Author: Michail Merzlutin, Lead of Game Logic Automation QA
Whatever happens, we have got
The battleship, and they have not.
(Modified quote by poet Hilaire Belloc)
Dreadnoughts; battleships; steel monsters — formidable and prideful sea overlords that now reside in museums. They lack the elegance of aircraft carriers, and the speed of destroyers and cruisers — all they have is their monumental, menacing might.
Nowadays, you may run into a battleship as a museum or monument. Or you may read about them in books or see them in movies and video games. Unfortunately, you don’t get many chances to become a captain of such beasts, making games the only way to get this experience. Choosing battleships is quite simple: these mighty beasts impress everyone, including me.
Do ships “follow-the-leader” in random battles?
Let me clarify: they often do in the games I’ve played. Random queue can be disorganized, after all. But the concept of the salvo (concentrating fire) itself, as a method to inflict maximum damage, is pretty straight forward, even for newbie captains. So, you will inevitably see ships heading in similar directions (if not in a straight line), with most of their cannons directed at enemies.
A vessel of contrasts
The pros and cons of battleships are quite obvious. The pros: their high survivability and powerful armament. They can withstand many hits, and have the ability to turn opponents into smoking wreckage. They’re a pretty attractive option.
The cons: battleships are the largest ships in battle, and tend to be pretty easy to aim at. Its heavy shells occasionally penetrate unarmored parts without detonating. Nevertheless, a single successful hit may make an opponent change their mind and flee – if they manage to withstand the initial impact, that is.
When one makes a battle (a short one, anyway)
Despite being heavily armored vessels, battleships are not invulnerable. They’re just harder targets to sink. Cruisers are sometimes capable of destroying battleships by penetrating armor near the magazines from short distances. Size and inertia add to the game — maneuvering in a battleship becomes more difficult compared to destroyers and cruisers. Couple this with unarmored range finders, AAA sites, and anti-mine cannons and it’s easy to see why victory isn’t guaranteed. So, on the whole, solo attacks against enemy squadrons leave you with miserable chances of leaving the battlefield safe and sound.
No place for sniping practice
Shooting at enemies from long distances won’t work so well: shells can travel for a long time, but with ever-decreasing accuracy, so a successful hit lands only on static and unswerving targets — for example, aircraft carriers that were spotted by allied aircraft. Naval battles barely tolerate slowpokes.
The best option for a battleship is to join a crowd of similar ships, and push on together in a certain direction, covering each other by the AAA aboard. In this case, if you’re not under heavy return fire, you may simply select a comfortable distance and shoot any enemy you like.
Of course, you need to know what ships can be effectively hit from such distance. We will explain these aspects in our next article on January 30.