Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Warship Wednesday - Destroyers

This week we look into the deadly Destroyer class of ships.

When Wargaming.Net was formulating what World of Warships would be, many excited players asked if submarines would be included, being another iconic early 20th century ship class. However, the developers said no, there would be no submarines, and its obvious to see why in retrospect. The matches are intended to be relatively quick and dynamic affairs and submarines would not offer compelling gameplay, lying in wait for a quick torp salvo once or twice a match. The complications of introducing balance, counters, and interesting gameplay would be too large in a game like this.

Fortunately for those disappointed souls the stealth and surprise style of gameplay is present in the Destroyer class of ships.

Destroyers are small, fast, and maneuverable with higher than average concealment attributes, and have a special smoke screen ability which allows them to throw up a cloud of concealing smoke for them or allies (or enemies!) to hide in or behind. Couple those evasive abilities with the dramatic punch of torpedo launchers which can cripple or outright destroy other ships once they get in range and it pretty much encompasses all the gameplay a wishing submarine captain could wish for.

They also have various degrees of artillery firepower that is very short ranged compared to equal tier cruisers and battleships, and not very damaging. The real power comes from those torpedoes. Unlike torpedo bomber planes, destroyers that are able to get close to a target can unleash a scary accurate salvo broadside, and even other destroyers need to be careful not to eat a load of those "fish".

The greatest threat to destroyers are cruisers with their fast aiming and firing main guns, other destroyers up close, and support weapons from battleships if you stay close to them too long. Carriers are virtually defenseless as their planes need a lot of luck to take out a destroyer, and their support weapons pretty weak.

Use of the smoke cloud varies from captain to captain, some use it to put up a screen between the friendly and hostile fleets, other use it to help evade detection while capturing objective points. Speaking of which, destroyers often start the game making a rush for objectives in Domination mode and then slipping away under the cover of smoke as the rest of the fleets move up.

Destroyers love cover be it smoke screens, other ships, long distances (their concealment factor makes them harder to see at range), or islands. If you are a battleship or cruiser (or anything really), beware blind corners around islands.

Both American and Japanese lines of destroyers are in the current game. American versions tend to be heavier with bigger guns but torpedoes range is much shorter (~5km). Japanese are lighter and faster with much farther ranged torps (sometimes around 8-9 km) but smaller armament.

Next week, cruisers!

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