Gunboat is an incredible helper in the battles. Proper use of Gunboat can enable you to take down the bases that will otherwise give you nightmares. Gunboat allows you to destroy the buildings on enemy’s base against which your troops are weak turning the battle in your favor before it even properly started. The difference between a good and a really good player is many times proper use of Gunboat. Let’s take a look at its features.
Artillery is a high explosive cannon shell you can accurately hit any building with. It inflicts a very high damage and can take out most of the buildings in 2-3 shots. It deals with splash damage. If any of the buildings are connected to each other, firing an Artillery shell at their connecting edge will inflict full damage to all of them. It can also be used to trigger mines but normally Barrage is better for this task. Artillery can also harm your troops. Therefore, it is best used before deploying the troops. Every Artillery shell takes 2 more energy to launch than the previous one. If you get low on energy which you will, destroy resource and support buildings. It will give you more energy.
Barrage is a rapid fire of numerous missiles on the targeted area. It’s actually 15. The missiles will hit in 6 tiles radius area of the center point. Barrage is highly inaccurate and can harm the troops if used during the battle. It is normally used to trigger mines and take out low health buildings. Each Barrage consumes significantly more energy than the previous one. First Barrage takes 10 energy while 8th takes 52.
Flare inflicts no damage but it’s still one of the most useful features of Gunboat. If you still haven’t realized, the troops aren’t under your control while they are in the battle. You just deploy them and then they move forward destroying every building that comes in front of them all the way to HQ. This walk-in-the-direction-of-your-nose strategy isn’t always the best one. Sometimes HQ will be at a location where it could easily be destroyed, sometimes walking through the trees will be the best idea. Flare is used to guide your troops. When you throw a flare, all troops will focus on the flare. Using flare, you can guide and arrange them to get best results.
Throwing Medkits will heal the troops in a large area. Medics do a better job at healing but they take up space on the boats and need to be kept alive during the battle. At higher levels space is critical, every unit counts. So you can ditch the Medics and use Medkits instead. Medkits are sometimes very important. In many strategies, units with high health need to be alive throughout the battle. Loss of a single unit can cost you the battle. This is where Medkits shine.
Shock Bombs disable the buildings in their attack radius for a short time. If you hit your troops with a Shock Bomb, they will also be stunned. Using Shock Bomb, you can stun the high damage defense buildings like Mortars, Cannons and Boom Cannons. The best strategy is to destroy as much high range buildings as you can with Artillery prior to the battle and then stun the rest. You can use flares to bypass low range buildings and head to the HQ. This way, you will be dealing with very low damage even if all of the defense buildings are very highly upgraded.
Using multiple Shock Bombs does not stack up their stun time. Use a Shock Bomb only when effect of the previous one fades out.
Smoke Screen and Shock Bombs are used alternatively. While Shock Bombs disable a limited number of buildings for some time, Smoke Screen hides your troops from all defense buildings. While in the smoke, the troops also cannot fire. Smoke Screen is mostly better than Shock Bombs because it stops fire from all defense buildings. Any troops outside of the smoke can still be attacked and if the attacking building deals with splash damage, any troops adjacent to them will also be harmed despite of being in the smoke. After reaching the a safe place to start attacking (usually HQ) you should ditch Smoke Screen and start using Shock Bombs instead.
Critters are probably the last thing you will unlock in Boom Beach. Critters are humanoid robots thrown at enemy base by the Gunboat. They are used to distract and destroy defense buildings. Though they destroy occasionally due to their small damage. Critters do not follow flare. Once they are on the base, there is no way to control them. Medkits are also useless on them. Due to their high speed, they are a perfect tool for triggering mines and distracting defense buildings from your actual troops. Plus they do not take any space on the deployment boats.