Tips to Deal with AI (Using Torpedoes)
You need to play World of Warships to develop 1337 gamur skillz that will transfer over. Making a successful torp run is all about teamwork, because there’s always some pro out there who will hit you from ten klicks away by accounting for windage, tides, the rotation of the Earth, any potential evasive maneuvers on your part, your astrology sign, and the position of Jupiter today.
First thing you need is an effective decoy. This game makes that tougher by allowing enemies to auto-crit any ship that happens to be in the way of a target, so you can’t use your own ships to hide the team. The AI still prioritizes targets, though, so something high-threat WILL make it look the other way. Could be a TB, could be a Cruiser. That’s your decoy, and his primary job is not shooting. It’s just evading as wildly as possible.
Next, against a good BB, you need 2-4 attackers. At least one of these is the Foil. His job is to make the enemy turn with a torpedo salvo, slowing it down and making it commit to a course for a little while. The remainder are the Strikers. Their goal is to fire successive salvos along the new intercept line to create a deadly web of unavoidable UNDEX to cripple or destroy the target. Their torpedoes should be set to Off or Save until ready to fire.
The only other complication is that ships apparently won’t fire torpedoes that MIGHT hit friendlies in this game. I can see why they did that, especially for grand fleet battles where a lot of micro would be a hindrance, but the ability needs to be optional. The AI gets to control everything at once, so it’s only fair to humans to let them focus on ONE thing. Or kill each other by accident. We do that sometimes. It’s a feature, not a bug.
For the time being, though, the AI is actually pretty obligatory, as it will attempt to turn 90 degrees from torpedoes, every single time. Your captains, for whatever reason, seem to think the optimal torpedo firing angle is 120-140 degrees, and will often launch once that’s obtained. As such, when the Foil launches, the target will turn INTO a 90-degree shot for anyone positioned 30-50 degrees away, which just happens to more or less. coincide with the “Line Abreast” spacing of ships set to loose formation. Minor course adjustments may be required.
Once the target turns, though, you’ve pretty much got him. He’s fat and slow, so zoom in, smoke if you have to, and fire torpedoes at the new, far more desirable, angle. Close as you dare. You can usually take a few hits from the small guns while the big ones are turning or reloading. Once you do, it’s a good indication to bring the tubes to bear and fire.
After this, it’s just a matter of evaluating the situation. Rarely, the salvo will miss or dud entirely. In that case, everyone runs away and comes back later for another go. Usually, you’ll severely damage and slow the ship, so your decoy can come in and finish it off, or one of the strikers can. The target may be listing so badly that it can’t fire to one side, or it may be doomed but dangerous. Always take the safest course, and you’ll get out of there with very little damage the vast majority of the time.
Other than that, there are a few more tips. First, don’t use fast torps. You don’t want those because they fail more often, reduce accuracy, mess up your finely-calculated spreads, and don’t keep your target on a predictable avoidance course for as long.
Next, this will not work as well against multiple BBs or other capitals with LOTS of guns if there are just a few in a loose group. You have to split them up first, which is as easy as just having everyone waste a salvo for the purpose. AI torp avoidance takes AGES to get back into formation.
Third, but in the same vein, if the AI is in a huge group, just fire torps at random from a decent range. They’ll probably hit something, and even if they don’t, you can do two things. If you didn’t bring any big guns, you can use the time to run away. If you did, fire at every ship passing behind another ship for the aforementioned free crits. The AI won’t hesitate. Nor will other players. Neither should you.
Fourth, build your torpedo boats for the purpose. Launcher placement is important, yet almost nobody ever puts deck launchers on the front of their ships. What better and more immediate response, what narrower profile could you present, than just having your MOST damaging weapon on the bow? Turning slows you down and costs time. You can put in barbettes if you MUST have a forward-facing gun. It can fire over the launchers. But really, beyond the approach to the attack, your TB or DD or whatever is going to spend MOST of it’s time moving the other way, to get away from huge guns, or the TB hunters. Torps should be on the front and back, guns in the middle. This spreads out your salvos for more hit%, and the guns can plink away anyways.
Fifth, the guns should, if at all possible, be loaded with the lightest and most flammable shells you have. Two-inchers with Pitric Acid or something. The guns aren’t there to sink ships on a torp carrier. They are there to make sure that as much of the enemy crew as possible is dying, busy fighting fires, or being blinded by smoke so they can’t hit your ships. More accuracy with faster shells is preferable, with LESS ammo. One major hit will kill you anyway, so there’s basically no sense in trying to keep all the ammo you COULD have used from exploding before then. Casualty recovery rates are remarkably low in this game, too, so even on a moral level it’s probably better that they all die instantly instead of drowning.
Finally, and pursuant again, you should NOT use the LARGEST torpedoes. More, and smaller torpedoes, justlike the guns, are more effective in the role you want. You can load more of them on the ship, they weigh less, there is less of a chance for a salvo to go wrong, and any hit is likely to be pretty devastating anyway. Anti-torp protection doesn’t actually STOP a ship from flooding, because the air-filled part will still flood. That still slows the ship and still makes it list, both things we want so we can hit it with even more torpedoes. It’s not like the thing is going to get away in the first place. But the AI, unlike humans, will ALWAYS leave its own behind. That’s just free VP floating around.