Author: Mikhail Merzlutin, Automation QA Engineer
Rock-paper-scissors is a well-known game: the rock beats the scissors, but loses with the paper, which in contrary is “weaker” than the scissors. These very simple rules are the base of ship balance system in World of Warships – believe it or not, it is quite realistic… well, at least at first glance. So how are these principles reflected in our game? Cruisers beat destroyers, however, lose with battleships, battleships beat cruisers, but lose with destroyers, destroyers beat battleships, but lose with cruisers. Aircraft carriers… hold on, what about the R-P-S principles? These ships can beat any other, however, at the same time they can be beaten by any other ship. These rules can be shown in a form of a pyramid:
Let’s have a closer look at it.
In short – nimble, have low draught characteristics, carry torpedoes, are lacking decent armor and artillery weapons, Several hits allow destroyers to send any ship in the game to the bottom and at a time launch a whole round of torpedoes (though their number is limited). In addition, destroyers are capable of putting out a smoke screen, which can be compared to a “mobile bush” or a cloud, which can be used as a cover.
When a destroyer is around then battleships (especially the slow ones) and aircraft carriers shall fear the most – these are vessels that destroyers are hunting for. Of course other destroyers are part of this group. Destroyers generally avoid confrontations with cruisers, as they “swallow” them without putting a lot of efforts; however, if destroyers are supported by other ships, then it may happen that they attack the enemy cruiser.
“Jack of all traits, master of none”
Artillery weapons, armor and speed of cruisers are rather average. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s something bad – they are faster than battleships and at the same time more powerful than destroyers. They ”beat” destroyers, aircraft carriers and similar class ships. Aircraft carriers – be careful with them. As a cruiser you should force the air group attack back, avoid torpedoes launched by destroyers and knock down some of these vessels, catch a light cruiser and destroy her. However, watch out for the battleships. Even though, cruisers can catch up with battleships, it’s pretty difficult to send them to bottom. Better focus on easy targets.
“Fear God and dread nought”
Battleships are impressive, equipped with a great number of various weapons and have the best armor. Many battleships, due to their size, could carry hydroplanes. In addition, they have good speed and manoeuvrability, sometimes even beat some cruisers, though still they cannot catch up with the destroyers. This ship is the lord of the seas born to withstand the fire of the enemy ships and dominate on the battlefield. However, battleships are big targets, which can be easily destroyed by aircraft carriers and destroyers equipped with torpedoes. It’s difficult to destroy a battleship without the previously mentioned ships or when they’re reloading their guns.
For battleships it’s pretty difficult to fight against destroyers: it’s difficult to hit them; however, if you try to do so switch to HE shells (even though you would usually stick to AP only). What do you get in return?You’re being attacked by torpedoes, though you can always rely on the anti-torpedo defence guns.
The tactics are: staying away and carrying out extensive attacks from the distance… anything else? Nope. Well, actually, you may also have some AA guns and universal anti aircraft armament (some aircraft carriers even have armor and cruiser caliber guns on board). Aircraft carriers are dangerous, however, if their deck or hangar gets badly damaged – the ship partially loses her threatening power, well,until she is repaired.
No one is insuperable: group of ships with anti-aircraft guns can easily destroy improperly directed attack of an air group, thus significantly decreasing the influence of aircraft carrier in the battle. However, if your enemy is alone then he can only rely on his manoeuvrability.
We can sum it up as follows:
Battleships lose with destroyers, if the latter ones manage to launch torpedoes. In case of a successful attack conducted by an aircraft carrier big troubles are to be expected (sometimes even complete flooding). The aircraft carriers are like forbidden fruit: generally they try to stay away from the enemies and keep the distance. However, battleships’ beloved target – “crunchy” cruisers can be easily destroyed by the main battery.
Aircraft carriers are scared of cruisers with their AA guns and don’t like destroyers – it is difficult to hit them, especially when they are hiding behind the smoke screen.They simply do not like cruisers: they have AA guns, their caliber and fire range can cause troubles; such ships are difficult to hit. At the same time, aircraft carriers don’t mind attacking other aircraft carriers (preferably with damaged parts, engine units and AA guns).
Cruisers avoid enemy battleships as well as try to keep the enemy aircraft and destroyers away from allied battleships.
Destroyers avoid cruisers; they try to cover allies with a smoke screen; they always attempt to approach and attack enemy ships, which are left behind the main group of warships.
And here’s where the fun begins! Same class ships may be really different from each other.
Cruisers, which theoretically suffer from battleships, can attack battleships and even send them to the bottom. They can do this not only with the help of torpedoes, which some cruisers carry on board, but the AA guns, e.g. in a close attack. In such case they are capable of piercing battleships. This may result in an explosion of ammunition magazines or turning all parts of the ship, apart from the armored box, into scrap. Some cruisers can do it even when alone and without any support.
Destroyers can easily change the setting of the enemy formations making every ship moving a lot in order to avoid the torpedoes. Well, not always! Some cruisers can also put out a smoke screen covering ally battleships…as well as by reaching the full speed (I’m looking forward to the introduction of French tech tree, some destroyers could reach the speed of 45 knots) go to another direction, where a small breach in the enemy formation was noticed. They can even launch some torpedoes – try to figure out what’s the plan of those ships!
Aircraft carriers: don’t panic when you’re spotted by a destroyer. Instead, try to play the “catch me if you can” game – try to take the enemy from the base. It is also a bit dangerous, because during manoeuvres there’s a high possibility that the aircraft carriers will be hit at the deck and hangar. However, taking such risk sometimes helps with fighting against the cruisers – especially if you are USS Lexington with 4*2*203mm guns or an armored Shinano.
If one still wants to compare…
Is has been said several times “warships are not tanks”. What are they then ? Warships = a group of players helping each other.
Cruisers fire at the battleship with their major caliber guns and even if they cannot pierce her, at least they destroy some parts of it – AA and torpedo-defence guns . Some cruisers, especially Japanese, have torpedoes on board and sometimes ”pretend” to be destroyers, often quite successfully.
Destroyers act in the same way, however, with less effect: they launch torpedoes at the weakest targets, finish off the damaged battleships and try to destroy the formation of the enemy ships. At the same time, they are covering allies with a smoke screen and supporting with the AA guns. Small, nimble, with weak armor and heavy fire damage, their torpedo waves can sink anyone – does it ring a bell to you? They are Bat.-Chatillon of World of Warships. A very cheerful class that sometimes reminds me of the tanks
Aircraft carriers are responsible for the reconnaissance and knocking down enemy aircraft. For me personally, aircraft carrier is a good old moonkin, i.e. support damage dealer: debuff the enemy, buff the allies; it’s difficult to catch her, and if you give her more freedom and enemy misses the attack, she can send anyone to the bottom. But it is clear that you must fight in a group in order to win.
Only battleships seem to be able to cope with everyone on their own. Though it would be great if you support them by sending out fighter aircraft, putting out a smoke screen etc.– only in this way you may teach the enemy a lesson!