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Mahan -> Benson (tactics, skills, equipment)

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Hello! Looking for advice on tactics, equipment and skills for USDDs tier 8+

I had played only torpedo boats for the longest time and finally decided to try USDDs... and found I was doing higher exp and higher dmg on average than my old torpedo boats. I was shocked when checked the stats on that one... anyway... So I had great time with the Farragut, and had played the Benson and Fletcher on the test server and like them, and was dreading the Mahan. On paper it seemed like a downgrade with that horrible detection range. But somehow I would have to grind through. And now that I can get the Benson, I find myself lovin the Mahan.

So ramble mode disengage: Now that I know a crappy detection isn't an immediate death sentence, and considering there is even more radar as you go up, meaning you want to hold your distance anyway, what are the merits of the stealth mod versus detection mod. Before driving the Mahan, I would have said no brainer, now I'm not so sure.

I may have missed out learning  an important tactic, so I want to be sure I've learned what I need to before switching to the Benson, but it seem like:

Attacking non-radar cruisers and BBs. Detection ranges aren't even close, so go to 7.5 - 8 km distance depending on the situation and fire away (with torps). IF you had better detection you could get a little closer.

Attacking DDs. When closing with a DD with superior stealth, you will be detected, then a second or two later they will be detected. 90% of the time they will not be able to change course fast enough to avoid being spotted. If its an IJN DD they will usually drop smoke and bail, If its a higher tier USDD you can drop smoke and bail. Opening fire depends on the ratio of support vessels (friendly versus enemy) in the area. There are rare occasions where a stealthier DD can spot you, and remain just out of sight, which sucks, but there's always smoke.

And finally there's the usual firing through smoke tactic - watch for radar cruisers, and other dds that might want to torp a smoke screen.

Anyway, it seems like the higher the tier, the further away you want to stay anyway (radar + longer range torps). So comments on stealth vs target acquisition? I would thing the better torp detection, and smoke detection would be an advantage.

And finally skills. A lot of the skills, like AR and SE seem like "givens" for USDDs. But there are a couple I hear mentioned a lot that I would question: IFHE and AFT. At tier 7 and below IFHE seem like a great idea, but with all the ships at tier 8+ that have a lot of 32mm, you won't pen that even with IFHE, and you lose fire starting ability. It would seem better to just switch to AP and use the 4 skill points elsewhere. Also AFT extends the range, which is great, but the guns are so inaccurate that it doesn't seem like it would be of much use. And you would also be detected at a longer range when firing, wouldn't you? I would think BFT or DE would be more useful than either of these at 8+, and they only cost 3 pts. Comments?

And finally, what tactics do I need to learn on the Mahan before buying Benson.




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1,997 battles

I personally went with the stealth mode and it has let me out spot many other Bensons. The only time I wish I had taken TA was what me and an enemy poped smoke 2 km from each other and he could still see me. Benson is pretty manuverable so I find I can disengaged without being spotted about 50% of the time. But that's just me.

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T8 and above, I'd recommend LS, AR, CE, and SE on almost all DDs. Aside from those, it really just depends if you're going for a gunboat or torpedo build. 

As you already observed, I wouldn't suggest taking AFT or IFHE. The only high tier DD that really needs IFHE to be effective is the Akizuki. And the only DDs that benefit from AFT are RU DDs or DDs which you're spec'ing for full AA build. 


A couple additional notes.

-If you're struggling to win close quarters gunfights with other DDs, think about taking a gunboat approach. You need to be able to win these fights, and you don't do your team any good if you're dead after the first engagement. 

-DE can be useful, considering it's a 40% increase in your fire starting abilities (5% vs 7% is a notable jump), but this really only matters if you're HE spamming battleships. This should be a secondary priority AFTER you've dealt with the other DDs and contested the caps. RU DDs are one of the few lines that DE is a universally good choice, but their playstyle is completely different from USN DDs. 

-I reread your comment about Target Acquisition vs Concealment module. This is a no-brainer for DDs. Your biggest asset is your stealth, so enhance your stealth by every ounce you can. DDs live and die by concealment. 

Edited by Kombat_W0MBAT
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