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FixCVs_Nautical_Metaphor

Smoking up BBs in the times of changed spotting mechanics

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Hi,

does it still make sense to smoke up BBs and what is the best way of going about it?

Please point me to any pertinent previous threads.

Specifically, some months ago, as most of you know, a spotting penalty was added for firing "while sitting in smoke", based on the gun caliber. I had a rough idea this had occured but was completely wrong about the size of it until looking it up just now. For example, for Bayern with her 380mm / roughly 15'' guns, it's 12.7 km, just 700 meters less than her normal concealment of 13.4 km (no CE captain) when not firing in the open.

Does this even apply when she's not sitting in the smoke but several kilometres behind it?

(When) Does it make more sense to lay a lengthy smoke barrier at some distance between her and any targets/attackers or put her right in the smoke?

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I wouldnt attempt to smoke up BBs so they fire their guns from stealth. BBs help more when they are not hidden all the time. But if the smoke is between the Bayern and the ships, which are able to spot him, then smoke firing debuff is applied.

I would smoke up a BB which is getting focus fired so he can escape/Heal back up... other than that? nope

 

4 minutes ago, Nautical_Metaphor said:

(When) Does it make more sense to lay a lengthy smoke barrier at some distance between her and any targets/attackers or put her right in the smoke?

When the BB needs time to heal. If he is behind the smoke, he can still be spotted by planes. If he is in the smoke, he has only 2km concealment when he is not shooting.

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[KAKE]
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While it's technically possible to smoke ahead of BBs to allow them to fire from stealth behind the smoke screen... eh. It requires more situational awareness than I have at least. Maybe if they're otherwise nestled up between several islands so they can realistically only be spotted from that one angle.

 

But if a BB is being focused, holding their fire and trying to run away and drop off detection so the can repair and return to the fray... yeah, I'll give them a smoke screen.

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[TOXIC]
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16 minutes ago, Nautical_Metaphor said:

does it still make sense to smoke up BBs and what is the best way of going about it?

 

Short answer: no.

Long answer: in solo Randoms and Rankeds, no. If you're on voicecom with a BB, a friendly smoke might be the difference between a dead BB and a BB that manages to pull back and heal up. BBs can use smoke defensively but they need to WANT to use the opportunity to turn around/disengage/whatever. And their judgement of their situation is likely to differ from yous unless you can easily communicate (and then there are potatoes that don't even realize they will be seen in smoke if they shoot).

 

16 minutes ago, Nautical_Metaphor said:

Does this even apply when she's not sitting in the smoke but several kilometres behind it?

It works whether they are in smoke or not. Basically

 - unobstructed line of sight extends to your gun range (after you fire, of course)

 - line of sight obstructed by smoke has (insert ship-specific value for visibility when firing from smoke)

 

16 minutes ago, Nautical_Metaphor said:

(When) Does it make more sense to lay a lengthy smoke barrier at some distance between her and any targets/attackers or put her right in the smoke?

A long line of smoke might make some sense at the very start of the battle when you want to obstruct the enemy DD from being able to see how much of your team (especially BBs since cruisers usually have too good concealment to be easily spotted) is going for the cap.

As for defensive smokes for BBs - well, as usual, being INSIDE smoke covers you from planes and from all directions. If you're BEHIND a smoke, some random ship at the side or some random plane can easily spot you, taking away your advantage (and if you're a low hp BB that tried to turn away and disengage, getting spotted broadside on to enemies can be fatal). So if you're trying to save a specific BB, it's preferable to be able to lay a smoke that the BB will end up in rather than behind.

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[TTTX]
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I'd say smoking up a random BB only makes sense these days if you know the BB (div on voicecomms preferably) and/or he's halfway competent and specifically asked for it.

Two main uses:

1) allowing an escape out of a tight spot; requires the BB to shut the fork up while he's inside the smoke so his concealment doesnt bloom.

2) (very rare) Smoke still provides complete invisibility against plane spotting, so if your BB friend has a position behind an island but is getting spotted by a CV the smoke can be useful too.

 

Again, both of these require competence and coordination. If a random BB asks you to smoke him, use your own brain to judge whether it makes sense and is worth the cost in your time, positioning and obviously a smoke charge.

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[SM0KE]
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I'm interested to read this; lately, unless asked, I've essentially stopped using smoke to screen friendlies with big guns entirely...

I've also moved to TRB, rather than smoke, on those ships where it's possible to do so; that was mainly because of radar, but the reduction in utility of smoking up friendlies was also a factor.

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The occasion that made me even think about this was the end stage of a game in my Kidd last night, or rather this morning. Maybe I'll find the replay and upload it later.

Now Kidd is, among other things,  a team player's ship extraordinaire, so these considerations possibly change the way to play her quite fundamentally. In any event, both teams had shrunk quite a bit and that Bayern and me were the only ones to defend a cap from two enemy BBs, and we did pull it off. But the choice for me was smoke him up and spot, and possibly gunboat out in the open, or hide in an offensive smoke and take advantage of his involuntary spotting.

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Sometimes I would get smoke randomly from a dd while In BB or CA so I always be like thx m8 +1 even If I don't use it just not to make that guy feel bad for wasting a smoke. Also I appreciate when people try their best at this game - makes it more fun and interesting to keep playing.

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11 minutes ago, Nautical_Metaphor said:

But the choice for me was smoke him up and spot, and possibly gunboat out in the open, or hide in an offensive smoke and take advantage of his involuntary spotting.

In this situation he wouldn't benefit from a smoke at all, smoke yourself and shoot the BBs for free. Maybe tell him to stay angled and to not close the distance so he doesn't die in 1 - 2 minutes.

 

When I see a random BB in need of a smoke (he took a torpedo or CV strike and is about to be HE spammed to death) I spam the 'set a smoke screen' quick command and wait for his reaction. If he showed before that he has a brain I'm a bit more lenient and give him the smoke asap. However, most of the time I prefer to smoke up cruisers, especially radar cruisers because they are the ones who help me to cap and deal with the enemy DDs (and unlike BBs they can't just angle to do their job).

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I still provide offensive smokes for BBs and big CAs from time to time, but it's basically laying screens at pre-arranged places at the start of the game, sometimes mid-game, in order to offer them the chance of shooting first from a good position (I spot the big reds while the big greens are concealed to their DDs). Not many maps and spawns allow for it though: D cap in Two Brothers (A cap too, but I find it less effective) and A cap in Loop are the best examples I can think of ATM.

 

I also lay them defensively, allowing a focused ship to have some breath, and communicate my intentions in chat if possible, but I normally don't arrive in time for making a difference or the other guy disregards my efforts and keeps shooting. Apart from that and providing them to radar CLs so they can get close to caps, I mainly save them for myself if I have to disengage due to heavy focus/low health, which is why I've switched to TRB in Yugumo and been thinking about discarding Superintendent in other IJN DDs as well (torp boats at least, gun boats will still need it), because there have been matches where I didn't use a single charge.

 

Salute.

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4 hours ago, Nautical_Metaphor said:

does it still make sense to smoke up BBs and what is the best way of going about it?

 

No.

Not that it ever made much sense with mostly potatoes controlling those BBs...

 

As it is now, only for those BBs with extreme secondaries would it be helpful to get smoked up, but only if the player is bright enough to stop using his main guns. Which 95% of the players aren't...

 

So every smoke used to smoke up a BB is wasted.

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Actually I find myself using smoke in the relevant ships less and less lately with the radarspam. It's far more useful to keep moving. I'm considering using the non premium smokes. Only for escape emergencies or rare smoke pewpewing.

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