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ArIskandir

Theory Wars: Countering KAK Div. (edit #1)

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I enjoy very much theorizing about strategic and tactical problems, I find it both entertaining and educational. In that light, I want to discuss a bit the dynamics of a Kidd-Akizuki-Kidd Div, as employed in the Hunter-Killer role for CVs, specifically how to fight against it. I'm assuming the reader is already familiar with the composition, role and MO of the division.

First consideration: Time. Is my opinion, time is the Achilles heel in the MO of the KAK Div. Time spent without achieving the objective (sink the enemy CV) is time given to the enemy team to achieve cap and map control on the zones outside the Area of operation of the Div. So, stalling, delaying and general waste of time would be detrimental to the success of the KAK Div.

Second consideration: Space. One side effect of the MO is the deep "wedge" produced into the friendly line by the incursion of the KAK Div, this IMO is maybe the more troubling matter as your team ends up with a strong enemy spearhead deep within the lines, generating a kinda of Blitzkrieg effect. So, you need to consider as a fact you'll have to deal with a strong enemy force operating behind your front line.

Third consideration: Punch. The KAK Div packs a very strong punch in the form of high DPM, fire DoT and Torpedo potential. Tho, this damage represents mostly in the form of smoke spam. For practical reasons, smoke must be considered almost unlimited. Noteworthy, the Div lacks staying power in the form of substantial HP and and Radar support.

All accounted, the KAK Div MO could be equated to a classic Blitzkrieg push, so an elastic defense might be the way to deal with it. 

Strategy: A first "must" comes to mind, which is the need to trade Space for Time. It is not realistic to consider the penetration could be blocked at the front line, a weak spot will be found and exploited. The important factor here is preservation of forces, the opposing force must not try to engage in a losing exchange with the KAK Div, instead it should retreat in a direction opposed to the line of advance of the enemy penetration in order to form some sort of fighting force at the rear of the enemy force for potential encirclement and/or crossfire. The forces along the intended path (the path is clear, it goes directly at the CV) must also trade space for time and retreat until a proper concentration of forces can be achieved for a favorable engagement against the enemy Div. (see Tactical considerations next).

On the strategic level I see 2 ways of dealing with this threat. One is let them "Punch on empty", avoid direct confrontation and counter push away from their push into the enemy zone, if they waste time in a fruitless chase on your empty  rearguard area, your team can seize the opportunity to push against the enemy in a probably DD free environment. This involves: upon recognizing the push of the KAK Div, voiding the area and all the remaining forces pushing their respective zones. The CV must lead the enemy Div in a Mary-go-round chase along the edge of the map, even into the enemy side of the map, if it has been cleared. Second way to deal with the threat is "Strangling" the div, avoid direct confrontation retreat and set up a killing ground to engage and decimate the DIv. This might prove very tricky to do, and needs a good amount of coordination and tactical expertise to pull it against competent players. This involves:  upon recognizing the push of the KAK Div, voiding the area and all the remaining forces coordinate to hold or stall the enemy at the front line and suitable counter units to move back to engage (in a coordinated way) and deal with the enemy incursion. The CV must lead the enemy Div in a Mary-go-round chase along the edge of the map up to a favorable engage position where friendly forces could surround and strangle the incursors. 

Tactical considerations: I would consider first general guidelines for ship class, and guidelines for interacting and engaging with the enemy division.

  • Destroyers: Avoid engaging and exchanging fire with the enemy Div, if you are on the side being pushed get out of the way and try to position yourself on the flank or rear of the enemy Div. Work on tailing and harassing the enemy force from a divergent direction to their push, the objective is to stall and distract the enemy Div, forcing them to smoke if posible. Focus on spotting for your friendly units and spreading torps on the enemy smoke, using your guns should not be a priority. Smoking friendly cruisers while providing spotting is probably the best course of action in case of engagement.
  • Cruisers: I strongly discourage engaging the enemy if unsupported, again if you need to retreat and give ground try to go out of the way while remaining a menace to their flank, wait, be patient and try to coordinate with friendly DDs and cruisers a counter attack, or if a direct counter move is not viable, focus on pushing the enemy in front of you, quickly.
  • Battleships: You have no business dealing with the enemy push unless as a decoy/delay of sorts if you are able to disengage and heal up the inevitable fire damage, keep your distance and focus on  pushing the enemy front line. After all the area is expected to be relatively DD free for you to push in. 
  • CV: If you are against an enemy KAK Div, I can't think of anything more vital than locating them ASAP and if posible forcing them to smoke even at the price of a partial squadron, early warning can save te life of your friendly DD and maybe the match.

The interactions with the enemy division should be conductive to either of the following objectives: 

  • Stall/Delay: the objective here is to slow down the enemy Div, making them smoke up and waste resources, not engaging them and deal damage. Unless the enemy CV is actively spotting for the KAK Div, they will be pushing into the unknown, simple ruses like laying smoke along their path and having you location beacon (they are assured to be running RPF) on their flank (away from the smoke) might be a false hint of something nasty sitting in your smoke, probably deserving a torp spread or 2. If you are running a DD with better concealment and RPF, you can engage in stalking games with them, being a distraction. I emphasize the objective must not be to deal damage, but to make them waste time and if possible make them stop for a while (smoke up).
  • Engaging: The Div MO is known, smoke up with 2 fire units and 1 spotter, for security reasons the spotter unit is expected to remain relatively near to the smoke (unless supported by CV) so their spotting is relatively limited and in theory will always have a blind spot on the "rear side" of the smoke. It is here that becomes crucial to have units alive and positioned on the flank/rear of the Div, the ability to drop torps on the enemy smoke from short range and unexpected directions is a danger they will be forced to consider. Firing from smoke at relative long ranges is a deterrent against the enemy advance, coupling it with radar to negate their smoke is a hard counter, multiple torps are to be expected at any smoke so proceed with caution and take the respective counter measures. Under no circumstance you should be charging 3 smoked up DDs, keeping your distance and the ability to disengage if focused or forced to DCP is highly recommendable. The objective of the engagement should be sinking one of the Div components to break the synergy, if you manage to pin them down and shower their smoke with torps or set a concentrated radar ambush on them, they probably will lose the initiative and give you a window to pick them apart.

TL;DR: Best course of action is to let them punch on empty, avoid direct engagement and counter push the enemy as soon and hard as you are able. If you need to retreat from them, do it if possible in a direction away from your CV and the enemy push.

This is a theoretic exercise, its application on a Random environment is obviously questionable for all the known reasons. 

Edited by ArIskandir
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13 minutes ago, ArIskandir said:

On the strategic level I see 2 ways of dealing with this threat. One is let them "Punch on empty", avoid direct confrontation and counter push away from their push into the enemy zone, if they waste time in a fruitless chase on your empty  rearguard area, your team can seize the opportunity to push against the enemy in a probably DD free environment. This involves: upon recognizing the push of the KAK Div, voiding the area and all the remaining forces pushing their respective zones. The CV must lead the enemy Div in a Mary-go-round chase along the edge of the map, even into the enemy side of the map, if it has been cleared. Second way to deal with the threat is "Strangling" the div, avoid direct confrontation retreat and set up a killing ground to engage and decimate the DIv. This might prove very tricky to do, and needs a good amount of coordination and tactical expertise to pull it against competent players. This involves:  upon recognizing the push of the KAK Div, voiding the area and all the remaining forces coordinate to hold or stall the enemy at the front line and suitable counter units to move back to engage (in a coordinated way) and deal with the enemy incursion. The CV must lead the enemy Div in a Mary-go-round chase along the edge of the map up to a favorable engage position where friendly forces could surround and strangle the incursors. 

The problem I see with your thesis at this early stage of its exposition (I await to see the whole of it with interest) is that very often the points of STRATEGIC importance (Caps) are often not well back where there is time and room to trade, but right in the front line. You run the risk of falling behind on points early in the match, especially if your attempts to take the centre and/or opposite caps (as may be appropriate) also happen to stall out.

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why would you want to counter something that benefits everyone ?

 

btw your under the false assumption that time is there achilles heel.  the only reason they have such a hard push on time is to kill and win as fast as possible as a goal not a necessity.  if they were playing normally they would want the game to last longer and farm for stats.  

Edited by EwE_TuBeR
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For any kind of possible implementation of your plan, you need to make sure it can be done with a div of 3.  Organizing a random game to the extent that you outline... just isn't going to happen with any regularity, if ever.  

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I would point out that the KAK tactic is NOT primarily a 'sink the CV is our goal'. In most instances, the CV dies because the TEAM has already been defeated.

KAK is not an anti-CV strategy, per se. It is a strategy to win the match that has CVs in it.

Standard CV response to an aggressive DD push is to kite anyway. There should be nothing new to a CV driver in 'leading the merry go round'...

The hard part is coordinating the team to organize and push effectively on the enemy teams weak flank...and coordinating the KAK impacted area to kite and fall back to radar traps.

Ultimately though, it is very hard to put a unicum triple division with multiple premium ships utilizing ship synergies...with a team of randoms.

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14 minutes ago, EwE_TuBeR said:

why would you want to counter something that benefits everyone ?

Because if you ever have to face this being done by a unicum division, it won't just be after the carrier; it will be killing everything in its path including you.

If you get out of the way and feed your CV to the wolves, you're committing an automatic EULA violation (as is the language of your post).

There will also be battles this div drops into where there is no CV. Then there is no choice. You have to either beat the KAK div or lose the battle.

Edited by Ensign_Cthulhu
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A well placed Chapayev, in combination with something like an Amalfi or an Edinburgh, is easily capable of countering this division. And what happens when you go up against something like a Midway or an Audacious, both of which are capable of easily dealing with Tier VIII Destroyers.

Or you just get unlucky and face a Meme-o-Taur

-Shrayes

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The problem I see with this is you take three ships out of the battle while hunting the CV. They would be better employed doing DD things and being in a group they have enough AA to make attacking them painful for the CV. Now if in normal maneuvering they get close enough to attack that CV go for it.

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2 minutes ago, Shrayes_Bhagavatula said:

And what happens when you go up against something like a Midway or an Audacious, both of which are capable of easily dealing with Tier VIII Destroyers.

But not always three at once when they are co-ordinating in voice comms.

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1 minute ago, BrushWolf said:

The problem I see with this is you take three ships out of the battle while hunting the CV.

No you don't, because they're pushing through everything else that's in the way. They are not out of the battle by any means, unless they play it badly - and in that case a good team is going to murder them anyway.

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Just now, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

But not always three at once when they are co-ordinating in voice comms.

Good point. Especially with the new nerfs to the aiming reticle.

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FWIW, faced one over the weekend in my GZ (albeit tier 10 match) where we won.

I hadn't really appreciated the amount of smoke put out. I sent some planes to spot (since the enemy div needs someone out of smoke to fire effectively). That plan turned out to be not so effective as the planes died fast and randoms didn't focus fire, but it did force the enemy to slow and be in smoke rather than beeline me. Mostly though, the planes went to the enemy bbs who were stuck without any screen.

The enemy div came up the middle, so I ran to the corner to the side where I had a Riga and Missouri in support, but they were wildly ineffective vs the dds - yoloed without radar and sunk. Running out of space, I turned to brawl. Since I was likely to die, the planes went to the dds. Sunk the aki, dropped both kidds to half. But by that point, my team had defeated the far flank in full and the near flank had capped and sunk half of the enemy despite losing the Riga and Missouri. (it turns out, ships without screeners can get bullied a bit). The enemy CV was sunk by one of our Cossacks who cut behind the advancing div into the middle area left undefended.

I did like 50k in all, so the div was very effective in neutralizing me. But they also tossed half of their team into the meat grinder to do it.

Edited by Telastyn

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20 minutes ago, ArIskandir said:

I enjoy very much theorizing about strategic and tactical problems, I find it both entertaining and educational. In that light, I want to discuss a bit the dynamics of a Kidd-Akizuki-Kidd Div, as employed in the Hunter-Killer role for CVs, specifically how to fight against it. I'm assuming the reader is already familiar with the composition, role and MO of the division.

First consideration: Time. Is my opinion, time is the Achilles heel in the MO of the KAK Div. Time spent without achieving the objective (sink the enemy CV) is time given to the enemy team to achieve cap and map control on the zones outside the Area of operation of the Div. So, stalling, delaying and general waste of time would be detrimental to the success of the KAK Div.

Second consideration: Space. One side effect of the MO is the deep "wedge" produced into the friendly line by the incursion of the KAK Div, this IMO is maybe the more troubling matter as your team ends up with a strong enemy spearhead deep within the lines, generating a kinda of Blitzkrieg effect. So, you need to consider as a fact you'll have to deal with a strong enemy force operating behind your front line.

Third consideration: Punch. The KAK Div packs a very strong punch in the form of high DPM, fire DoT and Torpedo potential. Tho, this damage represents mostly in the form of smoke spam. For practical reasons, smoke must be considered almost unlimited. Noteworthy, the Div lacks staying power in the form of substantial HP and and Radar support.

All accounted, the KAK Div MO could be equated to a classic Blitzkrieg push, so an elastic defense might be the way to deal with it. 

Strategy: A first "must" comes to mind, which is the need to trade Space for Time. It is not realistic to consider the penetration could be blocked at the front line, a weak spot will be found and exploited. The important factor here is preservation of forces, the opposing force must not try to engage in a losing exchange with the KAK Div, instead it should retreat in a direction opposed to the line of advance of the enemy penetration in order to form some sort of fighting force at the rear of the enemy force for potential encirclement and/or crossfire. The forces along the intended path (the path is clear, it goes directly at the CV) must also trade space for time and retreat until a proper concentration of forces can be achieved for a favorable engagement against the enemy Div. (see Tactical considerations next).

On the strategic level I see 2 ways of dealing with this threat. One is let them "Punch on empty", avoid direct confrontation and counter push away from their push into the enemy zone, if they waste time in a fruitless chase on your empty  rearguard area, your team can seize the opportunity to push against the enemy in a probably DD free environment. This involves: upon recognizing the push of the KAK Div, voiding the area and all the remaining forces pushing their respective zones. The CV must lead the enemy Div in a Mary-go-round chase along the edge of the map, even into the enemy side of the map, if it has been cleared. Second way to deal with the threat is "Strangling" the div, avoid direct confrontation retreat and set up a killing ground to engage and decimate the DIv. This might prove very tricky to do, and needs a good amount of coordination and tactical expertise to pull it against competent players. This involves:  upon recognizing the push of the KAK Div, voiding the area and all the remaining forces coordinate to hold or stall the enemy at the front line and suitable counter units to move back to engage (in a coordinated way) and deal with the enemy incursion. The CV must lead the enemy Div in a Mary-go-round chase along the edge of the map up to a favorable engage position where friendly forces could surround and strangle the incursors. 

Tactical considerations: will be editing this shortly, got busy atm.

I'm just a simple, broken old Horse soldier and the one assumption you are making is that there is "Unity of Command".......   There isn't anything like that in this game.  Take and hold two CAPs and the game is over: you win.  You see that in Ranked every game where the one team "gets the exploit" and the other team "doesn't and loses..."  

Now, if the game had a way to field 12 player "teams" of the same clan...........in a daily competitive mode, maybe........  

Taking three DD"s out to raise and create mischief my old clan did several times....  Now, that the Orkan has Radar, I've thought about building a Hunter-Killer (HK) team around that DD or using the Ochakov as a replacement.  But, to what end?

It takes "Mass" to take and hold a CAP.   And, that takes time.  In this game, take two caps and the game is over if you can hold them.  Two balanced teams with a lot of AA and Radar and you are golden.  Defending on maps that have lots of Islands isn't that hard !!!  Choke points and all of that concentrated firepower concentrating on the only "GO" terrain the enemy has is at best "problematic" to the team whom hesitated and now has to fight for a second cap......

I look forward to what ever else you have in mind.

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2 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

No you don't, because they're pushing through everything else that's in the way. They are not out of the battle by any means, unless they play it badly - and in that case a good team is going to murder them anyway.

If they are fighting their way through you are correct but in traditional CV hunting the hunters are trying to sneak through to the CV which was actually harder in the RTS days because planes could spot ships, even DD's from far out.

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2 minutes ago, Shrayes_Bhagavatula said:

A well placed Chapayev, in combination with something like an Amalfi or an Edinburgh, is easily capable of countering this division. And what happens when you go up against something like a Midway or an Audacious, both of which are capable of easily dealing with Tier VIII Destroyers.

Or you just get unlucky and face a Meme-o-Taur

-Shrayes

Even a T10 Cv will do little against the division..  they'll have two ships in smoke and the 3 combined AA, coupled with DFAA is pretty much death to any CV squadron.          I've watched several hours of this streaming live.   Best bet is to sink the Akizuki quick.   Any of the 3 hurts it,   It is going to lose a tremendous amount of effectiveness if any of the three is lost due to lost smoke cycles and the necessity for one to spot for the others.   Don't forget the Kidds have heal...    Any two coordinated CLs with radar if they want to, can manage this easy enough. probably will get melted doing it.. but will stop it and remove one or maybe two of them from the game.  You just have to attack the division with some DPM and radar/hydro....    I don't believe its the ship make-up that really makes this work so well...   though all 3 DDs are tough CV targets and pretty much eliminate it from even being able to even spot them w/o tremendous plane losses?  Of course they count on a potato CV throwing away a squadron or three before it realizes it. which they almost inevitably do.      It's  really just 3 Unicum/Super Unicums coordinating to that level.   It's not easy to coordinate the use of smoke, concealment range for a division of 3 ships,  and target selection, as well as time their pushes.   I've said it several times..   3 random players w/o voice coms are going to fall on their faces trying this.   

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Huh.  

  • DDs use asymmetric methods  -- smoke, stealth torps -- to bully other ships... "This Is The Way, working as it should."
  • CVs use asymmetric methods -- aircraft, lack of AA on some ships -- to bully other ships... "TOTAL UNFAIR!  NO PEACE!"

Interesting. 

 

E:  I wonder how much flak I'll get for holding up that mirror to certain players... 

Edited by KilljoyCutter
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2 minutes ago, iRA6E said:

Even a T10 Cv will do little against the division..  they'll have two ships in smoke and the 3 combined AA, coupled with DFAA is pretty much death to any CV squadron.          I've watched several hours of this streaming live.   Best bet is to sink the Akizuki quick.   Any of the 3 hurts it,   It is going to lose a tremendous amount of effectiveness if any of the three is lost due to lost smoke cycles and the necessity for one to spot for the others.   Don't forget the Kidds have heal...    Any two coordinated CLs with radar if they want to, can manage this easy enough. probably will get melted doing it.. but will stop it and remove one or maybe two of them from the game.  You just have to attack the division with some DPM and radar/hydro....    I don't believe its the ship make-up that really makes this work so well...   though all 3 DDs are tough CV targets and pretty much eliminate it from even being able to even spot them w/o tremendous plane losses?  Of course they count on a potato CV throwing away a squadron or three before it realizes it. which they almost inevitably do.      It's  really just 3 Unicum/Super Unicums coordinating to that level.   It's not easy to coordinate the use of smoke, concealment range for a division of 3 ships,  and target selection, as well as time their pushes.   I've said it several times..   3 random players w/o voice coms are going to fall on their faces trying this.   

A near equal div is going to be the best chance.  I say near equal because they know the KAK strat going in.  If the KAK division's CV is competent, he is going to at least spot the counter strategy though, giving the KAK division warning.

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All I could think when I read your title was "I don't remember fighting him... When did my div/clan run into him?"

 

(For the record, None of us have Kidds)

 

Edited by TheOmegaDuck
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I am still not convinced that the KAK strategy doesn't boil down to "Do a three-player division of unicums," and that it's counter doesn't boil down to "Have unicums on the green team, too."

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Just now, TheOmegaDuck said:

All I could think when I read your title was "I don't remember fighting him... When did my div/clan run into him?"

 

(For the record, None of us have Kidds)

 

He's referring to the newly popular tactic of attempting to rush and sink CVs with a three-man division sailing Kidd, Akizuki, and Kidd. Some very high-level clan players developed it and are sinking CVs right and left. But I'm unsure if that's because of the tactic or because they're a high-level clan division.

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I've played a decent number of games in the AKK div. It's pretty fun to try and get to carrier as fast a possible. Just a few days ago we first blooded a midway in just over 5 mins. Even if you can't get the carrier, driving him to the back of the map and making him useless is good enough. Having a plus +90% wr is great too. Experienced players can read the map and make the call to abandon the chase if the game is in jeopardy. 

 

kak stats (1).pdf

Edited by eagle_lance
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2 minutes ago, RainbowFartingUnicorn said:

He's referring to the newly popular tactic of attempting to rush and sink CVs with a three-man division sailing Kidd, Akizuki, and Kidd. Some very high-level clan players developed it and are sinking CVs right and left. But I'm unsure if that's because of the tactic or because they're a high-level clan division.

I know, I read his post. Just caught me off guard for a few moments when I first read it.

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First: what would be the good counter against it?

I would say Chapayev and Edinburgh at that tier: stealth radar is the key to surprise them. Let's say that you run a 2 Edinburgh 1 Chapayev division against their, as soon as it is known that the KAK division is going for the CV the counter division should disengage and move toward their position.  With 3 radar and the spotting of the CV the KAK should not last long.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

If you get out of the way and feed your CV to the wolves, you're committing an automatic EULA violation (as is the language of your post).

 

This is 100% False .  Nothing in eula anywhere says you have to take a unfavorable match ups or protect any ship.  that goes for my language in ,y post as well.  

Edited by EwE_TuBeR
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18 minutes ago, RainbowFartingUnicorn said:

I am still not convinced that the KAK strategy doesn't boil down to "Do a three-player division of unicums," and that it's counter doesn't boil down to "Have unicums on the green team, too."

Exactly.  Show me a group of 50%WR folks that can pull this off consistently, and I'll be impressed.  In the end, these guys are successful because they are some of the best players in the game, able to handle anything that comes there way.  They also have the benefit of voice comms - essentially, these guys could probably AFK for 5 minutes at the start, and still win in most cases.

I will 100% admit I didn't real the OPs strat, but I would think the best counter strategy would be to get 3 hydro/radar ships hugging the CV.  If the strat has to actually win games (lol), then 2 radar/hydro boats tied along with the CV, with the CV near enough to a cap to be able to be protected while also offering cap assistance.

Edited by Old_Baldy_One

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