Advanced DD/TB Usage

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GMcClellan
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:42 pm

Advanced DD/TB Usage

Post by GMcClellan »

Over in the Facebook group, I was asked what I meant when I said that DD/TB usage is an art unto itself, especially in Jutland. This is an introduction to what I meant by that. Much of what I have to say is mostly for Jutland, and to a lesser extent Tsushima, where you have large groups of DD/TB, though some of these tricks are usable in the WW2 games as well, if on a more limited basis.

I find that Dogger Bank is just about the biggest scenario in any of the games that I can comfortably handle solo without pausing. Anything larger (like Jutland proper) is playable, but only with a great deal of stopping and starting. I just did a quick count, and there are 20 German TB, and 35 British DD in that fight. Their use is a huge part of the battle.
DD Usage.png
In this situation, you're the German commander, and have 3 TB groups. There is a reason for each formation and their position.

Group A: They are your forward guard, and their main job is to keep the British DD group from launching a torpedo attack. Truth be told, the Germans are already in a fairly bad spot, as those British are in a good position, but I needed to compact this pick to fit it all into one screen.
Anyway, their job, as I said is to blunt the enemy DD from charging. In the short term, the way to do it is to make sure that they always have all guns bearing on the enemy DD. The secondaries on the BC will help with that process. In a normal Dogger Bank run, you also have 4 CL who can also help, though they're actually aft of the BC, so they're more a rear guard.

Group B: Their immediate role is to provide smoke cover at need for any of your capital ships that get heavily damaged. Detach 1 TB and have him zip through and start throwing Smoke as soon as one of your ships is getting in a bad way. They can also move forward or back to reinforce either Group A or C. (They have an 8 knot overtake on the BB group, so can easily clear them in a hurry if need be.)

Group C: I wouldn't always leave them exposed in quite this way, but in this case, they are in position to play some really handy LOS games. Notice, the line of black X. A smokescreen thrown into that region will now cut off the LOS of the entire rearward British BC group. They can't see, and they can't shoot, allowing your BC to concentrate on the forward BC group. Cutting off the Line of Sight in this way can isolate certain units from the battlefield, or at least part of it. By rotating which TB is smoking, you can hold this up for awhile. Note, this will not work as well with radar equipped ships (so, KM and Guadalcanal).

Now, this formation for the Germans is largely defensive, as not even Group A is well set for a torpedo attack (other than on the British DD group) but you can see how an aggressive DD group deployment will work with the British. With those guys, you want to push to get ahead of the German BC group and launch a full group spread. Using smoke to hide your ships from incoming fire there is key. Also, detach any ships that go to yellow damage IMMEDIATELY, so you can keep your speed and momentum.

Well, my lunch hour is about over, but that should give you an idea of some of the possibilities available with DD/TB usage.
Scenario Designer: Midway, Kriegsmarine, Wolfpack, Seven Years War
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parmenio
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2022 3:05 am

Re: Advanced DD/TB Usage

Post by parmenio »

Cracking stuff Gary!

(thanks for giving up your lunchtime to type this up)
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GMcClellan
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:42 pm

Re: Advanced DD/TB Usage

Post by GMcClellan »

Now, not quite purely on the topic of DD and TB usage, but related.

As the German, what do you do in this situation, with the British in good position? You're going to need to do a bit of fancy footwork to avoid collisions, but

Turn Group A to NE, keeping all guns bearing.
Take Group B to full speed, also turn them to NE, bringing guns to bear.

BC Group GROUP TURN to the E, force the British DD into a tail chase. In this case, not a line turn because they'd be able to close in on the turn point in time to fire on the Blucher.

Turn Group C to NE, detaching one TB to drop the smoke screen to block off the LOS to the S British BC group. (Turning tail, even if only long enough to clear the torpedo threat will put you on a serious gunfire disadvantage with only aft guns bearing.)

The collision risk will be keeping Group B and the BC group from getting tangled. You'll have to eyeball that one every step of the way, and adjust as necessary. If you're more risk averse, you can group turn Group B to E, and simply run ahead of the BC. You lose their guns on the enemy DD, but by forcing the British onto a tail chase, the risk is already somewhat mitigated.
Scenario Designer: Midway, Kriegsmarine, Wolfpack, Seven Years War
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