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Are Gun DDs better than CLs?

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I've been playing wows for a while now, (I admit to taking a long break last summer) and have focused mostly on light cruisers. I've noticed that I'm having issues combating Gun focused destroyers, they'll kite to maximum range, dodge my fire and hail down return fire and while I do still land hits they can out dps me meaning they often win the engagement. After one too many deaths it got me thinking, What can a CL do that a DD cant? AA for one, but if a CV wants you dead you're dead regardless of ship, CLs also heave more health but DDs lack citadels, are faster more mobile and smaller targets, CLs tend to have more guns with a slightly larger caliber (although now that some DDs are getting 130+mm that debatable) but DDs have much better rate of fire meaning the shots/sec tend to be in the destroyer's favor. CLs might have longer range but DDs are stealthier and hold a distinct advantage at long range. The CL may win close range gun duals but all DDs have torpedoes and more importantly the speed and stealth to dictate the engagement.

so ultimately am I missing some critical flaw in DDs or are CLs relegated to being consumable batteries for BBs, not daring to shoot lest they be spotted and citideled, or burned alive in open water by DDs doing the CL's job better than the CL ever could?

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If you're saying a cruisers role can be done better by a DD??? That can be debatable. A cruisers role strengths is support... All the support consumables are with the cruisers.

Also concealment.

DDs have it cruisers wish they had it...

cruisers are the "middle of the road" feel. Some are multi purpose others are specialist...

In summery, you lose your cruisers

  • BBs will lose spotting or the ability to spot targets.
  • Any other consumable protection
  • Ability to hunt down DD

You lose your DDs.

  • Speed adv gone
  • capping gone
  • Spotting  beyond cruiser range gone
  • torp threat gone BBs will certainly push

Other the DPS, for which yeah some DDs is unbalanced, then again I would add ordnance favoritism.

IMO, Ships role is not interchangeable, you lose one or the other. One has to adapt to what abilities, is no longer available.

Hope his helps...

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some gun dds in game, are really light cruiser/dd leader hybrids. Khaba and Haragumo are obvious examples. Just treat them like light cruisers.

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With obvious exceptions (Harugumo, Kitakaze, Akizuki), gunboat DDs have to rely alot on DoT from fires instead of raw HE DPS. Due to how HE penetration works most gunboat DDs, even destroyer leaders such as Tashkent and Khabarovsk have to snipe the superstructures of most ships to get damage unless they run IFHE (and even that works only on Cruisers). This in turn makes them reliant on fire RNG. I had battles where almost every salvo would set a fire, and others where I would get 300 hits+ with maybe 2-3 fires.

Last, keep in mind that by being an open water gunboat DD you sacrifice concealment, capping capabilities, and in quite a few cases smoke.

Edited by warheart1992

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One thing you have to keep in mind is the Damage Per Minute that these ships will have. A light cruiser will have significantly higher DPM over a destroyer so you just need to land your shots. I still have trouble at times hitting good dd players with low velocity, high DPM guns, such as the ones on the Cleveland. Despite this you can avoid being farmed by Destroyers with good positioning and can hit them more consistently by getting better at predicting where they are going to be while they maneuver against your shells. You have to keep in mind that open water gun Destroyers want to fight at range since it means that your cruisers shells take longer to reach the DD, giving them more time to maneuver and dodge. So if you engage them like that you fight on THEIR terms instead of yours.

In terms of what is better, I think it comes down to what you're trying to shoot at. DD's are good at killing light cruisers because a light cruiser has spots that the DD can pen with it's HE making it easier to do consistent damage to it. But if you want to farm a BB or heavy CA with a DD it will take longer to do unless you have a japanese gunboat like a Kitakaze since it can pen up to 32mm with IFHE. Gunboats like a fletcher or an udaloi have to hit superstructure or load AP on broadside ships in order to do good damage aside from fire starting and once Damage reduction kicks in from saturation the damage that the DD can do goes down even further. A light cruiser can farm pretty much anything down with HE much more consistently than a DD can since it has better pen and higher DPM. You also have to take into account the health pools of the two classes. A DD probably has half the health of a cruiser so if it does start to take hits it is much more punishing and depending on what DD it is, it can't heal the damage back and depending on the tier, cruiser will be able to heal damage back and out trade the DD in the long run.

In other words the flaws of a DD are:

1)Lack of DPM against high armor targets in most situations

2) Survivability against consistent hits

3) Certain DD's lack some utilities that cruiser have(Radar, heals, etc.)

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The thread is 2 months old, but oh well.

One of the complaints the OP had was engaging Gunboat DDs with Cruisers.  To be more exact "I've noticed that I'm having issues combating Gun focused destroyers, they'll kite to maximum range, dodge my fire and hail down return fire and while I do still land hits they can out dps me meaning they often win the engagement."


The only Cruiser Line IMO that has trouble engaging Gunboat DDs are USN Cruisers.  The problem they have are floaty shells.  Back during the days of Tier IX Baltimore' with 8.8 second reload, I had nightmares engaging a  Tier VII Leningrad that stayed at range.  My shells were in the air too long to reliably engage the speeding RU DD.  Some US Cruisers shoot quite fast, but it doesn't matter if the shells hang in the air so long that the Gunboat DD easily evades.  This is especially true once we're talking double digit engagement ranges.  Atlanta trying to engage at 9km?  LOL!


But on the flip side, a number of Cruiser Lines are very dangerous to Gunboat DDs.  German and Russian Cruisers have nice shell flight characteristics.

German 203mm HE shells fly nicely.

German 203mm HE shells pen 50mm, so they can pen the 50mm sections of Khabarovsk's hull whereas even Des Moines' HE can't.

Russian Cruisers feature low shell arcs and high velocity shells up and down the line.  From the many 152mm CLs, to the three 180mm armed ones, and 220mm armed Moskva.  They got the means to reliably engage Gunboat DDs.

Special mention for Zao.  She has very fast flying, low arcing shells which are quite better than prior tiers of IJN Cruiser HE shells, yet she still retains the powerful HE shells & Fire Chances the Line is known for.  Even worse, Zao is very stealthy and can creep up for some surprise ranges for a distracted DD.

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