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Stuck on Defeat the Semi-Dreadnought and the transport protection missions

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Well, I'm new to the game, and I've loved it so far, but I've run into a snag going through the Naval Academy. The first is Defeat the Semi-Dreadnought. I've tried all three current hulls, mixed batteries, single caliber batteries, fast ships, torpedoes, using the CLs when they're armed with torpedoes. Probably the only thing I haven't tried is low caliber mains. No matter what, the semi-dread either ends up fleeing leaving me unable to deliver accurate shots, turns me into the HMS Hood, or nails me with a flooding shot. So after so many attempt I decided to take a break and try the mission after it, the first convoy protection mission.... This one I have more words on.

I love the randomness even in this missions, cause it makes them highly replayability, but this one mission almost seems rigged. Of six times playing it, I only got into the actual fight once because the cruisers would focus in on one transport and hammer it before I'd get a chance to even attempt to protect it. Even more then the semi-dread, this mission just knocked the wind outta my sail because it felt like you just couldn't get a chance to do anything. At least the semi-dread I felt like I was getting close. Again, I love the randomness of the game in general, but for this mission in particular it seems like a detriment.

Does anyone have any tips for these two missions, cause I'm honestly at a loss.

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Had similar experience on the convoy mission. Kept replaying until I got a load were they didn't immediately spot the convoy. Then I raced off in their direction. 

As for the Semi-dreadnought, well my game glitched and I won even though I didn't sink it. My AI designed CLs were the worst build I have ever seen. 20kts max speed, 1.5km torps, a single 6" gun and bunch of 4"s. The enemy BB could do 26kts. Needless to say, they spent most of the match trying to catch up, then got blown apart when I tried to close to torpedo range after I had slowed the enemy BB down. The timer ended up running out after the AI decided to flee and kept up the endless turning game trying to keep me from getting broadside where I could actually sink it. Poor mission design, since AI shouldn't be allowed to retreat without forfeiting the match. 

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I found building a Dunkerque style ship works best - just stack as much armor into Extended Belt, Turrets, Conning Tower, as well as a nominal amount into the Belt and Deck...

Then just charge directly at them, altering your course every 20-25sec - that usually gets the job done.

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New player here: finally managed the semi one after about 15 tries. As of typing I've failed that convoy mission one 3 times for same reasons as you: enemy CA's wreck one of TN's before I can get close enough to draw all the enemy fire.

Edit: For the convoy raid it seems you just have to keep re-starting until you get a game where it places your warships between the enemy and your TN's. Did it on 2nd try after I got the "proper" placement. Probably would have beat it on 1st such setup except one of the enemy ships decided to switch fire on to a TN halfway through the battle. Anyway, just unlucky that I got about 6 starts in a row on the wrong side? That's pretty bad luck...

So for the semi battle I went with extra funds for two BB II hulled ships. I beat it on about the 5th try using this strat.

Design: (pic attached):

BB II hull, max displacement, 19 kts, many bulkheads.
Steam 3-Exp, Coal, Natural
Krupp I, no barbettes, no anti-torp, single hull, reinforced bulkheads I, anti-flood II, no citadel
Heavy shells, Standard amount, gun cotton, enhanced reloading
Rng-S I

Belt/Extd: 14/9.8
Deck/Extd: 5/1.8
Conning: 11
Turret/Top: 11/2
Sec: 6

Front/Rear Tower II, Standard Funnel

Main Guns: Forward 2x12", midship 2x13"
Secondary Guns: quarterdeck centerline: 2x8"
no casements
1.2% forward offset

The 2x8" was a change from earlier designs with a single 12" on the quarter deck but I found that it often was unable to bear due to maneuvers so I switched to a 2x8" secondary which could be placed further aft for a much improved arc. Tbh any secondaries 6" or smaller I found to be a waste of money/tonnage that's better spent on a bit more armor instead.

So two ships with a total broadside of four 13", four 12" and four 8". Cost for one was 100% weight and 44% cost so I suppose there was room to coax a bit more out of the design.

Immediately paused and removed all formations. Slowed up the lead BB so the trailer could get closer to the lead ship.
Turned to bring all guns to bear on the semi, firing HE on Aggressive (I wasn't worried about ammo).

My CL's were both sunk within 3 minutes despite deploying smoke (for themselves as they were too slow and too far behind my BB's to try to shield them). They only had 18 kts and 1.6 km torps anyway and tbh I've never been impressed with ANY of my own CL's gunnery (except for when I tried Enhanced guns as an option in earlier attempts).

The enemy BB was a 26 kt ship with Standard bulkheads. I forgot to check the guns but I believe it had a mix of 12 and 11 inchers. Didn't check the armor. As usual it had Schneider-level accuracy (its first salvo hit my lead CL).

When the enemy BB started firing on one of my BB's I would have it turn away (while keeping broadsides) and have the other move towards the enemy BB. The ai tends to switch to the nearest target (though not right away). Kept making it switch targets so both my BB's shared the damage. The enemy accuracy has to reset as well.

The action got quite close (I even tried to ram the semi with one of mine but failed). One of my BB's got torpedoed by one of the barely scratched enemy CL's but the BB managed to survive and continue at reduced speed. Fortunately the semi was targeting my other BB or else it would have been game over.

Landed enough HE for decent fires and when one of my BB's had got to 1600m range changed to AP for some fatal hits.

The previous 4 or 5 attempts with 2x BB's the semi fled into the mist after getting to 35% float or so (at least 3 battles failed that way). A couple other times I lost one of my BB's to either a torp or too much damage from the enemy BB before I could make it switch targets. At first I tried various single ship solutions using all three options but none of them came even close compared to the first double BB battle when for the first time I actually caused the enemy to flee instead of watching helplessly as the semi whittled my single ship design tries into smoldering scrap iron (while barely getting the semi below 95% on structure or flotation).


Edited by DarkMaid
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