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DingBat

DingBat's Tiny Tactical Talks #1: It's not all about damage

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Hi,

 

I used to do a series of small after-battle analysis in my old WoT days and finally got the urge to do one for WoWs. In these talks I take a look at one of my battles and do a short walk-through. Yeah, a lot of them will show me doing good things, but it's not about self-aggrandizement. It's more about trying to help newer players, or players trying to improve, see different ways of viewing the game. 

 

I had a battle recently on Haven that I think illustrates a few lessons for many skippers. In this particular match I was in my Blys. I truly love that ship. I loved it when it could stealth fire. I still love it now. People talk about the Khab being a light cruiser. I put the Blys in the same category. It can beat up most destroyers of the same tier and it can torment the hell out of a battleship. In fact, I believe that the true value of the Blys (and the Khab) is not in their power, which is considerable, but in their ability to distract, torment, and generally knock other players off their game. This is one example. 

 

Setup

Despite what the maps will show, it was standard mode on Haven. We started on the north side, with me on the extreme right wing. It was a decent tier 7 match with about 5 bb's a side. We each had one carrier: a Ranger for them, and a Saipan for us (more on Capt Saipan later). There were 5 dd's on our side, 4 on theirs. They had a Belfast as well, which always catches my attention. I treat those ships with respect when I'm destroyer-ing. 

 

Phase 1

I start the match running straight south. I want to head down to at least the G line, but give the islands a wide berth as the Blys likes stand off range and I don't want to be surprised at close range by Mr Belfast. Very quickly into the run I make contact with a couple of enemy dive bomber squadrons who loiter just south of me. I remember instantly thinking that this is a big mistake if our carrier player is on his game. It gets worse for the enemy cv player when he sends some torpedo squadrons to rendezvous with the dive bombers as our Saipan intercepts with two fighter squadrons and that ends that little problem. I'm now free to push farther south. I haven't seen anything yet which leads me to believe that the enemy is pushing the opposite direction. But then I get a clear line of site on the I line and spot a Scharnhorst, a Nagato, and a King George V, with no escorts. 

 

I see our carrier is sending some strike packages south, so I drop some optimistic torps and open fire on the Scharn (who was the closest) at < 10km. All three bb's lock on and start maneuvering to return fire. The carrier strike arrives soon after and catches the Scharnhorst by surprise, taking 3/4 of his health. He turns away back towards his base. 

 

I'm a little surprised to see the Nagato and the KGV steaming on towards me on a south westerly heading, still taking shots. I'm thinking if the bb's want to play, I'm game and start leading them on a little loop to the south west. The return fire from the KGV is accurate and I take more damage than I'd like, but the Nagato.... wow. I count 7 salvos at me during our little dance and none land anywhere near me. 

 

At this point, these players are making a HUGE mistake. One tier 7 destroyer is now tying down two tier 7 battleships. At this point, it doesn't matter if I do any damage or not. I'm just fully prepared to keep on doing this as long as my hit points hold up. 

 

We do this dance for at least 5 minutes when I see that an enemy destroyer has managed to get to our cap. By this point I'm on the F line and nearby so I break off with the battleships and head for base. 

 

K5llVap.jpg

 

Phase 2

At this point we have an enemy Sims who's chased one of our battleships away from cap and is now capping. The rest of our team is in the north east corner of the map and has it's hands full. We're down four ships and it looks like we're going to lose. But the Sims guns are facing away from me and he isn't prepared for my first shot. His maneuvering runs him aground and I finish him off. Almost immediately after this an enemy Fubuki comes charging in, but I also get some help in the form of a friendly dd. Our Saipan is also closing on cap. I take the Fubuki under fire at long range, something he doesn't appear to expect. He dodges behind a nearby island but a friendly cruiser takes him out. Then, right after that, an enemy Maase steams in. I respect the Maase so I'm a bit worried but I again seem to outrange and out-accuracy him and get some good hits in that force him to maneuver. He goes down. 

 

We were fortunate the enemy didn't coordinate their attacks a bit better. 

 

Now free, I turn again south to re-establish contact with those battleships. 

 

5XIbD0D.jpg

 

Phase 3

I find the Nagato trolling slowly up the 1 line. I call out the un-escorted battleship and again the Saipan driver seems to be listening as planes start heading that way. I re-engage the Nagato to get him to focus on me, and it works. He starts maneuvering to bring his guns to bear. I can actually see the moment he says "Oh sh*t" as he tries to reverse his turn to avoid the air dropped torpedoes. Our Saipan collects a Devastating Strike. 

 

But the Saipan is now a little exposed near our cap and the KGV that I lost earlier has shown up in the middle of the map. I loop back and tell the Saipan driver I intend to smoke him. He does a crash stop just as I get there and the KGV is starting to engage. I dump torps at him but the carrier planes finish him before he can get close enough to penetrate the smoke screen. It was really close and that KGV player knew his ship. 

 

P5cS7ec.jpg

 

End Game

As the dust settled there, we'd gone from being down four ships to being up two. The enemy carrier squadrons were decimated and all their destroyers were gone but they still had 3 battleships, a Ranger, and a Belfast to our 3 battleships, Schorrs, Omaha (man, tier 5 sucks), Saipan, and me. I was too damaged to risk shooting but I did need to spot. Unfortunately, I found them, but too close to the Belfast who radared me out of the match. The enemy put up a tough fight but we were grouped up and coordinating fire well. 

 

In the end, it was not a stellar game for me by any means. 57k damage and 1 kill.

PMP11I5.jpg

 

But the damage doesn't tell the entire tale. Just by being visible, I probably triggered two battleship players into spending valuable time trying to pot-shot a single destroyer. Just by being visible, I potentially distracted two battleships at critical moments that allowed another team mate to get in major blows. And I used the speed of the vessel to help break up a concerted (if uncoordinated) attempt on our cap. 

 

ct20od0.jpg

 

The 1.5 million potential damage testifies to the extent that those battleship players wanted my hide. That was 1.5 million potential damage points that they expended on low probability shots on a fast moving destroyer at long range. With the exception of some earlier, medium range shots from the KGV, I never felt seriously at risk. So the two battleship players were really playing a losing game from the moment I first opened fire. They couldn't know that, of course, but the wisdom of chasing a single destroyer should have occurred to them. 

 

The lesson from this match is that the loss of open water stealth firing is not the end of the world for destroyers. There are times when you actually maybe WANT to be seen. And simply being seen can have an impact. 

 

The second, lesser lesson is about flexing. Speed is a weapon. Too many destroyer captains pin themselves to a piece of ocean or try to find an island to sit behind. I can't do that. That speed is life and the ability to flex around the map is what turns losses into victories. 

 

I hope this write up helps some captains out there. Feedback always welcome so pile it on, good or bad.

 

Afterword

I found after the fight that our Saipan player was a rank 1 veteran. Not surprised. He was the real hero of the battle. Glad I was able to help when he needed it. 

 

Edit: Just now realized that the Sims was a Nicholas. And the Nagato a Fuso. Doh. 

Edited by DingBat
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On 10/2/2017 at 7:49 PM, DingBat said:

Hi,

 

I used to do a series of small after-battle analysis in my old WoT days and finally got the urge to do one for WoWs. In these talks I take a look at one of my battles and do a short walk-through. Yeah, a lot of them will show me doing good things, but it's not about self-aggrandizement. It's more about trying to help newer players, or players trying to improve, see different ways of viewing the game. 

 

I had a battle recently on Haven that I think illustrates a few lessons for many skippers. In this particular match I was in my Blys. I truly love that ship. I loved it when it could stealth fire. I still love it now. People talk about the Khab being a light cruiser. I put the Blys in the same category. It can beat up most destroyers of the same tier and it can torment the hell out of a battleship. In fact, I believe that the true value of the Blys (and the Khab) is not in their power, which is considerable, but in their ability to distract, torment, and generally knock other players off their game. This is one example. 

 

Setup

Despite what the maps will show, it was standard mode on Haven. We started on the north side, with me on the extreme right wing. It was a decent tier 7 match with about 5 bb's a side. We each had one carrier: a Ranger for them, and a Saipan for us (more on Capt Saipan later). There were 5 dd's on our side, 4 on theirs. They had a Belfast as well, which always catches my attention. I treat those ships with respect when I'm destroyer-ing. 

 

Phase 1

I start the match running straight south. I want to head down to at least the G line, but give the islands a wide berth as the Blys likes stand off range and I don't want to be surprised at close range by Mr Belfast. Very quickly into the run I make contact with a couple of enemy dive bomber squadrons who loiter just south of me. I remember instantly thinking that this is a big mistake if our carrier player is on his game. It gets worse for the enemy cv player when he sends some torpedo squadrons to rendezvous with the dive bombers as our Saipan intercepts with two fighter squadrons and that ends that little problem. I'm now free to push farther south. I haven't seen anything yet which leads me to believe that the enemy is pushing the opposite direction. But then I get a clear line of site on the I line and spot a Scharnhorst, a Nagato, and a King George V, with no escorts. 

 

I see our carrier is sending some strike packages south, so I drop some optimistic torps and open fire on the Scharn (who was the closest) at < 10km. All three bb's lock on and start maneuvering to return fire. The carrier strike arrives soon after and catches the Scharnhorst by surprise, taking 3/4 of his health. He turns away back towards his base. 

 

I'm a little surprised to see the Nagato and the KGV steaming on towards me on a south westerly heading, still taking shots. I'm thinking if the bb's want to play, I'm game and start leading them on a little loop to the south west. The return fire from the KGV is accurate and I take more damage than I'd like, but the Nagato.... wow. I count 7 salvos at me during our little dance and none land anywhere near me. 

 

At this point, these players are making a HUGE mistake. One tier 7 destroyer is now tying down two tier 7 battleships. At this point, it doesn't matter if I do any damage or not. I'm just fully prepared to keep on doing this as long as my hit points hold up. 

 

We do this dance for at least 5 minutes when I see that an enemy destroyer has managed to get to our cap. By this point I'm on the F line and nearby so I break off with the battleships and head for base. 

 

K5llVap.jpg

 

Phase 2

At this point we have an enemy Sims who's chased one of our battleships away from cap and is now capping. The rest of our team is in the north east corner of the map and has it's hands full. We're down four ships and it looks like we're going to lose. But the Sims guns are facing away from me and he isn't prepared for my first shot. His maneuvering runs him aground and I finish him off. Almost immediately after this an enemy Fubuki comes charging in, but I also get some help in the form of a friendly dd. Our Saipan is also closing on cap. I take the Fubuki under fire at long range, something he doesn't appear to expect. He dodges behind a nearby island but a friendly cruiser takes him out. Then, right after that, an enemy Maase steams in. I respect the Maase so I'm a bit worried but I again seem to outrange and out-accuracy him and get some good hits in that force him to maneuver. He goes down. 

 

We were fortunate the enemy didn't coordinate their attacks a bit better. 

 

Now free, I turn again south to re-establish contact with those battleships. 

 

5XIbD0D.jpg

 

Phase 3

I find the Nagato trolling slowly up the 1 line. I call out the un-escorted battleship and again the Saipan driver seems to be listening as planes start heading that way. I re-engage the Nagato to get him to focus on me, and it works. He starts maneuvering to bring his guns to bear. I can actually see the moment he says "Oh sh*t" as he tries to reverse his turn to avoid the air dropped torpedoes. Our Saipan collects a Devastating Strike. 

 

But the Saipan is now a little exposed near our cap and the KGV that I lost earlier has shown up in the middle of the map. I loop back and tell the Saipan driver I intend to smoke him. He does a crash stop just as I get there and the KGV is starting to engage. I dump torps at him but the carrier planes finish him before he can get close enough to penetrate the smoke screen. It was really close and that KGV player knew his ship. 

 

P5cS7ec.jpg

 

End Game

As the dust settled there, we'd gone from being down four ships to being up two. The enemy carrier squadrons were decimated and all their destroyers were gone but they still had 3 battleships, a Ranger, and a Belfast to our 3 battleships, Schorrs, Omaha (man, tier 5 sucks), Saipan, and me. I was too damaged to risk shooting but I did need to spot. Unfortunately, I found them, but too close to the Belfast who radared me out of the match. The enemy put up a tough fight but we were grouped up and coordinating fire well. 

 

In the end, it was not a stellar game for me by any means. 57k damage and 1 kill.

PMP11I5.jpg

 

But the damage doesn't tell the entire tale. Just by being visible, I probably triggered two battleship players into spending valuable time trying to pot-shot a single destroyer. Just by being visible, I potentially distracted two battleships at critical moments that allowed another team mate to get in major blows. And I used the speed of the vessel to help break up a concerted (if uncoordinated) attempt on our cap. 

 

ct20od0.jpg

 

The 1.5 million potential damage testifies to the extent that those battleship players wanted my hide. That was 1.5 million potential damage points that they expended on low probability shots on a fast moving destroyer at long range. With the exception of some earlier, medium range shots from the KGV, I never felt seriously at risk. So the two battleship players were really playing a losing game from the moment I first opened fire. They couldn't know that, of course, but the wisdom of chasing a single destroyer should have occurred to them. 

 

The lesson from this match is that the loss of open water stealth firing is not the end of the world for destroyers. There are times when you actually maybe WANT to be seen. And simply being seen can have an impact. 

 

The second, lesser lesson is about flexing. Speed is a weapon. Too many destroyer captains pin themselves to a piece of ocean or try to find an island to sit behind. I can't do that. That speed is life and the ability to flex around the map is what turns losses into victories. 

 

I hope this write up helps some captains out there. Feedback always welcome so pile it on, good or bad.

 

Afterword

I found after the fight that our Saipan player was a rank 1 veteran. Not surprised. He was the real hero of the battle. Glad I was able to help when he needed it. 

 

Edit: Just now realized that the Sims was a Nicholas. And the Nagato a Fuso. Doh. 

 

This the kind of thing us poor players need tactics. I for one am at a loss of what to do or where to go. Especially in a destroyer. ( my relative form Michishio would be dishonored). Please, Mr. Bat continue with these wonderful summations of your efforts. 

 

Thank you fine Sir.

 

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A tactic I use when fully supported by other ships in tow. Drive my DD into a Cap point circle. Trigger the Cap countdown. Get spotted, run to cover whilst spotting the shooters for my support guns to fire on. Return to cap to hold/take it.

But this only works when you have the full support of your friendly ships, not breaking contact when they see incoming shells.

 

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