“When you’re winning, risk nothing.” — Admiral Beatty
Ranked Battles can be pretty infuriating. I mean, I feel just awful when I’ve made a grievous mistake and I cost my team my ship and the victory points that go along with it. I’ll be beating myself up over whatever error that got me killed. It’s usually because I beached myself. You would think after three seasons of Ranked Battles, I would be a better driver at this stage. Oh well, I digress. I’m sure we all have our own little pet peeves which make us a little irksome in Ranked Battles. My own is watching my team mates throw away a win because they couldn’t read the tactical situation in which we found ourselves.
Now I may not be able to sail worth a damn, but I can read the minimap. I’m also capable of understanding what the summary page at the start of a match means when it tells how many points a kill is worth and how many points a death penalizes our team. I can also appreciate the value of a cap and how it accrues over time. Lastly, I can grasp how all of this sums together and equates to either a win or a loss. What shocks me is how this sort of ability isn’t universal. Of course, I’m sure there’s a lot of you out there that are dumbfounded by my ability to smack my face into rocks, stones, islands, beaches, cliffs, inlets, sandbars, and bits of land with such unerring reliability. To each their own, I suppose.
While I wait for someone to write me a nice guide on how I should not be using my ship in Ranked Battles to find suitable sunbathing locations along the various shores, I can talk a little about the unnecessary risks I see players taking and costing themselves and their team a win.
Beached again. This screenshot is from Season Three of Ranked Battles where I got my Atago killed by torpedoes to the butt. How ignoble. I really should keep a running tally this season about how many times my horrible driving not only got me killed but coincided with a loss.
How to Win
Let’s start with the very basics — how a match is won. There are four ways to win a match in Ranked Battles. Yes, four. Three are sudden-death results. These will stop the clock and end the game as soon as the conditions are reached. One isn’t.
- Sink the entire enemy fleet before time runs out.
- Allow your team’s points to reach 1000pts before time runs out.
- Reduce the enemy’s points to 0pts or less before time runs out.
- Have the highest point total when time runs out.
The first is pretty self explanatory. Apply planes, pew-pews and torpeedus to the enemy fleet before they do the same to yours. BAM. Win. I think this is the combat result most of us are pretty comfortable with because the rest of it involves math… which probably explains why so many teams have someone on their roster who can’t be bothered to appreciate the subtleties of the other victory conditions. It might also explain why some players keep trying to push for wiping out the enemy fleet but pay no heed to the other factors which may strip them of the time needed to win this way.
The Value of Killing
Now let’s spend some time talking about Point Totals earned from kills.
At the beginning of the match each team begins with 300 points. Regardless of the map, you earn 40pts for sinking an enemy cruiser, destroyer or battleship. You earn 60pts for sinking an enemy carrier. Short of wiping out the enemy, the maximum points you can earn through straight kills is between 240pts and 260pts (6 ships or 5 ships + carrier). It is impossible to win through points just by sinking enemy ships without also accumulating points through controlling capture zones.
On the flip side, you lose 60pts for every ship on your team that’s sunk, 90pts if said ship was a carrier. It is possible to force a win by sinking enemy ships this way, reducing their point total down to zero or into negative numbers. Teams are especially vulnerable if they fail to secure a capture zone or sink any enemy ships to provide a buffer of points to prop up their initial 300pts. The maximum number of points a team can lose without being wiped out is between 360pts and 390pts (6 ships or 5 ships + carrier).
What this means is that once a team accumulates 100pts on top of their starting number, they can no longer be forced to lose by being reduced to zero points. Three kills, or holding a capture zone for a couple of minutes will provide sufficient buffer.
Keep in mind that both effects happen at the same time. When your team sinks an enemy ship, you not only boost your own point total by 40pts but you reduce the enemy by 60pts. This amounts to a 100pt swing in favour of the team that did the sinking. For a carrier this is 150pts.
Valuable Real Estate
Capture Zones also provide points, but the amount they provide varies depending on if it’s a two-cap or three-cap Domination. The breakdown is as follows:
- For two-cap Domination, you earn 9pts every 10 seconds plus an initial 9pts when the zone is captured. Holding one cap point for one minute is 54pts.
- For three-cap Domination, you earn 3pts every 5 seconds plus an initial 3pts when the zone is captured. Holding one cap point for one minute is 36pts.
In terms of accumulating points, while a cap zone will not deplete the enemy’s victory points, they are still highly valuable. When you have a 1-cap advantage on a two-cap Domination map, this is the equivalent of sinking an enemy ship every minute. For a 2-cap Domination, this is the equivalent of sinking an enemy ship every 2 minutes & 45 seconds.
The only time it’s acceptable to allow a 1-cap advantage is when you can match or better the rate at which your opponents are accumulating victory points. Sinking an enemy ship every minute on a 2-cap Domination map, or sinking a ship a little bit faster than one every 3 minutes on a 3-cap Domination. Naturally, this also requires you to not lose any ships in the meantime or it’s all for not.
Without any kills on either side, a two-cap Domination match will end 13 minutes after one team has secured a base. This time is cut in half if they control both bases. For a three-cap Domination, the match will end in 19.5 minutes after the first base is taken. For a team holding two caps, this drops down to 14 minutes. This means that no matter what you do, the moment those bases begin being captured, you cannot bank on always having the full 20 minutes to complete the game. You’re more likely to have this happen on a three-cap Domination than on a two-cap.
So now we know what’s worth fighting for.
Tune in tomorrow when we discuss what’s worth dying for.