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Why do some people refer to sailing in formation as 'lemming mode'?

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A player got very angry with the team the other day because 90% of the ships all sailed together in one direction, leaving only 3 cruisers going off in the other. They accused the rest of adopting 'lemming mode'. This seemed like an odd accusation to me because:

 

A) Having all your guns on half of the enemy's fleet seems like a recipe for an easy win (the principle of 'defeat in detail')

B) For the above reason, as far as I'm aware, warships have historically tended to sail together if possible (with some exceptions)

 

I realise there are other considerations is WOWS such as capping, but it still seems to me like the optimal strategy is more or less for everyone to sail together and try to defeat the opposition in detail, perhaps covering half the caps initially while they destroy the enemy ships. I'd be interested to hear the opposing argument though.

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They played too much WoT.

B does not apply in this game.

Execution of tactic makes the difference. Ignoring caps is a good tactic to lose even with a ship advantage.

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Lemming train vs pain train = potential vs execution (seriously, most players are ingame sheep - as said above).

 

 

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simply, you are ignoring caps, letting one team to get a free cap, while they can stall you from getting other one.
And you are leaving a complete map control for the enemy team, allowing them to surround you, get a free shots at your vurneable broadside and torp your from every direction.

AKA, its REALLY BAD idea in most of cases.

 

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6 minutes ago, lup3s said:

While a "lemming train" can be devastating to the enemy team if played / used correctly; it usually (i.e. 99% of the time) isn't, and is exactly what the name implies: a group of lemmings not pushing the enemy team with superior numbers, or simply dying to a smaller group of enemies because they're not even able to push the enemy with superior numbers.

 

^This. If sailing in formation is to pay off, the "lemming train" have to push. More often than not, they don't, which leads to the enemy team winning on the other flank faster because there's no one to defend there.

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22 minutes ago, DangerousDave2k said:

A player got very angry with the team the other day because 90% of the ships all sailed together in one direction, leaving only 3 cruisers going off in the other. They accused the rest of adopting 'lemming mode'. This seemed like an odd accusation to me because:

 

A) Having all your guns on half of the enemy's fleet seems like a recipe for an easy win (the principle of 'defeat in detail')

B) For the above reason, as far as I'm aware, warships have historically tended to sail together if possible (with some exceptions)

 

I realise there are other considerations is WOWS such as capping, but it still seems to me like the optimal strategy is more or less for everyone to sail together and try to defeat the opposition in detail, perhaps covering half the caps initially while they destroy the enemy ships. I'd be interested to hear the opposing argument though.

It's not uncommon that 4 or 5 bbs form a group and wander off one direction, maybe supporting the far off cap, but since they're in the same spot, they're not creating any crossfires and they're easily torped if the enemy team realise to just kite away from the blob. Sometimes it works out, but usually, it seems these groups are formed out of insecurity...

 

Edit: I have to say though, that sometimes you can push one side heavily as a strategy, but that comes with some before thought...

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10 minutes ago, Diabetius said:

 

^This. If sailing in formation is to pay off, the "lemming train" have to push. More often than not, they don't, which leads to the enemy team winning on the other flank faster because there's no one to defend there.

Exactly,  if the lemmings push then it can work if the few remaining ships manage to show down the enemy on the other flank (It usually needs a DD to slow down the enemy with the threat of torps).

 

Unfortunately, the very nature of some of the players in the lemming train means that they won't won't push and they can be destroyed well before the few ships on the other flank.

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a lemming train only works if A u keep pushing ur numerical advantage and gain through this cap control and B if there is at least a small fleet to keep  the enemy from getting your flank. if one of these (or god help us both) dont happen, u loose.......and in 99,99% it wont work 

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WoWs community is so smart that even if they designed game so lemmings is superior tactic... our players would split in several groups.
I hope, you get a point.. Cheers

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Seems to me like there are two types of sailing together on the table: One is skirting around the edge of the map in a line hoping somebody else gets shot; The other is sailing together more or less through one cap and covering the middle cap. It's really the second one I'm talking about. Of course being too passive will lose you games, but surely breaking into fragments and allowing the other fleet to defeat you in detail is a bad idea.

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47 minutes ago, DangerousDave2k said:

A player got very angry with the team the other day because 90% of the ships all sailed together in one direction, leaving only 3 cruisers going off in the other. They accused the rest of adopting 'lemming mode'. This seemed like an odd accusation to me because:

 

A) Having all your guns on half of the enemy's fleet seems like a recipe for an easy win (the principle of 'defeat in detail')

B) For the above reason, as far as I'm aware, warships have historically tended to sail together if possible (with some exceptions)

 

I realise there are other considerations is WOWS such as capping, but it still seems to me like the optimal strategy is more or less for everyone to sail together and try to defeat the opposition in detail, perhaps covering half the caps initially while they destroy the enemy ships. I'd be interested to hear the opposing argument though.

Depending on the map and game mode, a lemming train can work. More often than not, however, overcomitting to one flank goes as follow:

 

1. Whole team goes right, 3 cruisers go left

2. Enemy team splits

3. The part of the enemy team that faces the lemmingtrain turns tail and starts kiting, the 2:1 advantage in firepower doesn't really get significant results, especially when you account for enemy DDs that can torp your advancing ships (while your DDs on the advancing flank do nothing besides maybe spotting enemy torps).

4. The lemmingtrain pushes slowly, discouraged by return fire of kiting ships and torps from retreating DDs. What's more - natural campers of the attacking team will lag behind any lemmingtrain. On the retreating team, mind you, the campers will probably be running away - incidentally engaging, by sheer coincidence, in something quite similar to the kiting behavior they SHOULD be engaged when in 1v2 situation

5. Meanwhile, the other half of the enemy fleet easily pushes through the other flank and secures it just as easily as the lemmingtrain secured "their" side (they also have 2:1 or better advantage there, after all)

6. Finally the other half of enemy team arrives at the side/rear of the lemmingtrain and the kiting half of enemy team finally stops running and turns to face the enemy. The forces are more or less equal but the enemy has you surronded/in a crossfire. The lemmingtrain crumbles completely and gets picked apart by enemy fire from two completely different directions (no way to angle against that).

 

Basically: being able to focus your firepower and gain local numerical advantage is a good thing, of course, but lemmingtrains are very rarely capable of actually doing that - just having more ships on one flank doesn't mean that you'll be able to capitalize on this and sink enemy ships. Especially when they realize the situation and decide to focus on not dying - and a 2:1 advantage is often evident enough for the enemy to do just that. If you just have a couple ships more on the flank, you have a good chance of the enemy facing you despite the disadvantage. But if it's a bunch of ships facing the whole lemmingtrain?

All things considered, considering typical behavior of lemmingtrains and typical effects they yield, it's usually a much better idea to try and gain control of a bigger chunk of the map rather than just everyone bunching up and going to one side.

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22 minutes ago, DangerousDave2k said:

Seems to me like there are two types of sailing together on the table: One is skirting around the edge of the map in a line hoping somebody else gets shot; The other is sailing together more or less through one cap and covering the middle cap. It's really the second one I'm talking about. Of course being too passive will lose you games, but surely breaking into fragments and allowing the other fleet to defeat you in detail is a bad idea.

 

You're just rewording what everyone else here has already said.

 

If everyone sheeples together in one direction, they'll do one of the two things: Either loop around in circles behind a cap, get surrounded and die, or push through it. The latter works, the former does not. Games where both teams lemming to the same cap can get pretty crazy.

imageprox.gif.023122d4093e36bd96f62354687940f2.gif

 

Because of the fact that more often than not a train ends up with the former situation, breaking up to hit different caps is more indicative of players who know what they are doing than anything else. The classic AB/BC motion works because the teammates at both caps can support each other with crossfire and maintain control of the map. Trains CAN work, but you said it yourself that passive play loses games, and mindlessly following the other guy is usually a sign of that.

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Don't give up map control in Domination Mode. Don't forget:

 

Quote

Domination Mode with 3 cap zones:

+3 points every 5 seconds
(for each area controlled)

 

So your enemy gets 9 points every 5 seconds if they control all cap zones. 108 points every minute. 540 points every 5 minutes. Enemy team starts with 300 points. Game ends if your enemy has got 1.000 points.

 

So cap these zones and defend these zones.

 

Another example are Standard Battles:

 

Enemy was much stronger than my team but they only attacked and didn't defend their base. We won:

 

shot-17.10.16_01.29.59-0522_01666f0a9094

 

Cap zones are an important factor in this game. Don't neglect them.

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1 hour ago, DangerousDave2k said:

A player got very angry with the team the other day because 90% of the ships all sailed together in one direction, leaving only 3 cruisers going off in the other. They accused the rest of adopting 'lemming mode'. This seemed like an odd accusation to me because:

 

A) Having all your guns on half of the enemy's fleet seems like a recipe for an easy win (the principle of 'defeat in detail')

B) For the above reason, as far as I'm aware, warships have historically tended to sail together if possible (with some exceptions)

 

I realise there are other considerations is WOWS such as capping, but it still seems to me like the optimal strategy is more or less for everyone to sail together and try to defeat the opposition in detail, perhaps covering half the caps initially while they destroy the enemy ships. I'd be interested to hear the opposing argument though.

 

Fundamentally it's because real naval tactics don't really apply here. To elaborate, "defeat in detail" works to an extent but is more about the number of directions you can bring the enemy under fire from than absolute local numerical advantage. It is much, much easier for an outnumbered force to kite and stall a mass push than it is for the larger force to completely wipe it out fast enough that they can turn around and win the game rather than points ticking away. Plus the larger force requires much more co-ordination to do well. Which is what real fleets had and we don't.

 

The other problem is that people who bunch up tend to be new or not very good players, which means they also tend to run at the first sign that they might take damage and generally behave the opposite of how you would expect people holding the local advantage to behave. They give the whole concept a bad name. It's not that it's outright a bad idea, but it's unreliable and generally done badly by bad players so it's tainted.

 

Having said that, I've won games where the enemy team got cocky with their cap advantage and did very handily get themselves defeated in detail on my teams lemming train. And I do appreciate team-mates being alive to maybe turn a losing game around, which can happen if the enemy took enough damage securing the objectives while your force preserved itself (even if playing badly in doing so). But it's really not ideal for your strategy to hinge on enemy mis-play.

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For those who do not favour sticking all together in one fleet, could they describe what they think the gold standard strategy actually is (your choice of game mode)?

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The only map where I saw Lemmings work occasionally is Two Brothers, because the map design basically prevents both sides from supporting each other and if you get one side to push and the other to successfully stall, you can get results. But I'd not recommend believing in the Lemming. If you find yourself in one, either split up, or try your best to push the train forward and avoid it ever grinding to a halt.

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First of all, let's dismiss the thought of this being a tactical choice. People already have trouble understanding the most basic gameplay concepts, they aren't going to be able to just on the fly coordinate a tactical approach out of the blue. It's simple herd mentality, people just following the trend. As such it has all the obvious trappings of herd mentality, those being first and foremost that people don't assume responsibility for actions. They aren't moving under a clearly defined goal, they just react.

 

 

Secondly, numerical advantage doesn't mean much, it has to be employed effectively. And that in turn depends on how each individual player performs. 9 stooges sailing around the mapborders in a blob of ships may have numerical superiourity, but they won't be doing anything particularily meritous towards their chances at victory.

 

 

Thirdly, each teams' number of players are finite. Numerical superiourity on one side of the map equals numerical inferiourity on the other side. Again, it's up to how it's used. If one team has 9 ships lemming training largely ineffectively and being successfully contained by a defending force of 6 ships, but the other 6 enemy ships are also effectively pushing the remaining 3 ships of the other team on the other flank, the actual tactical advantage doesn't lie with the lemming train.

 

 

Fourthly, and this is one of the basic gameplay concepts that many, many players fail to grasp, depending on the map, the team's spawn positions and the ship composition for both teams a lemmingtrain, even if they would try to play moderately effective, can be largely neutralized by numerically inferiour opposition. A group of battleships and cruisers can scarcely just push into an enemy force of destroyers willynilly. That's not numerical advantage as much as it's just a target rich environment.

 

 

Fifthly, defenders' advantage. Let's assume for a change the lemmingtrain is actually pushing instead of going on a sightseeing tour around the map. They still have to either kill the enemy or capture objectives. Just having numerical advantage doesn't mean much if the enemy doesn't take a fight and why would they if they were so hopelessly outmatched in numbers? No, if those players have ANY sense they're going to kite and run so unless you can actually hunt them down and force the engagement they can avoid any meaningful confrontation until the match clock runs out. And I hopefully don't have to elaborate why it's harder for a group of ships to hunt and corner a smaller number of ships that aren't keen on fighting.

So then, that leaves capturing objectives as the alternative where the defenders' advantage is the strongest. I don't think I have to explain how easy it is to defend a base as long as you have eyes on the invaders (and it's fairly hard to miss a lemmingtrain).

 

 

Last but not least, it's pretty hard to miss a lemmingtrain. In fact they become trasparently obvious past the opening stage of a game and once that lemming train is in motion, it's easy to keep track of the enemy positions due to their localized concentration. What that means in return is that there's a lot of map that isn't being denied by any meaningful enemy presence. A single opportunistic ship could slip around and start capturing objectives somewhere on the map where the lemmingtrain is physically incapable of responding even if they wanted to.

You ever seen a lemmingtrain lose on Two Brothers because a single ship from the enemy took a look at the minimap, counted the enemy ships to twelve and then gleefully sailed down the channel straight into the enemy base and started capping? They either ignore it and he wins by cap out, or they're forced to respond by having ships turn around, which obviously means those ships aren't going to be pushing their numerical advantage against the other flank anymore. That's just one example of how a single play can topple over a lemming train.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking from my own experience, I've only ever seen a lemmingtrain win the game if the enemy team was stupid enough to take that uneven fight. Any opposition whose players had the sensible idea of kiting them out until they could consolidate with their allied forces someplace else has ALWAYS successfully blunted a lemmingtrain down to the point at which individual performance rather than raw numbers made the difference.

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18 minutes ago, DangerousDave2k said:

For those who do not favour sticking all together in one fleet, could they describe what they think the gold standard strategy actually is (your choice of game mode)?

 

Usually 50/50 split to 2 objectives.

 

On a 3-cap map, that should basically always include the middle one (one or two exceptions) and another that the team spawn favours best (although some maps are really lop-sided and one objective is a noob trap regardless of anything else). Stalemating the middle objective is acceptable if the enemy team takes more damage in the stand-off.

 

On 4-cap maps going for both works because 6 v 3 wins harder than 9 v 6 as Aotearas said (also Lanchester's square law). Objective is to win the strong side faster than the weak side loses theirs, then rejoin and complete the victory.

 

On standard battle, same applies. You need to stop sneaks on both flanks, weaker side kites, stronger side pushes.

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2 minutes ago, DangerousDave2k said:

So what's the gold standard strategy then? (your choice of game mode)

There isn't one.

 

It is entirely dependant on what ship I'm playing, where I spawned, what map we're playing and what the team compositions are. Ultimately the point is to play your ship to its strengths and use those to deplete the enemy, then push the advantage if you have it or work to remove the enemy advantage if necessary.

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3 minutes ago, DangerousDave2k said:

So what's the gold standard strategy then? (your choice of game mode)

Supporting the DD's and BB's not camping to preserve their HP uselessly.

 

I have seen a few lemming trains work, but it needs a couple of selfless people to prevent the other side just getting crushed and the lemming has to push aggressively and effectively or it's a pathetic loss.

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Lemming train comes originally from WoT. It was used to describes a group of tanks going one after another in one side, then getting blocked by one or two enemies behind a cover, and finally attacking not as a group, but one after each other, only to die one by one, picked by the defensive side and the rest of their team that flanked.

 

WoWS doesn't play like that, so I always thought the "lemming train" wasn't very appropriate. However, a team going en masse to the same caps, only to waste time being kited around by 2 or 3 ships is a very similar situation.

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My issue is that I can see sound principles that would lead to the sailing together strategy working better (essentially the core of the 'defeat in detail' principle). I can't see any sound principles that would lead to the splitting into groups strategy to work better. But people on here are pushing it anyway, because of some pejorative "lemming" label that has been attached to it, which we now find out applies to an entirely different game altogether. Obviously if you sail together like a retard it won't work. But if you follow ANY strategy like a retard it won't work, so that's no argument.

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10 minutes ago, DangerousDave2k said:

Obviously if you sail together like a retard it won't work. But if you follow ANY strategy like a retard it won't work, so that's no argument.

The problem is, the average player would have to google "defeat in detail" to know it's a thing. So yeah, it's actually a pretty good argument to make. Some more cynical people would even go as far as to say it's the only worthwhile argument to make.

 

The other problem is that real life principles don't necessarily apply to videogames. Real life militaries make it their mission to make the fight as uneven as humanly possible at every conceivable level ranging from strategy, tactics, training and individual gear. Videogames are designed around balancing such aspects to give each side an even chance at victory. No one would ever want to play Trinidad & Tobago against the U.S.A. if both militaries' capabilities were modeled realistically as the results would be a foregone conclusion.

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