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How to build French destroyers?


Project45_Opytny

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As the title implies. I have advanced to Mogador by grinding through Scenarios (Vauquelin) and Special modes (grinded Le Fantasque in Brawls). I've heard that French destroyers need a relatively high basis of game understanding, and that there is a noticeable gap of concealment between Le Fantasque and Mogador/Kleber. And currently there is an event that presents some favorable conditions to grind French destroyers even without that much expertise for them.

So here are the questions...

Does the MBRB bring fundamental changes to playstyle comparing with Soviet destroyer leaders (Kiev, Tashkent, Delny, Zorky, Khabarovsk)?

How much does the gap of concealment influence potential builds and in battle roles/potentials of Le Fantasque (maximum concealment 6.4) and Mogador/Kleber (maximum concealment 7.5+)? Will this advantage in concealment do significant favor to a full concealment build Le Fantasque? Should Mogador and Kleber still build for full concealment, or ditch them like established builds of Soviet destroyer leaders?

For French destroyers armed with long-barrel 139-mm guns (that has good enough ballistics for range build). Should they have range builds or even extreme ("jackass-farming"?) double range builds?

Thank in advance for answers.

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29 minutes ago, Project45_Opytny said:

Does the MBRB bring fundamental changes to playstyle comparing with Soviet destroyer leaders?

Yes. It opens up an ambush play-style centered around spending large amounts of time undetected and pouncing on unsuspecting victims with MBRB and/or torps. Russian DDs don't have the gun burst to kill a DD as quickly, so it is a much trickier philosophy to pull off consistently. 

32 minutes ago, Project45_Opytny said:

How much does the gap of concealment influence potential builds and in battle roles/potentials of Le Fantasque (maximum concealment 6.4) and Mogador/Kleber (maximum concealment 7.5+)?

Fanta is a true hybrid DD -- she is a great torpedo boat and can also use her guns to good effect. Mogador/non-lego Kleber can't really function as torpedo boats, because their detection vs. torp range is too narrow. However, the T9 and T10 can be great ambushers due to the increase in firepower (8 vs. 5 barrels plus the option to run Main Battery mod 3). 

42 minutes ago, Project45_Opytny said:

Will this advantage in concealment do significant favor to a full concealment build Le Fantasque?

Full concealment is IMO the most versatile build for Fantasque. She can be a very competent torpedo boat if necessary, the torps are great even if you don't choose to invest any points in them. 

47 minutes ago, Project45_Opytny said:

Should Mogador and Kleber still build for full concealment, or ditch them like established builds of Soviet destroyer leaders?

Ambush playstyle -> Full concealment, RPF, maximize short range DPM (no range buffs). 

A build similar to this: 

Spoiler

image.png.d0fedae0c5c9a6f3db8845744dd2f992.png

Long range damage farmer -> Run AFT (15km is plenty) and all the rest in reload buffs. 

Something like this: 

Spoiler

image.png.f67ea8f278384bc9fb7e40190183af64.png

----

Long range farming builds can be very strong if there are a lot of battleships in the Matchmaker (BBs generally don't like long range HE spam, so one French DD can 'herd' them quite effectively, giving the team a positional advantage). Farm builds tend to struggle if the matchmaker is full of cruisers and stealthy DDs, as you will likely get outspotted and chipped down. 

The Ambush playstyle is IMO the most influential approach to playing the French DDs, but it requires high map awareness and patience. French DDs are scary to many players, so one careless salvo can spook a potential target from entering a kill zone. But few things are as influential as full-to-zero-ing a ship and getting away with minimal loss of HP (all hail French saturation). Hopefully that was useful o> 

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A slight disclaimer before I begin - most of my experience on French DDs has been up to T9 (I have yet to purchase Kleber), as well as some play on Le Terrible, which is quite similar to Le Fantasque. I would not say that I am the best at them, but I will share my thoughts regardless. 

For what you've heard, that is indeed true. French destroyers demand a high level of understanding due to their lack of smoke (making it harder to disengage), inability to regain hitpoints outside of arms race (although they do have saturation), the importance of using MBRB, as well as the big jump in concealment that you mentioned earlier. Think of them like the Soviet destroyers, but they trade a heal for burst potential and saturation, as well as slightly better speed. They are otherwise fairly similar in most aspects. 

This being said, the MBRB does somewhat change how they are played. You may note that while the consumable is active, they are pretty much unmatched in terms of DPM. However, if not used or on cooldown, the DPM drops rather significantly. To illustrate, the raw value for Kleber DPM is not much higher than Delny. This does not mean you now lose every DD engagement you must go through. Your advantage of superior ballistics, speed and health pool still remains, but your ability to "remove" DDs within a short period of time decreases. Therefore, more care must be taken when you engage without this consumable, but you should be able to outmuscle enemy DDs given your other advantages nonetheless, including your ability to force out an engagement with speed should the situation allow for it. At the same time, do not hesitate to pressure the enemy if required, but you must be careful when you use this consumable because it is incredibly valuable in evaporating enemies' HP pools, such as a broadside cruiser or DD. 

The second point is something that I feel is a personal choice. In my opinion, concealment for Kleber and Mogador may not be necessary given that the concealment margin with other destroyers has widened tier-for-tier compared to the T8, a Soviet destroyer build works just fine. Le Fantasque has fairly competitive concealment relative to her peers, which increases her ambush potential as well as ability to stealth torp, so a concealment build should be taken to capitalise on this. Again this is my own opinion, and I may overvalue concealment, but if you feel you need the concealment to ambush other destroyers or simply to survive and make plays, then take it. I would not fault you because firstly I value concealment on a destroyer, even for one that may stay spotted as long as you farm, which will be often. It allows you to stay dark and alive in situations where you can influence the battle without shooting, like spotting and torping, although I must concede that this is not really the main role that the line likes to do. Perhaps more importantly, the line is less forgiving than the Soviet destroyers, and you cannot recover any lost HP.

If you feel confident, or prefer farming all the way, go all out on maximising the DPM, though note that your ability to ambush DDs will be less pronounced. Note that French DDs' burst DPM when ambushing with MBRB is MUCH better than Soviet DDs. Catch one out and you can remove a solid 75% of its HP before it goes dark, if not outright killing it. This is incredible game impact if you can pull this off without losing a large amount of your HP. As a result, positioning and timing will be key, which is made easier by having better concealment. Therefore in my opinion taking concealment gives them less reaction time to escape and makes such situations more flexible and in your favour. This said, it remains that French DDs like long-range engagements a lot and will probably do so for most of the battle (you're not ALWAYS trying to catch out DDs), so it depends on how much you value concealment, as you could frankly do without it especially higher tiers. Personally would not give it up below Mogador though.

French DDs do not need double range builds, it's frankly quite overkill. Taking AFT is sufficient (mandatory, even) to extend their range appropriately. This is standard for most if not all gunboats. If you lack sufficient points, you can choose to take range mod if you feel the range is not enough for open-water farming, but the loss of DPM you gain with reload mod slotted in slot 6 is very tragic. 

Since I value the ambush potential of French DDs and like concealment, this is what I personally take. Some here may disagree and opt for a no concealment full DPM build, which works just as well. (personally I did not like it, but try it for yourself. there's a free captain reset coming soon anyway.) 

TLDR: you heard correctly. usage of MBRB is key as it affects playmaking, whether you want conceal is up to you, though I really recommend on T9 and TX, take AFT but no more than that. 

would love some more opinions on this though, as I don't feel entirely confident on giving my thoughts on how they should be built. 

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21 hours ago, Project45_Opytny said:

As the title implies. I have advanced to Mogador by grinding through Scenarios (Vauquelin) and Special modes (grinded Le Fantasque in Brawls). I've heard that French destroyers need a relatively high basis of game understanding, and that there is a noticeable gap of concealment between Le Fantasque and Mogador/Kleber. And currently there is an event that presents some favorable conditions to grind French destroyers even without that much expertise for them.

So here are the questions...

Does the MBRB bring fundamental changes to playstyle comparing with Soviet destroyer leaders (Kiev, Tashkent, Delny, Zorky, Khabarovsk)?

How much does the gap of concealment influence potential builds and in battle roles/potentials of Le Fantasque (maximum concealment 6.4) and Mogador/Kleber (maximum concealment 7.5+)? Will this advantage in concealment do significant favor to a full concealment build Le Fantasque? Should Mogador and Kleber still build for full concealment, or ditch them like established builds of Soviet destroyer leaders?

For French destroyers armed with long-barrel 139-mm guns (that has good enough ballistics for range build). Should they have range builds or even extreme ("jackass-farming"?) double range builds?

Thank in advance for answers.

Most of the stuff was already covered so I'm here to provide some builds. 

One note is that you already have amazing range stock so you can easily farm BBs down still. With whatever build you choose, it's just more comfortable with the top one.

Here is a jackass farming build.
image.png.95f97d035a3bcd394401c8b46b95a8d4.png

And here is an alternative build, better for ambushing and bending enemy DDs over while you pound and kill them. Take this one if u wanna win games.
image.png.0eb50b5c6906a7a35018a9b598e0f37a.png

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On 11/3/2023 at 1:34 PM, Daniel_Allan_Clark said:

I have just started down the French line, and this gives me a direction to head for the captain skills.

Thanks!

They're a hard branch to learn, I wish you the best of luck! If you have any other questions please go ahead and feel free to ask them.

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On 11/3/2023 at 10:02 PM, Daniel_Allan_Clark said:

I'm sure I'll have questions about how to properly use the torpedoes once I get away from tier 5.

😉

Daniel how's the French DDs going? Early tiers are kinda bad ngl but tiers 8 and up are awesome.

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Haven't lost with Jaguar yet...

64k average damage, 2.25 kills per game...

But it's tier 5. As long as you don't throw your DD away, you can dominate in most DDs, I find.

Currently using a 10 point captain with a basic survivability build for a gunboat.

Modules:

Main Arm. Mod 1

Engine Room Protection

Main Battery Mod 2 - I hate slow turning guns

Captain:

Preventive Maintenance, Last Stand, Survivability Expert, Radio Location...because I like the crutch while I learn DDs.

Edited by Daniel_Allan_Clark
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Played another pair of games in Jaguar...18k on the ship experience now (I am using gray boosters because I enjoy playing the different ships for a bit before moving on up, plus saves credits).

Haven't lost yet.

Got a fun double strike to clutch the win in the last match. I'd gotten a bit too aggressive in the mid-game, lost a lot of health to a Kaiser captain who got a good close range salvo into me...so I'm in the red.

Enemy Texas and Murmansk are heading to take the Central cap and our friendly New York and Clemson (which are substantially healthier) are hammering away with the resets.

The Murmansk and the Texas are both low health, but utilizing the smoke screen that the enemy Nicholas left right before me and the Clemson killed him. I slow a bit, waiting for the Clemson to get within spotting range, while I hold just behind the edge of the island.

The Clemson gets spotting and goes in guns blazing...I clear the headland with engine boost on...start shooting at the Murmansk to kill him...and dump torps where either the Murmansk will be if he stays...and the Texas will cross (he is still unspotted).

The Murmansk captain was waiting for me (he is trying to get a Kraken) and gets off his salvo but doesn't get enough hits. My pair of salvos kill him, and then immediately my torps score the kill on the Texas.

Ended the match tooting my horn with the double strike.

I can really see how the French DDs are ambush predators. The torps hit REALLY hard...and your speed and guns allow you to do things you might not get away with in other DDs.

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On 11/15/2023 at 10:32 PM, Daniel_Allan_Clark said:

Played another pair of games in Jaguar...18k on the ship experience now (I am using gray boosters because I enjoy playing the different ships for a bit before moving on up, plus saves credits).

Haven't lost yet.

Got a fun double strike to clutch the win in the last match. I'd gotten a bit too aggressive in the mid-game, lost a lot of health to a Kaiser captain who got a good close range salvo into me...so I'm in the red.

Enemy Texas and Murmansk are heading to take the Central cap and our friendly New York and Clemson (which are substantially healthier) are hammering away with the resets.

The Murmansk and the Texas are both low health, but utilizing the smoke screen that the enemy Nicholas left right before me and the Clemson killed him. I slow a bit, waiting for the Clemson to get within spotting range, while I hold just behind the edge of the island.

The Clemson gets spotting and goes in guns blazing...I clear the headland with engine boost on...start shooting at the Murmansk to kill him...and dump torps where either the Murmansk will be if he stays...and the Texas will cross (he is still unspotted).

The Murmansk captain was waiting for me (he is trying to get a Kraken) and gets off his salvo but doesn't get enough hits. My pair of salvos kill him, and then immediately my torps score the kill on the Texas.

Ended the match tooting my horn with the double strike.

I can really see how the French DDs are ambush predators. The torps hit REALLY hard...and your speed and guns allow you to do things you might not get away with in other DDs.

How's the progress?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Made it to Guepard today...

Stats from Jaguar:

11 random battles - 100% WR, 3039 PR, 41,241 average damage, 1.73 average kills

3 co-op battles

So a pretty easy 'grind'. Pretty much any tier 5 is OP if you have game experience when playing tier 5.

Anything you recommend for Guepard?

I see I now get a reload booster...

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14 hours ago, Daniel_Allan_Clark said:

Anything you recommend for Guepard?

Nothing really different than the others. The entire line can use the same build but I guess maybe AFT isn't needed yet until around tier 8 because the arcs are quite bad.

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22 minutes ago, BOBTHEBALL said:

Nothing really different than the others. The entire line can use the same build but I guess maybe AFT isn't needed yet until around tier 8 because the arcs are quite bad.

Ok.

I have noticed that tier 6 and above you have to be more circumspect...radar starts to impact how you play and the consequences of a misplay are faster.

Overall though, I'm liking the line so far.

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14 minutes ago, Daniel_Allan_Clark said:

Ok.

I have noticed that tier 6 and above you have to be more circumspect...radar starts to impact how you play and the consequences of a misplay are faster.

Overall though, I'm liking the line so far.

Oh something to remember, when your MBRB is down especially with the gun arcs be aware when facing enemies as it might be a bit of a struggle to kill them. Try ambushing the enemy DDs while MBRB is up for maximum impact.

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26 minutes ago, Itwastuesday said:

Opinion: AFT is not required on Kleber and in some situations it just makes it harder to control being seen. I'd recommend RPF over it 9/10 times. 

Depends on the build and playstyle you want, in Kleber it's easy enough to dodge damage so trying to go dark for those 20s at 16km should be easy enough.

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