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Jerych

Analysis: A Tale of Two Lemming Trains

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If you are here for a great game with gaudy numbers....

... you have come to the wrong place.

If you are looking for entertainment or humor...

...you'll find nothing but rage. 

To fulfill an obligation, I have duly written and edited a play-by-play analysis of a recent battle we will dub "A Tale of Two Lemming Trains".  It is decidedly an unremarkable battle, with a few rage-inducing quirks.       The replay is from the perspective of a salty Atlanta player.  In his defense, there was provocation to include dismissive remarks and having to endure this tragic comedy.

23-F.png.9a5b9be841c49f8ff9cd43cca5d496ae.png

^According to consensus, the succinct Atlanta player above is the fool for not following these ingenious teammates forming a Lemming Train[wreck] into C.  Eventually, the match was won convincingly, at which point his teammates claimed triumph for their strategy (when in fact, the red team lost by forming a similar Lemming Train), and encouraged the Atlanta to make good on a promise to make his case in forums.  Thus have I been enlisted to represent his case.  The identities of the participants have been concealed from direct exposure, as per WG's rule against "naming and shaming" meant to coddle the Eternally-offended Chosen Ones.  (Not that you can't use the replay to find out the names yourself)

 

The Analysis is not for the Faint of heart, so click at your own TLDR peril:

 

15-A.thumb.png.601c8168ff4d0946178eb549cfd51799.png

^This is not the greatest position for the Atlanta to spawn, chiefly because there is no friendly Destroyer in its vicinity.  Nevertheless, the A cap is still viable; it has a huge island in the middle of it with good firing angles on either side, a semi-protected western flank due to the map border, and a fall-back position with cover if the team needs to retreat to the G-line.  The Atlanta can certainly push back any Destroyers and cruisers that get close - all it needs is its radar, the KGV's plane for spotting, and some heavy firepower in case a Battleship and/or a cruiser force tries to pincer both flanks. 

At the very least, going to the A-cap is worth a scouting approach - but Battleship support (and their plane spotting) will be necessary.  Unfortunately, the Battleships may not be inclined to go to A.  The trick is going to be to try to coax them to follow the Atlanta.  After all, the last thing a team needs is for all the Battleships to follow each other in a "Lemming Train", which limits cap control, limits the ability to scout, limits firing angles, etc, and is ultimately a losing strategy.  The Atlanta will have to make the first move...

 

27-A.thumb.png.65fed6d75a2fd729421a9c5015cca17d.png

^Well, they're Battleships, so what did you expect?

The Lyon and the KGV decide to take their big guns and planes in a stampede to C, along with every ship on the team minus the Atlanta. 

The Atlanta is a support ship, and soloing into the blind A-cap is a non-starter.  Without Battleship support, the Atlanta would be a sitting duck to anything that decided to flank it at A.  Abandoning A is the Atlanta's best option, even if the team's default strategy is sub-optimal. They are obliviously setting themselves up in a row of sitting ducks to any red ship smart enough to scout and seize B, then exploit their vulnerability.  The team shows no sign of establishing a reasonable western flank to their broadsides from torpedoes and gun salvos.

 

11-A.thumb.png.86c5459328f36bba080f6c57846519ba.png

^2 min have elapsed, and it's become clear that A-cap is a missed opportunity.   Worse, the entire team is following each other stem-to-stern in a predictable straight line to the C-cap.  Meanwhile, a red Destroyer (and possibly two) is capping B, and scouting the team's BBs who are mindlessly marching broadside towards C.

But then the Atlanta gets a break: The Bismarck, the last red Battleship unaccounted for, has finally revealed itself by opening fire.

This is a common mistake by Battleship players, who do not leverage their concealment, let alone use it to devastating effect.  Just because Battleships have the worst concealment of any class, it does not mean they should fritter away their anonymity on a low-percentage, long-ranged shot, especially in a German BB. Just as importantly, the Tirpitz and the Prinz Eugen have been located; these were the two ships that MatchmakingMonitor identified as being skilled players.  The Atlanta can begin to craft its strategy to play around these two factors now that he knows where they are.

The updated minimap makes another pivotal fact clear: the red team is making the same mistake as the green team.  They are both marching in a lemming train - the opposing teams are near mirror images of each other.  It's a comedy, rivaled by its tragedy, rivaled by farce.  At the very least, every Battleship in the game has denied their team coverage of half the map west of B...

...and this presents the Atlanta with an opportunity.

Time to shift gears.

 

16-A.thumb.png.fa4c5c099d3d42d4931b3a1128895aee.png

^Tight turn, but the Atlanta makes it easily. 

The red team's BBs have left a vacuum, giving the Atlanta plenty of room to maneuver and execute a strategy.   The destination is an island cove, requiring only a short path of exposure for the Atlanta to traverse.  But the faster the Atlanta gets to its destination, the better.

The smoke at B marks the last known location of a DD.  Why did it smoke?  No green ship could possibly have spotted it.  Did it 'potato' and smoke itself in the cap despite being undetected?  Possibly.  But the safest assumption is that the DD smoked in a teammate.  Only 10 ships have been located by spotting or deduction; two ships are unaccounted for.  There's no telling how far South the DD(s) in B have moved, especially given no opposition from friendly DDs.  If they've moved too far South, they could potentially detect the Atlanta before it has a chance to set an ambush with proper cover.  Three Battleships could have range on the Atlanta, the Bismarck, the Tirpitz, and the Richilieu.  The Bismarck and the Richilieu each pose a wild-card threat, but it's the Tirpitz the Atlanta is keeping in mind; he's the skilled player who can land his shots and given his orientation, he's likely to have turned his guns the right way.

The T-22 has been spotted, so that means the DD in the B-cap is an Akatsuki.  11 ships accounted for; one is missing and that is troublesome (he doesn't realize it yet, but it's the Laga).  But there is a more pressing matter...

 

26-A.thumb.png.cecb5302328c067601fe74e2f7e8769f.png

^Destination reached.  The Atlanta has successfully maintained concealment throughout the game to this point. 

Now the Atlanta has a decision to make: whether to radar the cap and try to defend it, or let the Akatsuki cap B and hope it heads for the deceptively uncontested A cap - in which case the Atlanta will have a chance to delete it.

The Akatsuki is not a skilled player according to MatchmaklingMonitor, so he may not realize the Atlanta is unaccounted for.  One of the more knowledgeable red players may be encouraging him to cap A - a reasonable assumption.  The Atlanta will hold his radar, knowing its team can afford to allow the Akatsuki to cap B (the points differential is negligible for now), and wait to spring its trap.   A radar might not yield shots on the Akatsuki at all, let alone killing blows, and then the DD would be alerted to the Atlanta's proximity.  Eliminating this DD outright is worth the gamble, so the Atlanta will wait.  Even if the Bismarck, Tirpitz, and possibly the Richelieu get some return shots off, the Atlanta will be able to accelerate into cover to the West of the island, while still maintaining shots on a Southward or Northwestern DD.

 

17-A.thumb.png.ed273cdf1b36642c2ebf1e924f3513d2.png

^Now that it's safe, the Atlanta has time to reconsider the 12th unaccounted ship.  Deduction reveals that it's the La Galissonniere.  It must have been smoked into position by the Akatsuki.  The Atlanta probably should have realized sooner and paid more attention to outgoing fire, identifying its shells (which gives away location and possibly ship direction).  This complicates matters, but it's not that much of a problem.  Unlike the Prinz Eugen, the Laga cannot overmatch the Atlanta's armor.  At close range, the Atlanta will destroy the Laga in short order, either with citadels against its broadside, or raw HE firepower if the Laga elects to angle its armor.  Most importantly, the Laga player is not among the skilled players identified by interpreting MatchmakingMonitor.  The Atlanta should be able to handle the Laga outright, with firepower to spare for the Akatsuki.  Are they both in B?  Are they headed around opposite sides of the island?  Are they both headed South?

No matter.

All factors have been accounted for.

The strategy is sound.

The trap is baited.

The escape hatch is waiting.

Nothing left to do, but to watch the comedy of errors unfolding at C.

 

23-F.png.9a5b9be841c49f8ff9cd43cca5d496ae.png18-A.thumb.png.e345bc73a0b8eb7f5a111e6afdffa499.png

^The Atlanta makes a mistake.  

He gets bored of waiting.  And watching the team's Lemming train[wreck] at C, the Atlanta vents his rage in chat. 

Predictably, he gets detected by the DD in mid-chat.  Approximately 6 precious seconds are lost trying to pop radar (it generates chat letters instead), then deleting and exiting the chat, before the radar is finally activated.  The Akatsuki is exposed, but it's already kiting away and near the edge of the radar's range.  The priority target counter is climbing.  Two Atlanta salvos fail to hit the DD.  But even worse, the Atlanta is late in accelerating into cover to avoid the anticipated counterfire from red Battleships.  One salvo of BB shells comes dangerously close to landing citadels.  As might be expected, it is the red Tirpitz player who had the awareness to turn his guns on the Atlanta, a clear threat to the red team's flank.

 

20-A.thumb.png.fe991b805e639a362902e31758aa7033.png

^For all the work thus far, there is no tangible reward. 

But in fact, the Atlanta's maneuvers have been worthwhile.  He has taken a solid position on the flank, map control right in the middle, something the red team has no choice but to play around.  And in doing so, he has exposed the last two unspotted red ships, the Laga going for the A-cap and the Akatsuki trying to torp.  

With the minimap picture crystal clear, and all the ships and torp threats located, it is now possible to challenge both A and B with gusto.

For the Atlanta, challenging B is a possibility given the cover, and the fact that the red DDs have been pushed out of position.

But challenging A would prevent the Laga from capping it, and neutralize a counter-flank.  All things being equal, an Atlanta cannot handle a Laga in open ocean 1v1.  At best, the Atlanta might hope for a draw, using his Concealment to disappear once the Laga kites too far away.  All things being equal, an Atlanta should not challenge a Laga 1v1 for the A-cap.  However, all things are not equal; MatchmakingMonitor has already identified what the Atlanta player can and cannot handle. 

That makes the decision easy: The Atlanta should be able to win against the Laga comfortably.

Time to head towards A on an intercept course with the Laga.

 

22-A.thumb.png.63487a854a628d9d8a3ea5ef7e97ca8d.png
^The closer the Atlanta is to its target, the more lethal it becomes.  The Laga's situation is exactly the opposite; it should kite away and pop its speed boost to open the distance.  Instead, the Laga has popped its speed boost and is sailing broadside, firing his guns in the Atlanta's direction - and then the Atlanta's priority target number of '1' disappears (meaning 0 guns are 'actively' targeting the Atlanta).  The Laga is aiming his torpedoes.  It's unlikely that he knows how to use this mechanic as a bluff.  

The Laga's torps are coming.  

And they won't hit anything.

Meanwhile, unknown to the distracted Atlanta, the two Lemming Trains at C are beginning to converge, with a significant green portion leaving C to finally make a play towards B.

 

19-A.thumb.png.a769d7abd022b17126b58d83267d70d8.png

^With the flank and A secured, the Atlanta is just realizing that two red DDs have been killed and that the B-cap is now well-in-hand. 

The last red Akatsuki has some of the best concealment in the game, but he is exposed because he is gunboating.  He won't live long.

 

14-A.thumb.png.35079047e16db61954ab8a1810f34fda.png

^The game cascades.  Once the last red DD died, there was little hope for their team to hold back a green BB push.  With no angles and torpedoes to provide crossfires and damage bursts, red team is in a straight-up DPS race with a numerically superior enemy. 

This is mop-up.

 

2-A.thumb.png.41ce220bffde45f3e7b103514b95a5fd.png

^An unremarkable game stat-wise.

The frustration-factor was worth a rage-quit.

At its best, the game was a win.

But at its worst, the game was won between two teams who used bad strategies [or no strategy at all].  It was frustrating for any competent player to watch.

Were the Battleships right that their Lemming strategy was vindicated?

Not even close; the truth is that the Lemming train worked only so far as the red team opted for the same bad strategy. 

Think of it this way: As easily as the Atlanta exploited the red team, he would have had an even easier time exploiting the green team if the situation were reversed.  After all, the red team at least posed problems by having red DD scouts and roaming cruisers sent to A and B, and those ships were ultimately what kept the Atlanta from taking over B and raining fire on red's Lemming train.  The green team, however, did not actively send a single ship to the rest of the map outside of C if we take switch the Atlanta.  How easy would it be for the red Atlanta to walk into an empty B cap and its perfectly placed island cover and start burning down that green Trainwreck of sitting ducks?  And the Atlanta is a T7, short-ranged ship with pea-shooters.  Imagine if a red T8 BB had pushed into B, supported the DDs and Laga, and farmed the blob of green ships running into each other.  This game plays out much more evenly. 

When you come right down to it, the Lemming train collision at C was a boxing match between two chimps wailing on each other.  Calling it a "strategy" gives it too much credit.

No skilled player or clan would advise such a strategy as employed by 4/5 of the ships in this game, because they know it's a losing strategy.  Trying this in Randoms and hoping none of your opponents are smart enough to exploit its vulnerabilities is plain dumb.  Trying this in an advanced competitive match is suicide.

The play of the Atlanta may not have been perfect, but its strategy was sound, its tactics were generally well-executed, and the play-style will win more whether you are playing the Atlanta or any other ship from DD to BB, because the applied knowledge is applicable to any class of ship, including CV.

 

Obligations fulfilled.

I rest my case, Your Honor.

20180306_215231_PASC006-Atlanta-1942_22_tierra_del_fuego.wowsreplay

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Lemming train fails under ONLY 2 circumstances

 

1. small part of the lemming team decides to go solo towards the complete opposite direction

2. lemming train not moving toward an objective, or stopped after reaching the nearest objective.

 

If lemming train loses games, then no one would've won any clan/tournament/whatever team vs team battles.

 

Force concentration, then direct that concentration towards the enemy.

Edited by NeutralState

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25 minutes ago, NeutralState said:

Lemming train fails under ONLY 2 circumstances

 

1. small part of the lemming team decides to go solo towards the complete opposite direction

2. lemming train not moving toward an objective, or stopped after reaching the nearest objective.

 

If lemming train loses games, then no one would've won any clan/tournament/whatever team vs team battles.

 

Force concentration, then direct that concentration towards the enemy.

That's Clan Wars, etc. where you have tight knit teams with comms like Discord coordinating.  Random game Lemming Trains however, are the worst.  Here's a big problem though.

 

Lemming Trains in Non-Preformed Teams form mostly due to one simple reason:  COWARDICE

 

"If the enemy team sends a bunch of torps, bombers, shells our way, if I have 9 guys in front of me, the chances of me getting hit are small."

 

People form Lemming Trains because they don't want to be in a smaller group and get picked out for attack.  They rather have someone else fight and take the damage for them.  Never mind what they do in the back was worthless anyways, but the idea is to hide behind someone first. 

 

Who are the aggressive ones in the Lemming Trains?  The guys in the front.  They are the ones that have to try and force the spearhead and break through.  Only when a Lemming Train maintains momentum that it works.  The problem is when the guys up front get f--ked up or sunk.  This is especially true if the DDs up front get rekt.  The cowards in the back cower even more and they're looking for the best spot to wait out the rest of the match in safety, while lobbing shells at 19km hoping anything to hit.

 

Anyways, the easiest way to halt a Lemming Train dead in its tracks?  Shoot up, heavily damage, or kill the ones that were up front, ESPECIALLY Destroyers.

 

When dealing with Cowardly Lemming Trains, you kill the Sheep Dogs first.  Then the Sheep are easy kills afterwards that barely can even fight.  I think these guys just barely know how to log into WoWS and hit the BATTLE button.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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7 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

That's Clan Wars, etc. where you have tight knit teams with comms like Discord coordinating.  Random game Lemming Trains however, are the worst.  Here's a big problem though.

 

Lemming Trains in Non-Preformed Teams form mostly due to one simple reason:  COWARDICE

 

"If the enemy team sends a bunch of torps, bombers, shells our way, if I have 9 guys in front of me, the chances of me getting hit are small."

 

People form Lemming Trains because they don't want to be in a smaller group and get picked out for attack.  They rather have someone else fight and take the damage for them.  Never mind what they do in the back was worthless anyways, but the idea is to hide behind someone first. 

 

Who are the aggressive ones in the Lemming Trains?  The guys in the front.  They are the ones that have to try and force the spearhead and break through.  Only when a Lemming Train maintains momentum that it works.  The problem is when the guys up front get f--ked up or sunk.  This is especially true if the DDs up front get rekt.  The cowards in the back cower even more and they're looking for the best spot to wait out the rest of the match in safety, while lobbing shells at 19km hoping anything to hit.

 

Anyways, the easiest way to halt a Lemming Train dead in its tracks?  Shoot up, heavily damage, or kill the ones that were up front, ESPECIALLY Destroyers.

 

When dealing with Cowardly Lemming Trains, you kill the Sheep Dogs first.  Then the Sheep are easy kills afterwards that barely can even fight.  I think these guys just barely know how to log into WoWS and hit the BATTLE button.

WELLLL then,

 

Sounds like WG needs to remake the in game reward mechanism to promote more team oriented play.

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For a lemming train to work in a random game it needs to commit fully. You go full bell and leave it there the whole match, pushing through whatever is in front of you. The second the lemming train hesitates, it just turns into a ball of incompetents surrounded on two sides by the enemy team. At that point it isn't a game, it is an execution. Lemming trains are bad in randoms in general, but they do happen so you might as well make the most of it.

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29 minutes ago, Jerych said:

23-F.png.9a5b9be841c49f8ff9cd43cca5d496ae.png

The green DDs are idiots.

They are both at C cap and unable to cap it.

As a result, the rest of the green team has no DD screen to protect them against the two red DDs attacking their flank.

If you cannot achieve your objective, cut the losses, move on and try a different approach, instead of getting bogged down in a single spot.

 

Since the greens have given up their positional advantages, the only way for the greens to win such a fight is to outshoot the reds.

Most of the time, lemming trains happen because there's no DD protection screen.

(Although, that's not to put it past the idiot BBs and Cruisers who don't bother providing support to the DD doing the screening.)

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4 minutes ago, AdmiralPiett said:

For a lemming train to work in a random game it needs to commit fully. You go full bell and leave it there the whole match, pushing through whatever is in front of you. The second the lemming train hesitates, it just turns into a ball of incompetents surrounded on two sides by the enemy team. At that point it isn't a game, it is an execution. Lemming trains are bad in randoms in general, but they do happen so you might as well make the most of it.

You can either participate in the sh*t show, or try to be brave and be part of the 1-2 ship group trying to salvage the rest of the map, potentially running into a stronger enemy group.  The absolute worst part of Lemming Trains?  Is when the Lemmings stall out and cower with 9-10 ships against only 3-4 enemy players.

 

Lemming Trains succeed only because the few Sheep Dogs in front force an opening, often getting sunk or f--ked up in the process.  They force the opening and hope's it's enough for the cowards to grow some courage, step over the Sheep Dog's bodies, and press on to TRY and win the game.  Most often it fails.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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1 minute ago, MrDeaf said:

The green DDs are idiots.

They are both at C cap and unable to cap it.

As a result, the rest of the green team has no DD screen to protect them against the two red DDs attacking their flank.

If you cannot achieve your objective, cut the losses, move on and try a different approach, instead of getting bogged down in a single spot.

 

Since the greens have given up their positional advantages, the only way for the greens to win such a fight is to outshoot the reds.

Most of the time, lemming trains happen because there's no DD protection screen.

(Although, that's not to put it past the idiot BBs and Cruisers who don't bother providing support to the DD doing the screening.)

I agree its frustrating when you need to just enjoy the game but here you are in battle and left alone,

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im not happy when the red team all at  once fire all they have on me and the other ships are way on the other side of the map.

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49 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Lemming Trains in Non-Preformed Teams form mostly due to one simple reason:  COWARDICE

And so is the classic safety-in-numbers Fishball DefenseTM.

 

Fishball.jpg.4cd92e1a4535b64ab489a9bc729ba890.jpg

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2 hours ago, NeutralState said:

Lemming train fails under ONLY 2 circumstances

 

1. small part of the lemming team decides to go solo towards the complete opposite direction

2. lemming train not moving toward an objective, or stopped after reaching the nearest objective.

 

If lemming train loses games, then no one would've won any clan/tournament/whatever team vs team battles.

 

Force concentration, then direct that concentration towards the enemy.

Agree with your No.2 but not No.1.

If you use tournament as an example, it is common team sent large force to push one side while having a smaller force holding the other side of the map. 

Also it is common for team to spread their battleships to form cross fire positions.

Typically lemming train fails because of your No.2. Most players don't have a clear goal on what they want to achieve rather than just sticking with the pack.

Edited by Exciton8964

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Yes, lemming trains.  Making school girls feel safe the world over.

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Question is, at what point is a lemming train formed? Is it 2 ships? 4 ships? 7?

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20 hours ago, Skpstr said:

Question is, at what point is a lemming train formed? Is it 2 ships? 4 ships? 7?

It happens when players look at a map at the start and most have no idea where to go or what to do. Or worse insist that way is the only way. Take Trap or Atlantic. The ships spawned at southern most point of the NW side had the option of either point B (atoll withe the small island in the middle) or point A (cap point with three mountain islands). You'll always have at least 1 player deciding at the spawn point say "Let's cap A" and proceed. Even though 9 times out of 10 the other side has more ships closer to A.  So the rest of the tm may decide:

 

1. Let him go Yolo

2.  Some ships follow him

3. Most ships follow him.

 

That depends on what type of a ship our initial player is   and who many sheeple are in this tm. If it's a DD, ships will follow him because he can scout at least. . when you reach critical mass, the rest of the tm has the choice of:

 

1. Splitting off and pray they don't run into a majority of the red tm.

2. Join the train and pray.

 

Don't get me wrong. lemmings can be effective if there are enough aggressive players on your side who will push through.  Unfortunately that is not often the case. I've been in games where I pushed into the cap and the rest of the tm stalled or ran away. They only came forward when it was the last 5-7 seconds of the  time left to cap. Too bad they didn't realize that the assisting in cap had change. Giving me the sole capture flag. 

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