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Textbook Tiger

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The following rather long read describes what I call the Textbook Tiger. It's how to use Tiger in a particular situation where it can really shine. It is specifically matched to the video that follows at the end. One can watch the video and then read it. Or read it and then watch the video. They are complimentary.

Tiger loses a "one on one" match with just about every other cruiser in the game. Same tier cruisers can pretty much eat Tiger alive...one on one. But one on one dynamics are deceiving. It's a team game. A Tiger is a Swiss army knife of capability. And when you throw in the dynamics of the Random meta, Tiger has its own advantages not always obvious to the ship's stats. Advantages that can accentuate an asymmetry that turns the tables on its adversaries. Turn disadvantages into advantages. Turn a one on one defeat to a many on many success. Here is one of those stories. How to make the seemingly inferior Tiger play in a superior way, despite its shortfalls.


The words that follow are a companion to the video attached at the end of this post.

Looking at the MM, there is a Baltimore as my radar match. Baltimore will shred a Tiger 59 one on one. Both of us have Radar. But Balt's is 1km longer reach. Tiger has smoke, but Balt's radar can defeat the smoke advantage. Balt is faster, and can run the Tiger down. And Balt has a more powerful arsenal and better armor. By all accounts, Balt simply has all the one on one advantages stacked against the Tiger.

But like I mentioned before, it's a team game. And a big advantage in a team game is Tiger has the ability to push forward early. Push until detected (usually an enemy DD), and then smoke up and pop radar. A Baltimore, without smoke, usually must play a conservative role early. If he pushes up and gets detected without terrain cover (or smoke), he will be focused and killed in short order. Tiger can take advantage of this part of the Random meta...the team aspect... to try and catch a red DD unawares while his radar supporting cruiser must stay back a bit.

As most know, although killing a DD is a good thing. Killing one early is a massively good thing as one essentially erases not only a DD but erases everything it could have done over the entire match.

One key to an early Tiger push is green team support. Tiger often does not have the firepower to delete a DD by itself over the duration of a Radar detection. So having other green guns on target is essential to consummating the deal.

In this match, I fortunately have a DD in front of me who responds to my strategy. We have a very good discussion on tactics early on...spotting..radar...smoke. We also have a map with a lot of open water in front. This pretty much guarantees the red Balt won't push early. Also, based on my experience with the map, the 1 and 2 line is a track line that DDs often travel. And given there are four DDs per side in the match, it's almost guaranteed one or more DD spawns on our flank. And given the track record, one will push the 1 or 2 line.

Note that part of Tiger performing well takes a collection of things lining up. A teammate responding to the strategy, open ocean ahead, a map that historically tempts DDs to push a line, and Tiger finding itself on the line at startup. Sure, I won't get that every match...but when I do...oh boy...it can be fun to make it work.

My tactic is to push until detection. As soon as my detection lights up, I hit the brakes, pop smoke, and pop radar. In this game, everything unfolds exactly as planned. I engage the DD from the safety of smoke as it is lit by radar, and my DD friend joins in. It takes both of us to finish the job...just as my Radar spot dies out. Scratch one DD. This is a textbook perfect Tiger/DD combo early game detection kill. I could not have scripted it better myself. But it gets better.

We get a spot on the Baltimore. It's hanging back in a conservative position. That is a good call at that moment if one notes we have two BBs as back stop support. Not a very comfortable position for a Baltimore even at conservative range...deadly if he pushes up. I call for DD smoke...which the DD brings to me. I get to pelt Baltimore from the DD's smoke while the Balt remains outside of radar range. My pelts are not a lot per pelt...but when you can pelt from immunity, it adds up. My friendly DD even pokes out of his smoke for the spot. Suffice to say, I gave my DD friend Karma plus up at end of match, as he played his part perfectly. Knew exactly what to do and where to be to make things work.

As I pelt the Balt, he eventually figures that staying at range (even in trail), won't work because our DD can keep him perpetually spotted for both me and our BBs. So, he turns in for the Radar spot. Seeing this, I continue to pelt, but get into a trail position to minimize impact of the Radar. I do get radar'd. At the time, I thought he popped it, but it was already popped to spot the DD. I should have ascertained this based on range (and minimap position of our DD), but didn't at the time. Radar quickly faded (making it very obvious it had been running for some time), enabling me to pop smoke, and continue the pelting from smoke security. Eventually (along with DD help) we wore him down for the kill.

At this point, after throwing some futile long range shots at a red retreating BB, I had a moment to catch my breath and ascertain the best strategy going forward. Our other flank had comparable success, so it was a large team advantage. The team seemed to have the main fight under control. My only angst was the undetected DD on the far right flank. I wasn't sure what he was doing, so assumed the worst. I assumed he was attempting a stealthy back side cap. I moved to counter that eventuality, should it come to pass. But he eventually appeared as part of the force defending his own cap. I was out of position at this time to contribute much to the clean up. Hence, the meat of my support ended back when the Balt went down. No need to extend the replay after that. It was a solid win for green.

A final note. The Textbook Tiger requires several things to align in order to pull it off. In general, it's not good to force it if things aren't panning out. Although forcing it can sometimes work out in one's favor, it can also work out to one's demise. The most important thing to note is whether the enemy is assembling in mass in an aggressive posture where you're attempting to pull this off. If they are push minded and bring plenty of support, this must be recognized early (before the spot, smoke, and radar) and the attempt aborted before getting in so far that escape is not possible.






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