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ArIskandir

DD Ranked (Bronze) brief autopsy and analysis

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This is a brief analysis based on my experience playing DDs in ranked this season. I make this as a self reflection on strategy, tactics and performance and maybe someone else find something useful in there. Benson's numbers are a bit "inflated" by the previous season's but the proportions remain roughly the same. 

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Let me star with a quick summary and recap on each ship performance:

Kiev: Played with stock guns and 10pt captain, stock range no upgrades, concealment module, healing instead of smoke. Has been a bit lucky with team compositions and got carried at least once, else I had won my bread most of the time. I play this ship in a bit of heterodox way, I play the caps. As strategy I use my speed to recklessly rush the contested cap and let my team know before hand what I am doing, I present them the clear picture I'm going in with or without them so they better support me if they expect to win the match. usually works. This obviously is not possible in CV matches and/or open, small caps. Tactically it is all based on speed and shock & awe, rush the cap and take it before the enemy gets there and if you meet a bold DD there spank it hard to bully her out of the cap. After the initial clash (if it happens) I can usually regain some HP and would end with cap control. From then on it is relaying on my team support to keep the cap safe while I move on to flank and to provide spotting, always trying to ambush and with rid of the enemy DD. I usually don't gunboat bigger ships unless there's a fair opportunity to stack DoT, finish wounded ships or deliver some "safe" damage. My damage numbers are the lowest on all my DDs but it is possibly very useful damage applied mostly to DDs.

Lightning: Played with stock guns and 10pt captain, core DD build. Team compositions had been standard which mean hard carry is routine. I think I use Lightning in the orthodox way as cap contester, role which it is very very effective. My strategy is as stated to take and hold the contested cap until relieved, in a very British way. As usual I always inform my team I'll be contesting the cap, hell or high water. if no support is provided, contesting mutates into delaying the enemy. In tactical terms, as probably I'll be arriving at cap later than the reds, I tend to concede initiative to them and wait until they try to cap before pushing in. My immediate objective being killing the enemy DD and not capping, which is achieve usually as a side effect or after opposition has been dealt with. Given the relative lack of mobility of RN DDs, I tend to remain near the cap until it is secured and the local opposition is defeated or definitively routed, before moving on to the next objective. Less frequently and due to spawn positions, I may move to secure our natural cap first and then push aggressively into the red's natural cap. My damage and kill ratio is the highest in this ship, that's a consequence of the fast recharge smoke that allows to keep the offensive at a very high tempo, taking risks and capitalizing on opportunities more frequently since you always have a disengage poof at hand. For the same reason, this is maybe my DD that gets less impacted when there are CVs in the match.

Ognevoi: Played fully upgraded with 10 pt captain standard build. Standard team composition, neither lucky nor unlucky. I use Ognevoi as utility torp boat. I keep my strategy flexible with this ship, adapting to my spawn and enemy line up, I can either work my natural cap or contest the divided cap. Good speed is a strong asset to use on suitable maps with distant caps. Tactically, I end up using this boat a bit defensively and playing cautiously, usually try to get rid of enemy DDs by out spotting them or a sneaky torp when they smoke. I don't feel too comfortable dealing with enemy DDs one-on-one with Ognevoi, so I tend to play her very sleazy with extra cheese topping, I'll use whatever trick and underhanded tactic at hand to outplay the enemy DDs. This makes Ognevoi matches to be very entertaining as the gameplay is more brains than brawn. Average damage and kills, with an outstanding 2 planes shot down per match... that's DFAA for you.

Benson: Played fully upgrade with 14 point captain, this is my only ship with RPF. Standard team compositions. I use Benson as a hybrid support ship with a strong DD hunter/killer role. My strategy is flexible and variable as in Ognevoi. Tactically, for me this ship is defined by RPF, it is such a powerful tool and consequently I use it to track and kill the contestant DD in front of me, first and foremost. I can use my smoke to support cruiser advances in case there's no CV around if they look aware enough. Once the cap is secured and red DD killed, then it is time to change into harassment mode and go farm the enemy capital units. Benson's gameplay feels "classic" DD for me, a good jack-of-all-trades very good at screening for your team and performing different roles reasonably well. Average damage and kills.

Kagero: Played with stock guns and 10 points standard captain. Now we arrive to my black sheep, I use Kagero as a traditional torp boat... and it isn't working very good for me in ranked, mostly because she has been rewarded with an unusual high dose of potato teams that can't aim and are unable to hit anything beyond 3 kms, not taking proper advantage of the spotting I provide, this is a very frustrating ship to play for me. My strategy is mostly speculative, I try to work open caps and outspot enemy DDs to get them removed from the game, being slow and clumsy is a bad recipe for playing too aggressively so my gameplay is unusually cautious in her. Tactically, I try to not engage enemy DDs directly unless I have very good cards in my hand, disengaging is a very cumbersome labor so getting spotted is a bad idea as a general rule. The passive nature of its gameplay coupled with low survivability under fire  and unreliable damage dealing (torps) ruins the ship for me. Even the outstanding Concealment many times amounts to nothing, even more when your team is unable to hit a DD you have kept permaspotted for minutes long. Damage is average but it is mostly useless damage done to BBs, that's a huge difference on game impact when it is compared (as example) with Kiev's lower damage number but highly focused on DD damage. 

Conclusions: After comparing my different DDs experiences, I compiled the following set of conclusion

  •  The contested cap is key to victory: Achieving control and dominance of the contested cap is the single most impacting play you can do as a DD in Ranked. It is a labor so critical to victory that it is best to do it yourself and don't trust it to random team mates.
  • Delivering damage to DDs is key to victory: In my experience, the second best way to achieve victory is delivering damage to the enemy DDs, the best your own boat is at doing that job, the more impact you can have in a match.
  • Speed is a strong asset, use it: The ability to reach and hold key areas before the enemy is often a strong enough handicap to push the enemy on the back foot for the rest of the match. An initial advantage is really significant in Ranked.
  • Farming BB damage is mostly useless: As a DD, focusing your effort on farming BBs is an unreliable way to achieve dominance. To cede control of caps to the enemy is to court defeat. DDs unable to push caps in the presence of enemy DDs are strongly disadvantaged.
  • RPF is a really strong skill: Sounds a bit dumb but ime it is such a game changer for a cap contester. I´m really expecting the moment I reach 14 pts on the rest of my DD captains

That's long enough for the moment. Feel free to comment your own experiences.

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I've been playing my alt at bronze just because it has no premium time and its in desperate need of credits to buy the next T9. 

 Problem is there's not alot of competition down there.

 Good DD play is treasured and pretty much dictates the game.

 I am biased because it's what I played the most but US DDs are strong. 

Akizuki was strong. 

 When this account was down there Lo Yang was very dominant.

 RPF is a good crutch but not necessary if you got a good grasp of the game. After your well seasoned you just know where they're gonna be.

 

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31 minutes ago, SilverPhatShips said:

RPF is a good crutch but not necessary if you got a good grasp of the game. After your well seasoned you just know where they're gonna be.

I use it because, despite 26k games, my conscious strategic sense is still garbage.

I may make instinctive strategic decisions that pan out, but to consciously say ‘the enemy will be there,’ that’s about as likely as me actually activating one of Halsey or Yamamoto’s skills; which, for the record, I’ve never managed to actually do.

Edited by Estimated_Prophet

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53 minutes ago, SilverPhatShips said:

 I am biased because it's what I played the most but US DDs are strong. 

I really enjoy Benson but can't help but feel she was left behind in time. An archaic remnant from a bygone era without gimmicks.

1 hour ago, SilverPhatShips said:

Akizuki was strong. 

  I plan on running Aki for the next sprint, preliminary stock test in Coop point to it being ridiculously strong. I'm curious to see how its numbers would turn out.

1 hour ago, SilverPhatShips said:

 RPF is a good crutch but not necessary if you got a good grasp of the game. After your well seasoned you just know where they're gonna be.

Probably with enough experience, I admit I'm just a bit over 3k PvP matches so that's a thing to consider. I'm used to guesstimate where the red DD is, but I find extremely powerful to know where it actually is, specially in late match situations where you lose track of the enemy when switching flanks, it is having immunity to people jumping on you. 

 

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Concealment competitive gunboat DDs that efficiency hunt other DDs and take caps win. Kidd and Aki seem to be two of the best for t8. T9 has other good options. 

The three big things I saw that make the difference. 

#1 Cap control

#2 DD hunting focus

#3 When CV present, staying near friendly AA support. Forward position for spotting, and able to protect friends from enemy DD/torping enemy BBs pushing a cap.

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