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Friday, October 9, 2015

Fleet Friday: OMG, the Isokaze!

So let's be honest. They call it a grind because it grinds the fun out of whatever that thing is you're trying to do. And right now, I'm stuck in the U.S. cruiser and battleship grind. I can't say it isn't totally without enjoyment any more. I do in fact enjoy ranked battles in my Pensacola class cruiser. I've fought 16 battles, am rank 18, have a 75% victory rating and a 1.43 kill/death ratio. I'm doing well. And the Colorado isn't really that bad so long as you understand she isn't fast. But ranked battles are a bit stressful because they're serious business, and Colorado game play isn't exactly flashy. Nor does it lend itself to copious awards of credits, experience and fame.

So I decided some weeks ago to limit myself to one victory a night with the Pensacola and Colorado, and then spend the rest of my evening sailing a fun ship. Until this week that fun ship had been the Omaha class cruiser. But lately I've been having it handed to my in the Omaha and it's been dragging my statistics down. Okay, it's been dragging my victories per battle score down, as well as my average experience per battle. That last happens in a lower tier ship. I wanted something better to show for my fun.

On Wednesday, after a loss/win duo with both the Pensacola and the Colorado, I was not looking forward to another long haul in the Omaha. It then occurred to me I had over 22k free experience in my pool. It then occurred to me lower tier ships are cheap, and that I was eligible to start either of the two destroyer trees in the game. If I stripped and sold the Omaha, I could buy most of another similar tier ship - and destroyers are fun!

It took me about three seconds to figure out I didn't need another U.S. ship grind, which the U.S. destroyers are until about Tier VIII, so I started researching Japanese destroyers because Type 93 torpedoes aka Long Lance. I researched ships and modules until I couldn't research them any more. That left me sitting in a fully equipped Isokaze with the upgrades Torpedo Tubes Modification 1 and Propulsion Modification 1.

Since I skipped all the captain experience of the I used doubloons to assign a captain who'd attended the Senior Command Course and had three training points ready to distribute. I of course immediately trained Situational Awareness. No destroyer captain worth his salt doesn't have it. That left me with a choice between Basics of Survivability and Torpedo Armament Expertise. I went with the latter as it's all about the torpedoes in a destroyer. I also figured it wouldn't take me long to gain experience and get Basics of Survivability later.

And so it was I became a destroyer player. It was definitely the right move. I haven't had so much fun playing World of Warships since I started back in July. I've played 14 matches in my Isokaze. My stats to date are better than for any other ship I've played.

Isokaze Overall Results 2015-10-09
And yes, that is a High Caliber award-winning highest score you see there. OMG, that was a hella game last night! There will be highlights on Sunday for sure, but here's a teaser.

Now, as you can see from the stats above, I've lost five matches and been sunk in three of them. Here's what I've discovered about playing the Isokaze. You either do really well or you get nuked before you can do anything. And that depends a lot on the other team. If they are on the lookout for destroyers and make them a high priority target, a new destroyer captain can bank on having it handed to him on his first mistake. You get detected once and a good opponent will make certain it's the last time you get detected. With a bad opposing team, you can get away with being sloppy about range, etc. Well, probably at least once; until you slam some torpedoes home and open their eyes.

Then there are the games where you do almost everything right. Those games are glorious and you will reap the rewards of being the silent assassin. But it isn't easy. There really is no room for making mistakes. I have quite a bit of experience in WoWS, and it wasn't too difficult for me to get into the habit of staying out of detection range, even from aircraft, and finding that sweet spot from which to fire your torpedoes. For a new player it is a lot to master in a short period of time. So I recommend you not do like I did and buy right into a Tier IV destroyer unless you have a lot of hours under your belt, understand that tactics most teams use on the maps you'll fight on, and grok the mechanics of the game. If you skip the player training, no amount of ship upgrades and captain training will prevent you from having a miserable experience. Do other destroyer players agree? Don't agree? Does anyone have any pointers or favorite tactics? If so, let me know in the comments, and thanks.


  1. Mabrick,
    I am pretty much a dedicated destroyer captain now. I was grinding up in cruiser and battleship, but I tried the US destroyer and haven't looked back. Don't get me wrong, I do bring out my Omaha (or St. Louis) out from time to time, but that is about it. I did not do any research when I started, I just jumped into the destroyer that I had and went running away. I have lost count of how many battles I have fought in destroyers. I will add to your point of hit/miss. If they see me too soon, or get a perfect hit (apparently not too hard against US destroyers) my game ends abruptly. Or, they go like the game 4 days ago where I single-handedly took out one of their battleships followed quickly by their carrier. Funny part is the cruiser captains that have never used a destroyer bashing you in chat on one of the first group. Good luck, and welcome to the hunt.

  2. […] this came at a cost. As I said in my Isokaze post last week, destroyer games seem to be an all or nothing sort of experience. That remains true with […]


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