WTP-Win the Vision Game-068

Winning the Vision Game in World of Warships

“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”

Sun Tzu

Vision in World of Warships is very important, it's how everything is resolved.  The first ship or team to see the enemy will get the first shots into the air and have the initiative.  All ships contribute to the vision of the team, but destroyers normally have the very first chance.  But they must not blow this chance by shooting at the first thing they see.  I talk about winning the vision mini game during this episode of the Warship Tactics Podcast.

WTP-Tier 8 Matchmaking-067

Tier 8 Matchmaking in World of Warships

Tier 8 match maker:  Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers, Pinhead and Chuck Norris all rolled into one.

Before I started recording this episode of the Warship Tactics Podcast I did a quick search of the NA forum for posts about the match maker, the search returned 4 pages.  After a quick scan of the titles it seems most are targeting the opinion the match maker is broken and needs to be fixed, I also noticed 12 focused on tier 8.

Let me get this out of the way now.  I have no problem with tier 8 match making.

Does the match maker need some tweaks?  Yes, it does.  Is it completely broken?  No, it’s not.

These are my opinions.

WTP-Back to Basics - Gunnery Skills-066

Gunnery Skills in World of Warships

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky

World of Warships boils down to one basic skill, gunnery.  Consistently hitting what you are aiming at is the core skill we all need to hone to a sharp edge.  Unfortunately Wargaming has not implemented a detailed step by step tutorial on proper gunnery.  Unless we seek out information from other sources we may or may not put the information the game provides together on how to properly aim the main battery.

WTP-Do The Little Things & Talking Clan Bases 2.0-065

Do the little things to win the game

Most of the time we need to do things that are not rewarded by the game to have a chance at winning.  Inflicting damage on the enemy fleet and sinking them are the two obvious things needed to win the game.  But some little things are very important to helping the team accomplish those tasks.  And that is what I will be talking about in this episode of the Warship Tactics Podcast.

WTP-When In Doubt Just Support The Team-064

World of Warships Team Support

We have all found ourselves in games that our team lemming trains to one side of the map or goes for split capture points.  In general these two scenarios end badly, but sometime they work out.  Problem is we don't know when it will turn out good or bad, so we need to make a hard choice fast.  Do we support the team in a bad strategy or not?  Most of us probably can't see the outcome early in the game and waste time trying to convince the team to do otherwise.  Or, we meander around the spawn location and don't make a decision for a few minutes because were not sure what to do.  In the case of not being sure, just support the team.  Try and make the best out of what looks like a bad strategic situation.

WTP-Chase Run Kite_063

When to chase, run or kite

Three things we have all done in World of Warships.  Chasing, running and kiting.  But, we need to understand when to pursue each and more importantly when to stop doing each.  We have all chased a ship blindly into a corner of the map and wonder why we lost.  We have all turned tail and ran when we should have stayed and to fight it out.  And, we have all kited when we should have just dropped off detection and saved the ship.  In this episode I talk about all those things and why we need to recognize when its time to stop each one.

WTP-Finding Your World of Warships Trinity-062

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In Episode 62 I talk about finding your trinity so you can find the right ship for your play style.  Knowing if we perform bad in a ship because were trying to do the wrong things in it will save time and spare us the feeling of frustration.  In other MMO's the trinity is Tank, Healer, DPS and is easy to spot.  In World of Warships finding the trinity is harder as the capabilities of ships are vastly different and some ship overlap.

WTP-Are you pressing to much or not enough?-061

This week I'm talking about how do we know if we are pressing to much or not enough.  By that I mean are we trying to do things in our chosen ship that it does not have the tools for or are we pressing our skill level to much.  The other side of that coin is are we not pressing.  Here I'm talking about not using the tools our ships have to support the team in an effective manner.  We need to find the butter zone between the two situations and stay in it for as long as possible to give our team the best chance to win the game.  Enjoy the show.

WTP-Get Into The Flow-060

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Talking about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his study of The Psychology of Optimal Experience also known as "Flow".  And how we can use this knowledge and techniques to improve not only our skills in World of Warships but in our every day lives.

We have all heard of this but probably like me did not know it was an actual state of mind.  Professional athletes call it being in the zone, when everything slows down and they seem to be a step ahead of everyone else.  It's a state of mind that is chased to maximize performance and it works and its real.

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