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A quick review of the European DDs T5-10

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Since playing them recently has become something of an exercise in frustration, and to celebrate unlocking Halland, let me give you a brief rundown of what it's like to play the silver and gold European destroyers.

T5 Visby : Started the line here with early access, along with the premium gift camo, a rarity for T5 tech tree ships. Visby as released was hilarious. I was nerfed, but it's still a great little derp boat, a fun allrounder you go out in and shoot and torp to your hearts content. The AA is potent enough that you don't have to hide from CV, though some prudence is still advised. With the characteristic lack of any kind of smoke screen and relatively slow, Visby teaches you the cardinal rule of the tech tree DD line you'll follow all the way up to T10, which is "don't get cute with the enemy". Always keep a distance. The heal is miniscule but the gimmick of the line, encouraging you to play the long game and not take the quick YOLO.

T6 Vasteras : Vasteras begins the move from all-rounder low tier derp boat to a more torp-centric design. You get the speedy and long range torps, but the ship feels slow and clumsy. You'll learn the positioning techniques and tricks you'll need to land hits with your torps, lessons that will serve you will later in the line, but it isn't an especially fun DD to play.

T7 Skane : Vasteras with an upgraded, more mobile hull and improved AA and gunpower and a lot more enjoyable ship as result. Skane is "fine", it's just not on my list of favorite T7 DDs if only because there are so many great DDs at tier 7. The problem with Skane is that her concealment is not that great, her AA is not so great, her torp range no so great, so the lack of smoke feels more of a liability facing T8 CVs and T8-9 RADAR than it does at either lower or higher tiers.

(T7 Blyskawica : Premium DD, Polish rather than Swedish, and a much older ship if WoWS. It shares nothing with the tech tree DD. Blys is a fast, hard-hitting, and chunky hybrid gunboat ship with long lasting American smoke. The AA is poor, the torps slow and short ranged. It's basically everything the Swedish boats aren't. It's a unique DD in the game, and has a unusual playstyle that takes a bit of figuring out. I like it, it's a solid boat.

T8 Oland : this is where the line peaks in my opinion. T8 gets you the much needed concealment buff, you have some nice AA and gunpower, and the ship feels fast and agile. I like Oland a lot.

T9 Ostergotland : The upgraded torps a 4x2 and 13.5 km with a base speed of a blistering 86 knots, but, as with Vasteras, you pay for that with a hull that feels sluggish. The turret traverse in particular is horrible, but the ship itself does not turn quickly. I did not enjoy my time with Ostergotland, though it's not hard to farm decent damage if I was patient. The AA is extremely powerful, but in games with no CV the ship feels disadvantaged against its contemporaries Yugumo, Fletcher, Jutland, or Mogador - in terms of early game impact especially.

(T9 Friesland : Premium DD, Dutch this time, it was introduced fairly recently just before the tech tree was announced. It's also one of the most modern ships in the game in terms of the historical date, it is 1950's design. In line with that, she carries no torpedoes and has a wicked AA (and presumably ASW) suite, as well as hydro. And WG throws in American smoke, and as such is something of a micro-Smolensk in playstyle. Friesland is a fun ship to play especially when there as CVs around to feed you planes, but a difficult ship to master since without torpedoes, guns, and only guns, are your only source of damage output. Fortunately the guns are excellent, with floaty arcs and long range for over-island bombardment, but to do well you need to be shooting them practically the entire game and it takes great skill to be able to position to accomplish that safely. Note also you'll want a high point captain with BFT and AR to max out the RoF, some also spec AFT to put the shells into low earth orbit. The point is your Friesland captain is not your ideal Swedish destroyer captain build, meaning you need a dedicated one for Friesland...  

T10 Halland : ok, I don't have nearly enough games to say anything worthwhile here, so I will just note it feels like Friesland with torps added and smoke/hydro removed, or Ostergotland with all the gunnery and mobility problems fixed. If you made a gunboat build I suspect the DPM would get close to Friesland, but you wouldn't normally do that: this is a torp boat, with a terrifying 5x2, 15km spread. As a T10 ship, Halland still has to fight the team utility problem systemic to the line: no smoke, low hp pool, slow, poor concealment, and torps which don't do much damage individually, but it feels much better equipped to perform a steady support role than Ostergotland. As I noted at the start with Visby, as long as you don't get cocky an overreach, as long as you are patient and play the long game, these ships will reward.


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