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German/Kriegsmarine DD

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I'm deciding to go down the German DD line and I was just looking for general tips on how to play them...


I'm Getting two crowds, either telling me to stop now because they're bad as all hell and the time would be better wasted trying to file a complaint to Wargaming Customer service...or people telling me they're awesome in versatility, and to play them like a stealthy CL with better than average torpedos and poor firing concealment.


I just need some outside opinions...Thanks in advance!

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So until the IX German DDs are meh at best, disgusting at worst. Until you get to the Z-46, the rest of the line loses to other nations whenever looking at a certain trait or aspect. If you do get the Z-46 and Z-52 you'll have 2 solid DDs that I would argue are the 2nd best DDs in their respective tiers



A breakdown of the KM DDs and their playstyle if you're interested:



So I just finished my first 100 matches in the Z-52 and so far have racked up 487k convertible exp, basically that means I love it. Yes indeed it has its shortcomings - primarily the detection bloom and susceptibility to large caliber AP - but I've been able to adapt to it weaknesses rather well. Matching up against VMF DDs is still a nightmare, but a fight against any of the other nations is one I'm confident enough to win....


To preface I see this destroyer as a ship with the ability to dab into the styles of the other three nations. I classify the Z-52 as either a USN/IJN or a USN/VMF hybrid depending on the modules, skills, and playstyle a captain utilizes. As such, I transition into different roles depending on the progression of the match. For instance, I could start out as an aggressive USN gunboat contesting a cap, transition into a IJN torpboat in the mid-game while also serving as area denial with the 90 second, low detection, fast torpedoes, and then play a VMF destroyer in the late game - staying at mid distance and whittling down low hp targets with either HE or AP. The great thing about this ship is its ability to switch between the these three styles as it pleases, adding its own national flavor to the mix (sonar, german AP, etc).


So I've been using a build recently that had consistently garnered some great results, allowing to capitalize on the "hybrid" aspect that I see the KM DDs as, and I wish to share it with you guys in hopes that you can benefit as much as I did. Keep in mind this build is not adaptable to the 150s the Z-23 and is more geared around the Z-46 and Z-52 and their 128s. Feel free to use it or not; alright lets begin


Modules (in order)

  • Main Armaments Mod 1
    • Decreasing the chance of your main guns and torpedo launchers being incapacitated is pivotol to this ship. Practically a no-brainer
  • AA guns mod 2
    • The Z-52 has DP (dual purpose) mounts meaning that the main guns serve as AA guns as well, similar to the Minotaur. Your main battery accuracy is already good enough to pick this up to increase your AA range up to 7.2km (with complimentary skills). When being perma spotted or not focused, this AA can offer moderate-good resistance to planes depending on tier and nation of the CV
  • Torp Tube Mod 3
    • The KM line has fast reloads on their torpedoes. Emphasizing the jack of all trades concept, lowering your torp reload with this and Adrenaline Rush makes you more adaptable and more deadly the longer the match goes on. At around ~20% health, reload is in the 40 second range so if you can't make use of your guns because of circumstance, this will allow you to switch from gunboat to torpboat without a loss in usefulness
  • Damage Control Systems Mod 1
    • I don't feel there is a need for explanation on this one
  • Propulsion Mod 1
    • Originally I thought improving the rudder-shift would be fine enough but I took propulsion instead. The reason being how I avoid incoming shells and how I use smoke. With dodging, zig-zaging I found that higher caliber AP inflict more damage (KM DDs are more susceptible to 33% AP salvos which can see 10k hp gone in a flash). I found the method of throwing off enemy aim through the use of fluctuating speed a lot more effective. In addition speeding up more quickly to avoid torps considering how aggressive you can get with this ship will alleviate the headache of taking a shima torp.
  • Concealment Mod 1
    • You don't have a smoke that lasts long so reducing the range at which you are detected is a boon. Not to mention, lowering your concealment allows you to contest caps more easily then without it. You will be on par with USN and the few IJN who don't carry CE which means you can save yourself the extra smokescreen you would need later on

Captain Skills

  • Priority Target
    • Knowing how many ships are locked on to you allows you to make the call to either go ghost or continue focusing whatever ship you're shooting at. You'll have to accept that, in most cases, when you start firing you will be detected so its just choosing what can you get away with. 1 ship targeting you? No problem. 4? gtfo and stealth
  • Last stand
    • You will be fired upon, and you will get hit. Stay calm and hold that repair consumable for when you absolutely need it. So long as you're not totally crippled, you can make it; thats what last stand is for
  • BFT
    • You want to lower that reload speed. An extra smoke, speed boost, and sonar charge sounds nice but I looked at it like this: your smoke is bad, mostly used to immediately ghost or to pull a RN CA and spam AP at broadside ships. A speed flag and you're only slower by the ships you never want to face (VMF). Sonar lasts long and most often your either dead or the enemy dds are all dead, the times you use this will be not be high so you can go without the extra.
  • AFT
    • AFT At 14.8km the arcs are still very good, not russian good but better than USN. Even at this range, AP at broadside targets can net 4k a salvo and just switch to HE when you can't pen anymore. Yes, yes the detection bloom is annoying but then at this range. you have a larger window to dodge. These guns are great, to not use these due to detection means only using 50% of your ships strengths. The damage potential from these guns are wonderful, they are essentially a scaled down version of the Hindenburgs.
  • CE
    • This is what allows you to switch between USN and VMF playstyles. You'll have the concealment to aggressively contest caps and it will lower the distance between spotted and using sonar (6.1km detection and hydro reaches out to 5.88). Consider that your smoke does not last long and you'll be glad you become as stealthy as a Fletcher or Gearing 
  • Survivability Expert
    • You will be shot at and you will get hit, having HP to trade away or sacrifice is nice. Tacking on an addition 3.5k hp gives you a little more room to work with, If you play the destroyer hunter or cap contester role, coming in with more HP is a benefit. Plus should you ever have the misfortune of taking a shima torp that high roles, originally losing 90% of your hp is a pain. Plus if your worst fears are realized and you come against an Udaloi or Khab, you can at least limp away rather than crawl
  • Adrenaline Expert
    • This helps offset your 3.6sec reload speed. As I've mentioned these ships are easier to hit and easier to dmg with AP from 16in guns. If you know you will lose health why not counter that with lowering your reload speed down to 2.5 seconds in some instances. This vastly increases your dpm, allowing you to punish broadside ships more severely in what little time you're in smoke and increases the chances of wining a duel against a DD who has more HP




I personally love my Z-52 and I never considered myself a DD player. I played BBs first, and then cruisers.

Edited by Combined_Fleet_HQ
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T2-4 are a lot of fun, for the love of all that is holy skip the 5, play the 6 with 150s, the 7 is alright, the 8 is fun with 150s, the 9/10 are both pretty good. They eat pen damage like no other though, and they have terribad smoke. 


The T10 gets full on German hydro that's fun to troll with. 

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I like the German line and have kept my Z23 & Z52.  When there was stealth fire in the game, German DDs were a rough ride since they could be detected as far as they could shoot.  Now that everyone falls under the same rules the line is pretty strong IMO.  Strong guns, fast torp reloads, good stealth & hydro make them a well rounded DD.  Only downfall is their short smoke duration.  Give them a try...


Semper Paratus! 

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T2-T4 are good and fun.

T8 to T10 are excellent.


Those are the ones I kept. I disliked Gaede and Maas. Z-52 is very competitive and one to aspire to reach.

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I have 3 T10 DDs from 3 separate lines and I'm a DD main.


The highest I have on the German line is T4. I also have around 850k free xp.


Take that for what's it's worth.

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I have the Z46 now, and I like it a lot.  I kept the V-170 because it's hilariously fun to spam torpedoes in all directions.  I sold all the ones in between, though.  They were all at least somewhat okay, but did not seem as competitive at their tiers as the Z-46.  And everything I've heard about the Z-52 leads me to believe it's even more fun, even though if you compare the stats it only looks like an incremental improvement over the Z-46.

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