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How to Play a Flank and/or Kite (By Ducky_shot)


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(Note: Copy and courtesy of a post by Ducky_shot [BONKZ])

Here is the first of maybe several installments of tactics for different aspects during a battle in World of Warships. This is drawn on my experience as a player and is by no means comprehensive or infallible. I use it to decent success. I don't consider myself a great player. I am competent and improving. I consider myself a second-tier player, so take what I say with that grain of salt. Hopefully, this is a help to players who are looking to improve their gameplay tactics.

I decided to make this first guide on flanks and kiting as that is where and how I enjoy playing the most. Zao, open water DM/Salem, Repub, Monty, Hindy, and Henri are favorites of mine in this play style. This guide is particularly aimed at cruisers and Battleships. DDs are way more in-depth in how to play, too many intricacies and variables that affect what you are doing. BBs and cruisers are a bit more straightforward in how they play for this tactic.

I enjoy playing a weak flank. I enjoy it because I typically can play it better than the average player. Hopefully, I will be able to last a whole lot longer than most players, tie up as many ships as possible, and inflict greater damage in trade. The flanks are important. If you give up a flank it is dangerous because then you will typically have the team fighting the enemy on 2 angles and they will be giving up their broadside to one of those angles.

1. If you decide to play on the flank, you should try to get as far out on the flank as possible. It is important to be further out on the enemy so they are hopefully forced into spots where someone is shooting at them from both sides. Then if they angle to one of you, they give up broadside to the other one. If you are further out than any other enemy ship that means you only have to worry about shots from one side of your ship and it's easy to angle to them.

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2. When going out to a flank and knowing I will be spotted, I want to be pretty much flat broadside to where I expect shots to be coming. This should give a person enough time to turn into shots or turn away from shots to dodge or bounce them. If you are not flat broadside, then you only have time for one option. If you are more bow to the enemy, you are stuck in that position and cannot leave because turning to go away from the enemy exposes your broadside. Sometimes that is OK because you are going into island cover, but if not, a seemingly simple mistake by being pointed a little too far towards the enemy might have decided your ship's fate, even though you are not dead yet. Being pointed away from the enemy when you are spotted isn't the worst thing. It's safe and you are able to leave detection easily enough, but if you were planning on trying to get into island cover, it will take longer to make the turn towards the enemy and expose your broadside for far too long and allow the enemy time to line up a shot to land on your broadside. By being flat broadside to where incoming shots are coming, you have the choice of what to do next. Being bow in or stern in you typically do not.

3. You want to assess the enemy's strength on the flank as soon as possible. This is not always done by seeing every ship on that flank. You can also tell by what ships are spotted on other areas of the map. Or ships that are unspotted. If there are 3 enemy DDs and all 3 caps get contested early, then you know that should mean that 1 destroyer is in each cap. Use the information to your advantage. If you are stronger on the flank you are on, you know that you will likely be pushing eventually. If you are weaker on that flank, then be prepared to kite and conserve your health as long as possible. If you push in against a superior force, you will either die faster than you should or be pinned where you are useless. If you get forced into an island camping spot it could lead to you getting overrun or pinched especially if you lose vision on the enemy ships. It is extremely hard to kite away from an island camping spot without showing broadside for a few seconds.

4. When angling on the flank it is relatively easy to angle to ships across from you. But they are not the only ships that can shoot at you. There will be ships in the middle of the map that will have shots at you. It is important to angle to them as well. You want to leave your open broadside to the map edge. There is nothing beyond the map edge that can shoot you.

This is improper flank angling that could get you hammered from the middle but is safe from the flank:


This shows how to angle against both  the flank and the middle, both bow or stern in:

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As ships die on the flank or are forced to leave, you can open your angle up and point further toward the middle of the map, keeping your angle to ships in the middle. If you are stern in you can reverse towards the enemy if that will keep you in range of them. You can always move away quickly without showing a broadside.

5. Play just beyond your concealment range. Know what your concealment range is and make sure the closest spotted ship is beyond it. This is twofold: You have the opportunity to go dark if necessary. If your detection drops down and you are still spotted but the nearest detected ship is beyond your detection range, then you know that there is a stealthier ship in your detection range. This is extremely important information to know.

6. When the enemy is giving way, do not push too far. You want to maintain a position on their flank and force them to turn back to the center. Once they turn back towards the center, then you can angle to the entire team and shoot them from the flank. Hopefully, your team on the other flank or in the middle is able to crossfire them between them and you so that someone has a shot on a broadside. If you push too hard and overextend you will be caught on 90 deg angles to their ships on the flank and their ships in the middle and someone has your broadside to shoot at and you can't get out of this situation without continuing to show broadside to one side or the other.


7. When you are outnumbered by the enemy and it looks like they will push your flank, always be prepared in a kiting position. this is pointing away from the enemy, ready to run. When they start pushing, you can easily go away from them with no turns involved. Before they push, I will typically call for focus fire on the closest BB that looks like they will push. Cruisers don't typically like to push without a BB and DDs don't like to push without cruisers, so you can sometimes stall a push by setting a couple of fires on a BB and knocking his health down significantly. The BB will turn away and the push might not materialize. If in a BB though, broadside shots on other targets should take precedence most of the time. Dev striking a cruiser might have the same effect.

8. If the enemy pushes, stay at least your detection distance ahead of them while firing at the best targets. Stay angled to them and head for the back edge of the map or the corner. Do not turn back to the center of your spawn. The point of kiting and flanking is that you do not let the enemy get your flank for as long as possible. If that means sacrificing your ship in the long run, then so be it. If you turn back into the middle of your spawn, then you give them an opportunity to flank you. You want to draw the enemy team after you and make them overextend. You want them to expose their broadsides to your ships in the middle or be forced to angle to your ships in the middle and expose their broadside to you. Go dark as needed. If you need to conserve your health, hopefully, you can go dark if you are maintaining at least your spotting distance from the enemy ships. Let them train their guns on other targets and get involved for a salvo or 2 and then open back up on them. Sometimes they will start to turn away from you and give you broadside opportunities. If your health is getting dangerously low and there is perhaps a battleship pushing you, stay dark until he fires at another target. Once he has done that, shoot a salvo at him and you should be dark by the time he has another salvo loaded. If you get a target that really wants to kill you, this can be quite hilarious as they will turn their guns back towards you and wait for you to fire again. Once they realize that you are not going to fire at them, they will turn their guns back and fire at another target again giving you another opportunity to shoot at them. If they repeat this several times, it gets quite comical and even with low health, you are effectively tying up an enemy ship while staying alive.

9. If the enemy decides not to follow you to the corner and turns towards the middle and starts pushing, you can either continue to engage them or work back up the flank and backcap them if possible. Always try to stay on their broadside and harass them.

10. If they chase you to the corner and end up killing you, hopefully, you have occupied them long enough for the rest of your team to have gained map position elsewhere, or drawn them too far out of position that it takes them too long to get back into position to be useful.

There are many variances to flanking and kiting, but this is the general gist of it. Hopefully, you picked up something that you can use for your gameplay. If you liked this short guide on a specific area of tactics, let me know and tell me what else you would like to see covered. Perhaps something like playing a cap with a DD against radar cruisers or something like that? And if I am missing something from here, feel free to fill in the blanks or ask questions.


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33 minutes ago, HogHammer said:

5. Play just beyond your concealment range. Know what your concealment range is and make sure the closest spotted ship is beyond it. This is twofold: You have the opportunity to go dark if necessary. If your detection drops down and you are still spotted but the nearest detected ship is beyond your detection range, then you know that there is a stealthier ship in your detection range. This is extremely important information to know.

I like to think in terms of poking out the eyes of the enemy.  Kill or drive off the DDs and subs.  Making them smoke up and lose vision is good too.  CVs really complicate this philosophy.

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