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DingBat's Tiny Tactical Talks #5: Destroyer Cap Rushes - Part 1

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Probably the most challenging, and dangerous, time for a destroyer player is that early game cap rush in a domination mode battle. I have no specific data, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find that a sizable percentage of destroyers end their matches before the 5:00 mark in or near to a cap. I’m going to guess at least a third.

So, how do you handle this situation? Let’s talk about that.

This is the first part of a multi-part conversation on the challenges of playing destroyers. I would say it’s mostly intended for newer players but given some of the things I see at higher tiers it’s probably got some general usefulness.



With just a little thought, one can easily list many factors that are going to influence how you play the early cap rush in domination mode. I’ll list them in MY opinion of their order of importance.

1.      Raw number of destroyers in play

2.      Types of destroyers

3.      Team makeup

4.      Map

Let’s start at the top.


Raw Numbers

Some of you are probably already scratching your heads wondering how this could be more important than the types of destroyers. Honestly, it probably shouldn’t be, but my observation is that players often don’t think these things through at the start of a match.


This is pretty basic, but important. Still, I’ll try not to waste too much time here.


Why do I care so much about raw numbers? Well, destroyer early game is almost always about caps. So the raw numbers give you a reasonable estimate of how many enemy destroyers you can anticipate meeting in the first few minutes of the game.


There are four basic cases to consider here:

1.      Total # of destroyers per side < # of caps

2.      Total # of destroyers per side => # of caps

3.      When you’re outnumbered

4.      You’re the only destroyer in the match!


Let’s consider each case.


When there are few destroyers in a match (say 2 in a domination match) then you actually have a chance of capping unopposed. This means that even boats with fairly large detection ranges or ships with low skill captains may consider a cap run. Keep your retreat options open, but it’s worth a chance for an early cap.


When the total number of destroyers per match gets higher (3 or more per match in domination) then you are almost certainly going to encounter an enemy destroyer in any cap you choose. Perhaps a more cautious approach is necessary.


Whether or not your teams destroyers outnumbers the enemy also comes into play, especially where the total number of destroyers is larger than the caps. For example, let’s say your team has 4 destroyers and the enemy 5. At minimum, you have a 66% chance of encountering not one but TWO enemy destroyers in any cap you choose.




Some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now, but I can’t tell you the number of times in the same situation as above where I’ve seen a lone destroyer go to a cap. The outcome is usually an early death, often followed by angry chat about teams not supporting destroyers. 


Image result for never do anything stupid on purpose


Let’s be blunt. If you’re in a match with 9 destroyers and you voluntarily go to a cap alone, you deserve whatever happens to you. I don’t care how stealthy you are. Seriously. This falls under the "never do anything stupid on purpose" rule. Instead, buddy up on a cap and play the long game. Being down a cap is not the end of the world. 


Ok, you’re thinking the last case is a joke, but it’s actually happened to me. In my case this was way back when the German battleships had just been released. I was in my Gremmy in a match with 8 battleships per side. Remember, this was back before they removed open water stealth firing. It gave me the same giddy feeling a Steam Sale does. This is what immediately came to mind.




In summary, if you’re a new player to destroyers, take the time to look at the raw numbers at the start of a match and make your plans accordingly.

1.      You don’t have to avoid caps in un-stealthy boats if the # of destroyers in the match is low

2.      You don’t have to run to the nearest cap if the enemy has large numbers of destroyers or outnumbers you


Stay tuned for part 2


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1,449 posts
12,412 battles

off on the good foot.   Yep DD drivers, to be good at DD's you gotta learn think DD.  lets see how the series turns out  (and don't be afraid to go back and revise if ya need to because you know, the game changes again...

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