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A tip for destroyers and battleship's alike. If a DD approaches to minimum stealth range, especially an IJN DD then he can line up and charge your ship head on. You won't have time to turn and you'll get time for only one salvo before he launches. If he screws it up then great but especially at higher tiers you are 100% dead if he launches. I've used this tactic on numerous occasions with my own DDs and provided he isn't supported (and even sometimes when they are) it works basically every time. You take damage but you don't die and unless you somehow miss at 1km then you kill the BB, whatever it may be. I've been attack the same way too and it's very hard to counter but there are a few of thing to remember: 1.You get one salvo if done correctly so if you don't kill him you die. That being the case you have nothing to lose by holding your fire till he gets as close as possible, at least to the magic 3km line where your shells suddenly become accurate enough to land a full salvo. 2.Firing into the bow of a destroyer simply will not kill them unless at low health. To hit them with enough shots you need a side shot at them so wait till they turn to launch, don't be baited into firing when they only turn a little bit though, smart ones will wiggle and try and make you fire while still facing you. This also leads on to... 3.Destroyers can only launch when side on. They will normally wait till you fire but if you don't fire they will have to turn at some point or sit and die under your secondaries, or maybe ram you, although I haven't been lucky enough to see that tried yet. Just be patient. 4.Hits to your bow(and stern but this is usually from head on) deal about 2x more damage because the torpedo bulge doesn't extend that far. Depending on the destroyer it can be worth trying to take torpedoes into your belt by broadsiding yourself instead of staying head on, if they get close enough they won't miss anyway. A Yamato can eat a Benson's worth without dying if they hit the belt. Lastly, it's not specific to this situation but loading HE if you see a destroyer about is well worth it. If they rush you you'll have to chance the AP but if you know they are about then HE will deal substantially more damage and a full salvo will normally wreck their torpedo tubes so you can survive not one shotting them.
USN DDs were the last ship line I tried because I had read they were not very powerful, but I instantly fell in love with their knife-fight style and am really enjoying the t5 Nicholas. No other ships have the thrill of high speed gun duels at close range amidst smoke and rocks and (friendly) torpedoes incoming from every angle. However, when I look through the tech tree, the t5 Nicholas and its successors seem fairly identical. For example, compared to the tier 9 Fletcher: Using identical 5" guns, Fletcher has ~10% more DPM (Nicholas 4x1 @ 15 RPM = 60 RPM / Fletcher 5x1 @ 13.3 RPM = 66.5 RPM), but Nicholas is harder to spot (6.7km to 7.4km) and is faster (37.5kts to 36.9kts.) Fletcher has slightly better AA on paper but planes also become more numerous and tougher to kill at higher tiers so I'm not sure which is stronger here. Fletcher seems to make up its 4 tiers of lost DPM with really powerful torpedoes (2x5 @19k dmg compared to Nicholas' 4x3 @11k dmg) but they only travel 1kt faster and if the added range is powerful enough for 4 tiers of stagnation then I probably will just give up. Or try the IJN DDs again, who seem to have a massive advantage in the long-range torpedo game at every tier. I am very disappointed in the prospects for advancing up the USN DD line and am wondering if I am missing some hidden stat or aspect of high tier games that suddenly makes any of the high tier DDs an upgrade from the Nicholas. I tried a few searches on the Warships section here without finding anything, so sorry if this has already been covered. I would have expected USN DDs to be popular with Tanks players because it seems the most "active" of the ship lines. What have other players tried for the quick and bloody close-range duels?