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The most recent addition to World of Warships bulging roster of bulwarks and boilers, the all-new Pan Asian Destroyer line offers an eclectic mix of strengths, weakness, and special features, with one unique concept tying them all together: deep water torpedoes. Running deeper than your average torpedo (hence the name), these fish trade the ability to hit destroyers in order to gain more stealth - but while they may take a while to get the hang of, they can have devastating results. Having taken each of the ships out to sea, here's our guide to the Pan Asian Destroyer line, and our strategic tips for how to play deepwater torpedoes.
Tier I - Chengan
Technically a cruiser rather than a destroyer, Chengan nevertheless begins the branch. Though its armour may be weak, and its guns somewhat average, its small profile and excellent concealment make it surprisingly hard to spot, and hit. This also means it isn't too much of a jump in terms of playstyle when you switch to the destroyers come tier II.
Tier II - Longjiang
The first proper Pan Asian destroyer, and not as long as it likes to think, Longjiang is the first destroyer in the tree to get access to the deadly deepwater torpedoes. A paper ship, Longjiang was designed by Germany in 1913, yet was never actually constructed, with the designs instead leading to the Tier II German destroyer, the V-25. With faster firing torpedoes than its German cousin, and a much greater range (8.0km compared to 5.01), captains should consider torpedoes their primary weapon on Longjiang - despite its artillery having a quick reload time, it's comparatively underpowered, and with the ship having the joint lowest HP in the game alongside the V-25, direct confrontation, especially with destroyers, should be avoided.
Tier III - Phra Ruang
Originally HMS Radiant, the ship was sold to the Thai navy in 1920, with the King of Thailand chipping in personally to help his country acquire the potent ship. The fastest of all the Tier III destroyers - and equally hard to spot - Phra Ruang is a ship that, like Longjiang, favours stealth tactics. As with its predecessor, Phra Ruang's deepwater torpedoes have a larger range than the ship's detection range, meaning you can fire torpedoes and hit targets without the enemy actually being able to see you - something which will be an essential tactic, thanks to the ship's very low HP pool and almost non-existent armour.
Tier IV - Shenyang
Sister ship to the Minekaze Tier V Japanese destroyer, Shenyang is actually found a tier lower in the Pan Asian tree, due to its reconfigured armament. The fastest ship at Tier IV by a large margin, Shenyang comes boasting four fast firing, high damage guns that are capable of decimating enemy destroyers. As with the other Pan Asian Destroyers, Shenyang also comes equipped with deepwater torpedoes, although the 62 second reload time, and shorter range of the torpedoes (7.32km) means they require more strategic use - take advantage of your impressive speed to get out of danger, or peek out to fire torpedoes before jetting off to safety.
Tier V - Jianwei
Another Royal Navy design that was sadly never built, Jianwei is a jack-of-all-trades, and a departure from the previous ships in the tier. Though it isn't the leader of the pack in any aspect, Jianwei is nevertheless a formidable foe, with decent HP, speed, torpedo damage and concealement - exactly what you want from a destroyer. Its main weakness is the shorter range of its deepwater torpedoes - at just 6.39km, compared to the ship's detection range of 6.84km, there's almost no chance of dropping the fish in the water without being spotted.
Tier VI - Fushun
An ex-soviet Gnevny class destroyer, given a new Chinese name, Fushun continues down a similarly mixed branch. With great guns, and impressive speed, Fushun is a versatile and nimble ship - although captains should be aware of the comparatively long aiming time of its guns, and the shorter range of its deepwater torpedoes compared to its detection range, which will again necessitate being spotted in order to fire off a salvo.
Tier VII - Gadjah Mada
The third ex-Royal Navy ship in the tree, Gadjah Mada began its life as HMS Nonpareil, being transferred first to the Dutch in 1942, becoming Tjerk Hiddes, before serving the final years of its life in Indonesia as Gadjah Mada. A unique ship, with no sister ships in the game, Gadjah Mada combines an impressive top speed with reasonably fast firing guns, and long range torpedoes that pack a punch. As with the other Pan Asian Destroyers, though, direct confrontation with other destroyers should be avoided, due to the lack of torpedoes that can damage them.
Tier VIII - Hsienyang
First built for the US Navy as USS Rodman, this ship was sold to Taiwan in 1955. With long range, and highly stealthy torpedoes that remain undetectable until they're within 0.7km of their quarry - almost twice as close as the US equivalent - combined with great anti-aircraft protection, and similarly impressive fast firing main guns, Hsienyang is a formidable destroyer. However, with torpedoes that take a full two minutes to reload, and shells that aren't great at hitting fast moving targets due to the high arc they take, Hsienyang isn't infallible either.
Tier IX - Chung Mu
Another ex-US ship, Chung Mu started out as USS Erben, a Fletcher-class destroyer, before joining the South Korean Navy in 1963. With the same impressive main battery of guns as the USS Fletcher, which both aim and fire quickly; deepwater torpedoes that pack an impressive punch, and are quick to reload; a great anti-aircraft suite; and equally impressive speed, manoeuvrability and detection range, Chung Mu is a ship with few weaknesses, and one that can be a real difference maker in battles.
Tier X - Yueyang
Topping off the tier is Yueyang, another ex-US destroyer (formerly USS Haynsworth, an Allen M. Sumner class ship), and a similarly impressive ship that plays similarly to the USS Gearing Tier X Destroyer. With fast firing guns that take just three seconds to reload, and a low profile that gives enemies less to aim at, Yueyang has plenty of strengths as it is. However, the difference maker here are the deepwater torpedoes. While they take over two minutes to reload (136 seconds), Yueyang's torpedoes deal a great amount of damage, move fast, and have an effectiveness range that's almost double the ship's detectability (13.5km vs 7.42km)
Deepwater Torpedo Tactics
Deepwater torpedoes work a little bit differently to the other torpedoes found in World of Warships. Set to run at a lower level in the water than standard torpedoes, these are torpedoes that come with their own set of strengths and weaknesses, which in turn will require a slightly different style of play.
One of the biggest positives about deepwater torpedoes is that they're harder to spot, by virtue of them running lower in the water, and thus creating a smaller wake. Giving any enemy ships a much shorter amount of time to take evasive manoeuvrers, by the time a battleship spots your torpedoes, it may already be too late. If you can take advantage of the torpedoes' already stealthy nature - perhaps by peeking out from behind an island, and firing off a salvo while undetected - it can pay real dividends, especially with deepwater torpedoes' increased chance of causing flooding.
Great against everything - just not destroyers
However, perhaps the biggest difference you'll need to keep in mind is that deepwater torpedoes don't affect destroyers. While Wargaming experimented with a draft based model, which would let the torpedoes only hit ships that sat at a certain level in the water, the easier and simpler rule was to simply make them pass beneath destroyers, and hit everything else. And that can be both a positive and a negative.
The main drawback here is that if you see a smokescreen in game, which you know is most likely going to have been put out by a destroyer (or potentially a Royal Navy cruiser), there's no advantage to you firing torpedoes into it, as there's next to no chance you'll get a lucky hit - if it's a destroyer that created the smokescreen, your torpedoes will just slot straight underneath the destroyer that launched it. It also means that when you're duelling with a destroyer up close, you're at a distinct disadvantage, as while they can fire torpedoes at you, you can't fire back at them.
On the other hand, though, it makes deepwater torpedoes incredibly effective when you're playing in a group. Form your own wolfpack with the other destroyers, take advantage of your speed and nimbleness to approach to a medium range, and let the enemy ships have it, knowing that you won't have to worry about your destroyer friends and team mates getting in the way, as the torpedoes will sail harmlessly below them, before tearing apart their most powerful ships.
To try the new Pan Asian Destroyer tree out for yourself, and engage in some naval based WW2 warfare, download World of Warships now, and play for free!