Well, I finally decided to publish this. We all know since the CV rework DDs have been left in a suboptimal state where you can lose more than half of your hp from a single CV strike. This, however, does not excuse the DD playerbase from making all the other kinds of complaints, and whining about things that actually have counterplay. So I created a list, ordered from the difficulty of said counterplay from easiest to hardest. The list defines how good of a DD player you are because the better you are at DDs, the higher level of counterplay you will be able to perform.
If you are a DD player, chances are you will be offended at some point in this article, but at the same time, I want to make this a guide for the DD players who want to learn how to counterplay each game mechanic. I will hide the offensive parts as spoilers, read at your own risk.
BAD (0-750 PR) – “OMG why does radar go thru islands”
If you complain about radar going thru islands, you straight up garbage at DDs. The main reason being that this isn’t even a mechanic that’s useful against DDs, with the radar change you only get spotted by the said cruiser behind an island for the meaningful part of the radar, if he is behind an island he can’t even shoot you effectively or at all. If anything, the fact that radar can go thru islands is actually a GOOD thing because it gives you a free warning.
Counterplay: Press A or D when radared, and you would already be out of radar range or turned away by the time anyone can shoot you, thank the cruiser for giving you a free 6 second warning, and blow your horn on the way out. It really is that simple. Even if the cruiser can somehow lob the shells over the island he would have to be far away to do so giving you ample time to dodge (not to mention he doesn’t have a direct sight on you and no radar ship gets spotter plane at the same time)
BELOW AVERAGE (750-1100 PR) – “Balance the amount of radar ships on each team”
If you complain about this, it just signifies the lack of general game knowledge. Every ship has strengths and weaknesses, if a ship have radar that means it trades off for the radar in other parameters. So instead of just whining about whats good about the enemy ship, exploit whats bad about it. Avoiding its strengths and exploiting its weaknesses to win, what a revolutionary concept that is.
Counterplay: Change your tactics based on the enemy team’s line up. Lets say you are in a Gearing and the enemy team is filled with DMs and your team Zaos. So instead of yoloing a cap, and getting radared only to die, flank around the side. Think about what your team’s ships’ have over the enemy in exchange for the radar. Zaos are a lot better at HE spamming at range, so flank around the side, spot for your Zaos, smoke them if you have to, and let them spam down the enemy BBs. Don’t like support play? Well here is the rewarding part, once the enemy BBs run away, those DMs are in a lot of trouble, because as you send torpedoes at their stationary location from the flank, they have the decide between death by torpedo or come out of the island and death by AP.
AVERAGE (1100-1350 PR) – “Team no support”
Seriously? A DD can instantly turn around because it doesn’t have a citadel, DDs also turn faster and tighter while having a better acceleration and top speed. So if your team have no interest to go down a flank or to a cap, then abandon it. Nothing is more frustrating than having to deal with a dead DD, because even if you afk in a corner you still exert pressure on BBs for potential stealth torps and exert pressure on cruisers for potential perma spotting. But if you die, even if you hold them for a minute or two, you are still a liability.
Counterplay: This isn’t as much in counterplay as in just accepting a fact that others don’t think the same way as you do. Sure, you can head toward the cap but if your team wants to lemming toward the cap on the other side, then you aren’t going to be able to stop that train yourself. More importantly, you also won’t be able to stop the enemy from coming into that cap by yourself. So instead of dying and blaming your team for the lack of support, know the limits of your ship and do what you can safely. If there is a CV in the game, its just better to accept it and lemming with your team, if not and you have a concealment advantage then you can play around on the flank and slow down the enemy. And this goes back to the previous section, if the Zaos and/or BBs decide to not help and lemming away, then going alone on the flank will get you killed in no time.
One of the key things to know about random battles is that you can use your teammates, but you cannot rely on them for anything. If you know a DM is behind a certain island and you have, say, a Montana behind you. What you can do is use his presence to torpedo the Des Moines at the island location, because the Montana exerts pressure to discourage the DM from moving out of cover away from your torpedoes. However, what you should never do is getting closer to the DM relying on your Montana to “prevent the DM from moving out of the island”, because you will often be disappointed, and you will die.
Good (1350-1550 PR) – “Insert random picture where the DD cap contests while BBs bunch up at A line”
You know, your typical “weekend has begun” bullshit excuse that DDs have because they think that backline sniping BBs isn’t a direct result of their own actions. Now I will admit that there are certainly extra special BB captains who take SE and snipe at 20km, those are beyond hopeless, but from time to time you see blues and even purples forced to snipe. Why? Because even unicum BBs are helpless against a good DD, a good DD that you are responsible for, yet you jerk off in a cap instead of screening to help your BBs.
Counterplay: Be the one your team actually needs, not the one you think your team needs. Get out of the mentality that “DDs cap, CAs support, BBs tank, and CVs are gods”. Adapt to the situation of the battle and think in the mindset of your allies. Think about what if you were the BB. Would you actually want to push if you were the BB? Let me give you an example. Say you are a Z52, a DD designed around capping, you dive into the island in the cap and turn on your hydro. The enemy team gets a Z52 as well, but instead he chooses to flank around the cap and stealth torp your BBs. Now you wonder why you aren’t getting support, why your BBs all turned away and heading toward the border leaving you to die. In your mindset the BBs are supposed to “tank” and support you, in your dream world DDs cap and BBs tank. But now let’s instead investigate the mindset of the BB. Every other BB is running away, the DD (you) isn’t offering any vision outside of 6km so the BB have no idea what its pushing into and would also be instantly crossfired by the torpedoes. On top of all that, he has no way of fighting back because you are pinned and the enemy DD will never be spotted, the only thing he can do is be a punching bag and delay the inevitable, so what’s in it for him? Would he do that? Would you do that?
Great (1550-1750 PR) – “CV spotting is bullshit”
Um, you do realize that CV spotting is far less of a problem post rework than before, right? Why are you still complaining about CV spotting when DDs literally have around 3km of air detection? Pre rework a CV, especially IJN, can just dump a empty DB squad on a DD and spot it for a long duration without sacrificing much of the CV’s strike potential. Now if a CV wants to perma spot a DD he would have to sacrifice his entire strike potential or drop a fighter. The latter is super easy to get rid of since it doesn’t dodge flak, or you can just simply move away from it since it doesn’t follow surface targets. The only time where a CV would sacrifice his strike just to keep you spotted would be if he knows by doing so, he can get you killed in a reasonable amount of time, at that point the problem isn’t the CV spotting, its your positioning. Tell me, how is this any different than playing a cruiser, gets caught by DD perma spotting in front of a BB, and dying as a result?
Counterplay: Observe in game or in videos how a CV normally plays. In the opening stages of the game a CV often sends out his planes to one flank and travels across the enemy team to reach the other side of the flank. He does this to decide where the AA is weakest and determine his strike target and path. It is the most efficient route to quickly scout out most of the enemy team. The spawn system puts DDs in front of the BBs, so when a CV comes in with aircraft he can spot the DDs at the same time because the DDs are a lot closer than the BBs to him. So, the solution is to simply stay within the AA range of your BBs until the initial scouting is done by the CVs. You spawn just about within AA range of your BBs but because DDs are faster and accelerate even more so, many DD players make the mistake of going too far too early, giving the CV the information which it needs to determine your game plan and act accordingly to it. You wouldn’t be aggressive as a Cruiser into a Montana, you wouldn’t be aggressive in a Battleship into a shimakaze, so why should you be aggressive as a Destroyer into a CV?
Keep in mind that concealment is an extremely powerful tool, and because it is so powerful, it can get you into bad positions without you realizing it. Thus, once it is compromised, the situation quickly goes from safe to death in an instant. You should never move into positions where you would get instantly killed if you are detected unless you know for sure there isn’t a way to detect you (so basically no CV, no stealth radar, and no ship that can outspot or out speed you nearby). At this point you have a good amount of knowledge about the game and ships, now you need to plan ahead, learn to position away from threats, or have an island in front to quickly escape, or take on targets of opportunity. These are what separates the good players from the great ones.
Great (1750-2100 PR) – “+2/-2 Matchmaking got to go, T7 DD vs T9 DD is impossible”
This topic, while counterplaying tier difference is harder than what was listed before, is still a complaint that really pisses me off. +1/-1 will never happen, if you ever worked as a game dev the answer is so obvious. Because it kills variety in gameplay, makes games repetitive and boring, you know, how to kill the game faster than CV rework. Only able to face 3/5 the number of unique enemies will quickly dull out the game, why do you think that fresh content must be constantly pumped out to keep a game running and profitable? With that said, this complaint mostly comes from the gap between T7 and T8 DDs, because T8 DDs get the concealment mod so it outspots T7 DDs while also having an increase in firepower. Something that outspots and outguns you is a hard thing to deal with, but this isn’t unique to DDs, Cruisers and Battleships have it much harder and being bottom tier as CV is a nightmare.
Counterplay: Concealment buffering. We all know it, you are having fun in your T7 DD, beating up poor T5s to make up for the times when you suffered at that tier. Then suddenly MM decides to pit you against T9s and the enemy team gets a Kitakaze that can murder you in seconds and outspot you at the same time. So, what is concealment buffering? It is a positioning tool to keep yourself more hidden than your allies, so that you can use them as decoys and warning systems to prevent immediate harm. The idea is simple, know the concealment of your allied ships, and make sure the edge of their concealment circle overlaps with the edge of your own. In other words, an enemy will always detect your ally before you. Let’s say you are a Mahan, the Kitakaze far outspots you and far outguns you. Even if your team’s T9 DD is not nearby, what you can do is use your nearest cruiser or battleship as your concealment barrier, subtract their MINIMUM concealment range by your concealment range, subtract about 0.3-0.5km of buffer, and stay that distance ahead of them and no more than that. Simple yet extremely effective. Even if the Kitakaze doesn’t fire on your BB/CA, you can tell if they are spotted just by when the shells start flying and this gives you a free warning of a nearby threat.
Unicum (2100-2450 PR) – “STEALTH RADAR”
Yeah yeah, we know it, Baltimore, Chappy, Belfast, etc. Great phun as the moment you see them is the moment they see you. If you have gotten to this point without any of the previous complaints, chances are you are already a unicum or close to being one. I wrote some guides for unicum level players and they pretty much include how you can negate stealth radar.
Counterplay: Aggression control and high-level game knowledge. The first part is to simply trade with the radar cruiser for the duration. Since most stealth radar cruisers does not have heals, any damage done to them is permanent and a crippled cruiser is a lot less useful than a crippled DD. This is whats known as a calculated risk, you risk the possibility of running into a radar cruiser for the reward of getting into good positions. If your percentage HP is higher than the progress percentage of the game, the risk is often worth it, if not then concealment buffering would work as a counterplay as well. The second part is used to minimize the chance of running into a stealth cruiser by gathering all the information you can get. Facts like divisions spawn together, even ship split, your own team’s spawn, and whats already spotted are all excellent indicators of where the stealth radar ship might be. For an example, let’s say that the enemy have 3 cruisers, Atago/Mogami/Baltimore, Mogami is divisioned with Baltimore. So, if you see the Atago on your flank, then it’s extremely unlikely that the Baltimore is nearby. Same can be said if the Mogami is seen on the opposite flank. A harder example would be let’s say that Baltimore isn’t divisioned but your team had a mong triple GK division that spawned behind you, that is also a good indicator that the Baltimore is on the other side. Learning how the spawn system works is a good way to detect enemies without actually seeing them and is also the one of the reasons why ranked spawns have all ships spawn next to each other.
Super Unicum (2450+ PR) – “No counterplay toward CVs”
Thanks for Reading
Source: Original link
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