|Blowing things up in me ship.|
Hey guys, sorry for the lack of minis posts, but I've been playing a lot of Navy Field 2 lately. It's a MOBA-like micro-intensive naval warfare game on the PC. Check it out for yourself, but ignore the Steam reviews with low playstyle as they're often quite biased and trash.
As a dedicated DD player (Lv.88, IJN Shimakaze DD), I have some tips to offer newer and experienced players alike.
- For Officers, I'm currently going full Reload on Torps for Weapons, 3/2 Defense/Engine for Support, Full Sonar and Full Evasion. My justification for the Defense/Engine is for the Shimakaze specifically, because it has Defense and Engine upgrades innately. Otherwise, I would probably go full Engine.
- Use the map (M) when determining where an enemy is. As a DD player, I don't know what "here" means when locating a sub without VOIP. "D-3" means all the world to me and will get me excited to help you.
- It's important to familiarize yourself with different ship classes and what they mean to your role on the battlefield:
- Against enemy BBs - Look for torp run opportunities and torp wall assist your bigger ships in stand-off duels. Launching torps in their direction will force them to turn or take damage since they're typically angled for broadside engagements. If you can force them to turn to minimalize their damage, that means your BBs will be able to deliver greater damage through attrition.
- Against enemy CVs - You can typically hunt these after the bigger ships are destroyed because good CV players know how to utilize space. By this, I mean they will be behind the rest of their fleet, typically as a support vessel that is still connected to the battlefield. They will have eyes everywhere and to chase these guys first means losing out on more important engagements that will swing the battle more (killing enemy BBs for example). Very easy target for DDs otherwise.
- Against enemy SSs - Spam the crap out of Sonar in areas where subs are sighted. 1-5 means you should set charges to either 1-5 depending on the status of the enemy sub. For example, if the sub just went below and I can no longer see its silhouette, I will set the charge to 3 and see where that gets me. If I don't hit, I'm going to go for 5 and go from there while hitting Sonar everytime the cooldown is up to reconfirm the depth. If you can still see the silhouette, then guns and prox torps will get you pretty good results, and DCs at level 1 will be very deadly. A good prox torp spread will drop most subs in one volley.
- Against enemy CAs - Apply the same philosophy of BBs but know that you are hitting a much smaller target that have better speed, turning, turret speed and reload. This means that they're just as dangerous if not more dangerous than BBs because you will need to put damage on a more maneuverable ship. This will make your torp runs more difficult.
- Against enemy CLs - You should play a pure support role in this case and let your BBs do the heavy lifting. Most CLs bar the torpboats are almost a direct counter to DDs because of their speed and much more powerful guns. They are able to put a lot of fire down range quickly and effectively, and have the speed and maneuverability to chase and apply damage while dodging torpedoes. Approach with care.
- Torps can practically travel across the map if you set them to Slow instead of Fast. The only time you want to use Proximity is if you're fighting against really fast and agile ships with low HP. Otherwise, stick to Contact because you need the greater damage potential.
- DDs take a lot of micromanagement, way more than other ships from my experience playing so far. I will stress 5 key points in this next section:
- Speed - You will need speed in order to reach targets of opportunity, to close gaps and to escape. Save your engine burn for making a torpedo run or for making a dash to escape. I tend to spam the burn key if I need to reach a target, but I save it if I know the firefight is going to get bloody and I'll need to make a quick exit.
- Maneuverability - In order for you to stay in the game, you need to be able to move. You have virtually no HP and you have to be unpredictable with your movement and be in constant flux. Simply waving back and forward will not do it. Mix-up zig-zags, engine burn straights, tight turns, wide turns, and basically anything you can think of to shake of pursuit. This includes sending proximity-armed torpedoes in the direction of enemy ships.
- Fast Turrets - I meant for this to be in a section of its own because it's a difficult subject for fast-moving DDs. Most of the time, I'm either running for my life or going for a torpedo run. During this time, I'm also finding targets to shoot at constantly so you're always clicking around and doing something. When I say fast turrets, I mean that as the DD player, you should always be training your turrets in the direction that you're firing from, regardless of your ships orientation. If my target is facing west, I'm going to click in that direction with BOTH guns and torpedoes as I move. I'm constantly toggling guns and torpedoes, aiming them directly at the target every 2-3 seconds, or the exact space of my reload times. This way, you're always on target, regardless of your ship's crazy orientation. If you ever find yourself not having to adjust, you're probably moving in a straight line, in which case you're probably going to die in the next few seconds from a manual-aiming BB.
- Fast Reload - You should always be dealing damage in the game. Your faster reload means you'll have the ability to consistently put out damage while being a difficult target to return fire at. If someone is chasing you, you should be firing off anti-pursuit Torps while constantly shooting at the targets behind. IJN Destroyers are typically geared for this purpose as they have 2 aft double-turrets. This means they can put out greater damage if they're being chased from the rear. Regardless, you should note your gun's orientations and make constant adjustments to target priority and range so you can constantly put out shells down range. Often times, I see DD players going for several seconds without doing a single point of damage. This is because of poor micromanagement and the inability to adjust speeds, dodge, while simultaneously train their guns AND torpedo launchers, while making quick and accurate shots. Yes, that's a lot to do in a span of a few seconds, but you're playing DD and that's expected in high levels of gameplay.
- Torpedoes - And here we have it, the crux of playing a good destroyer. You NEED to be able to utilize the true potential of your DD in order to take down major targets; otherwise you have no use in higher-tier games. Sure, sub hunting is one thing, but being able frighten larger ships is arguably much more important than dropping a few Depth Charges. If you have no weapons to be feared, you're pretty much dead weight in any given fleet. Continue reading below.
From my experience, here's how I deliver Torpedoes:
- Slow when I need the Torps to travel and Fast when I need better time on target.
- Proximity when fighting fast, agile ships with low HP. That means I will also use Prox to finish off severely damaged ships. Otherwise, I use straight Contact for CA+ class ships because Proximity will just tickle them.
- Always Gradual, because you will need to read target orientation. More on this below.
- Wide when I need a larger spread because it's the safer move. By this, I mean that the target is lower in health and you just need a few torps to finish him off, or when you have the broadside of a BB and its hull will eat all of your torps anyway. Thus, it will be safer to make the shot using Wide. I will only use Narrow when I need precision in a shot to deliver maximum damage. For example, a BB at full health moving abeam and not turning, or a stationary target. Narrow is a ton of damage, but very risky because you can miss with all of them.
To sum up the Torp run vs. CA+ class ships:
- Make sure the target is distracted and that its turrets are trained at another target. Their turret speed COMBINED with your speed is what's giving you this opportunity, nothing else. All the good players driving these ships will be able to manual aim your ship into the ground if you mess up on the run. It's literally do or die and you have no second chance unless your target is dead.
- Figure out the best way to approach the ship, and from which direction you're approaching from. There are several different vectors, but the main ones I'm going to be describing will be when the target is..
- Abeam - When moving in opposite directions, side by side.
- Abreast - when moving in the same direction, side by side.
- Closing - When the enemy ship is coming directly at you.
- Away - When the enemy ship is moving directly away from you.
The best scenario for the Torp run will be either from Abeam and Abreast. Abeam is ideal because you're going to be closing and when combined with his speed and your overdrive, you will give the enemy ship the shortest time to react. Against an enemy BB, depending on the size of the enemy hull, you will want as many Torpedoes as possible to Contact his hull. Often times, a Wide/Fast/Contact will be enough to fully cover a high-tier BB, but Narrow can be used if you're confident in the shot.
Abreast can be trickier because the target ship will turn either into you or away. This will force them into approaching Closing and Away vectors which will generally decrease their footprint and thus make your shots more difficult. If they turn away, Narrow will miss if you lead them too far, and if they turn into you, Narrow will miss if you lead them short. This shot requires you to be more precise with the torpedoes timed on target directly in the middle of the enemy ship, so you will need to account for your lead and the speed of the enemy ship's turn before your release. If they turn into you and you're too close, they can also get within "arming range" of your torps and they will fail to fire. This is even worse than not doing enough damage because now, you just did zero damage for a long cooldown.
Closing/Away are most difficult of shots because the footprint is extremely small and damage is minimalized to the greatest when using Wide, and can miss completely when using Narrow. You are literally threading the needle here, so the best course of action will be to generally use Wide and deliver Torpedoes in Gradual bursts so you can determine how the target turns. Once the turn is determined, you can follow up with more precise shots. This in turn will also mean that you will spend more time than you want when making a torp run, and exposing yourself to greater harm. The hardest types of shots are when you're crossing their T and they're Closing or Away. You typically just want to find another attack vector, but there will be situations where you're forced into this. Luckily for you, the DD can move really quick to adjust and you should move either abeam or abreast on the opposite side of the direction he fired in last.
Remember, regardless of target orientation, the one thing you really want to keep in the back of your mind when making a torp run is this: How to inflict as much damage as possible and get out alive. If any of the scenarios does not justify the cost of your ship, then simply do not make a torp run. A simple flowchart will do in most cases:
Is the enemy ship distracted with another ship?
Yes: This might be your chance. See next.
No: You're probably dead.
What direction are his turrets?
Away from you: This is your chance.
Towards you: Risky, but do-able.
Should you fail in the Torp run, you're probably going to die vs. higher-level players. The best chance you have here is to cross to the opposite side of his ship to the other side of his turrets and get outta there ASAP. Your guns are ineffective and you just blew your cooldown so you're doing do damage. Bob and weave and use short/long turns while running your engine to max burn to hopefully live and fight another day. Remember to leave behind torp walls if you're being chased by faster ships.
That's all I got for now, and thanks for reading.