Very soon, the French Tech Tree will be complemented with a new ship type: French Tier II–VIII destroyers are leaving early access in Update 0.8.7 and will become available for all players to research.
In this article we’re going to cover the specific gameplay features of the new ship branch!
Please note that IX Mogador and X Kléber will become available to research in Update 0.8.8.
Fans of active gameplay will certainly enjoy the fast French destroyers.
All French destroyers have an unusual feature of their hulls: after taking several hits, this part of the ship will receive just half the usual damage. The HP pool of the central part of the hull can be depleted to zero HP in the same way the ships’ fore and aft ends can. This improves the survivability of the French Destroyers in lengthy battles.
The ships of the new branch lack the Smoke Generator consumable. However, the French destroyers can boast good speeds and carry an effective Engine Boost consumable that increases their maximum speed by 20%. Starting from Tier VI the French also come equipped with the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable.
Starting from lower tiers, the French destroyers distinguish themselves by their dimensions. The modest concealment they offer at these tiers is compensated for by a great HP pool. The firing range of the newcomers’ main batteries allows them to deliver fire from a distance that’s considered to be quite far for this ship type. High-speed torpedoes and quite good artillery ensure that you have a choice of armament to counter the enemy, depending on your preferences and combat situation. These features are characteristic of the entire new branch.
Starting from VI Guépard, the French destroyers come equipped with the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable. This accelerates the reload speed of the ships’ main guns by a factor of two for a period of 15 seconds. This ability provides one of the key gameplay features of the branch. While they carry quite good torpedoes, Guépard and VII Vauquelin rely on their artillery to a greater extent as the primary method of dealing damage. By combining the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable and Engine Boost, they can achieve superiority over the enemy in fast-paced encounters.
Starting from VIII Le Fantasque, the ships’ speeds significantly increase and the artillery of the new destroyers becomes more dangerous. Their flat-trajectory ballistics, and an armor-penetrating capability that’s high for this ship type, allow the newcomers to penetrate the citadels of enemy cruisers from distances of 6–9 km when firing at the proper angles. Torpedoes at these tiers still have high speeds and a medium firing range. The list of these ships’ advantages also includes the number of torpedoes they carry, which is quite decent for artillery-focused destroyers: 10–12 that are fired from tubes located along the ships’ sides for IX Mogador and X Kléber. The combination of the above characteristics and available consumables allows the French destroyers to confidently enter battle against virtually any adversary.
When selecting your Commanders’ skills for the French destroyers, pay attention to those skills that improve ship’s survivability and firepower. The most useful skills will be Survivability Expert, Concealment Expert, and Basic Firing Training.
Commanders with 10 skill points should master the Priority Target, Last Stand, Survivability Expert, and Concealment Expert skills. A Commander with 19 skill points can complement his set of skills with Superintendent, Basic Firing Training, Adrenaline Rush, and Preventive Maintenance.
The most useful upgrades will be Main Armaments Modification 1; Steering Gears Modification 1; or if you have enough Coal—Engine Boost Modification 1, AA Guns Modification 1, Propulsion Modification 2, Concealment System Modification 1, and Main Battery Modification 3.
If you’re more interested in long-distance battles, you can pay attention to the Advanced Firing Training and Inertia Fuse for HE Shells Commander skills and replace Concealment System Modification 1 with the Steering Gears Modification 3 upgrade.
A set of consumables that’s unusual for destroyers prescribes a different approach to battle. The biggest mistake you can make when playing on ships of the new branch is to rush into a Key Area at the very beginning of a battle. The lack of Smoke Generator consumables and the ships’ high detectability range will almost certainly result in attracting the attention and fire of many players on the enemy team. A firing range that’s long for destroyers will allow you to engage the enemy from greater distances, and thanks to her high speed, your destroyer will be a complicated target for your enemies to hit. At the start of battle, a French destroyer is in its element serving as a support ship in a position that’s not too far from allied cruisers, but that also leaves it capable of switching flanks or providing support for allied destroyers in fights for Key Areas.
The middle of the battle often brings the point at which ships from both teams are dispersed throughout the map, and you’re presented with opportunities for more dynamic actions. Assess the combat situation: has one of the enemy cruisers or destroyers separated from the main conflict, and can you take advantage of this? Will it be possible to close in on a vulnerable enemy, attack, and then retreat to safety? The gameplay of the new destroyers depends very much on your answers to the above questions: look for opportunities, and be ready to use them to leverage victory. By activating the Engine Boost consumable, you can attack your enemy from a direction that’s advantageous to you; by activating the Main Battery Reload Booster, you can deal greater damage to the enemy in a shorter period of time. The AP shells of high-tier French destroyers are capable of penetrating even the armor belts of cruisers—their natural enemy—at medium ranges. This ability will allow you to destroy any cruiser that’s careless enough to expose their broadside while the consumable is active, and reasonably good HE shells with decent ballistics will effectively deal with same-type adversaries. If you encounter a battleship, your high-speed torpedoes will become an unpleasant surprise for them, as they are very difficult to evade. Always remember to keep track of the action time of your consumables—be sure to disengage your enemy before Engine Boost deactivates.
At the end of the battle, a French destroyer can exhaust the enemy while retreating, and swiftly approach any vulnerable and damaged ships—finishing them with accurate artillery salvoes or deadly torpedoes.
Aircraft represent a significant danger for ships from the new branch. However, the absence of Smoke Generator—a traditional method of defense for this ship type against aviation—doesn’t leave the newcomers helpless against threats from the air. In the case of such a threat, their decent firing range allows the French destroyers to stay closer to the effective AA defenses of allied cruisers. The destroyers’ high-speed capabilities also significantly complicate the attacks of enemy aircraft.
The new destroyers will certainly be to the liking of fans of high speeds and explosive battles. Strike where your enemy least expects it, and win!