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Ensign_Cthulhu

Fiji: How do I do well in this thing?

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It's bizarre, because the first two games I had in her were fun and excellent, but after that it seems to have fallen apart for me.

At the moment it feels like every time I go forward in support of DDs capping, I wind up dead IN MY OWN SMOKE very very quickly with any support I was with having evaporated, but if I stay back far enough to avoid this fate, I'm also mostly out of range. Perfect shooting angles and opportunities, but unable to exploit them. It almost makes me want to leave my smoke behind and take the spotting a/c sometimes. And yes, I have the upgraded fire control for longer range.

People rage against back-rank snipers and those who don't or won't engage, but my efforts to avoid these labels get me killed again and again.

Co-op is still fun - I managed to sink an Iowa the other night (thank you to the person who helped me with that)- but the XP gains are pathetic and it's not the same as playing against people. Getting through her in co-op will take about 200 games at 500XP a pop, but if that's what it takes to not stress out and have some fun, then so be it. I don't have the opportunity to play exhaustively - most evenings I barely have enough opportunity to pick up the first XP-reward container. 

*sigh* I'm not sure what to do. If I team up with a battleship things sometimes go very, very well, but it depends on the company I'm in staying alive and it (or someone else) maintaining line of sight to whatever it is I'm trying to punish. I've had quite a few games in which the ship(s) that were just over my shoulder and apparently coming in behind me when I smoked up and started firing have made tracks halfway through and left me with no vision on target and no support when the smoke fades. You can guess what happens after that.

Might this all be down to my own lack of skill? By all means, but I felt the need to vent.

Edited by Ensign_Cthulhu
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It takes time to develop the right play style for Fiji, but once you do that ship is very powerful. 

You need a 10-Point captain to have Concealment Expert. Always have your escape route planned before you lay smoke. Try to have 2 or more targets in range when you smoke up. Do NOT shoot as you are smoking up. If someone has you targeted but their guns are loading as you disappear, they will still be locked onto you when they fire even though you’re not detected anyomore. Always pop hydro when you smoke. Use islands.  Don’t stop moving in smoke and try to angle toward whomever might be shooting you. Make sure you know what your smoke detection range is (5.3 km IIRC) and keep an eye on the minimap for flanking DDs. When in smoke don’t stop pressing that left mouse button. And don’t forget that you have good 8 km torps that you can launch singly. DDs sometimes forget about those. 

 

 

Edited by Landing_Skipper
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27 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

People rage against back-rank snipers and those who don't or won't engage, but my efforts to avoid these labels get me killed again and again.

This is mostly against BB's who have the hit points, repair, armour, etc to be closer to the action, especially German BB;s that are weaker at range and meant to brawl. Cruisers, especially super light ones like UK, have a bit more leeway in that field other than knuckleheads who give everyone crap. Or DD's who should be able to get closer to spot for the ships with bigger guns to clear out the cruisers and all. As far as support, unless you are decent enough in a DD or BB with only a couple enemies that are kinda dumb, no support your usually screwed no matter what. Sure, I've destroyed or driven 3, 4, 5 ships from a cap by myself. Yesterday in my Nelson or KGV had a match where I thought the 2 BB's and 4 cruisers were gonna be right behind me pushing to B from A and next thing I know they've turned to just sit in A while at that point, I was more or less committed. Barely missed destroying their CV and had no air cover because ours parked at J 10 and basically took himself out of the match and didn't spot for a few more seconds that me or one of the others shooting at it could kill it. Took fire from several ships, managed to sink at least 1, maybe two and heavily damage some others before I went down. If I had proper help, would have rolled them right there.

 

Anyway, when it comes to Fiji, it gets tricky cause up tiered, you might as well be a DD how squishy it is. First thing is - How are you dying in smoke? Is it Radar detection, means you need to try and look for the radar ships and know where they are. Hydro/gun bloom from smoke - have to be aware how close an enemy is and book it if spotted, or before. Torp spreads - should have hydro up to spot them earlier and dodge because you should always be moving. Traced fire - moving helps but someone traces the fire back and hits you, not much defense against a good shot other than angle and RNG. Outside of smoke, stay hidden and make use of torps, Learn the angles so that even though technically, your out of range, and unspotted, when you fire, the enemy is in range when they arrive. If you spot an enemy/enemies that are distracted, that is when you use the guns out of smoke. Closest equivalent playstyle is really USN DD's, except you don't get HE and you have a citadel, but can repair some.

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Landing_skipper's got good advice.

Start slowing down before you pop smoke.  It's a good idea to already be at only 3/4s speed when approaching your engagement are, just so that it's quicker to slow down.

Another idea is to try to aim to be stopping near the side of an island, so that when it's time for you to bail out, you have the island for some hard cover.

Also, when you stop, don't sit squarely broadside towards your targets.  If possible do a little bit of a fish hook turn so that you end up with your bow angling AWAY from the enemy (rather than towards the enemy) so that when it's time to bail out, you're already pointing away from the enemy and don't have to spend any additional time getting turned around.

And like Skipper says, when you pop smoke, also pop hydro.  Smoke is a torpedo magnet, so having hydro up gives you more  warning of inbound torpedoes.  Also, when you detect inbound torps, don't wait to bail out of your smoke though if it's possible, maybe you can slip between the torps in the spread and stay in the smoke.  This is absolutely a judgment call.  Also, if you've set up with your bow angled away from the enemy, that makes it easier to bail out and get turned if necessary to slip between torps in the spread.

Always remember to aim for the super structure on any BB.  The Fiji's guns can do excellent damage to superstructures.

 

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i have a hard time in the fiji as well... not just you.

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@Ensign_Cthulhu Fiji is a difficult ship to master and will only start really being effective once fully upgraded and your captain has Concealment Expert. Controlled Aggression and calculated risks are what Fiji is made for. Do not be disheartened about failing in her early on. Be a DD and Cruiser Hunter, lay ambushes, flank... be a base of fire from your smoke cloud.

This is my guide on how to play HMS Fiji, and a commentary on one of my matches by @Lord_Zath who gives some good pointers on how to play her while still learning:

 

Patience and Perseverance will pay off big time with Fiji who is an absolute monster when used well.

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Thanks all for your advice so far. 

I had until now been playing her with the captain she came with, because I was grinding through North Cape with her brand new and I didn't want to take a trained captain out of the Leander and have two untrained captains at the same time (I lost engines and steering with such depressing regularity that Last Stand is a must). However, I've decided to give that one a miss now, so it's time to move my (considerably more skilled) Leander captain up and send the Fiji captain down into the Leander.

@212thAttackBattalion - I also saw your Vampire replay. Will be watching that one once more (at least) prior to taking the Bat Boat out again. She's a lot of fun; it's a pity she's not a tier higher and therefore eligible for many of the rewards we are offered.

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Glad I can help!!!

Also, feel free to send me YOUR replays so I can help YOU directly :)

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3 hours ago, Lord_Zath said:

Glad I can help!!!

Also, feel free to send me YOUR replays so I can help YOU directly :)

I have been trying! Unfortunately that horrid disease called patchupdateitis seems to be claiming them all! I should send one in with a title saying PUT UP THIS REPLAY OR YOUR BRAIN WILL EXPLODE, or something like that. :p

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4 hours ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

Thanks all for your advice so far. 

I had until now been playing her with the captain she came with, because I was grinding through North Cape with her brand new and I didn't want to take a trained captain out of the Leander and have two untrained captains at the same time (I lost engines and steering with such depressing regularity that Last Stand is a must). However, I've decided to give that one a miss now, so it's time to move my (considerably more skilled) Leander captain up and send the Fiji captain down into the Leander.

@212thAttackBattalion - I also saw your Vampire replay. Will be watching that one once more (at least) prior to taking the Bat Boat out again. She's a lot of fun; it's a pity she's not a tier higher and therefore eligible for many of the rewards we are offered.

Glad i can be helpful with more than one ship.... Bat Bote is a very potent seal clubber, which i shamely put to use daily, still with my premium consumables haha.

Keep practicing with Fiji, once you're more comfortable with her and your captain levels up beyond 10 and especially 15, you're going to see marked improvements.

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Thanks for all your advice.

 

Had a couple of better games last night - as is obvious from discussion so far, Fiji tends to do the best when she's got other ships around to spot for her in smoke, which makes her a very team-dependent thing. One of those better games did not work out all that well, but on the other hand the Budyonny that had been making my life a misery got a little too close as my smoke expired. My team was falling apart and there were several enemy ships waiting for me to desmoke, so I thought what the hell, come out charging... right into his face, into which I proceeded to dump an entire launcher full of torpedoes before dying (afterwards I considered that I should have checked whether my hydro was ready and run that for an earlier detection on him; OTOH that might have given him time and awareness to dodge).

 

The other good game ended with leaving a little torpedo surprise around the corner of an island against an unwary Baltimore, after some unsmoked pummelling of enemy capital ships over a conveniently placed land mass.

By that time, however, it was stupid o'clock in the morning and my brain was baked, and it was time to quit.

Edited by Ensign_Cthulhu

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A good friend of mine has more battles in the Fiji than anyone else on the NA Server. We div up enough that I know exactly where he will go on every map based on our spawn. He uses island cover before smoke whenever he can. Islands block torpedoes.

He also knows the radar range of every ship he might run into and knows where they are on the map as much as possible. 

Try to find a good Fiji or Belfast player to div up with. Swapping smokes and coordinating hydro can lead to red ships railing abuse at you.  Two well played Brit cruisers working together can hold a flank as long as they have a spotter.  In a battle on Estuary, a clan mate on the other side told us after the battle that the entire team was shrieking “Kill them!” There is a spot west side, south spawn that is tailor made for us. Seriously, when you get to the point where you and your div mate barely need to talk it is a LOT of fun. 

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Success in RN CAs is more chance and MM than skill.  The smoke nerf made them garbage more than not when playing enemy captains who know their weaknesses (which is more and more).  The meta has passed them by.

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On 1/7/2018 at 10:35 PM, nhf said:

Success in RN CAs is more chance and MM than skill.  The smoke nerf made them garbage more than not when playing enemy captains who know their weaknesses (which is more and more).  The meta has passed them by.

Not in the least. The Fiji still dominates the leaderboard across T7 cruisers.

The Fiji is extremely strong on most of the maps it plays on, as there is plenty of island cover. It only really struggles on the big, wide open spaces.

As top tier, the Fiji completely dominates. It deals quite nicely against most T8s too, though some T9s with their really high ROF are a problem.  Generally speaking, the Fiji's biggest problem opponents are the T8/9 US DDs, the Neptune, The LoYang, and the New Orleans/Baltimore.

 

 

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@Landing_Skipper "...as long as they have a spotter." Yes, therein lies my biggest ongoing/recurring problem.  :Smile_teethhappy:

Unfortunately, as I have told others before, divisioning up is an issue when real life means that my play is of irregular timing and duration; I cannot be counted on. In fact, being on call one week in two, I absolutely CAN be counted on to go AFK at any moment when my workplace might possibly need me (it doesn't happen often, but it does happen). So that regular div mate thing ain't never gonna be a thing. People like me are the reason Lone Wolves clans exist. :fish_haloween:

Edited by Ensign_Cthulhu

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On 1/8/2018 at 1:35 AM, nhf said:

Success in RN CAs is more chance and MM than skill.  The smoke nerf made them garbage more than not when playing enemy captains who know their weaknesses (which is more and more).  The meta has passed them by.

Uh, no. 

You may not know how to play Tier 6 and above  British cruisers, but the statistics show that many of us do. 

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As requested, sir!  Hope this commentary helps you :)

 

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So here's Cthulhu's response to the video and my comments as well...  posted with his blessing because the insights may help others!

Spoiler

 

2:39 – Premium consumables. The captain I currently have in this ship is possibly not the captain who had it for that battle (he arrived with the ship and I kept my best captain in the Leander until I decided that the Duke of York thing wasn't happening and could afford to waste time retraining).   The current (my best) captain has just finished retraining in the Fiji, however, and he has Superintendent, so the effects of that will come on in the next battle. However, your point is well made, especially in regard to the reload time of the premium consumables, and I might just have to resort to recouping the resultant financial losses in other ships. It’s not like I’m operating close to the bone, and I do have quite a few stashed away. I don’t have a premium account. Will concentrate on repair party and smoke for now.  Yeah if you're low on money, then play your favorite ships and just gain money that way...  side effect - you'll get better :).

3:45 Flags and camo. I have recently been discussing this on the boards in the 19 point grind thread. I don’t have that many XP flags and camos in stock, and they are not often come by in containers, so I had been loath to risk them given the loss/early death rate I’d been sustaining when this game was played. I anticipate that as I improve, they will accompany my achievements, so you’ll definitely be seeing more of those from me in the future.  Specific flag recommendations are noted, with profuse thanks. I actually have the captain skill which affects consumable reloads on the current captain, which is why I’m not running that flag, but having that extra bonus may not hurt.  Advice as to which flags respond to auto-resupply and which do not would be very much appreciated.  No problem.  If you're not confident in the ship, then do not waste the camos/flags!  Personally, I keep 300 of every flag on-hand for Ranked/Clan Battles.  

6:21 – I tried that once, and as you hinted  at 7:17, the rocks trolled me a lot. I recognize the spot, but I had recently been crowded out of it a fair bit by other ships which spawned closer and elected to stay out of it on that occasion. I think on this occasion I went for open water because it maximized the chances of other friendlies having line of sight to my targets (which I all too frequently lose when I smoke up), and also to have the broadest fields of fire.  Your advice as to which islands to pick (or not) and why is much appreciated.  No problem.  Remember, you're not a destroyer.  If the team is losing vision because you're smoking up, then you need to ask your destroyers for vision.  There are times when you can/should act like a destroyer, but that's usually not at the beginning of a match...

7:51 Shooting at the Maass – guilty, but no other enemy ships were in sight at this time and I didn’t want to waste smoke on a single target that might (and did) turn out of range. (That brings us back to your argument for premium consumables, but we’ve already covered that.) I thought a quick shot might even get lucky or at the worst drive him off. I do not currently have Concealment Expert; it must have been the camo.  (At this point, I should note that in this replay I cannot see the minimap on your screen.)  Yep you risked your entire ship for one quick shot....  very much not worth it there!

9:11 Priority Target – Duly noted, and the time has indeed come where it is necessary. I think I’ve got a spare captain point or two up my sleeve right now, so now that he’s fully retrained and can use it I’ll put that one on and see how it goes.  Sounds good!

9:40 Your commentary on my shooting is well noted. Guilty as charged. Your hints on exactly how high to aim and the small adjustments that can make a difference are VERY much appreciated.  Glad to be of service!

10:47 – Advice on disengagement is noted with much appreciation. This is one of the things I’m clueless on, and I admit it. Ditto the torpedo thing.  I admit my good luck. If I hesitate with my torpedoes, it’s because I’ve been pink a few times and I think I was trying to ensure my arcs were clear. Possibly also my hands were shaking?  Using Priority Target helps to know when to disengage - if you see 2 or 3 ships are aiming at you, it's time to run away.

13:45 – Guilty as charged. Shooting advice is as noted; smoke advice also. That was a bad misplay, and it keeps on happening. I need to work on that.

14:27 – Advice noted. Even with the new smoke mechanic , I’ve managed to overrun a few times with nasty results; I was playing things conservatively there.

15:28 – Guilty. When I lost sight of the BB against the island I actually wasn’t sure he was dead, and I considered it safer to get into cover behind the island, come around and maybe give him some torps in the face. The mistake I’ll definitely admit to here is taking far too long in realizing he’d been sunk; I must have missed the game announcing the fact. Once I twigged to that, that's when I turned around. I think I was kicking myself for that at the time, too.  It happens :)

16:17 – This follows as a corollary from the above. Guilty.

16:56 Critique on that first torp salvo noted. Guilty. In the replay it’s clear the change in rate-across is not in my favour, but in the heat of battle I briefly had a good line on him and I thought it better to get the speculative torps off while I still had a clear shot past the edge of the island. Possibly I was also thinking that with two enemy ships close together I might get lucky with the overruns (it was difficult to tell which ship I was locked onto), but that might just be justification after the fact.

17:32 – I was absolutely, positively reversing course here! The worry I had was whether I’d be able to complete the turn or if I would pull a Notser (if I had, I would likely have been safe but would not have got the kill). I admit I was lucky with the first set of torps at 16:56 (but battleships will sail in straight lines!), but sneaking up at the edge of land and dumping the second set in the last ship’s face was part of the plan. By then he'd come under gunfire from friendlies and was worn down, so switching back to guns myself was the only realistic thing to do and I got the last shots in first (so often I do not!).

 

Thanks for the comments!  Don't say "guilty" though - these are just mistakes - minor and major - which will go away over time!

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15 hours ago, Lord_Zath said:

Personally, I keep 300 of every flag on-hand for Ranked/Clan Battles.  

 

15 hours ago, Lord_Zath said:

300 of every flag

 

15 hours ago, Lord_Zath said:

300

This is SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! :fish_viking: :Smile_teethhappy:

 

Oh man. Yeah, if I had 300 of every flag, I'd be loading them on for every trip out.

So I put Priority Target on the Leander and Fiji captains last night (Leander captain went to a gallant end in a warmup game and the XP gained promoted him), and although I haven't had more than a couple of games in the Fiji with it, one gets the sense of a little angel perched on one's shoulder saying "You know, discretion is probably the better part of valour right now." Caught in the open against one enemy BB trying to turn the flank (until bigger friendlies arrive and take the heat off)? I can deal with the ducking and dodging required for that. Against two? Time to find a way to break line of sight. It seems to be useful already, but only time will tell. On new captains (starting with the Edinburgh and moving up, to avoid wasting retraining time), the question becomes whether it's the best one-point skill vs. Preventive Maintenance (I always take Last Stand in DD & CL; had too many bad things happen too many times in too many ships to feel comfortable without it).

I had also considered the incoming-fire indicator, but this seems to me to be more of a high-tier battleship gimmick for those who regularly engage at 15km+ ranges in Ranked etc., and who have fewer decisions to make about who's firing at you and more time to think about which way to turn to bounce or dodge.

Ditto RDF; in Random it seems there are too many enemies and with the map being fairly crowded it's not specific enough; in Ranked, the ships are far fewer and more spread out, and RDF is going to be  better at picking out particular opponents, particularly when they aren't accounted for on the map. I had thought to obtain it, because British DD's and CL's did historically have HF/DF which is the same thing, but the more I thought about how it actually works and what information it provides, the more I realised those four points are better directed elsewhere (concealment). Without a tier VIII ship I won't reliably be in Ranked every season, and it's not consistently the most useful thing for me to have in Randoms or Co-op.

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Priority target is THE best skill for cruiser captains.  It's incredibly useful for battleships, and some even like taking it on carriers and many prefer it on destroyers.

Incoming Fire Alert tells you that you're about to get F'd...  but Priority target tells you that far earlier.  

Keep experimenting!

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Experimenting last night led to me finding myself in a one-on-one gun duel with an enemy battleship (after it had finished sinking the BB I was accompanying). I won it, bizarrely, mostly because (a) he was wounded and (b) thanks to (you guessed it) Priority Target, I knew he was the only one shooting at me. Oh, and it was a running battle so no smoke was involved. So your advice is spot-on on that one. That being said, I find Preventive Maintenance is probably not a bad one-point skill to take first, for when the short-range stuff happens (protects my torpedo tubes, for when I need them for last-second spite salvoes). [PM, PT, Last Stand, Superintendent as the first four; then Concealment Expert for a mainline UK cruiser, possibly IFHE for an HE-carrying Premium or other-nation if you were running camos or felt like taking chances.]

This makes me wonder whether perhaps the higher-tier British cruisers have been hiding behind smoke too much - do you know of anyone who eschews it and takes the spotter plane for the extended range instead?

I tried it with the Emerald a couple of times but (a) there just isn't enough gun power and (b) there just aren't enough main guns (there were holes in the salvoes the enemy ships could slip through easily). The Fiji, on the other hand, can drop twice as many main gun shots per salvo significantly more often, and I wonder if that might not just make her a contender for unsmoked long-range work if one could learn to shoot straight enough. Ditto the Edinburgh and everything that comes after (though I'm not sure if the Minotaur even has an aircraft).

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Nah, the spotter plane simply isn't worth giving up the smoke for.

it's only active for 100 seconds, and the DPM you can reliably put out in that time is SIGNIFICANTLY less than what you could put out sitting in smoke firing at something 12km away.  Your shells are just too lightweight to be scoring good hit % out at 17km+, and the per-shell damage is mediocre if you can't reliably aim where they land.

What you want is to be able to [edited] BB and CA superstructures with 8+ pens per volley, and you simply can't do that out past 15km. 

Radar is a better swap for smoke, as when combined with CE, it lets you gang bang a DD mercilessly. There, since your Radar is the same range as your detection radius, as soon as you're detected, pop radar, and Voila! There's a DD to murder. at under 10km, a DD with a Edinburgh, Neptune, or Minotaur's guns pointed at it has a lifespan under a dozen seconds.

 

As far as a standard T6+ build for RN CLs, I use the following captain skills:

PT, AR, SI, CE, SE

That's 13 points, and then you can mess around - I find EM, RDF, SSE, and JoAT good options. Frankly, I don't find PM that useful, because if I've gotten smacked with something big enough to kill modules, I've got bigger problems than worrying if my torpedo tubes or AA is down.

 

One of the things that the Fiji and Edinburgh excel at, better than anything else, including the Neptune and Minotaur, is close-in anti-DD work.  Both are absolutely nimble enough to dodge close-range torp drops, and their hydro and nasty AP guns make short work of DDs.  For the maps you play that have islands around, threading around them and hunting DDs works EXTRAORDINARILY well.  Having a smoke handy is the icing on the cake, because it lets you duck back into cover as soon as you've finished off that DD you were hunting, before any nearby supporting ships can focus fire on you.

Yesterday, I killed 3 DDs in my Fiji inside 90 seconds JUST WITH MY GUNS - no torps. All three were 75%+ healthy, with them being a PA/US/IJN DDs. Came roaring out of a smoke screen at a DD trying to spot me, hydro on, and just wiggled my way through 5 torp spreads at under 3km, while scoring roughly 6 full pens per salvo (and half the time, I could only use my front guns).  That's 6k per volley, and the DDs just cried and blew up and sank.  They weren't next to each other, either - I had to thread through 2 island gaps and the last one was 5km ouside in open water.   I ate a single torp on my bow, and no other damage.

NOTHING beats the Fiji and Edinburgh in that kind of dance. 

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1 hour ago, EAnybody said:

Both are absolutely nimble enough to dodge close-range torp drops, and their hydro and nasty AP guns make short work of DDs.

My experience of going into caps to support my destroyer and kill theirs has so far been a dismal one. Enemy cruiser - usually a Budyonny or Atlanta - turns up out of my gun range (or arcing shots over a hill) to spam the life out of me with high explosive; enemy battleship turns up, again out of my gun range, to finish the job. Friendly big ships in the meantime have moved miles away, concentrating on something else, and when I smoke up to survive, my supporting DD is either dead or has run away, so I lose vision, or I have to get out of my smoke to avoid insane enemy DD torp spread... and die as before to the enemy HE-spamming cruisers.

Alternatively I'll be chasing an enemy DD into his smoke with hydro on, be forced to maintain a straight line for torpedo beats for just a few seconds too long... and an enemy BB smacks me out of existence at long range from the side.

OR the enemy DD is one with insane Kraut hydro and he spots me for his heavies, who erase me before I can erase the DD (though I have Priority Target now, so that may change).

Granted, a lot of this is probably malpositioning or tactical errors on my account, but the effect has been to make an extremely cautious player out of me.

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I've run into plenty of people who run radar Minotaur, and in Ranked recently ran radar Edinbourgh.  It can be done, though generally smoke is the preferred choice.  Glad to hear you're meeting success with priority target!

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