WTP-Poolside Talking Warships, CC Program and Give Away-059

World of Warships Poolside

This episode was recorded on my Samsung Note 5 so the audio quality is not what you all are used to.  The main part of this episode is the audio stripped out of a Facebook live broadcast from Sunday July 8th, 2018.  You will hear some wind and other noises from being outside next to a swimming pool, I apologize for that.  I felt it was important to get out some information to all of you and that sparked the spontaneous Facebook live video and then it hit me, why not use the audio for the Podcast.  Here it is, I hope you enjoy the show.

WTP-Crossing the T, a bad idea in World of Warships-058

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Do Not Cross the "T" in World of Warships

Classic naval warfare tactic from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries, Crossing the “T”, very effective in its time.

Let me say this right now and a few more times in this episode, Crossing the “T” is a bad idea in World of Warships.

This tactic held true into the early and mid-20th centuries.

Even with the introduction of turreted guns in the Dreadnought era, crossing the “T” was still a viable tactic.  Main battery fire control was not very accurate during this era, optics being the main tool for tracking and range estimations.  The big ships still needed to get as many shells into the air as possible and limit the potential incoming fire.

Not until the introduction of radar fire control systems did crossing the “T” start to fall out of favor.  Also, armor designs with “immunity zones” in mind made crossing the “T” unnecessary.  Immunity zones are the range a ships armor is designed to defeat incoming fire from specific caliber guns.  Too close and the incoming fire will punch through the armor, too far and the shells with plunge down into the soft deck into the citadel area causing catastrophic damage.

I have only scratched the surface talking about crossing the “T”, raking fire, being “in enfilade” and being “in defilade” I’m no expert.  You can find lots of information about all these terms and why they were used or why they are not used if you search for them in your internet search tool of choice.  I found some very informative articles and historical books on these topics.  But that is a bit much for this podcast.

So, what does all this have to do with World of Warships?

WTP-Slow Skill Progression-057

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Abraham Lincoln for World of Warships

“Slow to learn and slow to forget”

Abraham Lincoln

In the early 1990’s Robert Bjork a cognitive scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles proposed that we learn better when we find learning difficult.  Bjork conducted experiments showing people who learn fast often learn only superficially and are more likely to forget those lessons in the long run.  Bjork also said those fast learners are also less likely to integrate newly tapped knowledge with what they already know.  He describes this as new knowledge is less transferable to new situations or problems.

Psychologists at Princeton and Indiana University also found that students remembered reading material better when it was hard to read because of bad difficult to read fonts or if it was just ugly or messy.

Robert Bjork coined the phrase “desirable difficulties” when describing the notion that people learn better when the process is hard.

So, what does that have to do with World of Warships?

WTP-Main Battery Firing Arcs and Engagement Ranges-056

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Proper Angling in World of Warships

“You don’t shoot angle armor” that’s a quote from the EU CC Flamu.  And he is right, he was doing a video on the tier 10 cruiser Stalingrad when a Musashi fired its main battery into the belt armor of the Stalingrad at near point-blank range and all the shells bounced.  The Musashi then complained that at 4km range 460mm should not bounce, well the Musashi player is wrong.  Based on the video it looks like the Musashi fired when the belt armor of the Stalingrad was angled about 25 to 30 degrees.

Here we have a player (talking about the Musashi driver) that does not understand the Non-Penetration (bounce/ricochet) mechanic in World of Warships.  The assumption was “I have 460mm guns and I can over match anything”, sorry not true.

Yamato and Musashi have 460mm guns currently the largest caliber in the game and the AP ammunition can over match 32mm of armor, that’s it, 32.5mm of armor has a chance to bounce.

Flamu goes on to show in a training room how the tier 1 cruiser Hermelin can bounce the 460mm guns on the Yamato when angles properly.  Flamu fires the front two turrets at the Hermelins 35mm citadel belt armor and guess what?  6 bounces, no surprise to me.  The Hermelins conning tower and turret faces could also bounce those 460mm guns as they are 37mm and 50mm thick, that’s right a tier 1 ship bouncing the mighty Yamato.  It’s no hack, it simple game mechanics.

The Flamu video continues and a very mistaken Minotaur who also does not understand armor angling and give us another example of a lack of game mechanics knowledge.  I’m not going to describe the Minotaur engagement because its not necessary, the Minotaur had all guns targeting the Stalingrad, I have a Minotaur and play it a lot and I now when you have all guns on target you are exposing to much broadside and the armor is not going to stand up to large caliber guns.

I suggest you all watch Flamu's video here:  https://youtu.be/J2hofQg8mAs

WTP-Advice for Grinding New Ships-055

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Grinding New Ships in World of Warships

As patch 0.7.5 has gone live and introduced the first ship in the USN light cruiser line the tier 8 Cleveland many players are taking the Cleveland into battle prepping for patch 0.7.6 when the rest of the USN light cruiser are introduced into the game.  We are seeing a crazy number of cruisers in the que and most are USN ships and its fun.  But, I have noticed most players are complaining about how the Cleveland is terrible and should not be at tier 8, when I say most I’m talking players in games that I’m in also.  I’m not saying it’s the overall opinion of the player base.

I have noticed a common situation those Cleveland players share when they get deleted and then complain the ship is bad.  A big portion of them are in open water trying to slug it out with battleships and high tier cruisers.

I believe this stems from a lack of understanding in how light cruisers should be employed in World of Warships.  I know there is going to be times when every ship is going to get caught in open water and needs to either fight it out or hold fire and hope to drop off detection to survive.  Thinly armored cruisers are in grave danger in these situations and mostly pay for it with massive damage taken or loosing the ship in very short order.

One quote from a player on my team after getting killed was this “This ship sucks, (Cleveland) I’m going back to German cruisers” that player then said something to the effect of “at least German cruisers can take a hit when needed” not a direct quote but you get the point.  The player then continued to say even shells that hit the water 10 meters away caused citadel damage.  Not sure how that players determined the 10-meter misses but I’m guessing it was in frustration.  And I completely understand how they came to that conclusion as it was obvious he/she was trying to play the Cleveland in the German cruisers style.

Is this wrong?  No, its not 100% wrong.  I’m sure some players can make the German cruiser style work when driving a USN cruiser.  It takes knowledge of game mechanics, maps, enemy ship capabilities and more.  The point I want to make is this, we all need to understand that not only do the ships change but the tactics change also.  Try not to put those square pegs into round holes.  It can be done but I suggest that path not be taken.

WTP-Attacking the Consumables-054

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Attacking Consumables in World of Warships

What does attacking the consumables mean?  It means causing specific threat conditions on the enemy fleet that requires them to use consumables to counteract those conditions.

The real trick is forcing the enemy ships to use those consumables when you want them to, not when they do.

In the Army we call this “Virtual Attrition”.  In simple terms we want the enemy to use up it’s “Beans, Bullets and Band-Aids” early and often causing them to lose combat effectiveness in the long term.

That sounds all good in the real world but in World of Warships we don’t have to worry about ammunition load or food supply.  Even if we had to manage ammunition supply games don’t last long enough for this to become an issue.

WTP-The Tactical Push-53

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World of Warships Tactical Push

Stagnate static games are completely boring in my opinion and I’m sure some of you feel the same way.  Stagnation is a byproduct of game mechanics and player choice.  Yes, I said it, player choice.  Some of you may not agree with me but it’s my opinion.  We the players make choices in every game that affect our team and the enemy team.  Some of those choices are great and some are terrible but most of them fall somewhere in-between.  World of Warships is a chess match, not checkers.  Constantly making choices based solely on the enemy ship right in front of you will only take you so far, and that journey will probably be very short most of the time.  World of Warships is about map control.  Map control includes taking and holding capture points and or strategic locations on each map.  That brings us to the necessity of taking and holding sections of the map.  Obviously, a friendly ship needs to physically be inside a capture point to contest it or capture it.  Supporting that ship requires friendly ships to be close enough to present a legitimate threat to enemy ships attempting to take the contested capture point.  Taking and holding strategically important areas on the map that are not capture points is a little more difficult to identify and support but are very important.  The initial spawn locations are not strategically important areas.  Unless your team gets pushed back into them and it’s important to try and hold anything for even the slimmest chance to win, it happens.

The game starts, and the team move up into its initial positions, notice I said move up.  I did not say revers or head to the east or west map borders.  This also does not mean ships who spawn on the west side of the map should head all the way over to the east side.  Move up or closer to the enemy team into positions that your team agreed upon prior to or right after the games starts, if no communications were made the destroyers can dictate these positions buy moving towards a capture point.

WTP-Thunderbird30 Favorite Ships, Communication and Battleships

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One Year Anniversary

Here we are, the 1-year anniversary episode of the Warship Tactics Podcast, and it’s all thanks to all of you the listeners.  When I started this podcast, it was during a time when I decided to stop trying to help players in chat during games.  Probably all of you can guess why I was done trying to help in chat, salty players.  It was starting to become very frustrating and that is not what I was hoping for, it’s a game for entertainment.  At that time, I had started posting YouTube videos featuring myself playing World of Warships.  The main point was to show some of the tactics I was using to improve myself as a player.  Problem is the time available for gaming was decreasing and left no time for consistent video production, but I still wanted to try and help others.

I was already an avid podcast listener and I enjoyed audio content especially during work.  I thought to myself how hard could producing a podcast be.  I started looking for people, videos and podcasts about learning how to produce a podcast and I feel lucky to have found some of the best people inside podcasting space.  I will not go into specifics here; this show is not about how to podcast.  My education made the hardware and software part of podcasting easy, audio production is another story all together.  But I have learned and continue to improve.

WTP-19 Point Captains-051

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World of Warships 19 Point Captain Grind

This episode was suggested by Thunderbird30 from the EU server

1 million seven hundred and eight thousand

That’s how much captain experience it takes to get a 19-point captain in World of Warships.

If you owned all 19 tier 10 tech tree ships and wanted a 19-point captain in each one you would need to earn a total of 32 million four hundred and fifty-two thousand captain experience points.  WOW!

Grinding out a 19-point captain is completely possible without spending any doubloons or credits, the only credits you will spend is purchasing the ships.  You will just need to earn the full amount of captain XP to retrain them for the new ship.  That cost ranges from 1,000 XP for a 1 skill captain up to 250,000 XP for a 19-point captain.  The down side to this method is during the retraining any effect skills on the captain have their effectiveness reduced by 50%.  Skills that are either on or off are disabled during this retraining.  Meaning the concealment skill effect is reduced by half and the skill last stand will not be working.

If you choose the 200K credits retaining option, the only thing that changes is the amount of XP needed to retain the captain is reduced by 50%.  Again, this method requires no doubloons or real money.  Yes, you can earn doubloons for free.

The third method requires you to spend 500 doubloons to instantly retrain the captain and have all skills 100% effective for the new ship.  Technically this does not require you to spend real money to buy doubloons but earning free doubloons is not very reliable.

WTP-How to Benifit Your Team in a Destroyer-050

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World of Warships Destroyer Play

How can a destroyer help the team win with the proliferation of radar and hydro acoustic search?  How are destroyers expected to pressure capture points when a quarter of the enemy team is equipped with radar and hydro acoustic search?  If you determine it’s too dangerous to contest capture points and don’t want to throw away your ship what can you do?

What you can do depends on what you consider supporting the team and understanding what your destroyer of choice can and cannot do.

First thing to remember is that each nations destroyer tech tree has different playstyles that need to be understood.  But all destroyers share a few characteristics across the board.

First are the torpedoes, the great equalizers.  Even the USN Destroyer Kidd with its single 5 tube launcher is very dangerous when they are employed properly.

Second is the low surface detection ratings relative to the larger ships in the cruiser, battleship and aircraft carrier classes.  Yes, even the Soviet destroyer Khabarovsk will out spot the cruisers, battleships and aircraft carriers.

Third all destroyers will dictate when and how they will fight cruisers and battleships, this assumes you did not blunder into radar ships.  Maintaining situational awareness should prevent this most of the time.

Outside of direct combat actions what can destroyers provide the team?

Vision, contesting capture points, screening the friendly fleet, providing concealment for friendly ships with smoke

WTP-Countering and Minimizing the Effects of HE Spam-049

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High Explosive Spam in World of Warships

High Explosive Ammunition Spam (HE SPAM for short) is something that we all must learn to deal with as we progress to tier 10.  It’s not a tier 10 exclusive tactic but it begins to hurt bad at tier 8 and gets more dangerous at tier 9 and 10.

HE SPAM is a two-pronged attack, not only does HE explode on contacts with the possibility of doing damage regardless of armor angel it also has a chance to start a fire.  That chance of starting a fire is based on the ship shooting at you.  The tier 10 Royal Navy Battleship Conqueror has a 48% chance of setting fire per HE shell hit.  Royal Navy tech tree cruisers have a 0% chance to cause fire with the main battery as they only have armor piercing ammunition.  Cruisers and destroyers are the main ships to use HE but the Royal Navy Battleships are the ones that get people mad over HE ammunition.

The potential fires caused by high explosive ammunition is the main reason so many players feel its over powered and unrealistic.  One of the main arguments is that HE ammunition was not historically used in ship VS ship engagements.  This is true with the exception of a few specialized types of ammunition in use during WW2, but World of Warships is not a simulator game, it’s an arcade style game.  In World of Warships high explosive ammunition is used for game balancing reasons, not historical accuracy.

Imagine trying to kill the USN battleship North Carolina in a cruiser with no torpedoes equipped with 152mm main battery and only had armor piercing ammunition.  You would have almost no chance in that situation as the 152mm shells do not have the penetrating power to damage anything of significance on the North Carolina.  On the other hand, the North Carolina only needs to get a few hits when returning fire on the cruiser to kill it, with the possibility of killing it in one salvo if the citadel gets penetrated.

WTP-Active Combat and Team Support Credit Rewards-048

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World of Warships Economic Rewards

If you find yourself short on credits or loosing credits on a regular basis you should pay more attention to the objectives.  Study your post battle results screens.  Are you earning more than 2 or 3 ribbons regularly each battle?  Do you earn standard achievements on a regular basis?  How often do you earn heroic achievements?  These are some things to reflect on.  Now they are not hard indicators of better than average performance, but they are clues to your effectiveness.

So, the next time you find yourself struggling to save the credits to buy that new ship or wish you could run premium consumables look to your past and identify needed changes to improve your future World of Warships economic prosperity.

I said if before and I will say it again.  If you’re not having fun playing World of Warships you are missing the point.  Its entertainment, enjoy it.

WTP-French Battleships, Meta Breakers-047

World of Warships Meta Breakers, French Battleships

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“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”

Napoleon Bonaparte

French battleships in World of Warships are made to punish those mistakes.

French battleships also very fun!  They are well balanced and Wargaming did not drop any weird gimmick ideas on them, thank you for that.

The French battleship is a welcome change of pace from the rest of the battleship tech trees.  These ships lead into bow tanking meta breakers.  That does not mean some good bow tankers are not present in the French line.  The Richelieu and Alsace have the armor scheme for bow tanking.  Turenne, Courbet and Bretagne are dreadnoughts and play like the rest of the tier 3 to 5 battleships.  Normandie and Lyon begin the new style the French battleships bring to World of Warships, the anti-bow tanking meta.

WTP-When Your Team is Melting Away-046

When Your Team is Melting Away in World of Warships

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Not again!  What is going on with my team!  Stop dying so fast!  We all know this feeling but what can we do about it?  Sometimes nothing we do will change the outcome, but sometimes we can swing the battle into our team’s favor.  We need to identify what is hapening ASAP and make an on the fly assessment and plan to win.  This episode is more about our mindset than actual strategy for overcoming an unbalanced team who only seems to be out for one thing, a quick end to the current battle.

WTP-WASD Hacks in World of Warships-045

WASD Hacks in World of Warships

Whiskey, Alpha, Sierra, Delta

That is the name of the hacker program used in World of Warships that makes you hard to hit with the side effect of you living longer and doing more to win each game.

Yup it must be a hack, no doubt about it.

OK, enough with the thin attempt at humor, lets get down to business.

Do you drive your ship, or do you maneuver your ship?

You should be actively maneuvering your ship.  There you go, that’s the secret, end of episode.

Humor again.

Simply driving your ship around avoiding teammates and land masses will work just fine in the low tiers, like 4 and below.  Once you move out of protected matchmaking multiple things happen, the main thing being ships become more effective in combat as gun and torpedo systems increase in power.

The second thing that happens is some players are learning how to properly aim their weapon systems and start putting more steel on target at increasing ranges.

Those players who still don’t understand what the W, A, S and D keys are for will start catching more and more steel in sensitive areas of their ships.

Do you remember what Captain Marko Ramius told Jack Ryan inside the missile room of the Red October?

“Hey, Ryan, be careful what you shoot at.  Most things in here don’t react too well to bullets”

We may not have ICBM’s in World of Warships but most things in the sensitive areas of our ships, speaking of the citadel area, don’t react too well to armor piercing ammunition.  The citadel must be protected all the time.  Part of that protection is active maneuvering.

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WTP-Things Newer Players Need to Know About Each Tier-044

Things New Players Need to Know

“Knowledge is Power” Francis Bacon

World of Warships has very limited preparatory information available for new players regarding game mechanics, skills and tactics.  It’s been left to the player to seek out the bulk of this information hidden inside the cold black void known as the internet.  For those comfortable in the art of deciphering what the internet has to offer you will probably get pointed in the right direction.  The group who’s gaming experience allows them to identify, then adapt to new game mechanics in a short period of time, you will probably jump in and be successful in little time.  But where does that leave the rest of you?  In a bad spot at best.  Left to struggle and beat your heads against the wall wondering why I’m having a bad time and getting obliterated game after game.

From a business point of view, leaving a portion of the customer base left to figure it out for themselves does not seem like a good idea.  In most instances it would not be a good idea but, World of Warships is a free to play game.  That means some things are left on the back burner or left for the community to fill.  This is why in my opinion we have a nearly nonexistent tutorial in World of Warships.

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WTP-Planning for Limited Game Time-043

Limited Game Time in World of Warships

Hello fellow warships captains, gamers, casuals, hobbyists or just plain time killers.

Recently I was contacted by a listener who told me they would like to record games for YouTube doing commentary on what they were trying to accomplish in the game.  But they said the limited time available for gaming would be further cut into by the time required to edit and publish videos.  The decision was made to use the limited time available for World of Warships for enjoyment and improvement if possible.

Limited time for gaming.  I remember dedicating nearly as much time to gaming as my full-time job, World of Warcraft being the major culprit, but other games had some of my time also.  School, coaching football and social life to name the major things started getting more of my time.  I’m OK with that.  But I’m a gamer at heart and just could not walk away from it.

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WTP-Royal Navy Cruisers-042

World of Warships Royal Navy Cruisers

Thin armor, like a soda can.  Lucky for us that soda can has some very good guns with high rates of fire and turning speeds that make some destroyers envious.  They share some traits with US and German cruisers but don’t confuse their play style with either of them.  Royal Navy cruisers rely on positioning, angling and smart use of smoke heavily.  So, what are they?

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WTP-Dealing with Radar in Destroyers-041

Radar vs Destroyers in World of Warships

Destroyers are high risk and high reward.  No armor, best mobility across the board, best stealth and they all carry the great equalizer the torpedo.  Even the terrible torpedo system on the USN Sims can cripple a battleship when employed properly.  Destroyers are assassins, let one get close enough to you and it will probably not end well.  Even the Russian destroyers with their short-range torpedoes can end your game fast, especially when Stallin himself is guiding those torpedoes.

Destroyers are at the top of every captains kill on site list, they are even hunted by their own kind.  When in a destroyer even your own team will look at you with distain.  Everyone complains about aircraft carriers, everyone complains about battleships sitting on the back line, everyone complains about cruisers not supporting anything.  But the destroyer draws the suspicious hateful gaze of the players base and Wargaming themselves.

Constant changes to the game have made the life of the destroyer captain hard but not impossible.

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WTP-Synergy and the Combined Arms Unit-040

Synergy In World of Warships

Synergy

The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

Combined Arms Maneuver

The application of the elements of combat power in unified action to defeat enemy ground forces; to seize, occupy and defend land areas; and to achieve physical, temporal and psychological advantages over the enemy to seize and exploit the initiative.

What does this mean?

Attacking the enemy with two or more elements simultaneously in a manner that the enemy must take actions to defend himself from one attack and makes their position vulnerable to another element.

Combined arms operations have roots in antiquity, where armies would deploy light infantry units known as skirmishers to screen and protect the heavier slower units or units that specialized in ranged combat.  Each type of combat formation infantry, archers, cavalry or conscript has advantages the others do not have.

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