A cunning plan for surviving in Great Battle
Dear captain, you have played and dominated Online Experts and think of trying your skills in Great Battle. Ideally you have a couple of nice DDs and CLs, built the level 41 CA or found a C tier DD/CL/CA at the lottery and built it. This Plan is for you.
Note 1: You don’t need a BB/CV/SS.
Note 2: You will meet A & S tier BBs that seem impervious to any damage (hulls into the 60 thousands) and put out 20-30k+ broadsides at great ranges (2800 I consider short, 3000 average and 3300 long range)
Note 3: High tier CVs are fast, have lots of planes and can kill the high tier BBs with 2-3 squads of torp bombers. They also have great hulls and many short range guns for protection
Note 4: High tier SSs are fast (submerged close to 30kn normal, 40kn overheat) with many torp tubes (10-12) shooting 6-8k damage torps. Also many have quite powerful deck guns, scouts and some even bombers
Note 5: Scared yet? S tier BBs can call a nuke strike every 5 mins and S CVs airstrike every 4 minutes
Note 6: A good player with a DD/CL/CA can be as useful as any of the above, turn the tides of battle and win.
So, how do you win a battle where you can be squashed like a bug?
1. Pick your ship role(s). A DD/CL/CA can be one or more of the following: ASW (Anti Submarine Warfare), AAW (Anti-Aircraft Weapon), repairship or minelayer. Might also have quite good guns (some of the higher tiers put out damages comparable to BBs)
2. At the beginning of battle you have some seconds that enemies are visible. Check their line-up, note the BBs, CVs and SSs
3. Check your own side BBs, CVs and SSs
4. Depending on your role, choose your strategy. In general escort a BB or CV and provide your services
5. Be smart. Survive. Speed is your ally, rudder your friend. Whenever you feel threatened run. Always swerve your rudder; hard. Make them miss, respect a battleship’s space – close in and you’ll be squashed.
6. The more successful you are at protecting your allies, the better the chances at winning
7. Ideally your ship should serve 2 or more of the roles below
ASW weapons are the hedgehogs, torpedoes and mines. Note that subs can deep dive and avoid the ASW weapon (HHs will explode harmlessly, torps will sail past, mines will stay there – deep dived subs will have to crawl away at 3kns. Additionally note that mines are invisible to subs). BBs are particularly vulnerable to subs, they are (the majority) slow, (most) lack any defences vs a submerged sub and cannot detect submerged subs (few have a small sonar that is generally useless).
As an ASW escort you need to (in order of priority):
1. keep track of subs. Keep them in sonar range so they are visible
2. Block their path to your allies
3. Wear them out with HHs and torps. If they deep dive fast enough to avoid your weapons try to supress them. If they spend their time in deep dive they are not threatening your allies and will eventually run out of oxy. No need to take unnecessary risks by going too close
If there are no major surface threats you can actively hunt enemy subs or aid an allied sub duelling another (sub duels often happen between the enemy-allied lines and closing in to the enemy line is not wise)
Killing scouts. Kill the enemy scouts. Once more: kill the enemy scouts. BBs fire well beyond their visual range, without scouts they are blind – your level 1 DD can win a battle just by keeping your allies invisible to the enemy.
Other than scouts; move between enemy bombers and their target, they’ll have to either go round you to the other side (you can too by sailing a much smaller distance), over you (you’ll kill several or all of them before reaching their target), switch target to someone else or switch their target to you (torp bombers are quite easy to evade, dive bombers will have to go directly above you)
Finally fighters: many times you will see allied and enemy fighters locked in combat; note that your AA fire can and will shoot down allied planes as well so be careful and judge the situation. If the enemy fighters chase allied bombers just fire at them, the bombers are doomed anyway
Pretty straight forward. Just escort a BB and repair it. Repair other allies when you get the chance and feel free to change the ship you escort if needed.
Note that repair line is visible through fog of war, so disengage (by long press of repair button) when not needed
If you are a dedicated minelayer then choose an area to rig: in front of your allied CVs if any, a choke point between islands or just an area close to centre (has to be inside the occupy zone appearing at 5 mins) work best
If not a dedicated minelayer just drop mines as you go. The more the better. If you double back or encounter other allied mines try to group them together or make long strings.
A particularly tricky tactic (but immensely satisfying when it works) is to sail over a sub and drop mines directly on top of it. This usually results in the immediate destruction of the sub (or you if you don't get it right). You will need the fastest and smallest ship for this - DDs and the small, premium CLs (Texas, Tiger, Dhonburi, Bayern and Gamelin) work best for this. Running parallel to sub and somewhat behind it, hit OH speed and aim just ahead of it, at the last moment turn hard towards it and drop your load - practice makes perfect.
Your DD/CL can also detect enemy mines (the only classes that can). Help allies to navigate through enemy minefields.
Hedgehogs can also destroy enemy mines. Though not very successful may come handy sometime
While not in the roles listed, your ship has guns, use them to take out small ships or add your damage to whatever the heavyweights are shooting at. Here you can use the skills you learned in online beginners and experts.
If you get in the unfortunate position where there is an enemy BB but no allies to kill it (BB, CV or SS) try to gang with any survivors and attack it.
If there is nothing blocking your path to an enemy CV grab the chance and chase it (you need speed, some good guns with a good range for this, CVs are fast and many pack some nice guns for self protection)
101 a beginners guide by Ibby. Everything needed to play and enjoy the game for day 1 to advise for experienced players. A must read.
Unofficial battle tips by me. Quite dated but valid in many points. Just note that when it was written there was no "research" (only shipyard ships), no minelayers, no Italy, no France, no occupy zone at 5 minutes, no repair skill and no BB/CV had AAW, ASW or sonar
Some other advice
Tip 1 was you don't need a BB, CV, SS. Building a BB/ CV/ SS early in the game is the wrong thing to do. D & C tier BBs have weak hulls, building them is a waste of resources and will give the wrong impression about BBs. D & C CVs and SSs also have weak hulls but if played well a good hull is an inconvenience not a fatal flaw. While sub-par and weak they can still play their intended roles in gb. Fighters are as strong as on the high tier CVs, bombers some 30-40% weaker. Subs suffer from low torpedo counts (6-8 tubes are typical for D-C tier subs, while B,A & S have 10-12).
In addition BBs, CVs and SSs of B tier and higher will need some 10-11 million steel to build and upgrade, with third upgrades needing as much as 3 million steel; a level 12 steel depot is needed for that