In this article, I’ll share my insights into how to choose a BattleTabs Fleet to hopefully increase your win rate and quickly gain points. This article assumes that you already have knowledge of how BattleTabs works, and at least a basic understanding of all the ships.
(Note: I come from Australia, so you will see me write things like “colour” and “utilise” instead of “color” and “utilize”. Additionally, coming from Australia, I have a lot less respect for our politicians XD)
The first thing to understand when making a fleet is that every ship must have a good purpose. Additionally, ships should ideally work together. Most of the ships by themselves may not be particularly useful, but combined, they are often very powerful. That brings me to my first topic: Combinations.
One of the most powerful ship combinations is minisub (Sonar, CD: 2) and kayak (1x2 attack, CD: 2). Because of their cooldowns, you can use one, and on the next turn, use the other. This is incredibly powerful, since random attacks often land 1-3 tiles away from a ship, so that the kayak will at the very least tell you where the ship is. It’s so powerful that I recommend this in your fleet.
The other cycle you may see, albeit less commonly, is kayak and sea monster (Attacks three random tiles, CD: 2). This is less powerful than the minisub-kayak cycle, but with sea monster having five tiles instead of two, this cycle is likely to last longer. This fact makes this cycle only a bit less powerful, so watch out for this one while battling.
The above being said, other combinations of ships are equally good and sometimes better, even though they are not cycles. For example, one of the most used heavy ships is the coracle (Sniper, attacks on revealed tiles, CD: 5), owing to its immense power coming from a small ship. However, it can only attack on revealed tiles, so this ship is (mostly) used with ships that reveal tiles. Often, however, it is a good idea to use it with ships with low cooldowns, notably the see slug (reveal two tiles, CD: 1). I actually use coracle + see slug in one of my fleets, and in fact see slug in itself is a moderately powerful ship.
Another ship combination that is quite powerful is electric eel (reveals a whole ship, CD: 3) and longboat (Attack five times or until you miss or sink a ship, CD: 5). This combination is useful as after the ship is fully revelled (no typo there) by eel, longboat can easily finish it off. The only drawback to this combination is the long cooldowns; you will need to wait a bit before you can use this effectively. Of course, there are many fleets out there that utilise the ability of a single ship. This brings me to my next topic: Independent Ships.
Independent ships work on their own, without help. They are not paired with other ships, as their power doesn’t change. For this reason, independent ships are quite useful, as you can use them even if other ships have been sunk. I will list the current independent ships, as of v17.1.
The longsub (Sonar, reveals itself when used, CD: 1) is a very commonly used ship. It is almost always used in the first three turns, and it can help tell exactly where your opponent’s ships are. The only drawback is that as of v14, its size has effectively been reduced to three, allowing your opponent to limit you to only three sonar shots, and with kayak, they can even limit it to only two.
The catamaran (Attacks in a 7x1 line, CD: 7) is a very powerful ship, however its long cooldown means that it is often destroyed before it is used. This is, however, a good ship for heavy fleets (fleets with lots of heavy ships) as it has a high firepower and it can act like a partition between your opponent’s ships.
The galleon (Attack twice, CD: 3) is not really the best ship out there, as it only enables you to use your cannon attack twice, which isn’t really effective. That being said, It can sometimes help you out of sticky situations, for example if you know where his kayak is, but he can finish you off in one turn. However, the galleon’s ability is quite similar to the kayak, and the kayak’s shorter cooldown makes it more desirable.
Of course, no fleet can do much for you if you do not use a good strategy, so I will now list the best strategies. (This is a summary, I will not go too deep into it.)
Pretty easy to explain: Sonar in corners, if it isn’t available, attack one tile diagonally from corners.
Sonar in the middle, attack halfway between the corners and the middle.
If you have see slug in your fleet, there is a better strategy: attack randomly! This is because since you are able to reveal two tiles, if you miss the first one, you still have the second one.
When positioning your fleets, it’s a good idea to randomise your position, as this will make sure that your opponent has no advantage over you. Just make sure that your ships aren’t close together.
Finally, I should add one more thing: make sure that when you are designing your fleet, you always have a backup plan. Never, and I mean never, make a fleet completely centred around one ship. For example, one of the pre-made fleets, Reveal and Snipe, is not a very good fleet as if your coracle is destroyed, there’s basically no way out. Always include two ship combos or a ship combo and an independent ship, so that if your main combo is destroyed, you can use the backup one.
Now, all that is probably hard to remember, so I’ve provided a summary here.
Ship Combos, ranked:
Independent ships, ranked:
(Additionally, I’ll add some ship combos not mentioned above:
These combinations are sometimes seen, but not recommended because either they have more powerful counterparts or they are too specialised.)