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BullpupWOT

Are there "play books"/"patterns" to laying smoke?

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[BNKR] BullpupWOT 92
674 posts
1,254 battles

I dipped into a few DD random battles last night. Didn't go all that well, but it got me thinking about smoke.

Are there "patterns" used to lay smoke to make it more effective/efficient?

Is it a strategy to lay smoke to hide friendly ships rather than just hide yourself?

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[PT8TO] GUNSTAR_THE_LEGEND 229
1,263 posts
11,992 battles

I like to hide the friendly cruisers when going into cap just far enough away that they can set up and fire without being detected.

Waiting until your in the cap is to late and by then most of them are already detected and getting shot at.

Also it helps i think to lay smoke so that it tends to allow whoever you are smoking to turn away from the enemy to retreat if need be.

So curl your smoke away when using it to cover for teammates.

Also learn to not wait to have to be asked to lay smoke all the time.

Just know when to do it,  if you do not know then play cruisers in close for awhile and you will find out when and where  smoke is needed.

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[-K-] Ace_04 1,234
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Depends on the ship deploying the smoke.  

As a general rule, US and Pan-Asian DD's have "US smokes", meaning they deploy and have the longest duration.  These can be used to help lead support ships (ie: radar cruisers) into caps to support you.  You basically lead a long trail into a cap and they follow you partially in while your smoke conceals them.  This is by far the most "team-oriented" smoke in the game, so use it to help your teammates when you can.

All other nations smokes typically have a shorter deployment and duration time to them.  They can be used in the same manner as US smokes, but are less effective at performing the same tasks due to their limitations.

DD's should normally use their smokes in these different ways:

  • A) to get out of a dangerous situation threatening your ship
  • B) to assist teammates by leading them with it into or near capture points (so they can help you back)
  • C) to conceal a teammate who is under heavy fire
  • D) if no other options are present, to smoke oneself to be able to deal damage with your guns without being spotted back

Cruiser smokes (ie: British cruisers, Perth, Kutuzov, Huang He) have very limited bloom time or duration and typically used for selfish purposes to deal damage.

 

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[_CAST] Harv72b 374
1,308 posts
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At the low tiers, very few other players will be cognizant enough of their surroundings to make use of any smoke screens you lay for them, so you're generally best off being "greedy" and using them yourself.  As far as when to use them for yourself...

First of all, you want to equip premium smoke on all of your destroyers.  You can do this by clicking on the smoke icon while in port, and selecting the premium option.  By default it will charge 25 doubloons (that's a per game charge), but by clicking on the little price icon you can change it to 22,500 in-game credits instead (silver).  Using premium smoke gives you an extra smoke charge in each battle and also lowers the cooldown period between uses.

There are three basic ways to use your smoke.  In the order that you'll likely be using them as a new destroyer player:

  1. To break contact when you've been spotted by an enemy ship in a situation where you can't win a gunfight.  Turn away from the ship spotting you, lay your smoke screen, and use that to put enough distance between you and the enemy vessel that you can return to stealth.  This is also a good tactic if your torpedo run takes you inside detection range.
  2. Offensively.  In this scenario you can creep to just outside (or even just inside) your detection range, lay smoke, and then use that as concealment while you gun down nearby ships and/or fire off multiple torpedo salvos.  There are some important things to remember for this, though: you will outrun your own smoke dispenser if you are traveling at more than 1/4 speed (reversing is okay as well), so you'll want to slow as you lay the screen.  You'll also want to keep creeping either forward or backward to give yourself the biggest area of smoke possible: this provides you the maneuvering room you'll need for the next thing.  You also want to remember that smoke clouds are torpedo magnets, particularly smoke clouds which keep spewing HE and torpedoes; if there are other ships with torpedoes nearby you'll want to turn your ship so you're facing either towards or away from where they are & thus will be able to avoid torpedoes launched into your smoke.  You'll always want to keep moving back and forth within the smoke as you fire.  Finally, keep in mind that another friendly ship or aircraft needs to be close enough to spot targets for you while you're inside the smoke.
  3. As concealment for friendly ships to fire behind or to escape an engagement gone south.  As mentioned, you shouldn't be worried about this use at those tiers.

Note that in games with aircraft carriers, you can also fire your AA guns with impunity when inside a smoke screen.  So if the carrier has some fighters or dive bombers circling overhead waiting for you to come out, feel free to let your gunners waste some ammo (they might even shoot one down).  In terms of a geometric pattern, there really isn't a "best" way to lay the smoke cloud, other than to make it as large as possible.

I'd highly recommend that your browse through the Destroyers sub-forum on this site for a great deal of good info in older threads, and to look through the New Player Tutorials forum for applicable threads.  Good hunting!

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[MEIST] jager_geist 120
626 posts
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3 minutes ago, GUNSTAR_THE_LEGEND said:

Also it helps i think to lay smoke so that it tends to allow whoever you are smoking to turn away from the enemy to retreat if need be.

They're not retreating they are advancing in a different direction. :Smile_Default:

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[CRMSN] Cobraclutch 1,235
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Ever since the smoke firing changes its pretty difficult to lay a good supporting smoke. 

I have had many situations where  I layed a smoke to cover a dying BB. 

In chat.

"BB don't fire your guns so you stay concealed" 

"BB don't fire your guns so you stay concealed" 

"BB don't fire your guns so you stay concealed" 

"BB don't fire your guns so you stay concealed" 

"BB don't fire your guns so you stay concealed" 

 

*BB fires guns

 

/wasted smoke. 

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[BNKR] BullpupWOT 92
674 posts
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@Harv72b. Thanks...I used it like you describe in #1.  I made torpedo runs and popped my smoke to cover my escape.  That's when I started to think maybe my smoke should benefit teammates. I will remember to wait for higher tiers to employ that practice then. I'm going to run the DDs for awhile down here until I understand the ins/outs of detection and avoidance. 

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[B2P] Pizza_plz 59
150 posts
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In my experience, yes for sure. As you move up the DD trees, game experience will teach ya a few things about smoke deployment (for hiding your team and/or yourself), but in direct response to your question about "patterns", there are a couple off the top of my head that I like to use, esp. with USN DDs.

If I am trying to actively conceal a blob of my teammates, I make sure to position myself between them (but not far off, maybe just 1-2km) and the most pressing threat/whatever ships are, or could potentially be, spotting them. I try to drag the smoke clouds out as far as possible, giving them the greatest surface area in which to hide, heal up, position, or fire away (so long as they are outside of their detection range when firing in smoke), and when circumstances (islands, when only ship is spotting them, etc.) permit, I'll just lay the smoke in a long straight line, chugging along at flank speed. If there are more than one enemy ships spotting, then I'll try to drop the smoke in a curve around the friendlies when I can.

The same blocking line-of-sight mechanic applies when you're running away, trying to hide yourself, or get in some cheeky shell hits. If I'm running away and not actively trying to spot whatever is spotting me for the team, then I make sure to put the enemy spotters behind me, then I drop the smoke while I flee away from them. This way, the smoke blocks LOS, and you don't have to slow down to ensure that you're covered by the smoke. This only works when there is only direction that you're being spotted from, tho.

Just a couple tips off the top of my head, and there are absolutely a bunch of others ways to use it as well. [Using it as a decoy when someone without radar is hunting you is fun, too. Pop smoke, leave the area, and watch as your pursuer torps the smoke, and then drives into it while you vacate the scene.]

Other general tips while I'm at it: While USN and Pan-Asian smoke is the best to have, the smoke used by the IJN and RU DDs is by all means still worth proactively using on either yourself or your team. The German smoke is the worst among the DD lines. It's good for poofing and then disappearing behind, but not super great for much else. Smoke clouds = a deluge of incoming torpedoes, so be sure to position yourself pointing toward or away from the likeliest torpedo threats when you're sitting in smoke. Generally, bigger areas of smoke are better, you simply get more room to work in. Gunstar, Ace, and Harv all have some very good advice in their replies, too.

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[CRMSN] Cobraclutch 1,235
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1 minute ago, Pizza_plz said:

 

I like the horseshoe. 

It prevents side spotters from picking up whats behind the smoke. 

 

Another good one is hiding an approach on a flank by creating a smoke wall between 2 islands. 

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[BNKR] BullpupWOT 92
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2 minutes ago, Cobraclutch said:

I like the horseshoe. 

It prevents side spotters from picking up whats behind the smoke. 

 

Another good one is hiding an approach on a flank by creating a smoke wall between 2 islands. 

I was considering the between two islands thing...good to know it is an actual strategy. 

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[_CAST] Harv72b 374
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2 minutes ago, BullpupWOT said:

@Harv72b. Thanks...I used it like you describe in #1.  I made torpedo runs and popped my smoke to cover my escape.  That's when I started to think maybe my smoke should benefit teammates. I will remember to wait for higher tiers to employ that practice then. I'm going to run the DDs for awhile down here until I understand the ins/outs of detection and avoidance. 

One other thing: I checked your profile and saw that you're using the V-25.  That can be a very fun & unique destroyer to play (other DDs don't have that launcher on the bow), but beyond that the German destroyer line can be one of the most difficult and frustrating ones to play.  Most new players are better off going down either the Japanese lines (very stealthy ships with longer-range torpedoes, but poor guns and the high spotting range on your torpedoes make them relatively easy to dodge) or the American DD line (very good guns, but mediocre concealment and short-range torpedoes until you reach tier VII).

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[PSP] Snargfargle 2,210
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13 minutes ago, Cobraclutch said:

I like the horseshoe. 

This is the way I usually lay smoke too. I was playing a Cleveland yesterday and someone laid smoke in a horseshoe pattern. You don't have to actually be in the smoke for it to screen you if you are close enough behind it. I was sitting in the clear area of the horseshoe. Not only was I able to keep the enemy spotted, they couldn't see me, even when I shot, because I was too far away for my in-smoke gun bloom to reach them.

Mostly, however, I use smoke as a decoy. Unless I know that there are no torpedo ships around, I never sit in my own smoke. If I'm going into cap and notice that there is aDD in there somewhere (by the fact that the cap points are not accruing), I'll pop a smoke then leave it. 90% of the time the DD will take the bait and fire torps into the smoke.

At higher tiers you can't expect smoke to work as it does at lower tiers. In a game yesterday with my Fletcher, the enemy had four radar cruisers. I was spotted by radar almost the entire game. Fortunately, they must have not thought me as much of a threat as my teammates because they never shot at me once. This was their mistake, I torpedoed three of them and did over 100k damage. It was one of my best games in the Fletcher.   

Edited by Snargfargle

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[BNKR] MajorEnglush 163
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As an aside, big thumbs up to this community. Coming from console tanks (like bullpup) it is incredible how helpful and mostly non toxic this place is by comparison.

 Oh, sure, there are trolls and bargeloads of salt at times. But overall? Yeah...it's a nice change.

:Smile_honoring: 

Anyway...carry on. :Smile_teethhappy:

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[PSP] Snargfargle 2,210
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3 minutes ago, MajorEnglush said:

As an aside, big thumbs up to this community. Coming from console tanks (like bullpup) it is incredible how helpful and mostly non toxic this place is by comparison.

 Oh, sure, there are trolls and bargeloads of salt at times. But overall? Yeah...it's a nice change.

:Smile_honoring: 

Anyway...carry on. :Smile_teethhappy:

Thank you, it's nice to hear that. :cap_like:

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[BNKR] BullpupWOT 92
674 posts
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3 minutes ago, MajorEnglush said:

As an aside, big thumbs up to this community. Coming from console tanks (like bullpup) it is incredible how helpful and mostly non toxic this place is by comparison.

 Oh, sure, there are trolls and bargeloads of salt at times. But overall? Yeah...it's a nice change.

:Smile_honoring: 

Anyway...carry on. :Smile_teethhappy:

Rest assured....I am learning from the older threads, guides, and vids.  Just so the community knows, I'm asking questions to give everyone an opportunity to discuss and add fresh discussion on topics they are knowledgeable about.  If someone is one of those, "there are threads on this already" people...don't worry, I'm studying. Fresh communication/discussion with someone new that is enthusiastic about learning also has its merits. 

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[PNP] Shadowrigger1 991
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After the firing IN/OUT/Behind  smoke changes, there isn't much to it anymore,  You can smoke a BB just for a quick hide, but as soon as he fires he's seen across the map again,  Some cruisers can make use of the screen but again, most will show up after firing.

 

The majority of players are to ignorant to understand the mechanics so when you rush up to save a BB who over extended, he'll most likely just fire his guns and mitigate the cover you just gave him.

 

There are uses if the player(s)  you are trying to cover have half a brain, but smoke is a defensive weapon now, not offensive for anyone but DDs.

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[OPEC] delp5117 230
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41 minutes ago, MajorEnglush said:

As an aside, big thumbs up to this community. Coming from console tanks (like bullpup) it is incredible how helpful and mostly non toxic this place is by comparison.

 Oh, sure, there are trolls and bargeloads of salt at times. But overall? Yeah...it's a nice change.

:Smile_honoring: 

Anyway...carry on. :Smile_teethhappy:

I will second that!  Been kicking around here for about a year now and am always learning new things.  :cap_like:

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[OPEC] delp5117 230
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41 minutes ago, BullpupWOT said:

If someone is one of those, "there are threads on this already" people...don't worry, I'm studying. Fresh communication/discussion with someone new that is enthusiastic about learning also has its merits. 

C'mon, man!  Don't you know how to use the Google!?  I'm always ready to hear that, too.

You've asked good questions so far (for a light tanker).  :Smile_smile:

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[BNKR] BullpupWOT 92
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9 minutes ago, delp5117 said:

C'mon, man!  Don't you know how to use the Google!?  I'm always ready to hear that, too.

You've asked good questions so far (for a light tanker).  :Smile_smile:

Yes...God forbid we talk to each other on a forum!! :Smile-angry:

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[RST] groomsiebelle 19
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When laying smoke to protect others or to screen, use engine boost if possible--you are not worried about outrunning the smoke and it will allow you to cover a longer area.

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Don't smoke for no reason, if you are scouting ahead, and smokes then stay in smoke, you won't see jack crap.

Don't panic smoke, sometimes if you are about to die and spread your smoke,after you die the smoke might benefit your enemies more than your own team.

Don't block your team's vision, if you some then run behind an island, the smoke blocks your team's spotting and you are not spotting since you are behind the island, so it makes everyone blind.

There are times and locations smoking for your team is not beneficial. For example, smoke between a choke and your team all goes in camp in it, and it attracts a soup of torpedoes, your team probably instant loses.

Edited by NeutralState

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Run in on an advancing BB and drop torps. Stay undetected and reverse course while setting a smoke screen. Circle while your torps are reloading. You will have a nearly point blank shot when you get back through the smoke. Don't miss. 

This tactic works especially in late game.  Beware of hydro and radar ships that are in the area. I used it on a NM early in the game and he had a German CL come and support him.  The CL sunk me after I sunk the NM. Now the red team had about 1/3 of their ships behind the island at J8 on Two Brothers. Fair trade. 

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[FBI] LordSiege 55
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welcome to DD's, its definitely a different world of game play (heh)

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Here are several pages from my own personal "smoke play book".

First: I almost never sit still in a smoke cloud. A motionless DD is as good as a dead DD and there are many players out there that love to torp a smoke cloud.

Capping: Here I use two different methods. After dashing into the cap at full speed pop your smoke while slowing down to a stop then reversing speed so that you are backing up into the smoke you just laid down. My preference though after entering the cap is to make a hard turn using either the Q or E keys while laying down a semi circular smoke screen which if continuing the turn will take you back into the smoke. Combine the smoke with islands in or around the cap and you'll have a large screened area to operate in.

Offense: When making a torp run I try to get as close to the target as possible...just inside or outside my ship's detection range...then I'll do the hard turn while laying down smoke. Depending on your ship's reload time sometimes you can get off two torp salvos using the same smoke screen. Or if it's a ship with torps that fire off from different sides of the ship you need that hard turn to fire off the other set of torps.

Defense: I like to use what I call the "fish hook". Here you are cruising along and a threat all of a sudden pops up around an island or becomes visible right in front of you. Pop the smoke while doing a 180 degree turn. The hook and shaft will cover your retreat. Now after you've recovered from the initial shock and realize that the danger isn't as big as you originally thought you can always do another 180 and come back either inside the shaft or using it to cover your flank while the hook covers your attack run to the target.

Team play: Because it's so very situational it's hard to have any set plays ready to go but I do keep one thing in mind. When part of my fleet will be passing by or through a gap between island I'll often cover that gap with smoke so that the reds won't be able to focus fire through that gap.

Of course it's much more complicated than all that and battles are very fluid situations where you have to instantly adapt but those are a few of my basic smoke tactics.

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