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Rina_Pon

Fletcher : The Destroyer's Destroyer

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If North Carolina is the Battleship's Battleship, then Fletcher is equally the Destroyer's Destroyer. The distilled essence of the archetype.

It's a boat I struggled with for the longest time, however, and in some sense still do despite having every advantage (19 pt captain, permacamo, plenty of games under my belt, etc.).

So, Fletcher. Take Benson, improve it in every way. The torps are longer range and quicker to reload, there are more guns and they reload faster, the AA is more powerful, and you have access to the Slot 6 module (MBM3 for -10% reload, typically). As with Benson,  it remains quick, agile, and sneaky.

And if you go out there thinking you are better than a Benson, you will die. And this was my fundamental mistake, I mistook "this is a much more powerful DD than Benson" to equate to "I can be less cautious in Fletcher than Benson". Nope. At T9 the stakes and the pressure to perform are that much higher.

Fletcher is played on a knife edge, and as such is rather nerve-wracking to play. Yes, moreso than most other DDs, because Fletcher's role is multipurpose, you almost always have to be close to danger and there are so many more factors in play at any given point. It is a difficult, and rather cerebral, ship to play. A lot of it involves out-thinking your opponents, or at least placing life-and-death bets on the next moves.

To do well in Fletcher, forget experience and kills and damage. Forget about caps and objectives. Your first job is to take care of your team. Protect them from planes and screen them from DDs, drop smoke to hide them from enemy fire, spot to keep them well supplied with targets to shoot at. Do your job right, and your team will kill your enemies for you. Once the enemy loses a DD and a radar cruiser or so, then you can move in to cap and help dismantle the remains of the enemy heavies with your torps and guns. By the end of the match you are nearing 100k dmg with very little risk/effort required.

Again, the biggest mistake is to go in thinking you can do it alone. If you prefer that playstyle, choose Jutland or Ostergotland. Fletcher is team support personified.

Some notes from the dugout:

1. Fletcher torps are slow and only 10.5 km but sneaky and tightly spaced, and with 5 per launcher more than capable of throwing up a "wall of death" at short and medium range. Most of your damage and kills will typically come from your torps. It's not quite as far into the torp boat meta as Gearing, but it is close.

2. I build for dpm. AR, BFT, MBM3, together with the Aiming Systems module in slot 3. Full 19pt build is PT, PM, AR, LS, SE, BFT, SI and CE. No, I don't take RPF. For me SI and PT are more valuable. The shell output once AR kicks in qualifies as "shock and awe", certainly enough to make a Friesland think twice about picking a fight with you (though I wouldn't recommend picking a fight with a Friedland either!).

3. This last point is the ground rule of all DDs, but it bears repeating: plan to stay alive, plan to conserve your health. Fletcher is one of the most formidable opponents in the endgame, but with no heal any mistake early on will cost you since you can't pick fights late game if you don't have the hp.

Finally, which do I prefer: Benson, Fletcher, or Gearing? The answer varies, and truth is I only play Gearing in Ranked. I'd generally pick Benson. It's a ship people tend to underestimate, meaning you get focused less and expectations are lower too, so it's less stressful to play. That said Fletcher is great for those times where you really want to tell the enemy CV to get stuffed, and when you want unleash to some serious gunpower on unsuspecting DDs, and revel in having the fast reloading torps. When you are ready to handle that responsibility, Fletcher will serve you well.

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I agree with most of this.

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Well among the T9 it could be said that Fletcher is a good generalist DD but the destroyers destroyer, perhaps not quite, I simply see others who had more in them that can contest the title , no less the German got hydro, Asian got radar, and Jutland , Kita and even the 2 Soviets and let's not forget the French and the ikean DD , really only Yugumo the exception here.

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Benson, Fletcher, Gearing are all rounders. Basically they can adapt to the situation at hand well.

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2 hours ago, Mechfori said:

Well among the T9 it could be said that Fletcher is a good generalist DD but the destroyers destroyer, perhaps not quite, I simply see others who had more in them that can contest the title , no less the German got hydro, Asian got radar, and Jutland , Kita and even the 2 Soviets and let's not forget the French and the ikean DD , really only Yugumo the exception here.

Yugumo is my favorite T9 DD, and my favorite IJN DD. A "torpedoboat with benefits", including reasonable gunpower and AA. 12 km torps are just the threshold where you can use them freely without having to worry too much about radar, and they reload fa-ast.

But still, by destroyers destroyer I mean the gimmick free basics: just torps, guns, and smoke. Just like N. Cal is just guns, armor, and speed. That isn't to imply that Fletcher is the best DD, just the most DD-ish DD.

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