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Midshipman_Hornblower

Attack, or Defend? That is the question...

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Captains,

In an effort to improve my game play, I'm looking for a little Monday-morning quarterbacking...

As a player, I tend to be more conservative than some.  I play cruisers, almost exclusively, and I take that "support ship" thing to heart.  Being patient usually serves me well, but obviously there are times when what's needed is a cavalry charge.  One of the weaknesses I recognize in myself is that I'm slow to identify when it's time to cast caution to the wind and go on the offensive, and I thereby sometimes miss opportunities.  In hopes of improving, maybe some of you will give your opinions on this situation, which I experienced in a game today.

To set the stage, I'm sailing my Charleston, in a T3/4 match, with 2 CVs per side.  We're on the Strait map.  My team spawned on the East side of the map, and I'm in the southern group.  Ok, we're about 8-9 minutes into the match.  I'm having a pretty good game.  3 kills already.  But in the south, where I am, things have been...let's just say, bloody.  Reds have taken the south and center caps; we hold the north cap.  Our 2 CVs are sitting, as usual, at the far east end of the island chain, and the red CVs - based on where their planes are coming from - must in the corresponding position at the west end.  Other than the CVs, the only remaining ships in the south are my Charleston, and a red DD.  I'm back, a little in advance of the CVs (where I had just killed another red DD).  I spot the last red DD to my south.  Looks like he's going for our CVs.  I fire a couple salvos at fairly long range, start getting hits, and he smokes up.

Ok, here's the decision I want opinions about.  At the moment, I have no targets.  I can either stay here, and try to protect the CVs, or head west and try to take the cap.  Which would you do?  Or is there a better option I haven't seen?

 

What I did:  Well, I knew the DD was about 1/2 health.  He's hidden in his smoke.  I have no hydro.  Charleston is a SLOW boat.  I really don't think I have time to wait around for him to reappear.  Besides, as much as DD drivers complain about getting murdered by CVs, I figure, "Oh, surely 2 CVs can rocket/bomb him to death".  So I went for the cap.  If I can get there, I'll probably also be within range of at least one red CV.  On the down side, I'll surely attract the unkind attention of the red CVs, and I have miserable AA.

How it worked out:  First thing I see coming is a flight of red torpedo bombers.  They spot me and come in to attack.  I have my AA reinforced, for what it's worth, and turn into the planes.  Torpedo misses.  They turn around, come back, and do it again.  I did NOT dodge the second torp, and when it hits...I get the "detonation" achievement.  End of game for me.  Then I got to watch from the bleachers as that red DD went after our CVs.  Between the 2 of them, they managed to hit him exactly zero times before he torped them both to the bottom.  Give this DD driver his due.  I watched him, and he WAS pretty good.

The good news?  Our northern group won their fight, then came south, killed the DD, turned both the center and south caps green as they came, and we won the thing by a whisker.

 

Anyway...very interested to hear how other captains would react to this situation.  I know you can't predict detonation, but other than that...should I have hung back to defend the CVs, THEN headed west?  Was I too aggressive?

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2 minutes ago, Midshipman_Hornblower said:

Captains,

In an effort to improve my game play, I'm looking for a little Monday-morning quarterbacking...

As a player, I tend to be more conservative than some.  I play cruisers, almost exclusively, and I take that "support ship" thing to heart.  Being patient usually serves me well, but obviously there are times when what's needed is a cavalry charge.  One of the weaknesses I recognize in myself is that I'm slow to identify when it's time to cast caution to the wind and go on the offensive, and I thereby sometimes miss opportunities.  In hopes of improving, maybe some of you will give your opinions on this situation, which I experienced in a game today.

To set the stage, I'm sailing my Charleston, in a T3/4 match, with 2 CVs per side.  We're on the Strait map.  My team spawned on the East side of the map, and I'm in the southern group.  Ok, we're about 8-9 minutes into the match.  I'm having a pretty good game.  3 kills already.  But in the south, where I am, things have been...let's just say, bloody.  Reds have taken the south and center caps; we hold the north cap.  Our 2 CVs are sitting, as usual, at the far east end of the island chain, and the red CVs - based on where their planes are coming from - must in the corresponding position at the west end.  Other than the CVs, the only remaining ships in the south are my Charleston, and a red DD.  I'm back, a little in advance of the CVs (where I had just killed another red DD).  I spot the last red DD to my south.  Looks like he's going for our CVs.  I fire a couple salvos at fairly long range, start getting hits, and he smokes up.

Ok, here's the decision I want opinions about.  At the moment, I have no targets.  I can either stay here, and try to protect the CVs, or head west and try to take the cap.  Which would you do?  Or is there a better option I haven't seen?

 

What I did:  Well, I knew the DD was about 1/2 health.  He's hidden in his smoke.  I have no hydro.  Charleston is a SLOW boat.  I really don't think I have time to wait around for him to reappear.  Besides, as much as DD drivers complain about getting murdered by CVs, I figure, "Oh, surely 2 CVs can rocket/bomb him to death".  So I went for the cap.  If I can get there, I'll probably also be within range of at least one red CV.  On the down side, I'll surely attract the unkind attention of the red CVs, and I have miserable AA.

How it worked out:  First thing I see coming is a flight of red torpedo bombers.  They spot me and come in to attack.  I have my AA reinforced, for what it's worth, and turn into the planes.  Torpedo misses.  They turn around, come back, and do it again.  I did NOT dodge the second torp, and when it hits...I get the "detonation" achievement.  End of game for me.  Then I got to watch from the bleachers as that red DD went after our CVs.  Between the 2 of them, they managed to hit him exactly zero times before he torped them both to the bottom.  Give this DD driver his due.  I watched him, and he WAS pretty good.

The good news?  Our northern group won their fight, then came south, killed the DD, turned both the center and south caps green as they came, and we won the thing by a whisker.

 

Anyway...very interested to hear how other captains would react to this situation.  I know you can't predict detonation, but other than that...should I have hung back to defend the CVs, THEN headed west?  Was I too aggressive?

I'm mainly a co-op main, but when I play PvP and some DD smokes up and I'm in range, I will charge the smoke. I vary my approach with zig zags to throw off the torp aiming, which usually works. If I don't die from enemy fire or the DD in the smoke, then either the DD runs or dies. I'll put in some pot shots into the smoke on the approach if I have an inkling of where the DD is at. PvP DD players mostly get unnerved when you charge their smoke, especially in a cruiser with lots of guns.

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6 minutes ago, Kizarvexis said:

I'm mainly a co-op main, but when I play PvP and some DD smokes up and I'm in range, I will charge the smoke. I vary my approach with zig zags to throw off the torp aiming, which usually works. If I don't die from enemy fire or the DD in the smoke, then either the DD runs or dies. I'll put in some pot shots into the smoke on the approach if I have an inkling of where the DD is at. PvP DD players mostly get unnerved when you charge their smoke, especially in a cruiser with lots of guns.

So, oddly enough, this works best if you are spotted, and your maneuvers can make the DD waste his torps. If you aren't spotted, and you charge smoke, his torps will be ready to unload at point blank range once you get proximity detected. That's a trickier situation. I would never attempt that in Charleston, too big, too slow, too lumbering - it has a slower rudder shift than St. Louis.

 

14 minutes ago, Midshipman_Hornblower said:

Anyway...very interested to hear how other captains would react to this situation.  I know you can't predict detonation, but other than that...should I have hung back to defend the CVs, THEN headed west?  Was I too aggressive?

Yes. I believe you should have kept yourself between the DD and the carriers. If there was time for the rest of your team to swing south and win, then there was no immediate pressure to cap. A lot of decisions in this game are dictated by the time remaining on the clock as much as the tactical situation. It doesn't sound like you were under a cap-or-lose time constraint.

A good DD captain can dodge CV attacks reliably, especially Tier IV CVs. I do it all the time. Dodging the floating machine gun that is Charleston/St Louis on the other hand is more difficult... and trying to dodge both the gunfire and the attention from two CVs would be nearly impossible.

Also, if the red CVs are any good at all, you will never successfully solo cap, especially in a ship with little or no AA and no smoke to hide in. They'll just keep hitting you and resetting the cap progress until you sink. So going to cap was predictable suicide.

In an ideal play, ie. with rare-as-unicorns teamwork, you'd have hung back and defended the CVs until the DD was dealt with, then all three of you would have moved forward together to the cap. Two CVs with overlapping AA bubbles and fighter consumables could keep the enemy planes from resetting the cap progress. And it would put the CVs in a position to get attack flights on target faster. Of course, convincing CVs that it's time to move forward is often like pulling teeth.

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18 minutes ago, Midshipman_Hornblower said:

Captains,

In an effort to improve my game play, I'm looking for a little Monday-morning quarterbacking...

As a player, I tend to be more conservative than some.  I play cruisers, almost exclusively, and I take that "support ship" thing to heart.  Being patient usually serves me well, but obviously there are times when what's needed is a cavalry charge.  One of the weaknesses I recognize in myself is that I'm slow to identify when it's time to cast caution to the wind and go on the offensive, and I thereby sometimes miss opportunities.  In hopes of improving, maybe some of you will give your opinions on this situation, which I experienced in a game today.

To set the stage, I'm sailing my Charleston, in a T3/4 match, with 2 CVs per side.  We're on the Strait map.  My team spawned on the East side of the map, and I'm in the southern group.  Ok, we're about 8-9 minutes into the match.  I'm having a pretty good game.  3 kills already.  But in the south, where I am, things have been...let's just say, bloody.  Reds have taken the south and center caps; we hold the north cap.  Our 2 CVs are sitting, as usual, at the far east end of the island chain, and the red CVs - based on where their planes are coming from - must in the corresponding position at the west end.  Other than the CVs, the only remaining ships in the south are my Charleston, and a red DD.  I'm back, a little in advance of the CVs (where I had just killed another red DD).  I spot the last red DD to my south.  Looks like he's going for our CVs.  I fire a couple salvos at fairly long range, start getting hits, and he smokes up.

Ok, here's the decision I want opinions about.  At the moment, I have no targets.  I can either stay here, and try to protect the CVs, or head west and try to take the cap.  Which would you do?  Or is there a better option I haven't seen?

 

What I did:  Well, I knew the DD was about 1/2 health.  He's hidden in his smoke.  I have no hydro.  Charleston is a SLOW boat.  I really don't think I have time to wait around for him to reappear.  Besides, as much as DD drivers complain about getting murdered by CVs, I figure, "Oh, surely 2 CVs can rocket/bomb him to death".  So I went for the cap.  If I can get there, I'll probably also be within range of at least one red CV.  On the down side, I'll surely attract the unkind attention of the red CVs, and I have miserable AA.

How it worked out:  First thing I see coming is a flight of red torpedo bombers.  They spot me and come in to attack.  I have my AA reinforced, for what it's worth, and turn into the planes.  Torpedo misses.  They turn around, come back, and do it again.  I did NOT dodge the second torp, and when it hits...I get the "detonation" achievement.  End of game for me.  Then I got to watch from the bleachers as that red DD went after our CVs.  Between the 2 of them, they managed to hit him exactly zero times before he torped them both to the bottom.  Give this DD driver his due.  I watched him, and he WAS pretty good.

The good news?  Our northern group won their fight, then came south, killed the DD, turned both the center and south caps green as they came, and we won the thing by a whisker.

 

Anyway...very interested to hear how other captains would react to this situation.  I know you can't predict detonation, but other than that...should I have hung back to defend the CVs, THEN headed west?  Was I too aggressive?

Monday morning QB here =).

So a good thing I see in this is you took the time to try and figure out what the right choice to do was. This is encouraging and it shows that you are taking into account other parts of the match. Keeping yourself between the enemy DD and your CVs was the right call because your CVs are not going to outrun anyone. Another thing is newer players will not know their detection range so they might try and get too close to you and get detected. It sounds like this DD had a good idea how to play his ship so they might not have made this mistake.

Again, good job trying to make a play and staying aware of your surroundings!

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2 hours ago, Incomitatus said:

In an ideal play, ie. with rare-as-unicorns teamwork, you'd have hung back and defended the CVs until the DD was dealt with,

The added benefit would the CV is also defending you against the red CVs. In a lumbering ship with effectively NO AA. you NEED an AA buddy. The Charleston is one of those ships with a huge "Drop ordinance here X" sign on it.

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13 hours ago, Sabot_100 said:

The added benefit would the CV is also defending you against the red CVs

Except that at tier 4 CV's have no fighters, least not the last I played them. So at low tiers they give you unhistorical rocket unarmed planes, but no historical fighters. That and while I;m not sure any of the tier 3 ships saw long enough service to see real AA improvements tier 4 and up ships did and should have them so that yeah, a Charleston can find a slow BB that isn't Ark Beta to team up with or maybe another cruiser for some damn air defense. 

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Hey, everyone, thanks for the responses.  You've pretty much confirmed what I already suspected.  Ironic, in a way, but knowing I'm sometimes conservative to a fault, in this case I overcompensated and erred on the side of aggression.

A couple specific thoughts:

17 hours ago, Incomitatus said:

Also, if the red CVs are any good at all, you will never successfully solo cap, especially in a ship with little or no AA and no smoke to hide in. They'll just keep hitting you and resetting the cap progress until you sink. So going to cap was predictable suicide.

You are absolutely right.  I've seen this happen many times.  In fact, I've seen a single CV prevent as many as FOUR ships from capping, just by hitting one after another.  I am embarrassed to admit that, even though I know it well, I didn't actually think about that at the time...

17 hours ago, Incomitatus said:

In an ideal play, ie. with rare-as-unicorns teamwork, you'd have hung back and defended the CVs until the DD was dealt with, then all three of you would have moved forward together to the cap. Two CVs with overlapping AA bubbles and fighter consumables could keep the enemy planes from resetting the cap progress. And it would put the CVs in a position to get attack flights on target faster. Of course, convincing CVs that it's time to move forward is often like pulling teeth.

...nor did the idea of having the CVs cap with me enter my head.  Maybe because, as you noted, it would probably have been difficult to convince one, let alone both, to do so.  But if they could be convinced, it could have worked.  No guarantee, but it would certainly have improved the odds.

1 hour ago, WanderingGhost said:

Except that at tier 4 CV's have no fighters, least not the last I played them.

I've played maybe 2 games in CVs, but if my memory is accurate, the have fighters as a consumable, that automatically launch when enemy aircraft approach.  So, especially with 2 CVs, they add a LOT to their AA bubble.  What they couldn't have done is drop fighters at the cap to protect me, from a distance.  To provide fighter protection, the CVs would have to have been there with me.

I THINK I have that right.

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4 hours ago, Midshipman_Hornblower said:

I've played maybe 2 games in CVs, but if my memory is accurate, the have fighters as a consumable, that automatically launch when enemy aircraft approach.  So, especially with 2 CVs, they add a LOT to their AA bubble.  What they couldn't have done is drop fighters at the cap to protect me, from a distance.  To provide fighter protection, the CVs would have to have been there with me.

I THINK I have that right

There is that - but that would be absolute suicide - which I don't count because your likely taking your ship out of the game. Better to hope your teammate can dodge while attempting to damage anything attacking him or nearby then autopilot your ship to become target practice or stop attacking so you can dodge effectively. I'd trade the rocket planes for the ability to drop fighters to help my team when possible and the added historical accuracy. 

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6 hours ago, Midshipman_Hornblower said:

Hey, everyone, thanks for the responses.  You've pretty much confirmed what I already suspected.  Ironic, in a way, but knowing I'm sometimes conservative to a fault, in this case I overcompensated and erred on the side of aggression.

Knowing when to be defensive and when to be aggressive is a hard thing to learn a sense for.

6 hours ago, Midshipman_Hornblower said:

A couple specific thoughts:

You are absolutely right.  I've seen this happen many times.  In fact, I've seen a single CV prevent as many as FOUR ships from capping, just by hitting one after another.  I am embarrassed to admit that, even though I know it well, I didn't actually think about that at the time...

There's always a lot to try to keep in mind.

6 hours ago, Midshipman_Hornblower said:

I've played maybe 2 games in CVs, but if my memory is accurate, the have fighters as a consumable, that automatically launch when enemy aircraft approach.  So, especially with 2 CVs, they add a LOT to their AA bubble.  What they couldn't have done is drop fighters at the cap to protect me, from a distance.  To provide fighter protection, the CVs would have to have been there with me.

I THINK I have that right.

Yep. Tier IV CVs can't drop fighters on the map, but they launch their own combat air patrol around the carrier.

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