RF Lider is one of those ships I’d recommend to anyone. No matter their playstyle or which type of ship they prefer, they will do well with Lider. It is the law.
There are many reasons for this, and that’s why I’m here. To explain what you’re spending 60 million dollars for.
1. The stock equipment
The equipment that you get upon purchasing Lider is not important in terms of performance, it’s important in terms of the selling price. You get a lot of stock epic-level gear such as the Prometheus missiles and the Armat cannon. Epic-level equipment costs a lot and can therefore be sold for a lot of money. 1 Prometheus missile can be sold for 4.5 million dollars and 1 Armat cannon can be sold for 5 million dollars. If you sell all the unnecessary equipment (everything except the Pantsir AA can be sold because it’s trash), you should get around 17 million dollars to upgrade your ship and buy new equipment that you actually need, such as the Monarc cannon.
Assuming you barely saved up 60 million dollars, this would be very useful. No other ship gives you this kind of an advantage, not even other level 25 locked cruisers/destroyers (talking about USS CG(X)-21 and USS DDG(X). The only other ship with epic stock equipment would be the CG(X) but you only get one stock X-51 missile you could actually use, so you won’t be selling it and therefore won’t be getting any money from it.
So you’re buying the Lider for 60 million dollars and you immediately get 17 million back, isn’t that wonderful?
Think of Lider as a fast Admiral Nakhimov with torpedoes but less HP and AA. That might not seem impressive, but in terms of armament variety, you have almost everything (except autocannons). This means you can get yourself out of any bad situation you happen to get in, such as fighting a submerged submarine that is using ballistic missiles. You can kill it with 2 torpedoes and 2 grenade launchers (not If those grenade launchers are A-22 tho, then you can only destroy torpedoes with it) while the 3 AA somewhat protects you from missiles (you do have flares too if the AA fails).
It’s also very good, statistically speaking. It’s by far the fastest ship in tier 3 and also has quite a lot of HP for a destroyer. Due to this, it’s easier to use than slower ships as bad positioning and timing are not punished as much (you can simply slip back to cover if things go wrong). Your HP is good enough for you to take a couple of hits without the need to worry, unlike Jeongjo the great which is basically dead if it gets hit by 2 X-51 bursts from Pyotr. Here’s the catch tho: it has the worst AA in tier 3. Yes, if we’re looking by AA slots alone it would be better than Jeongjo and on the same level as Zumwalt or Type 058, but keep in mind the RAPIDFire autocannon exists and all 3 of these ships have 2 autocannon slots while lider has none (RAPIDFire is an autocannon that can target air targets like any normal machine gun AA, but can also shoot ships). This gives an advantage over Lider in terms of AA.
My recommended loadout for Lider is this:
- The DF-17 missiles (all 3 of them)
- The Monarc cannon
- The A-22 / Asroc grenade launcher
- The Physic torpedo
- The Pantsir AA (you can keep the AA you get with the ship)
- The fastest helicopter you own
You can swap out A-22 and Asroc launchers depending on if you’re willing to sacrifice the ability to shoot submarines underwater for increased accuracy and damage against ground targets.
As you can see, this loadout is more long-range, but that’s how Lider is supposed to be played. You should use your superior speed to dodge projectiles by distancing yourself from the enemy and only rushing in when you’re certain you’ll win the gunfight (if the enemy is low hp or if the enemy is using a ship Lider can counter such as Zumwalt).
If you really want to, you can use X-51 for better effectiveness against submarines and targets with not a lot of AA. It’s also better than DF-17 at close range. However, it gets blocked rather easily. If you fire the 2X X-51 first and then the 1X, the 2X will get blocked and the 1X will go through (most people use this). But I have seen some people use the 2X 1X X-51 slots effectively before so try it out if you want.
Things you should avoid doing in a Lider
Remember to avoid rushing targets that have more offensive capabilities than you do, even if they have less HP (Pyotr, Yamato, Missouri, Jeongjo, Ushakov, etc.) because you will get incinerated. Keep in mind you’re playing with Lider and not Pyotr. While they might seem similar at first glance, they are quite different.
Avoid getting caught out in the open, you will get focused. This goes for any ship, not just Lider.
Don’t forget to destroy the carriers first. They are the number one target because you have weak AA, remember?
Lider is not for offline grinding. There are better, cheaper alternatives such as Renhai.
Lider is a missile-based ship, and we know bots are perfect counters for missiles (they block all). That’s why you’ll find Lider very ineffective in offline.