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the_bolshevik

Struggling with BB playstyle

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I had not played much BBs until the Kriegsmarine was released. Pretty much only played up to a Kongo and sucked gigantic dicks with it.

Recently I bought a Scharnhorst and started leveling up my German BBs. I've been getting putrid win rates all the way up to the Bayern, despite what seems like decent damage and xppg. For instance Bayern is sitting on 64k dpg and 43% WR now that I'm almost done with it. And somehow the Scharn gets 65% wins with just a tad more dpg.

The weird thing is that I feel like I understand the game. For the most part at least. I successfully anticipate torp launches a lot of the time, know how to land citadels, try to prioritize targets I know I can deal the most damage to, avoid sailing to the outsides of the map, angle my armor in between salvos, etc. But mostly I think I lose to caps. And the Scharn doesn't (or at least not as much), because it's fast enough to flex and exert that tiny bit of extra map control that the other BBs don't have. Trying to contest caps early on in a BB usually results in swift death by either torpedoes or focused BB and cruiser fire because no matter how I angle, if I'm out on a cap at the 4 min mark it's clear I'm gonna be showing some broadside to someone. So I don't usually try to sit on caps early, unless of course the enemy has deserted that side of the map. Rather, I try to sail close enough to deny them to the enemy. But too often friendly DDs don't even try to cap, which leaves me with a conondrum : either risk my ship to cap, or concede map control and almost certainly lose. What to do then?

When the cap situation is under control and I have time to get in position to engage ships instead of worrying about getting ticked out I can really wreck face, but I don't always get to do that and it's a bit frustrating.

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Battleships? What are they?

Oh you mean this?

shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTYCb2upB1J6kEz_ZM2l

 

I haven't played for a while, but when I played BB's I never went further than about half way up the map, unless there was zero chance of a ship in the cap or we had to cap ourselves. 

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1 hour ago, Zezti said:

I haven't played for a while, but when I played BB's I never went further than about half way up the map, unless there was zero chance of a ship in the cap or we had to cap ourselves. 

Shit like that is what gives battleship players a bad name. If you want to be a fucking coward then go play IJN destroyers.

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15 minutes ago, How_Terrible said:

Shit like that is what gives battleship players a bad name. If you want to be a fucking coward then go play IJN destroyers.

Surely there are situations where hanging back is a valid tactic. When your side of the map has inferior numbers, it would be suicidal to commit to a big push. You're just gonna get crossfired and rekt, no? So in that case it's better to kite from your gun's effective range (so not max range, since you won't hit shit) and pound them as you retreat. They're going to realize they have the upper hand and come to you anyways, so there's no need to offer your hitpoints on a silver platter.

Or am I missing something here?

EDIT : This makes me think of a follow-up question - as a BB, should I generally head to the side of the map I spawned for? This is what I tend to do. In what situations (if any) should I bail and take the travel time hit to reach the other flank?

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On 9/10/2016 at 8:52 PM, the_bolshevik said:

Surely there are situations where hanging back is a valid tactic. When your side of the map has inferior numbers, it would be suicidal to commit to a big push. You're just gonna get crossfired and rekt, no? So in that case it's better to kite from your gun's effective range (so not max range, since you won't hit shit) and pound them as you retreat. They're going to realize they have the upper hand and come to you anyways, so there's no need to offer your hitpoints on a silver platter.

Or am I missing something here?

Yes there are times when a battleship should hang back, but in general you should push at every opportunity. Outside of a carrier a team's battleships are it biggest source of firepower, and it is up to them to take the fight to the enemy. If all you want to do is sit in the back and snipe then you might as well just uninstall.

On 9/10/2016 at 8:52 PM, the_bolshevik said:

EDIT : This makes me think of a follow-up question - as a BB, should I generally head to the side of the map I spawned for? This is what I tend to do. In what situations (if any) should I bail and take the travel time hit to reach the other flank?

In answer to this specifically: It really depends on what BB you are driving. In general if you are driving one that tops out at 25 knots or less then you should probably push the side you spawned on (with a few exceptions). 26+ knot BB's have more flexibility tough so you can start gambling a bit more with them, and the 30+ knots one are almost as flexible as most cruisers when it comes to picking what side of the map they want to be on. Though with the 30+ not BB's it really easy to out pace your team and then get singled out by the enemy if you are not careful.

When to / not to bail on a side is a tough call and it really has to come down to gut feeling. Though it can be hard to do in the slower BB's since cruisers will have an easy time firing at you from a range of their choosing. Some times your side will fail hard enough that YOLO is really the only option, but it should be viewed as a last resort.

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2 minutes ago, How_Terrible said:

Yes there are times when a battleship should hang but in general you should push at every opportunity. Outside of a carrier a team's battleships are it biggest source of firepower, and it is up to them to lead to take the fight to the enemy. If all you want to do is sit in the back and snipe then you might as well just uninstall.

Oh I'm all for pushing at every opportunity, was just trying to point out that sometimes it might not be wise.

Besides, pushing into people's faces and getting those massive citadel blows from close range is the most fun you can have in this game.

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Completely agree with Terrible, yes your doing decent damage but your not doing effective damage.

 

First you should be right behind your cruisers if not right next to them, second focus on shooting Cruisers only shot BBs if they give you their broadsides, this will allow your Destroyers to advance. You can tank hits from other Battleships early on because they will be coming from one direction mainly so your can angle effectively, later in the game this changes though so don't forget to look at your mini map during reloads.

 

Once you bloody the nose of the cruisers this will force them to run because cruisers rarely stick around one they lose half their HP, next focus on the BBs that will likely be trying to follow the cruisers. Keep in mind the enemy team will try the same, do you need to be able to rally your cruisers and keep them from running, so keep pushing but don't yolo

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11 hours ago, the_bolshevik said:

Surely there are situations where hanging back is a valid tactic. When your side of the map has inferior numbers, it would be suicidal to commit to a big push.

A huge chunk of good battleship play is positioning.  You generally shouldn't be in an area where you're outnumbered, unless you brought a good division and you're confident of the outcome.  You should try to always be in a spot where you have multiple options for switching targets and keeping your guns engaged, but also have support.  This usually means keeping a central location on the map, but using an island to prevent half of the enemy team from shooting at you.  A ready example is on the North map; most battleships either go over towards A (giving them limited engagement options and putting them out of the fight if they win), spin circles in their spawn area (giving them poor shots all game), or the bad ones sail to D (few target opportunities if any, then out of the game for 5 minutes).  I try to pull closer to the island between B and C, which lets me move forward to get better shots, protects my blind side, and also allows me to quickly turn and engage the other side if needed.  There's usually a spot like this on most maps.

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11 hours ago, How_Terrible said:

Shit like that is what gives battleship players a bad name. If you want to be a fucking coward then go play IJN destroyers.

How is being in the middle of the map and not wanting to be isolated and capped being a fucking coward, you fucking nonce?

He specifically said he was having problems being capped. The obvious answer is to give himself more time to return to defend the cap, i.e. be closer to it. Being around the middle of the map you can still have influence because of the range of your guns and he can wait for the battle to develop before committing to a push from a flank. 

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28 minutes ago, Zezti said:

How is being in the middle of the map and not wanting to be isolated and capped being a fucking coward, you fucking nonce?

He specifically said he was having problems being capped. The obvious answer is to give himself more time to return to defend the cap, i.e. be closer to it. Being around the middle of the map you can still have influence because of the range of your guns and he can wait for the battle to develop before committing to a push from a flank. 

Did you even read his original post? He implied that he was unwilling to take any risks at all. It is that lack of offensive mindedness that causes failure cascades.

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BBs are NOT good cap pushers due to their poor manuverability, long reload and vulnerability to DOT. But OTOH BBs are also not very good snipers (especially USN/KM BBs with their awful accuracy). I believe it is optimal to play relatively defensively at the beginning of the match and to flex with the game. You optimally want to be 10km<x <14km away from your targets (depending on ship, an Amagi would be farther than a NC which is farther than a Tirpitz/Bismarck). If you find yourself running out of optimal targets you can either push a flank to bring yourself closer or move to defend a collapsing flank (both are somewhat risky). If you get pushed on, retreat unless you are sure you can blunt the push effectively without dying. A BB without screens is a vulnerable BB. Don't be alone.

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BBs are excellent cap pushers, but not on your own unless the enemy DDs are dead or elsewhere. A battleship exerts a zone of control of about 12KM than nothing but DDs and stealthier cruisers can enter. This is particularly true of ships like the Bismarck that have brutal secondaries. If a BB forces a cap with a destroyer then there is nothing short of a carrier strike that can dislodge them before the cap is taken. That doesn't mean lolpush right through the cap, but sitting at the back edge with the DD out front and an AA cruiser nearby in cover (think two brothers West) and its GG point capped.

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20 hours ago, the_bolshevik said:

Surely there are situations where hanging back is a valid tactic. When your side of the map has inferior numbers, it would be suicidal to commit to a big push. You're just gonna get crossfired and rekt, no? So in that case it's better to kite from your gun's effective range (so not max range, since you won't hit shit) and pound them as you retreat. They're going to realize they have the upper hand and come to you anyways, so there's no need to offer your hitpoints on a silver platter.

Or am I missing something here?

EDIT : This makes me think of a follow-up question - as a BB, should I generally head to the side of the map I spawned for? This is what I tend to do. In what situations (if any) should I bail and take the travel time hit to reach the other flank?

As @Mesrith said a lot about BB play is positioning. For the first 30 sec or so of the game I tend to wait and see which way the team is going, and I typically go to the side where the majority of my team is going because this game favors concentration of firepower. Keep an eye out for the other flank, and flex back if you have to defend cap. If you are defending cap, kite them and play for time.  IMO in a BB's ideal range to fight from is ~10-14km from tier 3-6 and then ~12-16km from tier 7 up. At this range dispersion is much less of an issue and you should be able to land a sizable chunk of your salvo but keep torps far enough away so that you'll still have time to dodge and react; above all this distance give you time to pull back if you find yourself in a bad situation. 

I don't like to go all the way to the side of a map because that keeps your gun out of effective range from the central area of the map. If a map have 3 caps, you want to sail to a place somewhere on your team's side of the map and between 2 of the caps so that you can easily engage things on 2 of the 3 caps. It also gives you more opportunities to push a cap when it comes time to do so. BBs are good at pushing but you need support and you can't do it under a hail of fire. Typically by mid-game opportunities should open up for you to push a cap and take control of the game. 

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2 hours ago, ncc81701 said:

For the first 30 sec or so of the game I tend to wait and see which way the team is going, and I typically go to the side where the majority of my team is going because this game favors concentration of firepower. Keep an eye out for the other flank, and flex back if you have to defend cap.

Right...be flexible.  Battleships suffer the most from players that just want to go to their favorite spot on every map, every time.  Within the first couple of minutes you should have a good read on what both your team and the enemy team are doing, and if you're sailing to a point that makes no sense, turn around.  It's better to to have wasted the first two minutes than to be out of the game until it's too late.

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The only other thing I'd add about decision making is the difference between being top tier, mid tier or bottom tier in a given match. Probably the Fuso is a BB I feel most comfortable with so will use her as an example. So if I'm top tier I know that I can bully a lot of ships, which means I'll push pretty hard with the DDs and CAs. As other's have pointed out prioritize CAs and broadside BBs. It's also helpful to know what the ranges are on enemy DD torpedoes because that influences how far in I'll push toward the cap.

Mid tier I get a little more cautious and will stick a little closer to top tier BBs/CAs. Target priorities are pretty similar only difference being that If there are low or equal tier ships making mistakes punish them first because you're more likely to delete them.

Bottom tier I'll pretty much hide behind the nearest top tier BB use them shamelessly as a meatshield. A lot of times I won't use all my guns because showing any side of the Fuso to tier 8 BBs guns can be SUPER painful. You have to be very patient and try to conserve health while doing chip damage because citadeling high tier ships isn't always possible.

Hope this helps!

On ‎9‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 6:39 PM, How_Terrible said:

If you want to be a fucking coward then go play IJN destroyers.

We prefer the more politically correct 'Fucking Ninja Bastard.' ;)

 

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22 hours ago, OnboardG1 said:

BBs are excellent cap pushers, but not on your own unless the enemy DDs are dead or elsewhere. A battleship exerts a zone of control of about 12KM than nothing but DDs and stealthier cruisers can enter. This is particularly true of ships like the Bismarck that have brutal secondaries. If a BB forces a cap with a destroyer then there is nothing short of a carrier strike that can dislodge them before the cap is taken. That doesn't mean lolpush right through the cap, but sitting at the back edge with the DD out front and an AA cruiser nearby in cover (think two brothers West) and its GG point capped.

So doesn't that mean that battleships are bad cap pushers :disco::poi: 

I see what you're saying but having escorts when solopubbing is about as likely as getting a double citadel every salvo I fire

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Actually a BB like the Bismarck is excellent a pushing IJN destroyers from a cap. Even if it's not spotted the combination of hydro-acoustic and catapult fighter minimizes the risk of eating torpedoes and the IJN DDs generally don't have the gun range to fire outside of a Bismarck's secondary range. (If spec'd into secondary.) And those secondary guns will wreck you.

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29 minutes ago, conjay810 said:

So doesn't that mean that battleships are bad cap pushers :disco::poi: 

I see what you're saying but having escorts when solopubbing is about as likely as getting a double citadel every salvo I fire

No, it means they're good cap pushers but are constrained by the enemy in place. They can deny a cap exceptionally well, even if they can't cap.

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48 minutes ago, conjay810 said:

So doesn't that mean that battleships are bad cap pushers :disco::poi: 

I see what you're saying but having escorts when solopubbing is about as likely as getting a double citadel every salvo I fire

BBs are excellent at pushing caps given their durability but it's hard for them to take and hold a cap solo given their  high visibility and poor maneuverability. When you initiate a push you need to be the one the make sure that if you push, you stand a good chance at taking the cap and that your own teammates are in a position to be able to follow you through and hold it before you start the push.  I find that if you make a push and you aren't dying to a hail of fire, most pubs are wise enough to follow you. 

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23 hours ago, conjay810 said:

So doesn't that mean that battleships are bad cap pushers :disco::poi: 

I see what you're saying but having escorts when solopubbing is about as likely as getting a double citadel every salvo I fire

 

 

2 perfect examples on what @OnboardG1 is saying about a BB pushing and/or denying cap.

vSOjpoT.jpg

Bad team, was still able to get my cap by standing my ground and their team being afraid to deal with me.  We lost because they had a 4k HP Farragut still alive when time ran out and we were down caps.

uRbsXSl.jpg

 

Good team.  Myself 2 DD's and a sniping Roon I think stormed C.  Balls deep.  Killed off their Yammy that over extended, just feasted on everything else.  I think i still had 50k HP left at the end, and as you can see, I wasn't sniping.  

An aggressive BB willing to help with caps can crush an enemy team.  Of course you can't do it alone, but with some simple 'hey I'm heading to B' in-game, people are generally very responsive and willing to help.  Or grab a division mate and wreck face.

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So I just wanted to say, thanks everyone for the advice.

I've upgraded my Bayern into a Gneisenau and at about the same time I unlocked manual secondaries on my captain. Been doing much better. I started getting into the habit of pushing caps rather aggressively as soon as I have a bit of support, with good results.

With manual secondaries it's a whole lot easier to bully DD's off point.

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1 hour ago, map381 said:

The Gne is GREAT at being aggressive.  You'll notice that at times only having 6 shells is a hinderence, but having torps makes getting up close and personal fun

So far I've found that the Gneisenau plays a lot like the Scharnhorst but with derpier, harder hitting guns. Both ships are built for the disgustingly aggressive play style that I enjoy.

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17 hours ago, How_Terrible said:

So far I've found that the Gneisenau plays a lot like the Scharnhorst but with derpier, harder hitting guns. Both ships are built for the disgustingly aggressive play style that I enjoy.

Pretty much. They are sisters after all.

I think I prefer the Scharn by a tiny bit, since I'm gonna get up close anyways the lower pen is a non-issue as it's 11-inch guns can still citadel other BBs when up in their face. It has better dpm, faster turrets and an AP round that's more effective against soft targets due to fewer over-penetrating hits.

Gneisenau does land more of those monster citadel hits from plunging fire at range, but the accuracy is too derpy to make it reliable. It also struggles more against cruisers in the 12-16km range band and as a result seems to get torched by more fires since it can't rout CA's and CLS's as easily. So I think the only use-case in which Gneisenau is clearly superior to her sister is against BBs at range.

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