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gurudennis

Intermediate Tactics: The German Gambit

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In this second guide of the impromptu Intermediate Tactics series we're going to discuss a fairly simple but underutilized technique for defeating an opposing battleship in a 1 v 1 brawl where both sides have torpedoes. A good example would be a head-on fight involving ships like Scharnhorst, Gneisenau or Tirpitz, but elements of this approach can be used in similar engagements even if one or both ships are cruisers. But first let's consider the situations in which this is an appropriate tactic to entertain.

 

When to use

  • Complications such as destroyer or carrier torpedoes are unlikely to compel you to make unplanned turns
  • Enemy looks willing to commit to a potentially suicidal torpedo run 1 v 1
  • More than 50% of your own torpedo launchers are loaded and ready to fire
  • You have enough HP to receive a full broadside shot from close range and plausibly walk away
  • Enemy has enough HP for it to be worth risking a potential torpedo hit you might take
  • Enemy doesn't appear to be an unusually strong player

 

Assuming that the above conditions are all met, it's time to engage. The objective is simple: destroy the opponent as quickly as possible while taking acceptable damage in return. Using this tactic you can expect to take around 10-15 k damage depending on execution and sink the opposing BB even from full health.

 

A video is worth a thousand words, so before we dive into theory crafting and some of the finer points, let's have a look at one example from a match I played a few days ago:

 

 

It's convenient to think of this move in terms of three phases:

 

1. Approach

 

At this point your chief concern is to establish the intent of the opponent to make sure that he's willing to commit at point blank range. Most players will clearly telegraph that intent by quickly charging directly at the enemy while taking potshots. Even if the enemy slows down to protract the confrontation, the Gambit is still a go so long as he doesn't turn around to run.

 

Ideally, it helps to convince the opponent that you are a potato by shooting HE and giving a little bit of your side. Both are actually benefits in disguise. The HE is probably the better ammo choice anyway considering that the enemy is angled. Giving a partial side shot to the enemy baits him to fire on the armored belt and usually results in good damage mitigation. Thus you should be able to deal some damage to the opponent and possibly even bait out Damage Control while closing the distance and taking little punishment in return.

 

2. The handy torpedoes

 

Once you close to around 4 km (assuming both ships are moving full speed ahead), it's time to execute a turn away from the opponent. It's crucial to time it such that any incoming torpedoes will be launched at the indicator while you're in the turn. With any luck, the opponent will perform minimal maneuvering while he's busy launching his own torpedoes. You'll be launching yours too (try to read what avoidance if any the opponent will be performing). It's preferable to launch as late in the outward turn as the torpedo arcs would allow so as to minimize the time to target.

 

As you're turning, two things will happen. First, the enemy is likely to fire on your broadside. With any luck, this should be the only major damage you take. Second, the enemy torpedoes should go past you (assuming they were launched at the indicator in the turn) or in the worst case hit you from behind. It's fairly easy to avoid them or take one at most.

 

3. The off hand torpedoes

 

At this stage you are on a course directly away from the enemy who is probably busy taking your torpedoes in the side. Swing your other side towards the enemy enough to launch the second set of torpedoes. Although it's not visible in the replay video, you need to aim behind the indicator because not only do evasive maneuvers and flooding slow down the target but you've lost the element of surprise (unless the enemy is an extra special spud).

 

Once the second set of torpedoes hits, it's time to play the German Anthem because the Gambit is complete. You've just traded some broadside damage to the stronk Kriegsmarine turtleback for an instant and spectacular kill.

 

Good hunting! Please leave your comments and suggestions below and never use this move on me k tnx :hiding:.

 

Oh and, in case you're interested, here's Guide #1 in this series of two (so far).

 

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That's one of two ways I see that tactic being done, the other involves staying forward the whole time.  Its similar though.

 

Staying on the foward course is significantly more risky in my opinion because you're very likely to take at least some torpedoes. Because it's the more straightforward method of doing things, you are unlikely to catch the opponent off guard. Finally, because of the forward momentum you have to launch the first set prematurely at a bow-on target. Those usually miss or score a single hit at most.

 

Overall, the forward version is usable but I try to avoid it if at all possible because it tends to get me in more trouble.

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Staying on the foward course is significantly more risky in my opinion because you're very likely to take at least some torpedoes. Because it's the more straightforward method of doing things, you are unlikely to catch the opponent off guard. Finally, because of the forward momentum you have to launch the first set prematurely at a bow-on target. Those usually miss or score a single hit at most.

 

Overall, the forward version is usable but I try to avoid it if at all possible because it tends to get me in more trouble.

Staying forwards is usually your best bet if broadsiding means you'll be wiped out or close to being wiped out.

 

Your tactic is great for endgame 1v1s with idiot BBs who didn't push up with their teams, but this kind of move has no use anywhere else.  The presence of another enemy, especially if they're attacking from a different angle, makes everything much more complicated and will usually result in the tradeoff not being worth it; the only BB drivers who will be that close to a German BB at the start of the match are the dumb ones.  So you sacrificed or rendered combat-ineffective (not dead, but out of the front lines for a while to heal) a smart BB driver for a dumb one.

 

That said, it's difficult to craft a "technique" of any sort that doesn't involve a 1v1 situation for this game, despite the emphasis on teamwork.  Too many variables to consider when a second player enters the equation on either side, especially the enemy's.

Edited by TenguBlade
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I've sunk so many people doing exactly this.  Nobody is ready for the second spread of torps after you turn away like that.

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Staying forwards is usually your best bet if broadsiding means you'll be wiped out or close to being wiped out.

 

Your tactic is great for endgame 1v1s with idiot BBs who didn't push up with their teams, but this kind of move has no use anywhere else.  The presence of another enemy, especially if they're attacking from a different angle, makes everything much more complicated and will usually result in the tradeoff not being worth it; the only BB drivers who will be that close to a German BB at the start of the match are the dumb ones.  So you sacrificed or rendered combat-ineffective (not dead, but out of the front lines for a while to heal) a smart BB driver for a dumb one.

 

That said, it's difficult to craft a "technique" of any sort that doesn't involve a 1v1 situation for this game, despite the emphasis on teamwork.  Too many variables to consider when a second player enters the equation on either side, especially the enemy's.

 

Like most BB brawling, especially with dangerous underwater toys, this is indeed a predominantly endgame move for when few of the usual brawling risk factors remain in play. The case in the video falls squarely in that category, too, and even so I took some uncharacteristically heavy damage in the broadside shot comparing to how this tends to play out.

 

As a naturally conservative player, for better or for worse I tend not to take existential risks until late in the match. It seems to me that we think alike.

Edited by gurudennis

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This "jousting" maneuver can work wonders in late game scenarios though. My crowning achievement with the method was sailing a Gneiseneu between a Nagato and a Colorado, scoring a double tap with torpedoes from both sides.

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This "jousting" maneuver can work wonders in late game scenarios though. My crowning achievement with the method was sailing a Gneiseneu between a Nagato and a Colorado, scoring a double tap with torpedoes from both sides.

 

Oh yes. Totally worth it in 2 v 1. The point in that case is to discharge both sets for maximum effect. Bonus points for staying afloat.
Edited by gurudennis

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This "jousting" maneuver can work wonders in late game scenarios though. My crowning achievement with the method was sailing a Gneiseneu between a Nagato and a Colorado, scoring a double tap with torpedoes from both sides.

 

Even better: Go 3v1, torp 2 and ram the remaining ship. 
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Nice guide for a useful tactic.  A similar tactic can also be used in BB gun duels with no torps involved.  get as close as you can, bait the salvo, then turn away and keep your rear pointed at the enemy so they can't devastating strike you.

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Like most BB brawling, especially with dangerous underwater toys, this is indeed a predominantly endgame move for when few of the usual brawling risk factors remain in play. The case in the video falls squarely in that category, too, and even so I took some uncharacteristically heavy damage in the broadside shot comparing to how this tends to play out.

 

As a naturally conservative player, for better or for worse I tend not to take existential risks until late in the match. It seems to me that we think alike.

If I thought like you did, I wouldn't have the WR I do now - not bashing your philosophy, just noting that I don't have the skillset to make yours work.  I tend to be so aggressive I get a few complaints of acting stupidly at the start of a match; the only reason I do well is that I put a little more thought into my aggression than my enemy(ies) do(es) into repelling me.  I don't doubt I could play conservatively, but where's the fun in that when I win most 1v1s I take on anyways? :D

 

In other words, my doctrine revolves using aggression to lead by example and create tactical openings.  Leave some dead ships in my wake after having taken all the punishment for my team, retreat and heal while the team takes up the torch for a bit, then get back out front.  When it comes to actually piloting the ship though, that is, in a 1v1, it revolves around nothing more than taking less damage than my opponent in a duel - conservative, yes, but getting into those duels in the first place is often the result of aggression and usually sometimes stupidity.  In a one-on-one, I can agree that we seek the same thing, but tactically we're polar opposites.  It's an interesting to think about...:yes_cap:

 

Makes me wonder how your strategies with the Iowa compare to mine in particular.

Edited by TenguBlade

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If I thought like you did, I wouldn't have the WR I do now - not bashing your philosophy, just noting that I don't have the skillset to make yours work.  I tend to be so aggressive I get a few complaints of acting stupidly at the start of a match; the only reason I do well is that I put a little more thought into my aggression than my enemy(ies) do(es) into repelling me.  I don't doubt I could play conservatively, but where's the fun in that when I win most 1v1s I take on anyways? :D

 

In other words, my doctrine revolves using aggression to lead by example and create tactical openings.  Leave some dead ships in my wake after having taken all the punishment for my team, retreat and heal while the team takes up the torch for a bit, then get back out front.  When it comes to actually piloting the ship though, that is, in a 1v1, it revolves around nothing more than taking less damage than my opponent in a duel - conservative, yes, but getting into those duels in the first place is often the result of aggression and usually sometimes stupidity.  In a one-on-one, I can agree that we seek the same thing, but tactically we're polar opposites.  It's an interesting to think about...:yes_cap:

 

Makes me wonder how your strategies with the Iowa compare to mine in particular.

 

Fair enough :)

 

I have the utmost respect for players more aggressive than myself and I've been working on improving my ability to exploit openings by playing tons of Scharnhorst lately. Coming from more of a cruiser / IJN BB background, it's very liberating to be able to have a more direct brute force impact on a match with ze big Germans.

 

Maybe we should div sometime.

 

My strategies with Iowa? I'm not gonna lie, it's been a while, but I recall playing her as an oversized cruiser of sorts, with most damage avoidance coming from changing speed and direction rather than bow tanking. Perhaps the same way that Amagi works. Not really closing in that often but not sniping either. I hope to give her another go with Missouri if and when I decide to drop ~500k XP worth of cash. Why, what's your strategy with Iowa?

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Fair enough :)

 

I have the utmost respect for players more aggressive than myself and I've been working on improving my ability to exploit openings by playing tons of Scharnhorst lately. Coming from more of a cruiser / IJN BB background, it's very liberating to be able to have a more direct brute force impact on a match with ze big Germans.

 

Maybe we should div sometime.

 

My strategies with Iowa? I'm not gonna lie, it's been a while, but I recall playing her as an oversized cruiser of sorts, with most damage avoidance coming from changing speed and direction rather than bow tanking. Perhaps the same way that Amagi works. Not really closing in that often but not sniping either. I hope to give her another go with Missouri if and when I decide to drop ~500k XP worth of cash. Why, what's your strategy with Iowa?

I've been working on a number of strategies to knife-fight other battleships with her when backed against the wall.  Most non-Germans, since strategy against them is mostly just attempting to ram.

 

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I've been working on a number of strategies to knife-fight other battleships with her when backed against the wall.  Most non-Germans, since strategy against them is mostly just attempting to ram.

 

I'd be interested if you care to share some ideas.

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