Alright as the title states. This is meant to be a newbies guides to high tier DD play. Its meant to share my thought process to new players or players who are trying to get into positive win rates in their DDs at high tier.
Its not meant for our unicums. It is written in reply to the video posted by NoZoup. If you follow these steps you can absolutely give unicum DDs a hard time and compete with them for caps and help your team win.
This guide applies directly to any DD at or below 6.1km concealment. For DDs above 6.1km concealment I would suggest the DolphinPrincess guide to Russian DDs on reddit.
For more detailed info and people to ask questions about DD play visit Destroyer_KuroshioKai discord https://discord.gg/8qkhVXn and watch his youtube videos, they are all focused around DDs and around explaining how to play them: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-CVV_QxU4CesZL5pvdJw4A Despite some disagreements I may have he is an invaluable resource for DD play.
I did write this up on the NA forums yesterday.
Pre battle preparation:
Put on Camo.
Put on every signal-flag that will help increase your ships combat performance that you have enough off.
Make sure you have all your modules including concealment mod.
Make sure that you have your captain specced properly. Like Concealment expert (Ran into a Kagero 2 days ago that was spotted at 6.6km). I highly recommend always using Priority Target for your 1 point skill. RDF (RPF) is another skill I personally recommend.
Learn Radar ranges. You should always be able to identify which ships bring radar and what ranges those radars work at, bonus points for knowing how many consumables they could bring.
Now that all that is sorted lets move on.
Loading into battle:
Count the number of Radar ships the enemy have and identify the ranges they will be working at.
Count the number of DDs and identify what type of ships they are (torp boats or gun boats, sneaky boats or bruisers) or if they could be bringing gimmicks ( reload boosters or radars or hydros) . Also take a stab at identifying rough concealment ranges and torpedo reload times ( Japanese Russian boats have SLOW reloads, European boats have FAST torpedo reloads).
Of course also take note if they bring CVs and what nation they are. US is more dangerous then Japan. Mostly because a good CV captain can hit you with their dive bombers. HE bombs hurt like a
Check for Venezias. Besides CVs these guys are the meanest DD killers after Radars. (Quite frankly I rather deal with a radar ship then a Venezia).
Zoning your map:
You know how many and what type of radar they have. You know what your DD opposition is. How can you go about reading the map before you know enemy positions?
Now for myself I divide up a map into zones, example:
( This map is old and the zones aren't 100% to scale. but it looks good and I am using it purely as an example of how I divide up the maps at the start of the battle).
First I draw the center white line in my head. Everything on the other side of that line belongs to the enemy.
I draw the red zone in my mind. The red zone is 3 km either side from the center line. Basically if you enter the red zone and the enemy DD decides to enter it opposite you then you should spot each other. It also represent the space where you are close enough to the likely enemy cruisers for you to die quickly. I very rarely enter the red zone early in the match unless I already know the enemy DD positions or I have what seems like overwhelming fire support.
I draw the orange zone. It basically reaches out another 3-5km from the red zone. To me this zone represents possible enemy radar range I will enter this zone early, however only when I have escape options. Make mental notes when you do get radared, try to identify who most likely radared you and do a rough 2 minute cooldown in your head. You might have time to grab a cap in between radars or get into a position to torpedo the radar ship during a cooldown.
I mark likely enemy radar positions (yellow). Over time you will learn what the most common positions on each map are. Take a look where each radar could be torpedoed from. For example in the above map , Radar ships in the north on C can be pushed back and torpedoed from F9 and G9. The radar north of A can be torpedoed from the gap at G2 or from the gap by F1 (thought I wouldn't go to F1 unless I knew I had overwhelming guns down the 1 line). From the North you can torp and push back the Radars south of A from D2 .
Lastly I mark where I can go to cap (Blue). Note these cap spots are outside of the red zone. I always cap at the edge of the cap with my bow (front) pointing out (for fast escapes). I never come to a complete stop , instead switching between 1/4 speed forward and reverse ( this makes dodging blind torps way easier). I point my rear end towards the direction where its most likely enemies launched their torpedoes from (again for dodging blind torps). Hiding behind islands in the middle of the cap is not as productive as you can get stuck uselessly for large amounts of time.
I follow this zone layout anywhere from the first 5 mins to the first 10 minutes. Really its up until the point where I know the enemies positions.
This zone layout works the same whether maps are horizontally, vertically or diagonally mirrored. You just need to make sure that if you are on a diagonally mirrored map that you don't get caught up against the borders that squish together in the corners.
Start of Battle:
Now with all of the prep work having been done.
First rules of thumb : Nobody dies faster then a DD. So STAY SAFE kids. You kind of want your health to mirror the match timer IF you are half way through battle and haven't taken any damage you can look at taking risks that might cost you half your health. Or if you have only 1/4 HP left with 3/4 of match time left then you need to play extremely carefully.
ALWAYS FIGHT BY THE CAP YOU SPAWN AT. This doesn't mean you have to cap. It doesn't mean you have to rush for it. It does mean that your flank has a DD that can do DD things like spot, keep enemy DDs at bay and maybe cap . The only exception to this rule is if you are spawned with 2 DDs on your flank. Then one may go directly to another cap if they must ( like if mid didn't get a DD). Personally I still prefer to stay. If your team decides to abandon that cap then they are fools and potatoes. However it still doesn't mean you can just run away and do nothing. It means that you just got stuck with rear guard actions, You can't rely on your team mates because they are potatoes so you need to play 5x as safe. However you can fight a delaying action.
(KEEP AA OFF by pressing "P") If a CV is around avoid rushing into caps early and stay about 3-4 km ahead of your cruisers. If the CV comes for you stay the in cruisers AA and even turn back deeper into it. The CV will most often take a hint at that point and go pester someone else. This in turn will give you time and freedom of movement again. If he is busy at another cap or comes down the middle then goes to the other side again you should have time and freedom of movement.
Spend a few minutes scoping out your cap. I tend to go out towards the outside flank first ( map allowing) to get a better eye on cruisers and BBs. I will send early blind torpedoes towards the most likely enemy DDs approaching my cap. Every now and then you will catch them off guard just as they settle in to cap.
Once you know most likely enemy positions you can make the choice to go in and cap or not.
During mid to late Battle:
This is where things get fuzzy and my time is running short and Destroyer_Kuroshais guides will do you better anyway.
The biggest tips I can give you are:
Stay aware of enemy positions and who could be coming to ambush you.
Torp boats do far better on the receiving end of an enemy push then chasing a retreating enemy.
Never smoke up when capping unless you are forced.
Never completely stop when in smoke and keep your rear end towards likely incoming torpedoes.
Anyway good luck captains, go and frustrate some unicum DDs.
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- The great DD debate.
- Five things to change about Arena (and a few to stay the same)
- What bothers me the most about the captain rework is its failure to address how the game has changed over the years or be fundamentally different from the old system in a meaningful way
- What is the best AA cruiser at tier 10
- Thoughts on Axis vs Allies Mode and How To Improve It
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