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DD vs DD Gun Fights

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[RNNUK]
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I like playing DDs and I think I am fairly decent with them now, however I just can’t see to master DD vs DD combat... whenever I fight another DD I my lightning, French thing (can’t spell it sorry XD), Ernst G. I exchange really badly usually losing twice as much hp as my opponent....

 

I already juke the throttle and steering (though this could be done better granted), but I am wondering if there’s a particular part of the other DD I should target for more dpm?

 

Anyway, any guidance of DD vs DD combat appreciated (also any good video guides, have not found many for DDs)

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[NECRO]
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I'm not a big gunboat fan, but whenever I drive one I make sure that I only engage another gunboat if I have a respectable HP advantage (I'm hardly scratched and he is badly damaged) and can at least match his DPM.

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[CATS]
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  • learn what the enemy DD and your DD can do
  • you cannot engage all enemy DD openly 1v1 (FR DD with active reload booster murder you, you need support to counter them)
  • observe where the enemy DD has his support and where your support is, often the support decides the battle, so try to stay closer to your support than you expect the enemy DD to be to his support
  • learn evasive maneuvres and how to use speed changes to your advantage
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[LEEUW]
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To trade positively you want to create a situation where you have support and the enemy DD doesn't. 

You want to make the fight as uneven as possible. So rather him coming towards you than vice versa. 

 

The thing I see happen way to often is this: a friendly dd goes straight towards a cap at the start of the match and gets into an unfavorable gunfight. Instead of eating a couple thousand hp of damage and escape without firing its guns, this particular dd player engages and loses all his hp. He then cries about how his team didn't support him. 

 

If the trade seems unfavorable (enemy DD has friendlies nearby or is in a kiting position) DO NOT engage. Rather wait for, or create, a favorable situation. 

 

In specific dd vs dd gunfights its always good to know your enemies dpm, his armor scheme (for example AP is brutal against khaba), his consumables (does he have Mbrb and/or heals?) and his standard manoeuvrability/detection range. 

 

For example, if you're in a shimakaze it wouldn't be beneficial for you to seek a 1v1 against a smaland. It outdpms and outheals you by a countrymile. But if you can create a situation where you ambush it from an unexpected angle whilst the smaland is already engaged, you might have a chance to kill it. 

 

That is the difference in skill: look for, and create, situations that give you the edge over the opponent. Use terrain, use friendly spotting, use your ships' tools, use everything you can. 

 

Remember that there are more "tools" in the game than you think. I'll give another example:

One of my favorite DDs is the Udaloi. It's a real multitool gunboat dd. I've specced it full gunboat with gives it a detection range of about 9km. Some might say that it's a weakness compared to low det range DDs, but you can also use this feature to your advantage. Once you get spotted you know there is a DD relatively close. So instead of keep going forward and engaging in close quarter combat vs f.e. a smaland you already start to kite. If the enemy DD is dumb and opens fire, you will always trade favorably as you're already turned away. 

Now, does this work every match? Ofcourse not. But the "use my own detection range to know where the enemy DD is" principle works most of the time. 

 

Same goes for fighting against DDs that do not have smoke. If I know the enemy DD doesn't have smoke (either not at all or you know it's on cooldown), then there is an opportunity for you to seek a fight. Once the enemy engages, you smoke up, he stays detected by friendlies and voila: EZ damage. 

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3 minutes ago, GarrusBrutus said:

To trade positively you want to create a situation where you have support and the enemy DD doesn't. 

You want to make the fight as uneven as possible. So rather him coming towards you than vice versa

Quote

That is the difference in skill: look for, and create, situations that give you the edge over the opponent. Use terrain, use friendly spotting, use your ships' tools, use everything you can. 


I cannot stress *this* enough. It is pretty much a universal thing but especially for DD's - 99 out of 100 times you do not want to pick a fair fight, a lesson a lot of players in randoms either ignore or haven't learned yet. Don't listen to reddies complaining that you  ''don't fight fair/cheat/can't fight 1v1''. This is a team game, believe it or not. If your team allows you to engage another DD favorably you do exactly that.

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- Most of the time you should kite away while gunning other DDs (except they are very low and/or dont want to fight back). 

 

- Dont fight RU/FR DDs, especially not outside your effective range (as a rule of thumb about 8km). At longer ranges they murder you bcs of superior ballistics. 

 

- Whenever possible fight unfair. Gank up in an ongoing fight and never try to fight if there are potentially more ships that could shoot at you. 

 

- Try to lure the DD in an situation where other friendlies have vision of him (when he shoots) then smoke up and farm. 

 

Hope that helps a little. 

 

Damn. @GarrusBrutus beat me to it. 

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[ALYEN]
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4 minutes ago, a_steaming_pile_of_ship said:


I cannot stress *this* enough. It is pretty much a universal thing but especially for DD's - 99 out of 100 times you do not want to pick a fair fight, a lesson a lot of players in randoms either ignore or haven't learned yet. Don't listen to reddies complaining that you  ''don't fight fair/cheat/can't fight 1v1''. This is a team game, believe it or not. If your team allows you to engage another DD favorably you do exactly that.

This ...

 

I have killed (Flesh wound but still) a Smalland with a Chung Mu just because I managed to make my Smolensk have a clear line of fire and his Hindenburg behind island. Yes I died, but Smalland has a ton more DPM and has a heal and HP advantage ... In a fair fight I'd be dead before I got through 1/3 of his HP ....

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[NWP]
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As an rather aggressive DD player who actively plays to cripple or sink the enemy DD or drive him away from my team there are a couple of things of note, some already mentioned here.

 

* Guns: Adapt your playstyle according to the characteristics of your guns. For example for all DD with bad arcs you usually want to engage as close as possible in order to utilize your usually good DPM. In case you have bad DPM you usually want to engage in guerilla type attacks, i.e. get one or two good salvos in, then turn tail and disengage.

 

* Torps: Some DD fights can be won by torps and Radio Location can be your friend here as you might be able to catch an enemy DD unaware. Also the European DDs torps are super fast and will often allow torping enemy DDs reliably in close quarter fights. Some enemy DD (often IJN) are often very prone to getting torped while smoke shooting, so watch out for those opportunities.

 

* Visibility: The lower the better if you are on DD duty (no gun boats). If you have much better camo you can usually dictate engagement ranges at will. Often it may just be enough shadowing the enemy DD to perma highlight the enemy for your team, having them do all the work.

 

* Speed: Be aware of the speed differences of the individual DDs. If you get caught unaware by a faster DD things can go south very fast. Same if you plan to chase a DD yourself.

 

* Health: Always be aware of the health pool of the enemy DD and the respective difference in health to your own DD. If you are still in good health do not fear enemy DDs (even gun boats) that are low health IF - and thats a big if - you are confident that you will most likely be able to sink them in one or two salvos. Don't give them time to murder you.

 

* Gimmicks: Be aware of other DDs gimmicks. For example you usually can't push German DDs because of their hydro or risk a trade with a French DD because of their reload booster. Beware of the couple of radar DDs which can usually quickly ruin your day. Or DDs that have access to heal and that may resurface with much more HP than you would expect.

 

* Team: If you are not all alone on a flank try to work with your team. Low visibility cruisers as fire support and radar cruisers in general are your friends (as might be a pushing cruiser with a good hydro). Request teamwork via F3 as soon as a DD engagement starts. Even BB from far away will sometimes be able to severly cripple or sink the enemy DD. Always try to fight in front of your team, not theirs.

 

* Battle plan: Perhaps the most important thing. Always plan for the win, for example try to engage on your terms, but more importantly have a plan what to do and how to survive when things go badly. Your exit strategy is the most important thing when fighting other DDs. A second enemy DD turns up that is not a one-shot? Bail. A low visibility CA turns up in close proximity? Bail like hell. Chasing and killing the enemy DD takes to long or brings you too close to the enemy fleet? Abort.

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[LUZ1]
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In addition to the key point several posters made above 'dont pick a fair fight make sure you have support and the advantage'.

This means you will sometimes bite and retreat. What I mean with that: if you have a DD with good concealment, you do not want to stay back all the time if you have slim support. At such moments I adopt a raider mentality: probe, but be alert to back away and smoke up at any time. OC that only works if you are not in radar range. So I carefully move forward, when I meet another DD at a disadvantage, I immediately back off and use smoke to disengage. If possible, I try to get in a few salvos. Rinse and repeat.

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[NWP]
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One thing I forgot to mention:

 

* Battle awareness: Keep an eye on the team list and minimap at all times. Use the last known position option for the minimap. An enemy DD and a low visibiliy radar cruiser in a division? Be on high alert if any of those is spotted on your flank. Some ships not spotted yet? Don't commit until you know where those missing ships are. Your main goal as a DD and the main tool to not die early and abruptly is not to be surprised, neither by enemy DDs, CAs or even BBs. If you have a CV in battle be extra careful and only commit to fighting if he is not operating on your side of the map.

 

There is a reason why good DDs are hard to find because there it is a lot of multitasking involved. In between aiming for your opponent yourself while dodging his torps and dodging his shots and also keeping an eye on the minimap a lot of mistakes can be made.

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[-DGH-]
[-DGH-]
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Something you should take in mind if knife fighting broadside to broadside at low ranges is to vary your aiming along the enemy ship. For example if you focus on shooting on the bow, at some point you get damage saturation and do not do your full damage anymore. Therefore you should switch aiming for the mid part or the stern.

 

I can also recommend this channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-CVV_QxU4CesZL5pvdJw4A/videos

 

PS: Also some advanced tips:

- In RN DDs with 113 mm cannons you should use AP broadside up to an angle of 45°

- With Japanese 100 mm you can use AP too, but usually Japanese gun boats featuring 100 mm guns murder anything with HE anyway. Otherwise the standard > 127 mm DD AP will often overpen DD armor.

- French DDs have main battery reload booster, which is 15 seconds. They are absolutely insane if using this. Otherwise their DPS is good but not ground braking.

- Russian and French DDs should be engaged at lower than 8 km. Their guns have flat arcs an e.g. with my Minsk I can shoot at 12-14 km and still hit things. Remember that they are extremely fast (40+ knots). So your leading should be more than normal.

 

 

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At work so will post properly tonight. 

 

In short see above advice which can be summed up in 1 sentence. Simply put, never pick a fair fight. 

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2 hours ago, DaBung said:

I like playing DDs and I think I am fairly decent with them now, however I just can’t see to master DD vs DD combat... whenever I fight another DD I my lightning, French thing (can’t spell it sorry XD), Ernst G. I exchange really badly usually losing twice as much hp as my opponent....

 

I already juke the throttle and steering (though this could be done better granted), but I am wondering if there’s a particular part of the other DD I should target for more dpm?

 

Anyway, any guidance of DD vs DD combat appreciated (also any good video guides, have not found many for DDs)

DD gun engagements, especially early on are won by having more green barrels pointing at the enemy than enemy having red barrels pointing at you.

 

Which usually means, solo yolo adventures are quick and reliable way of going back to port, thus you want to create "unfair" fights as often as possible. Which usually means breaking contact with smoke while (preferably unspotted) teammate keeps enemy spotted during 20s concealment penalty after firing.

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[BFS]
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I like running Radio Location (used to be called RPF) on my DDs this should give you advanced warning of the direction of the closest enemy.  Keep in mind if several enemy ships are near and approaching from different directions the RL indicator may change direction rapidly.

 

As others have stated - it helps to have support.  If all your BBs and Cruisers are hiding behind big islands ask them for support and if they don't respond get out of the area.

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1) knowledge is power.  Know your enemy ship inside out. 

 

2) Know your own strenghts.

 

3) Never play to your enemy strengths

 

Those have helped me play DDs.

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[LSCA]
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use location captain skill , that prepares you for what way you start shoot, when enemy have that and you not then yes he can murder you before you even able shoot back

 

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[THESO]
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3 hours ago, DaBung said:

I like playing DDs and I think I am fairly decent with them now, however I just can’t see to master DD vs DD combat... whenever I fight another DD I my lightning, French thing (can’t spell it sorry XD), Ernst G. I exchange really badly usually losing twice as much hp as my opponent....

 

I already juke the throttle and steering (though this could be done better granted), but I am wondering if there’s a particular part of the other DD I should target for more dpm?

 

Anyway, any guidance of DD vs DD combat appreciated (also any good video guides, have not found many for DDs)

First of all, try to isolate your problems in steps here.

1. Are you fighting a pure 1v1, with no incoming fire from other ships on either side?
If yes, then its a technical matter to solve - you say you already try to juke with throttle and directions (well done), so what remains is aiming and assessing if you can win the fight to begin with.
Aiming is quite straight forward, at knife fight ranges you should try to have a hit rate of about 40% or better.
Also when aiming, try to hit the unsaturated parts of the ship.
You can identify the saturated vs unsaturated parts of the ship by looking if an area (say, the bow) is greyed/blurred out.
If it is, the area is saturated and will take less damage, whereas an unsaturated area (looks like normal) will take full pen damage.

Also look at what you are fighting.

Remember that a Lightning is good at fighting in short ranges, but not longer ranges (7kms and out, approximately), as your shell flight time becomes worse and worse.
If you fight something like a Russian DD as a RN DD, you generally have superior dpm in shorter ranges (generally), but once the target kites out to about 7kms or more, the Russian DD will generally land a lot more shells while your poor shell flight time will have you miss a lot, causing you to eventually lose the trade as the distances become greater and greater.
As for French DDs, there is no way you win the dpm trade if he has reload booster active, so try to disengage with a smoke if he pops it.
Otherwise you are generally fine, as long as you engage at a short distance (you really don't want to be picking long range fights as a RN DD).

 

2. Are you fighting with support on either side?
This gets more tricky, as you need to evaluate what support you have vs the enemy.
The easiest step is through simple arithmetic, count the numbers on each side before you engage the enemy DD - if you have more ships, you have a better chance of coming out on top.
However its not that simple always - your side may for instance have 6 ships vs a total of 4 on the defending side, but their ships are much closer to their DD than your ships are.

That's usually a poor engagement, as you will almost certainly take a lot more damage than their DD.
Also you need to check for what support either of you have.
If your support consists of BBs loaded with AP at longer ranges and the enemy DD has high dpm light cruisers in good positions (Minotaur, Smolensk, Worcester etc.), you are facing an extremely dangerous support as their dpm can tear you a new one pretty quickly.

 

3. Have you planned out the engagement beforehand?
This is important, as you cannot count on winning the battle outright and take it from there.
Even if you know that you are facing a low dpm ship like an IJN DD and have superior support, you need to plan out the engagement.
If you sense that you can kill the enemy DD fast and his support can't really react fast enough, go for it.
But don't bank on it, and be happy to break contact if you get a good trade, before things go south.
For this you need good awareness.
If you engage in an area where you have island cover from the enemy ships (apart from the DD you are about to engage), you are a lot safer in taking a prolonged fight before you need to break contact.
However, you might have to engage in a more open area, and then you really need to plan how you are to get out of that position, once you have a good trade bagged.
Plan your exit strategy, preferably kiting away from the enemy ships while exposing little profile (you dont wanna be sailing broadside when trying to get away), and try to use island cover to break line of sight on the way out.
Fortunately you play a Lightning, and you have a really good tool for the job - your short smokes.
Don't be afraid to blow that smoke and get out of the area once you have a solid trade on your hands.
 

Overall, learn to sense when you get a good trade and when to break contact.
If you traded say 20% of your hp for 40% of his, but you sense that you are about to get hit from a lot of supporting fire, don't hesitate to break off the engagement.
A typical mistake is to see that you are getting an early good trade (20% vs 40%), and then get overconfident, keep shooting away at their DD, and suddenly taking a bunch of damage where you ended up losing 70% for 50% of the enemy's health.
Those are almost never the trades you want to take, especially early on.

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[THESO]
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3 hours ago, DaBung said:

 

Anyway, any guidance of DD vs DD combat appreciated (also any good video guides, have not found many for DDs)

Check out Destroyer Kuroshiokai's channel on Youtube.
It has an enormous amount of content for about every DD there is, and is generally the best place to learn both general and specific DD things.

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people has been suggestion not to pick a fair fight. well this goes for all engagements, not only for DD vs DD.

In a DD fight, you gotta play with your speed and rudder all the time. you gotta know how to juke and not to be juked by enemy DD. once you become good at this, you can win even unfair fights easly. it happens realy often that i get radared in my DD but dont take any damage for entire radar duration because most of the players are really easy to juke. 

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[THESO]
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A trick you can use on the Lightning btw is to try to pick a fight with the enemy DD, and bait him to open up with returning fire while making sure (through the minimap) that another friendly ship has line of sight and is within the enemy DD's gun range.
If yes, you can fire on him until he hopefully returns fire and then smoke up, letting you free farm him while another team mate hardspots him.
Works surprisingly well once you get the hang of it.

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Don't get tunnel vision on your target and in particular don't chase kills (I wish I followed my own advice). I often die in my DD hunters (Haida, Okhotnik...) due to pressing the advantage on a low health enemy, while what I should be doing is keeping an eye out on how the situation is changing (they are getting more support; I am chasing them into a position where I outrun my own support and get closer to their support), and disengaging. The purpose is more to outtrade the enemy DD than to kill it.

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3 hours ago, Ubertron_X said:

Your main goal as a DD [is] to not die early

There, this just about nails it.

 

There's a ton of good advice in this thread, by players whose abilities far outstrip mine own. I have nothing of substance to add to what they have already said. But the single best piece of advice that I ever got as a DD player, is the simple admonition, "Don't die."

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It is difficult.

It helps to pick your battles carefully, never push into gun battles with enemy DDs but preferably only when kiting away from them.

Also if you look at many of your failures you might notice the reason you lost so much health was because the other dude had support and you did not. Even just a single BB overpen of maybe 2k-3k damage makes a significant hole into your health pool.

 

I find you can play more aggressively in DDs with a heal (or the ridiculous French damage saturation) but if you don't have that, many DDs tend to play far too aggressively.

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[LUZ1]
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2 hours ago, Procrastes said:

There, this just about nails it.

 

There's a ton of good advice in this thread, by players whose abilities far outstrip mine own. I have nothing of substance to add to what they have already said. But the single best piece of advice that I ever got as a DD player, is the simple admonition, "Don't die."

Although it is difficult to argue with don't die, it does not really touch the essence. The essence is: when to take risk. I find in a DD there is no reward without risk, so the more important question is: how do you judge whether a risk is worth it, while you are under intense pressure at the knife edge. The answer to that is: if you die too often, and your trades are not good enough, reflect on which situations you should take less risk in.

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