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Destroyers seem useless vs TBs


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I find that, often, one DD costs 2-3x what a TB does while mounting little to no additional armament. Armor and smokescreens are the only things they have going for them, but 1.5in of armor is woefully insufficient even against many HE rounds, and the smokescreen doesn't help much when the enemy is bringing 1.5x as much firepower due to fielding cheaper TBs.

As an example, if we go for 30kn speed with 1900 tech, I can make a TB that fields 2x2 torpedo tubes and 3x1 4in guns. If I decide to use a DD instead, I can field 2x2 torpedoes and 4x1 4in guns. Granted, the DD has much higher range, and (at least in this case) has some armor protection, but it also costs twice as much. You can cut down on torpedo tubes to make room for more guns and so have just as many guns, but at that point you may as well just use the TBs.

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Destroyers should be gun armed, so Destroyers came about to take on enemy torpedo boats, and they are a more table gun platform and faster than torpedo boats, i can usualyl get my destroyers at 32-33Knots vs 29-30 for TB's. The goal of your destoryers should be to hunt enemy torpedo boats as their primary objective, and secondary to make torpedo runs on enemy ships, but in the era both existed this was the battle doctrine. 

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I'm not sure DD are usefull at all. 
I like to play 1930 or 1940 campaigns.
If I build DD (generally 4, not more), It's just to keep the possibility to trigger some convoy attack or protect missions. 
If some of my DD are present at the beginning of a battle where I have ships of other types, my 1st action is to order the DD to retreat. In rare cases, if I think I could need them later, I order them to stop and to do circles until they really stop. 
Why do I do that?
- They are too fragile since the AI learned it's a good idea to focus them before they come too close and launch their torpedoes, or just scout for incoming torpedoes.
- The less ships number I have to manage, the better I'm to organize the torpedoes swarm dodge dance of my ships. Yes, most of the time, I micro manage all my ships without the help(1) of the formation tool or the auto dodge option. 

(1): I'm not sure "help" is really the best word to describe their actions. 😉

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Candle_86 said:

Destroyers should be gun armed, so Destroyers came about to take on enemy torpedo boats, and they are a more table gun platform and faster than torpedo boats, i can usualyl get my destroyers at 32-33Knots vs 29-30 for TB's. The goal of your destoryers should be to hunt enemy torpedo boats as their primary objective, and secondary to make torpedo runs on enemy ships, but in the era both existed this was the battle doctrine. 

The problem with this, at least in my experience, is that you can generally bring ~20-30% more guns into battle if you're using TBs instead, even if you focus on guns for the DDs. The biggest reason I'd pick a DD over a TB currently is range, since TBs seem to top out at around ~15k km range.

I'm able to cram 6 centerline 4in guns onto a 31kn 1900 destroyer (using wing torpedoes to maximize gun space), as well as armor it, and end up with a cost of ~$3.3 million. By comparison, a TB with the same speed, same torpedo armament (though centerline mounted due to roll concerns), and 4 centerline 4in guns comes in at ~$1.8 million. If you forego as many torpedoes as possible (1x1 tube), the DD can cut its price to ~$2.9 million. Sure, each gun on the DD is a bit more accurate, which probably about makes up for the lost number of guns, but you lose the redundancy of having more ships, as well as most of your torpedo capability.

Edited by Dman1791
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Some of the costs are well out of whack. 

Just managed to make a CA costing 200 mill when a BC with practically identical equipment, same speed, much more guns, armour and torps was only 150 million... Still can't quite work that one out 😸

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11 hours ago, Drenzul said:

Some of the costs are well out of whack. 

Just managed to make a CA costing 200 mill when a BC with practically identical equipment, same speed, much more guns, armour and torps was only 150 million... Still can't quite work that one out 😸

I've also had campaigns where I didn't even build BBs. I know the "resistance" modifier is there but I've had instances where I've been able to build significantly better armed and protected BCs that zip around nearly as fast as my DDs and cost less than a BB.

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On 4/6/2022 at 10:52 PM, Dman1791 said:

I'm able to cram 6 centerline 4in guns onto a 31kn 1900 destroyer (using wing torpedoes to maximize gun space), as well as armor it, and end up with a cost of ~$3.3 million.

Rookie numbers.

xSO3R6X.jpg

mzvkb8D.jpg

11 x 4 inch guns for 1.5M.

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DD vs TB, I think right now the DD have very low accuracy and they are worked more like TB with extra range, speed etc. The cost is the most problematic, but on some point DD have little bigger chance to survival and put something in the fight than TB, because of that DD > TB. 

I try to create in 1900 as German DD and TB. The main issue with TB is that I can make a few cheap ships, but all the paraments are worst that DD is similar.
 

DD are very good for scouting, for torpedo and try punch little CL, DD, TB. If you lose it, you lose it, no big deal, but the enemy must keep distance between CA/BC/BB and your DD. Also TB start be too slow, too big etc. where any HE can end the life too fast. In case of DD, the 2" guns start be too small to do something and the 4" and 5".

 

General TB is for spamming torpedo and go in quantity and DD is going into quality. Also going in DD and small armor like 1" force the enemy to select biggest guns or HE what have better penetration paraments. Because of that they spent more $ and they are not as good vs other class of the ships. 

 

I can't upload SS, because for some reasons each are 10 MB... please see a link https://imgur.com/a/6qjzdUQ

Edit: TB my and the AI was terrible in this fight, get torpedo, fast flooding and because of that slow etc. 

Edited by Plazma
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I have not been able to get as much value out of my DDs as i would like because, until recently, we were slaves to RNG picking which ships would be present in our battles. I was routinely getting scenarios of pure destroyer or pure capital ships. 

In the early campaigns my destroyers would field a mix of 5 inch and 2 inch guns. The 2 inchers are really the only reliably accurate guns (at least in the early game, and i disagree with this philosophy -- 2 inch should not be more accurate but guns with higher rates of fire should be able to adjust to optimal accuracy faster) and multiple 2 inch shots at a torpedo boat will sink it relatively quickly. 

In small engagements you try to bait the enemy into launching their torpedoes, manually evade, and then close to as close as possible and pound them with your 2 inch guns or maybe a manually launched (i.e. turn torpedo fire off and then on) torp. You should be able to outgun the torp boats and hits against your DD should not be fatal if you went with good compartmentalization. 

DD Armor's main purpose is ideally to be thick enough to stop low caliber HE shells but the hull is thin enough to have most AP shots be overpenetration.  

In large engagements, when I had a mixed fleet, the purpose of the destroyers is to stand between my capital ship and the enemy's torpedo armed vessels. I tended to prefer superiority in capital ship gunnery so I never had to rush to close range with my capitals. I found destroyer guns and torpedoes could *usually* dissuade enemies from trying to torp rush. Even when they did launch the torps the destroyers did give my ships extra time to spot them. 

I do think the gunnery and module cost system could be looked at:

- Tech which applies proportional scaling to cost (i.e. this module increases the cost of your tower by x%) should be changed to a more direct system. I.E. 'Sonar' system has a +X meter torpedo aquisition range and a +Y dollars cost. 

- Optimal hit probabilities should higher than currently at close range (0-1KM especially) but it should take more salvos for the optimal firing solution to be reached. You could have a sort of 'Solution Bar' where 100% means you're aimed exactly where you should be any only shell dispersion plays a role.

> Solution in absolute terms should be smaller at smaller distances so it takes fewer salvos to reach 100%

> Factors that positively affect solution gain per salvo include technology and crew skill
> Factors that negatively affect solution gain include distance, target speed, visibility, superstructure damage
> Maneuvering of either target lowers solution gain


 

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16 hours ago, admiralsnackbar said:

2 inch should not be more accurate but guns with higher rates of fire should be able to adjust to optimal accuracy faster) and multiple 2 inch shots at a torpedo boat will sink it relatively quickly.

This is exactly as it works.

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8 hours ago, Nick Thomadis said:

This is exactly as it works.

The 'multiple 2 inch shots will sink it relatively quickly' part is true. But last time i checked the 2 inch guns have higher base accuracy at 1KM than 2-5 inch guns. For example my 1920 campaign has mark 3 2 inch and 5 inch guns, the 2/5 inchers have 40/23 percent accuracy, respectively. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/14/2022 at 1:45 AM, Drenzul said:

If the gun is a higher mark it will have higher accuracy, so need to compare same mark guns.

Both guns were Mark 3, as he said.  There's been longstanding accuracy/range curve issues with guns that need to be addressed, and that's just one of them.

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Well, destroyers were for killing torpedo boats, originally. The name 'destroyer' is short for 'torpedo boat destroyer', after all. Even in real life, though, they were never super effective in that role but were slightly better at being torpedo boats than torpedo boats were and eventually supplanted them in their own niche.

But yes, ASW is where they really shone, though using them as a long, sharp stick to keep the enemy from closing with your heavy units is a good job in the meantime..

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  • 3 weeks later...

A big part of the issue here lays with how accuracy in general is handled. In theory larger ships had much better fire control as they had the weight for better rangfinders and fire control "computers", and other such equipment. And the inherent inaccuracy of the guns themselves was generally less than the inherent inaccuracy of the fire control resulting in it having a fairly small real world effect on accuracy levels once such fire control came into use on a given ship class.

 

Of course IRl it took a while for such systems to work their way down to the smaller vessels and AFAIK by the time they hit Destroyers, the TB's had allready been phased out of service. Also there are absolutely time periods represented in game where fire control was much less relevant and how flat shooting the gun was became super important. For that matter i'm not necessarily arguing in favour of implementing it at all, (though there are plenty of weird feeling situations it creates IMO, i'm just not sure if it makes sense from a game design perspective), but it's a factor.

 

Another issue that pushes the ;problem along is just how much of the cost of a ship, (at least in my peffered 1920's campaign era), is bound up in the engines. They're often one of the most expensive systems on the ship, and for faster craft like DD' and BC's they're often the single most expensive system on the ship. I had one campaign where i was building 24 knot BB's and 35 knot BC's where the BC's engines cost more than the entire BB. That kind of logic feeds into TB vs DD too, the DD is bigger so needs bigger and more expensive engines in general for the same speed, and even bigger and more expensive ones for the greater speed DD's often have. I've no idea how realistic it is, but it sure feels like a balance pass might be in order.

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  • 3 weeks later...

(Speaking from 1.05 experience which I presume would be more relevant to this thread)

I actually really like my destroyers and I would never want TB instead of them. I find that with maximum reinforced bulkheads and anti-flooding equipment DDs are surprisingly durable, able to withstand at least 2-3 hits from cruisers and BB secondaries. Even before that becomes technologically possible, smoke and high speed makes them really hard to hit—TB by contrast are easy prey for just about any ship, however sturdily you try to build them. Destroyers in particular do well against them because it's trivial for DDs to draw torpedo fire and dodge it, and once a TB has launched its torpedoes it's helpless against a DD's superior firepower. Even in a matchup between 1 DD and 2 TB I'd still take the DD since the TB can't outrun it or outgun it. And if my DD can distract a battleship's main guns for long enough to take aim and sink it, that's precious minutes the BB isn't aiming at my capital ships or cruisers. TB can do that too, of course, but I find TB suicide charges end very poorly for the TB unless they're attacking pre-dreadnoughts.

Outside the era where the comparison can be made directly, 1930s+ DDs can be really scary if built on reasonable hulls (looking at you, Germany...). You can pack a lot of 5" guns in there if you don't go for insane torpedo loads like the AI does. I tend to model my destroyers on the Fletcher and Gearing designs and they work very well.

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