Cruisers generally hate being permaspotted, so pushing them away will also cause the BBs to run. Then your team can push in and take the position for free. Whether you actually keep pushing depends on the map and who is left. Pushing into the enemy spawn is great, but some maps funnel you into a chokepoint. Sometimes it's better to just rotate back through spawn instead of handing out High Calibers. Going back to counter an enemy push is also generally faster Most games will be roughly even with neither side having a decisive advantage. In these situations, cap control usually comes down to whoever wins the DD fight. If you have superior allied support and/or health, then play aggressively. Force a fight in order to kill the enemy DD. Even if you just severely damage him, you've done your job. A low health DD can no longer contest caps. (he can just dev strike your teammates instead) If killing the enemy DD is difficult or impossible, then rotate off and secure the other caps. Timely rotations can catch enemies off guard, netting you caps or even kills for minimal losses. If your other flank is failing, rotating over can prevent a total collapse. Though be careful if you are the only DD on your side. Many players will blindly follow DDs around, causing everyone to end up back in spawn and down all 3 or 4 caps. Remember to watch your consumable usage. It is easy to spam smoke and run out by the 10 minute mark. I was frequently running out of smoke in my longer games. Try to save at least 1 smoke charge unless there is heavy fighting or the game is almost over. Speed boost dodging is useful when fighting 1 or 2 enemies, letting you conserve smoke for the late game. Late Game (5:00 to end of the game, or when there only a few ships on the map) Unlike her tech tree sister ship, Z-42 is quite dangerous in the late game. The ability to 1v1 DDs can prove decisive for maintaining the points lead. Radar cruisers are always a pain, but hopefully you have a friendly BB or cruiser who can deal with him. Otherwise your spotting and DPM will contribute towards winning critical fights. Hopefully you have a smoke to take advantage of your allies spotting. Either way, the overall strategy remains the same: obtain/maintain the point lead. Healthy ships should run down the enemy while damaged ships provide support or take unguarded caps. Usually it's best to group up as you can pick off lone enemy ships. As a DD, your job is to provide spotting and/or take caps depending on the situation. Don't be afraid to draw attention if you are healthy. A dead ally can provide a massive point swing that can lose the game. Gameplay Tips Most of these tips apply to other DD lines. Even if you don't plan on buying Z-42, I highly recommend reading these tips to improve your overall DD gameplay. I will specify which tips also applies to other DDs. AP is your main ammo type Unlike most other DDs, AP is your default shell. 5 - 7k salvoes every 4 seconds is way too good to pass up. Against enemy DDs, you have to predict when he will go broadside. Most DDs will maneuver to get all their guns in the fight, with most over-rotating their ship in the process. Common times include the first few seconds of the fight and during the turnout. When done properly, you can land a devastating 7k+ salvo, even 2 that can end the fight You don't even have to worry about overpens as AP will always arm on DD hull plating. The only section you can overpen is the superstructure, but that's an unfortunate byproduct of dispersion. Against broadside cruisers and BBs, aim at the upper belt and superstructure. Under ~6km, your guns become accurate enough to target the bow/stern sections as well. I would generally avoid using AP past 10km as you are more likely to bounce off the deck and even shatter on the belt. Also, against healthy broadside BBs I actually recommend starting with HE even with IFHE. Once he is on fire, switch to AP so your shells deal more damage. This way you maximize both your fire and direct shell damage. HE remains useful against angled targets, typically cruisers and DDs who have wisened up to your AP tactics. Without IFHE, your HE is mainly for starting fires and sealclubbing Tier 9 and lower cruisers. 26mm pen is good, but not enough to pen most Tier 10 deck armor Aim for the superstructure and cruiser bow/sterns when possible. Against healthy BBs with no DCP, you can try lighting fires on the bow/stern as well. If you run IFHE, now your HE will pen 32mm armor sections Effective damage against Tier 10 cruisers and lightly armored BBs dramatically increases. While this comes at the cost of less fires, dealing direct damage is well worth the sacrifice. French BBs, British BB, and most cruisers become vulnerable everywhere even when angled. AP will still outdamage HE even with IFHE, so only use HE when the target starts angling. Hydro and Caps In certain caps, it is possible to trap other DDs with your long range hydro. You effectively become a super radar ship, keeping DDs permaspotted while staying safe behind islands. Just be careful around radar ships. 6km hydro is nice, but 10/12km radar is better. Good caps to hydro gimmick include the A cap in Hotspot, C cap on Neighbors, and the eastern most cap of Sleeping Giant Below is an example of the hydro gimmick in action: Smoke + Hydro Gimmick By far your most potent gimmick when fighting other DDs. Any DD that facechecks you will also be in your hydro range. Once trapped, smoke up gimmick him to death with AP. Make him regret ever playing DDs. If he has pre-deployed smoke, you can use it against him, masking your approach before you assassinate him. Instead of hydroing immediately, get to within 4-5km of his approximate position. If there are other enemies around, deploy smoke 1 second before using hydro. When executed correctly, the enemy will panic having been trapped by a hydro he cannot see. He has no escape route, so the only thing left for him is to accept his fate. I've included an example of the smoke gimmick in action: Just be careful of potential smoke rushes. Z-42 has good firepower, but not that good once the enemy angles. Healthy French DDs can rush your smoke and kill you at point-blank range. Save 1 set of torpedoes for this purpose. He can rush you, but even French DDs can't dodge at point-blank range. Finally, the ability to smoke/hydro gimmick is insignificant next to the power of the radar cruisers. Don't forget hydro is still useful for torpedo defense. Avoiding torps will save you and your team a lot of unnecessary AR boosts. You don't always have to smoke to escape (Applies to all DDs) Suppose you run into a ship you can't win a gunfight against. If he is at the edge of your detection range, just turn away and run. No need to blow smoke if you will go undetected in 3 seconds anyways. Oftentimes I see DDs smoke up and fire 1 salvo, only to lose spotting on the target. Basically they spend 1 smoke to deal 1k damage. Not exactly a good trade Also DCP if the enemy gets a lucky fire as it gives you a 2km detection penalty. How to take caps and not die (Applies to other universal type DDs) There are 2 general methods to taking caps: the standard approach and the reverse-in or KotS method Most of the time, you can just run full speed into the cap and turn away from the enemy. After entering the cap, turn away from the predicted enemy position so that your stern faces the enemy Don't forget to pop hydro so you don't get torped. If you get radared, you can immediately go forward to escape. In larger caps, you can back up a little to get extra spotting, but be careful when doing this against other DDs. You will be vulnerable during the transition from reverse to full forward. I've included a short video demonstrating this tactic: Whatever you do, DO NOT RUN IN AND IMMEDIATELY SMOKE. (at least not at the start of the game) Not only are you denying vision to your own team, but you are asking enemies to torp you. Hydro is not an excuse to sit in smoke, nor does it stop enemies from radaring you and chasing you out anyways. Do not be the potato DD that every team dreads. If the cap is heavily guarded with multiple radar ships and DDs trying to kill you, this is when you use the tactic of... ignoring the cap entirely. Unless your team is way behind on points, it is better to focus your efforts elsewhere, whether it is spotting the radar cruisers to death or going for a different cap. As a DD, you don't take fair fights or walk into obvious traps. Use your flexibility and work around the enemy. Strike where they are weak. Now if you are in a Clan Battle or some unfortunate setting where you have to take the cap under fire, then use the KotS method. It's actually similar to the first method, but instead of running directly into the cap, you slowly reverse in. This method is slower, but is much safer if you expect resistance like a radar ship. If you get radared, you can W out and try again in a minute. Just don't back into the exact same spot Smart enemies will throw torps, blindfire, or send planes to your old location as soon as you re-enter. Vision Control (Applies to all DDs) Vision control is a broad topic that deserves its own guide, but I will cover the basics here. The goal is to both spot the enemy ships while keeping the enemy from easily spotting yours. A blind team will be outmaneuvered and destroyed in short order. DD fights are the fastest way to win the vision wars. Not only do you kill the main source of spotting, but now it's easier for you to spot the enemy. Z-42 can win against anything not called a Smaland or Ragnar, so don't be afraid to fight other DDs for vision control. Prioritize keeping low health enemies spotted for your team to finish off. Don't be afraid to position aggressively to keep them spotted, though have a smoke ready just in case. Other good targets to spot are squishy cruisers and radar ships. Keeping them spotted gives your team a chance of killing them, or at the least forcing them away. The spotting game is a very complicated and dynamic one. A good position to spot enemies 1 game can be completely useless for the next. Unfortunately learning how to provide vision on the right targets requires consistent practice and situational awareness. Help, I'm being radared (Applies to all DDs) Russian cruisers are very annoying to fight due to their 12km radar and railgun ballistics. It's not as bad against US cruisers and RN Light cruisers, but getting caught under 7km is usually instant death. The key to fighting them is teamwork and splitting their attention. Always keep track of where the radar cruisers are positioned. If possible, skirt the edge of radar range so you can immediately run away if needed. Most players will radar early, so once you bait it just run out of its range and wait for it to end. Use speed boost to dodge their shells. You can even hide behind island in certain situations, but be aware of other enemies. Just because the radar ship can't shoot you doesn't mean his teammates can't. Once radar is down, you get 2 minutes to do whatever you need to do. Whether it is taking caps or counter-farming the radar cruiser. If he doesn’t radar, then follow the same tactics as open water gunboating. It’s extremely important to keep track of his turrets. If it’s turning towards you, a radar is likely to follow. You can use smoke to stop other ships from shooting you, but always stay at the edge of his range in case he radars. Radar DDs fall into 2 categories: Smaland/Ragnar, and everyone else. The Smaland/Ragnar match up is a disaster as they can beat you even at half HP. Your best defense is a combination of prediction, islands, and allied support. You will still take heavy damage, but at least you can make them pay a heavy price for it. Thankfully the other radar DDs are far easier to deal with, i.e Orkan, Hsien Yang, Chung Mu, Black, and Yue Yang. In fact, they are actually afraid of you. Sure they can radar you, but they can't beat you in a 1v1. You are more worried about the enemy ships behind them, but the 6s radar delay gives you time to prepare. Whatever you do, don't panic smoke until you know their radar is on cooldown. Not only will it not conceal you, but you will also block vision for the rest of your team who could have shot the radar ship. DD radar only extends out to 7.5km, so only smoke if you need to past this range. Note: Pan Asian DDs can only carry smoke or radar, not both. Assume they have radar until proven otherwise. If they have radar, just kill them the traditional way. Without smoke. Beginner Dodging Tips (Applies to all DDs) While the Z-42 isn't the best at maneuvering, she is good enough to dodge all but the fastest shells. As a general rule of thumb, DDs will struggle to hit you past 7-8km while cruisers and BBs struggle past 10-12km. As long as you stay mobile, you should be able to avoid major damage. Aside from basic turns, the easiest method to dodging is to simply hit the brakes and turn out. Once the shots pass over, immediately re-apply full engine power so you can evade the follow up salvoes. Congrats, you have successfully dodged 99% of enemy salvoes. Speed boost makes this tactic even more effective due to the increased acceleration If you have trouble knowing when to dodge, take Incoming Fire Alert Other than this, maintain your speed and keep turning to make yourself a harder target. Advanced Dodging Tips (Applies to all DDs) Once you learn the basics, efficient dodging comes from understanding the psychology behind how players aim. For example, worse players tend to underlead shots while better players tend to overlead. Against weaker players, you can easily dodge by running full speed in a straight line, at least until they adjust their aim. Good players will still nail you, so you turn out and hit the brakes to dodge their first salvo. Funny enough this can sometimes backfire as you can dodge into a poorly aimed salvo if you overestimate the enemy's skill level. Another example is shown in the video below: In this scenario, I'm contesting a cap while being radared Since I am radared, enemies expect me to run away and aim at the bow Instead, I go backwards and compleley dodge everyone's salvo, taking no damage in the process. Tallinn's radar only lasts 15s, so I only need to dodge 1 salvo, maybe 2 from cruisers. I can go on, but the general idea remains the same: do the opposite of what the enemy expects. This applies to all ships, but DDs have the maneuverability to take full advantage of this. If you can master his skill, then you can save your HP for important situations where you can't avoid damage. Damage Farming Tactics (Applies to all DDs) Z-42 can do both open water gunboating and smoke farming, depending on the situation. Open water gunboating is best done against distracted enemies or if you will take little damage in return. You will have to operate near maximum gun range, but this lets you maintain spotting and saves smokes for later use. Keep an eye on the Priority Target counter. If the number ticks up, it might be a good time to smoke or go dark. Otherwise keep an eye on enemy turret orientation. If it starts turning towards you, this is a good time to go quiet. German DDs cannot dodge as well as the French DDs, but it's good enough for short engagements. Smoke farming is more powerful as you can attack from closer ranges. While you can focus more on aiming, don't forget smokescreens are torpedo magnets. Always use hydro if it is available. At the very least be angled to their predicted vector. Ideal smoke ranges are between 7-9km, though this can vary depending on the enemy's movement. Against yoloing enemies, try to position the smoke off to his side. This way if he wants to run you down, he has to give broadside to your allies. Also keep torps ready just in case. Before you smoke, always make sure someone else is providing spotting. It is an awkward moment if you smoke up and deny your team's only source of vision. On the bright side, wasting 1 smoke isn't a big loss for you. Oh no, the CV only focuses DDs (Applies to every ship) Fighting CVs and hybrid BBs is never fun as they many will go out of their way to focus you. The longer you live, the more time they waste on you. Time spent not killing the rest of your team. Play cautiously if planes are buzzing around though. It's usually better to avoid combat until you know the CV isn't going for you. Last thing you want is to be caught unprepared and take the focus fire of 5 ships. AA should always be turned off by default. You aren't shooting down planes, so your best defense is avoiding them altogether. If the CV is actively going for you, then immediately get away from the enemy surface ships. Use allied AA support if possible. Try to stay in open water to give yourself room to maneuver. Rockets and HE bombers are your biggest threat. Torpedo bombers are also dangerous, but are easier to angle towards. As long as you aren't distracted, you should be able to dodge. If there are too many threats to dodge, don't be afraid to burn smoke. Losing 1 smoke is better than losing half your health. Not all games are winnable (Applies to everyone) The most important tip. You will get unwinnable games from time to time. Even the best players with the most try-hard divisions cannot win 100% of their games. At the end of the day, World of Warships is a game designed for entertainment (and watching salty players explode in game chat) If WoWs is making you miserable, it's time to take a break. Get up, walk around, do something productive. Anything to get your mind off of WoWs. You can always come back later. Final Thoughts Z-42 is essentially paying 27k steel for slightly better guns and a British smoke. She excels at smashing other DDs while being able to do DD roles herself like spotting and capping. If you have played the Z-52 line, Z-42's similar handling will allow a smooth and easy transition. The turret angles and smoke may take a few games but otherwise there isn't anything new to master. While Z-42 also doubles as a great support DD, you didn't suffer through multiple seasons of ranked and Clan Battles to help 40% WR potatoes survive a little longer. No. You are here to carry and Z-42 has the tools to do just that. Kill the enemy DD, take their caps, and farm the enemy when they push in. You won't get high-damage games or great PR numbers, but at least you can be satisfied with a better win rate. It's kind of funny that Z-42 was released just as I finished my Z-52 guide. Made it fairly easy to write the Z-42 guide since I just needed to write the stats and reword some of the Gameplay Tips. I quite enjoyed playing the Z-42, though definitely didn't like the cursed teammates she came with. Probably should have paid for the Premium MM package as well. (That was a joke btw). Oh well, it is what it is. This is currently my 2nd Premium ship guide and my 5th overall. Currently I am focusing on tech tree guides as they are rare to come by, but I occasionally review premium ships if I get time or take a particular interest in them. So far I have a US Heavy Cruiser Guide, a Royal Navy Battlecruiser Guide, a German Z-52 DD Line guide, and an Azuma guide. Not sure what line to cover next, though I favor one of the older or less popular lines. No CVs or subs though, I don't have any interest in them. If you want to learn how a particular line works, let me know and I might be inclined to (eventually) make a guide for it. Since you made it to the end, enjoy your complimentary torpedo beat: Sources Used Wows-ShipBuilder: https://app.wowssb.com/ Used for all relevant ship parameters. The dispersion and ballistic charts is also very helpful to visualize how good/bad your dispersion is. WoWs Shiptool: https://shiptool.st/ Excellent for comparing entire tiers or class of ships In-Game Armor Viewer Well, gotta show the armor even if it doesn't exist. WoWs wiki: https://wiki.wargaming.net/en/World_of_Warships Their articles on exact gameplay mechanics is quite handy.