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wjp120

Tips for working with UK DDs as a CL?

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Basically, since I know that the UK DD running  in front of me can't put down a normal smoke screen, what do I replace that chunk of my tactical mindset with when working behind a UK DD?

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The smoke really doesn't change anything. He is usually going to hold his smokes so he can break contact. His smokes aren't meant to sit in like other DD smokes. IT can be done but that isn't what it is for. You have your own to fire out of.  Keep the RN DD between you and the enemy so his hydro will help spot torpedoes for you. I usually operate no closer than 7km behind the DDs. That distance with RN CLs' low concealment, and RN DDs' low concealment gives me some padding for the DD to spot threats before they spot me and at a range where I have time to get away or reposition if necessary. It also puts spotted enemies within effective gun range. 

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1 hour ago, Tzarevitch said:

The smoke really doesn't change anything. 

It doesn't? When I'm in a non-UK DD I often lay a smoke screen in front of one or more CLs and then continue to spot from the other side of the smoke. When I'm in a UK DD, as you say, I hold smoke to use to break engagement. When I'm in a UK DD, I'm not thinking about what my smoke can do for my allies, when I'm in a non-UK DD, I do think about using my smoke for support.

 

When I'm piloting a UK DD, I might hydro for nearby allies even if I don't think I need it for myself, but other than that, I'm just trying to maintain an advantageous position relative to the terrain, the enemies, and my own allies' courses and crossfire. 

 

What I don't understand is how to be as effective in a CL when I'm on a flank that cannot have long duration smoke. It just seems to be a suboptimal situation, and I just stick it out because my team would be upset if I abandoned the flank the starting positions pointed me at to go somewhere I might have more impact.

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Of all the DD Lines out there, RN DDs are the worst ones to back up as a Cruiser.  Sooner or later a supporting Cruiser is going to need DD smoke for help, and RN DD smoke is the worst of the worst.  It makes the awful German DD smoke look like USN DD smoke.  I cannot support RN DDs closely with my Cruisers the same way I would IJN, USN, even RU DDs.  RN DDs can't help you even if they wanted to.

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1 hour ago, wjp120 said:

It doesn't? When I'm in a non-UK DD I often lay a smoke screen in front of one or more CLs and then continue to spot from the other side of the smoke. When I'm in a UK DD, as you say, I hold smoke to use to break engagement. When I'm in a UK DD, I'm not thinking about what my smoke can do for my allies, when I'm in a non-UK DD, I do think about using my smoke for support.

 

When I'm piloting a UK DD, I might hydro for nearby allies even if I don't think I need it for myself, but other than that, I'm just trying to maintain an advantageous position relative to the terrain, the enemies, and my own allies' courses and crossfire. 

 

What I don't understand is how to be as effective in a CL when I'm on a flank that cannot have long duration smoke. It just seems to be a suboptimal situation, and I just stick it out because my team would be upset if I abandoned the flank the starting positions pointed me at to go somewhere I might have more impact.

I've never had the DDs I'm supporting reliably use smoke to cover me. If I am in a UK CL I use my own. In a USN CL or a CA I either take up a covering position behind an island (preferable) or do a fishhook, turn out (while unspotted), then open up on the target as I  kite away and I wiggle and change speeds. I keep it up to cover the DD until I get at least 2 BBs locked onto me.Then I stop shooting, wait for them to swivel the guns to somewhere else, then I rinse and repeat. It works pretty well for CLs and agile CAs with quick turrets. You really have to abuse the detection rules particularly since CLs have low detection. UK CLs have it even easier because they have low detection, they are agile AND they can bring their own cover with them (plus they have torps to help keep the enemy from closing). 

Move up to optimal range while unspotted. Get yourself facing the direction you need to be to escape before you are spotted. Fire on BBs whose turrets are turned away. If they turn to you and your target indicator goes up, you go dark and move erratically in case he blind-fires. Rinse and repeat. 

Also, most maps have some cover that you can shoot from even if it isn't optimally placed. Even if you can't shoot over it you can position alongside it and get several shots in before you have to slip behind the island to avoid return fire. A lot also depends on what BBs the DD I am supporting reveals. If the red T10 BBs are all in a herd behind the cap point we are heading to I'm bugging out. That all but guarantees that the whole team is on the lemming train in that direction. You can learn a ton about the enemy fleet layout from where the BBs are. 

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