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Ducky_shot

HOW TO!! Play a flank and/or kite

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Here is the first on maybe several installments of tactics for different aspects during a battle in world of warships. This is drawn on my experience as a player and is by no means comprehensive or infallible. I use it to decent success. I don't consider myself a great player. I am competent and improving. I consider myself a second tier player, so take what I say with that grain of salt. Hopefully this is a help to players that are looking to improve their gameplay tactics wise.

I decided to make this first guide on flanks and kiting as that is where and how I enjoy playing the most. Zao, open water DM/Salem, Repub, Monty, Hindy, Henri are favorites of mine at this play style. This guide is particularly aimed at cruisers and Battleships. DD's are way more in depth in how to play, too many intricacies and variables that affect what you are doing. BB's and cruisers are a bit more straight forward in how they play for this tactic.

I enjoy playing a weak flank. I enjoy it because I typically can play it better than the average player. Hopefully I am able to last a whole lot longer than most players, tie up as many ships as possible, and inflict greater damage in trade. The flanks are important. If you give up a flank it is dangerous because then you will typically have the team fighting the enemy on 2 angles and they will be giving up their broadside to one of those angles.

 

1. If you decide to play on the flank, you should try to get as far out on the flank as possible. It is important to be further out on the enemy so they are hopefully forced into spots where someone is shooting at them from both sides. Then if they angle to one of you, they give up broadside to the other one. If you are further out than any other enemy ship that means you only have to worry about shots from one side of your ship and its easy to angle to them.

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2. When going out to a flank and know I will be spotted, I want to be pretty much flat broadside to where I expect shots to be coming. This should give a person enough time to turn into shots or turn away from shots to dodge or bounce them. If you are not flat broadside, then you only have time for one option. If you are more bow in to the enemy, you are stuck in that position and cannot leave because turning to go away from the enemy exposes your broadside. Sometimes that is OK because you are going into island cover, but if not, a seemingly simple mistake by being pointed a little too far towards the enemy might have decided your ships fate, even though you are not dead yet. Being pointed away from the enemy when you are spotted isn't the worst thing. It's safe and you are able to leave detection easily enough, but if you were planning on trying to get into island cover, it will take longer to make the turn towards the enemy and expose your broadside for far too long and allow the enemy time to line up a shot to land on your broadside. By being flat broadside to where incoming shots are coming, you have the choice of what to do next. Being bow in or stern in you typically do not.

3. You want to assess the enemy's strength on the flank as soon as possible. This is not always done by seeing every ship on that flank. You can also tell by what ships are spotted on other areas of the map. Or ships that are unspotted. If there are 3 enemy dd's and all 3 caps get contested early, then you know that should mean that 1 destroyer is in each cap. Use the information to your advantage. If you are stronger on the flank you are on, you know that you will likely be pushing eventually. If you are weaker on that flank, then be prepared to kite and conserve your health as long as possible. If you push in against a superior force, you will either die faster than you should or be pinned where you are useless. If you get forced into an island camping spot it could lead to you getting overrun or pinched especially if you lose vision on the enemy ships. It is extremely hard to kite away from an island camping spot without showing broadside for a few seconds.

4. When angling on the flank it is relatively easy to angle to ships across from you. But they are not the only ships that can shoot at you. There will be ships in the middle of the map that will have shots at you. It is important to angle to them as well. You want to leave your open broadside to the map edge. There is nothing beyond the map edge that can shoot you.

This is improper flank angling that could get you hammered from the middle but is safe from the flank:

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This shows how to angle against both  the flank and the middle, both bow or stern in:

Screenshot005.jpg.3bfd837cd7dddb1c6b33f7c8320a97ef.jpgScreenshot006.jpg.3a469e505b0acde9fd2086f42ac9c802.jpg 

As ships die on the flank or are forced to leave, you can open your angle up and point further towards the middle of the map, keeping your angle to ships in the middle. If you are stern in you can reverse towards the enemy if that will keep you in range of them. You can always move away quickly without showing a broadside.

5. Play just beyond your concealment range. Know what your concealment range is and make sure the closest spotted ship is beyond it. This is twofold: You have the opportunity to go dark if necessary. If your detection drops down and you are still spotted but the nearest detected ship is beyond your detection range, then you know that there is a stealthier ship in your detection range. This is extremely important information to know.

6. When the enemy is giving way, do not push too far. You want to maintain a position on their flank and force them to turn back to the center. Once they turn back towards the center, then you can angle to the entire team and shoot them from the flank. Hopefully your team on the other flank or in the middle is able to crossfire them between them and you so that someone has a shot on a broadside. If you push too hard and overextend you will be caught on 90 deg angles to their ships on the flank and their ships in the middle and someone has your broadside to shoot at and you can't get out of this situation without continuing to show broadside to one side or the other.

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7. When you are outnumbered by the enemy and it looks like they will push your flank, always be prepared in a kiting position. this is pointing away from the enemy, ready to run. When they start pushing, you can easily go away from them with no turns involved. Before they push, I will typically call for focus fire on the closest BB that looks like they will push. Cruisers don't typically like to push without a BB and DD's don't like to push without cruisers, so you can sometimes stall a push by setting a couple of fires on a BB and knocking his health down significantly. The BB will turn away and the push might not materialize. If in a BB though, broadside shots on other targets should take precedent most of the time. Dev striking a cruiser might have the same effect.

8. If the enemy pushes, stay at least your detection distance ahead of them while firing at the best targets. Stay angled to them and head for the back edge of the map or the corner. Do not turn back to the center of your spawn. The point of kiting and flanking is that you do not let the enemy get your flank for as long as possible. If that means sacrificing your ship in the long run, then so be it. If you turn back into the middle of your spawn, then you give them an opportunity to flank you. You want to draw the enemy team after you and make them overextend. You want them to expose their broadsides to your ships in the middle or be forced to angle to your ships in the middle and expose their broadside to you. Go dark as needed. If you need to conserve your health, hopefully you can go dark if you are maintaining at least your spotting distance from the enemy ships. Let them train their guns on other targets and get involved for a salvo or 2 and then open back up on them. Sometimes they will start to turn away from you and give you broadside opportunities. If your health is getting dangerously low and there is perhaps a battleship pushing you, stay dark until he fires at another target. Once he has done that, shoot a salvo at him and you should be dark by the time he has another salvo loaded. If you get a target that really wants to kill you, this can be quite hilarious as they will turn their guns back towards you and wait for you to fire again. Once they realize that you are not going to fire at them, they will turn their guns back and fire at another target again giving you another opportunity to shoot at them. If they repeat this several times, it gets quite comical and even with low health you are effectively tying up an enemy ship while staying alive.

9. if the enemy decides not to follow you to the corner and turns towards the middle and starts pushing, you can either continue to engage them or work back up the flank and back cap them if possible. Always try to stay on their broadside and harass them.

10. if they chase you to the corner and end up killing you, hopefully you have occupied them long enough for the rest of your team to have gained map position elsewhere, or drawn them too far out of position that it takes them too long to get back into position to be useful.

 

There are many variances to flanking and kiting, but this is the general gist of it. Hopefully you picked up something that you can use for your gameplay. If you liked this short guide on a specific area of tactics, let me know and tell me what else you would like to see covered. Perhaps something like playing a cap with a DD against radar cruisers or something like that? And if I am missing something from here, feel free to fill in the blanks or ask questions

 

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Edited by Ducky_shot
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The method is situational to a large degree. It depends on what your team does and how well you communicate with the other players about your intentions, and chat is not good for this. Voice is useful but distracting if overused. On this North map example the system is reasonable and I do a lot of it on that map. You cannot carry it across all of the current maps because some of them have too much open water on one or both flanks. It is also questionable when playing Epicenter games on most maps because you need to dominate the center area or deny it to the other side, which requires good positioning and cover. Tears Of The Desert in Epicenter mode is a good example of that, especially when there are CVs in the game. Open water kiting without support on that map is a death sentence in the current meta facing CVs. No CVs? Plausible but risky.

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1 hour ago, Ducky_shot said:

When going out to a flank and know I will be spotted, I want to be pretty much flat broadside to where I expect shots to be coming.

 

This is a good point, and I'm glad you spell it out... it took me a while to figure it out intuitively because it's counter intuitive to the "going broadside is a paddling" adage. Going broadside is okay as long as you react to shots, and as you mentioned perhaps better than not going broadside and being caught in a predictable turn.

 

Quote

If you are stern in you can reverse towards the enemy 

 

This is the Real Pro Strat though :Smile_trollface: 

(Though perhaps more effective for BBs and @#$@#$$% Henris)

 

10 minutes ago, GrandAdmiral_2016 said:

You cannot carry it across all of the current maps because some of them have too much open water on one or both flanks. It is also questionable when playing Epicenter games on most maps because you need to dominate the center area or deny it to the other side, which requires good positioning and cover

 

I kind of disagree with the former. If you are in the right ship and playing it well, this should work better open water. You should be able to disengage easily whereas your opponent can't hide behind islands, especially when it's a BB with significantly less stealth. The epicenter thing is murkier; it's true that you have to prevent people from capping, but you also have to make sure your team doesn't get surrounded in the center. I'll admit I'm not a good epicenter player and I don't really know how to balance that well, though everything OP posted is still applicable. 

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52 minutes ago, GrandAdmiral_2016 said:

It is also questionable when playing Epicenter games on most maps because you need to dominate the center area or deny it to the other side, which requires good positioning and cover. Tears Of The Desert in Epicenter mode is a good example of that, especially when there are CVs in the game.

I would disagree. If you can clear out a the flank on TOTD then you can have radar cruisers push up further around the outer islands to dominate the center.

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Thanks for the read and guide.  My positioning with with Republique has always been poor and I definitely suffer for it when playing it, perhaps thinking about this more will improve it for me.

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Very well done and informative.

A couple of questions:

One question I have is (and I think Pikohan might know the answer to this as well): How you would modify your strategy if you are in a battleship with a huge detection range and just can't go dark (i.e. anything Japanese, Fuso for example)?

Another is: any ideas on when you go out on a flank, and you try to go as far as possible, how to do so and not be so isolated that you get too focused on.

15 hours ago, Ducky_shot said:

By being flat broadside to where incoming shots are coming, you have the choice of what to do next. Being bow in or stern in you typically do not. 

Interesting advice. I'll keep it in mind.

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16 minutes ago, Ironshroud said:

A couple of questions:

1. One question I have is (and I think Pikohan might know the answer to this as well): How you would modify your strategy if you are in a battleship with a huge detection range and just can't go dark (i.e. anything Japanese, Fuso for example)?

2. Another is: any ideas on when you go out on a flank, and you try to go as far as possible, how to do so and not be so isolated that you get too focused on.

1. In max detection ships, there's not much you can do for that. Sometimes you are going to have to play at or below your detection range. You just have to mitigate damage the best you can by dodging and throttle jockeying. Typically, if you need to go dark and you can't, try to make yourself the worst target for the enemy. However if there is nothing else left on the flank to help or support you, its a matter of just keeping them occupied for as long as possible. 

2. I typically try to position initially to be ready to kite away until I know what is against me and can guess what will happen or need to happen. So when I get spotted broadside and see the initial salvoes fired, I will 90% of the time be dodging by turning away. Even if you get yourself in a fairly isolated position, I try not to be any further forward than any of my other cruisers or battleships, so basically a line across. Then if they push towards you you can start moving away from them and draw them into the 90 deg cross fire even if your team is a little closer to the center of the map. But it depends on what can focus you. If there are CV's in the game, you don't want to be too isolated unless you have super good AA.

image.thumb.png.22ab380a9eb48bbc746ec2e302fc1436.png

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Thanks for posting @Ducky_shot. This is why I come to the forums: to learn more about the game and to get better at it. Thanks for a positive and straightforward post. (And I don't even play any ship that this applies to... I just like the alternative to all the complaining... it's fresh air!)

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It's worth mentioning that even while doing this type of angling, you should still be careful about the possibility of destroyers on your flank. A destroyer that outflanks you can really quickly end the battle for a kiting ship or angled if they don't pay attention to their priority target counter and don't sometimes move unpredictably. A good destroyer captain will likely do his/her level best to get the broadside of a group of ships to maximize the chances of a hit, after all.

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8 hours ago, Ironshroud said:

One question I have is (and I think Pikohan might know the answer to this as well): How you would modify your strategy if you are in a battleship with a huge detection range and just can't go dark (i.e. anything Japanese, Fuso for example)?

 

Actually! The beauty of this is that you basically do the same thing in a BB or cruiser with mostly modifications in tactics. For example you'll mitigate damage in a cruiser mostly by dodging, but you'll mitigate damage in a BB by angling. You stay bow-out such that, when push comes to shove, you can run away and disengage if need be. For a BB disengaging doesn't necessarily mean going dark, it just means making enough distance such that you can out-tank whatever the enemy is throwing at you. If people keep chasing you, keep running and draw your pursuers back into your team if need be. 

What people don't necessarily understand - or perhaps don't want to understand - is that a well-played round of this game is potentially a doing a whole lot of nothing. You see this in clan battles where both teams will back into each other and just poke and prod the enemy for an opening. If neither team can find one it almost becomes a game of chicken to see who thinks they need to make the first move. 

 

Spoiler

This is a decent flank play with a no concealment BB imo:

 

 

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31 minutes ago, pikohan said:

What people don't necessarily understand - or perhaps don't want to understand - is that a well-played round of this game is potentially a doing a whole lot of nothing. You see this in clan battles where both teams will back into each other and just poke and prod the enemy for an opening. If neither team can find one it almost becomes a game of chicken to see who thinks they need to make the first move. 

 

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This is a decent flank play with a no concealment BB imo:

 

 

A lot of trying to focus fire on 1 ship, sometimes just 2v1 and not necessarily kill it, sometimes just make it back up behind an island where the bb already has its guns trained waiting for a split second shot

 

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