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Quick Reference Guide: Understanding your ship's role and how to defeat all enemies

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Hello captains, welcome to the WoWS forums. 

Ever wonder how some players seems to know exactly what to do with their ships, and make them sing just right and devastate the enemy?  Ever see a ship on the other team and not be sure how you should counter them?  The answer is knowing what your ship's job is, how to capitalise on its strengths, and understanding how to counter enemy ships. 

But, given there are so many ships in the game, this can be hard to pick up quickly - how to keep track of them all? The answer is in the below table, where there are some patterns that multiple types of ship from multiple nations and tiers can be grouped together, as they all fulfil a similar role.  This quick reference guide is primarily for newer players who are looking to take their gameplay up a level - new players might be particularly intereted in the description of Light Cruisers (bolded in the table) as these are the most common ship types they are playing.  

If you are a brand new player, and not sure yet what type of ship or nation you should start, see the post immediately below this one for my suggested new-player friendly starter nations/types.  For a general high-level description of the roles of each type of ship, see the description in the spoiler of this post. 

As always, I would welcome any suggestions/feedback to improve upon it.  If you have any questions/would like me to elaborate, please post below.  

Otherwise, good luck!

Spoiler

Conceptually, the ship types - in a very general sense, with exceptions - fall into the following roles:

  • Destroyers (DDs): Stealthy ninjas - they use their speed and concealment to set up ambush attacks on enemy capital ships with their torpedos, and they use their fast firing but low damage guns against other destroyers. 
    • Note: some DDs are optimised for torpedoes (ie, better at killing enemy capital ships), and others are optimised for their guns (ie, good at killing enemy destroyers) - this national flavour is common to this game, and you'll have to learn this as you go. The table linked below should be very helpful explaining these differences.  
  • Cruisers (CA/CLs): High damage-per-minute and accurate guns, but very squishy (ie, easy to kill) ships - their fast firing and moderate damage guns wreck destroyers and can put serious hurt into battleships if they are left unmolested... but cruisers are extremely vulnerable to enemy battleship guns in particular as they have no effective armour - instead, they must use hard cover (like islands) and smoke screens (including those deployed by friendly destroyers) to stay alive long enough to bring their firepower over time onto the enemy - caught out up close or in the open, they do a lot of dying. 
    • Cruisers are possibly the hardest conventional class to do well in. 
    • CA = Heavy Cruiser (ie, armed with 8 inch guns or higher), and CLs = Light Cruiser (ie, armed with 6 inch guns or smaller). 
  • Battleships (BBs): High Alpha, usually low-ish damage per minute ships that can strike from  relatively long range - they are less accurate than cruisers, but by late tiers you dont really feel the difference. They have high hitpoints, and strong armour, but that does not make you immune to damage - torpedos, fires and battleship guns can all bring you down.  As you tend to be easily spotted by enemies, slow and not agile, make sure you are always near teammates in cruisers and destroyers who can help you screen faster/lighter enemies away from you.  
  • Aircraft carriers (CVs): A completely different style of play, where you control a squadron of aircraft to drop ordnance on enemy ships.  Dominance of the air means that you can spot enemy ships, use rocket planes, dive bombers or torpedo bombers to attack enemy ships, and use your fighter consumables to help protect friendly ships from enemy carrier attacks.  
    • Carriers have a disproportionate impact on your team's chances of winning - I recommend plenty of practice in coop before moving on to randoms. Also, be aware that a vocal subset of the game's community hate carriers with a passion, so resilience in the face of derision is helpful.  Still, play your own game, and playing CVs means you get better at countering them when you play other ships.

 

Ship Type

Primary role(s)

Counter-play

DD/Destroyers - Torpedo

Examples:

  • IJN Destroyer tech tree line, ending in Shimakaze,
  • German Destroyer line, ending in Z-521
  • Russian/Soviet Alternate Destroyer line, ending in Grozovoi
  • Pan-European ("Swedish") Destroyer line, ending in Halland. 

When driving torpedo DDs, use your excellent stealth to get up close to enemies and deliver massive alpha strikes (via torpedoes), with high flooding chance as backup Damage over Time (DoT). 

Ideally remain unspotted at all times, in order to not alert your enemy of your torpedo attacks. 

Use stealth to capture control points, but bail quickly and early if gunboat DDs or carrier planes contest you.  

Spot enemy ships for your team. 

When using smoke (if equipped), be careful to consider its impact on your target even if you are not directly detected - smoking up can make your enemy suspect your position and guess torps are on their way and take appropriate action.  

To defeat torpedo DDs, regularly change speed and direction to make aiming effective torpedo attacks very difficult.  Don't drive in straight lines or otherwise move in predictable ways.  Be paranoid if you are spotted for no good reason.  Use teamwork (such as friendly destroyers, cruisers or carrier planes) to spot enemy DDs before they can launch torpedoes against you. 

ALWAYS shoot at a spotted DD - they have low health; chip away at it whilst they are still (briefly) seen. 

DD/Destroyers - Gunboat

Examples:

  • USN Destroyer line2
  • IJN Alternate Destroyer line, ending in Harugumo
  • Russian/Soviet Destroyer line, ending in Khabarovsk
  • UK Destroyer line, ending in Daring
  • French Destroyer line, ending in Kleber

Use rapid-fire low calibre guns in open water (Russian or French) or in smoke (others) to trigger DoT damage (ie, fires) against enemy capital ships generally, contest caps against enemy destroyers early game.  Use torpedoes as backup weapons. 

Use speed, agility and small physical size to dodge incoming gunfire. 

When contesting caps, remember that Torpedo DDs are likely to be stealthier than you, so when you're spotted either rush them hard as you'll outgun them, or bail immediately - dont just sit broadside in your smoke as you'll eat a wall of torpedos.  

Dont drive in straight lines or otherwise move in predictable ways.  Be paranoid if you are spotted for no good reason.  Use teamwork (such as friendly destroyers, cruisers or carrier planes) to spot enemy DDs before they can launch torpedoes against you.  In addition, use hard cover (like Islands) to break line of sight.  Proper management of DCP and Repair Party.  Before battle, set up your ship and captain to resist fire damage; mount flags. 

ALWAYS shoot at a spotted DD - they have low health; chip away at it whilst they are still seen.  Practice hitting small ships moving at high speed at long range.  

CL/Light Cruisers (6 inch/ 155mm guns or smaller) 

Examples:

  • Most early-mid tier cruiser lines up to about T6
  • USN Cruiser line, ending in Worcester,
  • UK Cruiser line, ending in Minotaur,
  • High-tier HE spammers including Bayard, Colbert and Smolensk

Use fast-firing medium calibre guns behind hard cover (like Islands) or soft cover (like smoke screens) to trigger DoT damage (eg, fires) against enemy capital ships.  Primary targets are destroyers and aircraft, or any battleship that has just put out one fire like a total muppet.  

Cruisers are consumable queens - support friendly destroyers near caps (but stay in/near cover) with aggressive use of radar and hydroacoustic search (aka sonar).  Destroy enemy planes with Def AA.  

Do not get spotted in the open, as your lack of armour and massive citadels mean you die if seen. 

If a capital ship, shoot them back! Use hard cover (like Islands) to break line of sight. Proper management of DCP and Repair Party - DO NOT just put out one fire if you cannot get to safety first.  Before battle, set up your ship and captain to resist fire damage; mount flags. 

If a destroyer, use situational awareness and skill to bait consumable use.  Draw cruisers out into the open in front of friendly battleships and heavy cruisers.  Force movement away from hard cover by flanking with torpedo attacks on their 'safe' position. 

CA/Heavy Cruisers (8 inch/ 203mm guns or larger)

Examples:

  • USN alternate cruiser line, ending in Des Moines3,
  • French cruiser line ending in Henri IV,
  • German cruiser line ending in Hindenburg,
  • IJN cruiser line ending in Zao,
  • Italian cruiser line ending in Venezia,
  • UK alternate cruiser line ending in Goliath.
  • High-tier Superheavy Cruisers including Alaska, Azuma, Yoshino, Kronshtadt, Stalingrad, and Siegfried.

Use quick-firing medium calibre guns in open water to deliver substantial, accurate, AP alpha strikes to enemy cruisers (primarily), or HE alpha strikes to open water gunboat DDs, or HE/fire damage to capital ships at long range (15km+).  

Use consumables to support team where possible, including Def AA, hydro or radar typically in a defensive way.  

Late game, can use torpedos (if any) in last-ditch suicide strikes against capital ships from positions of concealment (like Islands). 

Faster cruisers (particularly French) and heavier-gunned cruisers (particularly Superheavy Cruisers) work best on the flanks of maps to get better shots on enemy broadsides with their heavy AP guns.  

Italian SAP shells devastate destroyers and hurt weakly armoured parts of other ships (eg, battleship superstructures) but can quickly lead to damage saturation if repeatedly used in the same place - switch between SAP and AP frequently.

Whilst you have some armour, being hit in the citadel still hurts - dodging enemy battleship fire is feasible at long ranges if vigilant. 

If a capital ship, shoot back! Use hard cover (like Islands) to break line of sight. Proper management of DCP and Repair Party.  Before battle, set up your ship and captain to resist fire damage; mount flags. 

If a cruiser, do NOT go broadside - engage in DPM duel and hope for enemy incompetence; close range if you have torps, else attempt to kite them.

If a destroyer, use situational awareness and skill to dodge incoming fire, go dark (become unspotted) and then keep enemy ship spotted until friendlies kill it or they blunder into your torps.

BB/Battleships - Brawling

Examples:

  • German battleship line, ending in Grosser Kurfurst, and premium battleships including Scharnhorst and Tirpitz,
  • French battleship line (to a lesser extent), ending in Republique
  • USS Massachusettes and to a lesser extent USS Georgia and USS Ohio (but not other USN battleships). 

Use combination of relatively inaccurate main battery of slow firing heavy weapons to deliver large alpha strikes (via guns) over medium-short distances, particularly against hapless cruisers or battleships who turn broadside to try and run out of your secondary battery range.  

Early game, play like a (less effective) conventional battleship - follow other battleships and use main guns on targets.  Mid to late game only (so you are more likely to survive an aggressive charge), close range to enable powerful secondary armament/torpedoes to destroy wounded ships.  Laugh heartily.  

When facing enemy battleships, angle your armour to maximise the chance of bouncing their AP. 

Practice torpedobeats ad nauseum.

In a cruiser or battleship, DO NOT DRIVE BROADSIDE to a battleship, or else get a paddlin'. 

Kite the enemy ship by running and attempting to set fires/floods.  

Maintain maximum distance, where the enemy's guns are less accurate and in order to stay out of secondary range. 

If a destroyer, take advantage of enemy ship's exposed forward position, and lack of stealth and agility to plan surprise torpedo attacks.  Remember to say 'bye' in global chat like a Sir if target takes no evasive action before your torpedoes hit.

BB/Battleships - Conventional

Examples:

  • IJN Battleship line, ending in Yamato,
  • USN Battleship line, ending in Montana,
  • Russian/Soviet Battleship line, ending in Kremlin,
  • UK Battleship line (to a lesser extent), ending in Conqueror.

Use relatively accurate long-range main battery of slow firing heavy weapons to deliver massive AP alpha strikes (via guns) over long range from open water. 

Primary targets are cruisers (from any angle), or broadside battleships.  

Shoot opportunistically at any spotted destroyers.  

Dont ever drive alone - lonely battleships are simply food for carriers, destroyers or island-camping cruisers. 

When facing enemy battleships, angle your armour to maximise the chance of bouncing their AP. 

UK Battleships are stealthier so can be used more effectively from mid-range, and their HE is actually devastating so switch ammunition appropriately.  

In a cruiser or battleship, DO NOT DRIVE BROADSIDE to a battleship, or else get a paddlin'.  

Kite the enemy ship by running and attempting to set fires/floods.  

Maintain vigilance on enemy rate of fire and their target to maximise chance of dodging incoming gunfire - if their target isnt you, farm the battleship for free damage (keep an eye out for other enemies shooting at you though). 

If a destroyer, take advantage of enemy ship's lack of stealth and agility to plan surprise torpedo attacks.  Remember to say 'bye' in global chat like a Sir if target takes no evasive action before your torpedoes hit.

CV/Aircraft Carrier

Examples:

  • USN Carrier line, ending in Midway,
  • IJN Carrier line, ending in Hakuryu
  • UK Carrier line, ending in Audacious
  • German Carrier line, ending in Richthofen

Use relatively fast strike aircraft to deliver repeated DoT attacks on lonely enemy ships, either destroyers (with rocket planes) or battleships (with dive and/or torpedo bombers). 

Early game, spot enemy fleet disposition and (particularly) location of enemy destroyers.  Later, support friendly light cruiser/gunboat DD attacks on enemy capital ships by prioritising targets that have recently used DCP and/or forcing ships to use DCP when they dont have hard cover easily accessible making them vulnerable to your team's light cruisers/gunboat DDs. 

Avoid cruisers with Def AA whenever possible.  Avoid attacking groups of ships with shared AA bubbles whenever possible (though spotting is valid).

Stay alive through paranoid map awareness and good positioning behind hard cover, but not too far away from main fight to reduce flight transit times to your targets.

Do not ever be alone.  Use teamwork to share AA by driving within friendly ship's AA bubbles (usually about 4-5km).  

Although less likely to prevent the first attack, repeated plane losses will deter further attacks and will ultimately degrade performance of enemy carrier to benefit of the entire team.  

Dodge dropped ordinance by extreme manoeuvre, effective for all ship types to at least a reasonable degree.  Proper management of DCP and Repair Party.  

Before battle, set up your ship and captain to strengthen AA and/or resist fire damage; mount flags. 

If you are a destroyer, play with your AA turned off most of the time - only switch it on when the enemy planes have already spotted you (~2.5-3km) as it gives the CV less time to line you up for a strike.  Try to drive towards the planes if you cannot avoid/escape them to further reduce aiming time.  Remember to switch off your AA again when the strike is complete, then repeat above steps.  

 

Footnotes:

  1. German DDs are a lot closer to a hybrid torpedoboat/gunboat than this suggests; however, I found much greater success playing them like a torpedoboat with guns rather than a gunboat with torps. 
  2. Whilst USN DDs are all capable gunboats, T10 Gearing and T9 Fletcher (in particular) can be optimised as torpedoboats with guns, which many players prefer.  
  3. Whilst the USN heavy cruiser line generally can be played like this,  particularly in mid-tiers, at higher tiers it is better to play them like USN light cruisers with harder hitting guns -  the T10 Des Moines must be played like a USN light cruiser; a DM in open water will just die.  
Edited by UltimateNewbie
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1. Suggestions for New Player friendly ship lines to start with

As I mentioned above, if you are a new player and are looking for a suggestion for which nation/type to play, I suggest the below as relatively forgiving, fun and provide a good basis to understand the type: 

  • Destroyers: American destroyers are the easiest to play - their fast firing guns, and torpedoes on both sides (at low tier) means that its a fast, fun run-and-gun style, with great smoke screens.  They are very forgiving - rush in, gun enemy destroyers, and if you win and live, then rush up to a battleship and shove him up with torps... once you get more experience, you can do all of those things better, faster, longer etc. 
  • Cruisers: French cruisers are probably the easiest to play at low-mid tiers. Load HE, shoot slow targets at near your max range to set them on fire - when they repair those fires, set more.  Dodge incoming shells (particularly from battleships) by slamming into full reverse and throwing the rudder over into a hard turn - then accelerate away again before the next salvo comes.  Use your long-range torpedos to shoot down narrow alleys where the enemy is coming from - sometimes you'll get a hit, and it'll be great. More fires!
    • DO NOT start on the British Light Cruiser line (ending in Minotaur) - these ships take detailed understanding and experience of the game mechanics in order to play; things like target selection, map positioning, map awareness, spotting mechanics, AP bounce and shatter mechanics, smoke screens, fire detection range in smoke, sonar and torpedo aim all to be functional. Experienced players even struggle with this line.  Steer clear.  
  • Battleships
    • British: These are sturdy battleships that have excellent HE direct damage and high fire chance - unlike most battleships, shooting HE at things will make them go boom. Because of that, and because they have decent armour protection generally, these battleships are easy to learn: aim well, and profit. 
    • German: Much stronger armour, but wonky/inaccurate main guns - you'll mostly be shooting AP shells at enemy battleships and cruisers.  However, your battleships have good to excellent secondary battery (particularly from Tier 7) and are a defining feature of the line.  Because they are meant to be played up close to the enemy, these ships are easier to aim, take solid damage, and encourage your team to push the capture point you're currently on, helping to win games. 
    • French: Low tier these ships arent anything special; however, by mid tier they become multi-barrelled shotguns and by T8+ they become (less armoured) speed demons - a truly varied line that might help you determine what kind of ship you like playing. I found them fun.  
  • Aircraft carriers: Personally, I suggest avoiding them entirely for now - they are very different to play and hard to do well at.  However, as a general principle Royal Navy carriers are easier to play but less impactful on the battle - seek out enemy ships that have just used DCP in order to set lots of fires that stick.  Japanese carriers do far more direct damage with their AP bombs and heavier torpedo plane squadrons, but they are harder to play and you need to understand AP bomb pen mechanics and search for citadels. USN carriers are somewhere in between - see iChase's video guide to get a grasp of the basics.  

2. Collection of Helpful Links and Guides - suggest you bookmark

Once you have a few more battles under your belt, I strongly encourage you to read the following: 

3. Understanding positioning & tips for rapdily improving your performance in the game

Ultimately, being able to read the maps and anticipate what the enemy is going to do is very challenging for new players - it will simply come with experience.  

Still, there are a few key points that you can apply early on that can hurry up this learning process: 

  • Recognise whether you are on the 'strong flank' or the 'weak flank'.  In almost all WoWS battles, your team will split up unevenly - about 1/3 will go one way (lets say towards Capture Point A) and 2/3 will go the other way (lets say to Capture Point C).  Within the first minute of the battle, see if you can work out if you are on the strong of the weak side of your team.  
  • Similarly, recognise whether the enemy in front of you is either strong or weak.  Just as your team broke up unevenly, so did the enemy team. 
    • Also, in addition to absolute numbers, pay attention to their composition including type and tier - for example, are all their high tier battleships on one side, but with no destroyer or cruiser support? This could be a delicious hunting ground if you are a destroyer, and your grave if you are a bottom-tier battleship. 
    • This is where 'spotting' the enemy team to see where they are early on is very important - this is typically the job of destroyers and aircraft carriers.  But a destroyer who gets good spotting in early is at extreme risk of being killed by the enemy team.  Keeping your destroyers alive to late battle is far, far stronger and more important than rushing in at the start - so you need to be close enough to give them supporting fire but not expose yourself to too much return fire.  Its a delicate balancing act.  
  • IF you are on the strong flank and you are facing the enemy's weak flank, and you have an interest in winning, then you have an obligation to push your flank to defeat the enemy on your side of the map - before the enemy can wipe out your teammates on the far side of the map.  Once you have defeated the enemy locally, mid-battle move towards the centre of the map to support your team on the far side of the map - try to shoot at the enemy from the side and rear.  
    • If you are going to do something aggressive, like push a flank, I've always found announcing what you are going to do in team chat (green - not the white global chat!) about 30 seconds to a minute in advance can help garner some support.  Not always, though, and relying on your team to perform critical tasks as always a hiding to nothing (see LittleWhiteMouse's guide on how to control your winrate for further guidance). 
  • IF you are on the weak flank and you are facing the enemy's strong flank, then DO NOT PUSH the enemy - they will focus fire you and melt you down quickly.  Instead, you should try to turn away and 'kite' them (see some later posts in my Ship Role Quick Reference Guide for a longer description on kiting the enemy).  
    • Your primary job is to keep the main enemy force occupied and to slow them down so that you buy time for your strong flank to defeat the enemy on the far side of the map, then they can come and help you out late battle.  This can be hard to do and takes a lot of practice.  Also, I've found letting your team - politely - know in chat that the enemy is strong on your side of the map and they should immediately push harder on the far flank can help.  
  • IF you and the enemy are evenly matched - whether strong/strong or weak/weak, the outcome of the battle is usually determined through personal skill of the players involved. 
  • Regardless of the situation you are in, there are important things you can do to help your side win: 
    • Shoot weakened ships until they are killed - an enemy on 1% health still shoots back with 100% firepower, can spot you and your team for their teammates to shoot you, and each enemy ship alive is worth points that could result in their victory even as the fighting rages on. 
    • Focus fire - if your teammates are shooting an enemy ship, then you should shoot at it too even if it doesnt present the best target for you.  This is to knock out as many enemy ships as fast as possible, which preserves your own team's HP for later (when it is more important) and can have a psychological impact on the enemy team, who may turn defensive instead of pushing you.  
    • Always shoot at a spotted enemy destroyer - these stealthy ships can run the entire battle undetected but have few hitpoints; shoot at them so they are more concerned about their own survival rather than lining up you or your teammate as their next victim.  
    • Never be alone - enemy carriers and destroyers (in particular) see a lonely enemy ship as simply food.  Even the mightiest battleship alone will still die surprisingly quickly.  This is a team game, so sticking together and working as part of a team is most likely to result in success. 
    • Controlled aggression is the key to winning this game - getting the balance right between taking risks, and when to hold your fire to: get out of the hot spotlight and heal up; remain undetected and slip behind enemy lines; or wait until the enemy is committed to a turn before shooting at an exposed broadside to get maximum damage. Camping at the back loses battles.  Rushing into the middle of the map at the start of battles with no exit plan (particularly as a cruiser) gets you killed and loses battles just the same.
      • On that note, always having an exit plan ready to go before you start shooting at a new enemy is a really helpful way to rapidly build map awareness - typically this involves deciding which island to turn behind to keep you safe from enemy fire, but could mean you need to start turning your guns around before you start firing.  Planning ahead saves lives!  

Finally, its really important to recognise that losses will happen and to demonstrate resilience when confronted by defeat. 

  • In PVP, it is typical for players to lose 50% of their matches. 
  • Losing steaks are deeply frustrating but they really do happen. 
  • Even the very best of players, with vast experience, fully equipped ships and highly trained captains, divisioned up with 2 other players of similar high calibre, still lose over 30% of the time. 

Before rushing into the next battle, think about what you pesonally could have done differently or better to not die as early, or not lose that battle - remember, your error could have been 5 minutes before you actually were sunk.  WoWS is more like a game of chess than a FPS.  

Edited by UltimateNewbie
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39 minutes ago, UltimateNewbie said:

 Use teamwork (such as friendly destroyers, cruisers or carrier planes) to spot enemy DDs or torpedoes before they hit you.

Planes don't spot torpedoes anymore...might wanna clarify that so new players don't get confused.

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2 minutes ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

Planes don't spot torpedoes anymore...might wanna clarify that so new players don't get confused.

Fair point, I was thinking about the planes spotting the DDs (and thus you know where the torps will be coming from), but I'll have a go at clarifying that point.  

Thanks!

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I would argue that Royal Navy Battleships are a poor first choice of BB because they encourage habits that do not translate well to other nations (namely HE spam with 1/4 HE penetration).

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23 minutes ago, WuYixiang said:

I would argue that Royal Navy Battleships are a poor first choice of BB because they encourage habits that do not translate well to other nations (namely HE spam with 1/4 HE penetration).

I understand your point, but RN Battleships have the major advantage that new players dont need to fret about ammunition choice whilst they are still learning so much more about the game - whether its the maps, where to go, how to even accurately aim etc.  A pretty easy way to lose new players is through their guns doing no damage (eg, an AP bounce) whilst the enemy seems to be able to do massive damage to them (eg, AP citadel through the broadside).  At least with RN battleships, shooting HE isnt irrational and will still do material damage to enemy ships (and set fires).  They can learn the benefits of AP with other battleship lines as  they become a bit more experienced.  

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I like how basically all of the counterplays boil down to "don't drive in straight lines, dumb-aft"

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3 minutes ago, Lert said:

I like how basically all of the counterplays boil down to "don't drive in straight lines, dumb-aft"

Haha. Well, it sounds like pretty good generic advice! 

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10 hours ago, steelranger1 said:

Wha's the meaning of this phrase?

Ah, good question. Not sure if there is an official definition, but in effect it’s an aggressive form of running away, typically done by a fast ship (eg, a cruiser) to a slower (but more powerful) ship, like a battleship.  

The idea is to maintain your distance to a more powerful enemy that is chasing you. This has two main advantages: typically, this means they can only use their front guns instead of a full broadside (as turning to use their full broadside would slow them down too much letting you run away) but you may be able to shoot back with all your guns if you are faster and more manoeuvrable. In addition, ships (but particularly battleships) are less accurate at range. 

Furthermore, Turning at the right time may throw off their aim; turning at the wrong time gives them a bigger target to shoot at and you are more likely to eat catastrophic damage. There is some skill required to kite well. It also helps if you can coordinate your kiting with your team, which can help you decide which way to run.

In addition, kiting increases the effective range of your torpedoes as the enemy is driving towards you. 

Finally, sometimes it only delays the inevitable: the more powerful ship will generally still win. But, you may drag them out of position, they may drive broadside to your team making them easier to kill, you may be able to set more fires etc before you die which helps you kill a superior ship with more HP, etc. If the range grows beyond your detection range, you can stop firing and the enemy can’t see you anymore - but they still might try to chase you.

Essentially, kiting gives you a chance to live and it improves your team’s chance of winning. 

Hope that helps. 

Edited by UltimateNewbie
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10 hours ago, steelranger1 said:

Wha's the meaning of this phrase?

Further to my other post on kiting, consider a scenario.  You are in an Omaha (T5 USN light cruiser) and your opponent is in a New York (T5 USN Battleship), and assume both players still have teammates still alive.  

  • If you are detected at 11+km away from the New York, you can run and kite him as I described above.  Start running, but keep cycling your fast firing guns to set fires, tax his damage control parties, and burn him to the waterline.  If he chases, his max speed is 22kt and yours is 30kt+, and he can only use his front four guns (instead of all 10 of a broadside).  He will try to shoot back, but you are unlikely to take significant damage if you dodge effectively, and so you preserve your HP for use against other enemy ships later (preserving HP whilst killing the enemy typically results in winning battles).  
    • But, I suggest you pay close attention to where the NY's guns are pointed before turning - if they are pointed at you, wait until he has fired before turning as otherwise you'll give him your broadside and he could kill you in 1 shot.  
    • If the New York is intensely firing at your teammates, then only 'run' at 1/4 or 1/2 speed (unless someone else is shooting at you, of course), as staying at medium range means that you'll land more hits whilst not taking more risk.  
  • If you are detected at 8km away from the New York, you have some difficult decisions to make. 
    • If you have island cover, then go and hide behind an island and shoot as you go - you are trying to set up a close range suicide attack on him using your sonar (to see around the island) and your torpedoes (for the alpha strike).  
    • If you do not have island cover, then you need to immeditely decide if the New York is aiming at you and is about to shoot, or if they are focused on someone else. 
      • If they are pointed at someone else, you have the opportunity to run and kite them.  But you also have the opportunity to close to use your torpedoes.  
      • If the New York is pointed at you, then turning to kite will probably result in your death.  But charging into torpedo range you will probably still die, as he'll have 1 minute to make two full broadside salvos into you.  Sometimes, life's tough. 
  • If you are detected at less than 4km away, then just use your torps and dont try to run and kite.  If you have a good opportunity, see if you can turn to send both sets of torps into him (from each side).  Still, if his guns are ready you can still die from 1 salvo.  

Perhaps that gives some context to my comments above.  

 

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Some edits to the original posts, including: 

  • To place the French DD line;
  • To place the UK Battleship line, which I somehow overlooked previously;
  • To add the USS Georgia; 
  • Further edits to clarify that the right hand side column is how to play against the ship type
  • Other edits to clarify what I meant.  

I hope this continues to be a helpful resource for people. 

 

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On 4/22/2019 at 5:59 AM, UltimateNewbie said:

Haha. Well, it sounds like pretty good generic advice! 

Rule number 1 lol

 

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On 4/1/2019 at 6:01 PM, UltimateNewbie said:

Whilst USN DDs are all capable gunboats, T10 Gearing and T9 Fletcher (in particular) can be optimised as torpedoboats with guns, which many players prefer.  

What about no? They were never 'capable gunboats', they always were multi-role DDs that can fulfill many functions, but don't particularly excel in any. You can't seriously consider something to be a gunboat when with their infamous 127/50 guns it's a struggle to hit an enemy DD at ranges past 7km and struggle to hit _anything_ past 10km. In addition to poor ballistics they also have Le Terrible fire chance so they're even not very likely to get more than one fire tick on a BB without the help of the team.

 

Edited by geser98

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2 hours ago, geser98 said:

What about no? They were never 'capable gunboats', they always were multi-role DDs that can fulfill many functions, but don't particularly excel in any. You can't seriously consider something to be a gunboat when with their infamous 127/50 guns it's a struggle to hit an enemy DD at ranges past 7km and struggle to hit _anything_ past 10km. In addition to poor ballistics they also have Le Terrible fire chance so they're even not very likely to get more than one fire tick on a BB without the help of the team.

 

Hi. Your experience with them might be different, but since the games start they have been very effective cap contesters using their guns. Sure, they weren’t great at open water stealth firing, or even long range pew pew like Soviet (or French) DDs, but in general, the USN DD line incl the T9 and T10 fits better in the gunboat column. Just at shorter range. 

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20 minutes ago, UltimateNewbie said:

Hi. Your experience with them might be different, but since the games start they have been very effective cap contesters using their guns. Sure, they weren’t great at open water stealth firing, or even long range pew pew like Soviet (or French) DDs, but in general, the USN DD line incl the T9 and T10 fits better in the gunboat column. Just at shorter range.

Why not have a 'multi-role DD' category? Because ships like USN DDs, Udaloi, Groz and some of RN/PA destroyers should in reality do all of the main functions of a DD, but will lose in contest with more specialized ships.

With recent buffs Gearing for example becomes more and more of a torpedo boat. In fact out of T10 destroyers she can in a one-on-one scenario out-trade: Shimakaze (but only at very close ranges), same with Groz and Khaba and Z-52 if she doesn't have hydro ready. Yet all of these ships (except Z-52) will eat Gearing alive at 7 km range and up. And Z-52 will eat her alive with hydro or if Gearing shows broadside.

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8 minutes ago, geser98 said:

Why not have a 'multi-role DD' category

For a few reasons. Originally I was going to have only one box per type (DD, CL, BB etc) but that wasn’t practical. The object and purpose of this guide was to bring order to chaos, to make it faster for newer players to recognise patterns whilst not overburdening them with a thousand exceptions. And I applied it at a ‘line’ level, not at a ship level unless there was a major aboration like the Massachusetts.

I still think that USN DDs from T2 to T8 at least, and the T9 and T10 can be optimised this way, as cap contesting knife fighters and aren’t really true torpedoboats.

If anything, the most marginal example above is USN CAs that could probably be moved to the USN CL line. 

If this was done at the ship level, there would be a proliferation of examples and exceptions that would be too complex for a newer player to rearm and retain. Sure, it could be more accurate at the margins, but if that marginal accuracy results in no one using it, then it’s not helpful. 

And PA DDs are all over the shop - some even wouldn’t fit in the multi role as they are Soviet or British copies, some are USN etc. 

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