ULTIMATE ESCORT SHIP GUIDE
You can use FF, DD or CL as an escort: including PCL, APA and Turtle Ship. To get an escort, click Form under the escort menu. You can have more than one escort formed and ready at once, but only use one at a time. You need to "set" your default escort to use it, If you unset your default escort ship, you will not have an escort in the battle.
Shooting and engagement
+/= Turns escort on/off, like "cease fire" and "fire at will". This key is hard-coded and you can not change it. It may be different in non-USA keyboards, such as asterix or smtg else (the keys to the left of backspace). When you tell your escort to cease fire, it will still follow you.
Escort shoots at enemy aircraft and ships, depending on the ammo it has (AA or HE/AP). Aim is not that good.
If you want your escort to be dual purpose, like both anti air and anti surface, you need to use R slots for one purpose and T slots for the other purpose. (I use HE on T and AA on R, works fair)
Escort can not use B-locker, and B-locker should be empty.
It doesn't care about friendly ships or friendly aircraft when firing at enemy.
Escort ship needs a B.O and gunners for basic functions. You may also want to load a (high lvl) restorer, since FF, DD or CL doesnt last longer without a restorer.
Crews onboard an escort doesnt gain EXP or lose sailors (no sailor death).
Sailors onboard an escort still take up space (n/50) in harbour.
FF and DD can spot subs without a sonarman, but CL needs a sonarman to spot subs. Still, sonarman onboard an FF or DD extends its submarine spotting range.
Escort can not use scouts (or any other aircraft in case that u use oyodo as an escort).
Escort moves around you, if you stand still.
It will follow you directly, if you move away.
It does not avoid rocks, islands and borders, doesn't try to reverse if ran aground.
You may want to have your escort a few knots slower so it will keep following you, and not cross you again and again. You can adjust escort's speed by changing it's engine.
Escort ships cannot (or does not) overheat.
Actions after master ship has sunk
After your master ship has sunk, escort acts depending on type of ammo it has.
If it has AA, it will follow your top team member.
If it has HE, it will charge against enemy (or where enemy is supposed to be).
If it has both types of ammo, it considers HE as its main and charges. But, with mixed guns/ammo, actions of escort might differ from a ship type to another. Alone escorts does not act very wise and can do very meaningless actions.
Attack of escort counts in the team attack.
Armor and bulge works on escorts, try .2 or .3 belt for better torp protection.
Finder FCS is your best option, that's what I choose.
Sometimes you need to manually repair and reload, especially after crashes.
For AAing, you may want to choose fast-firing guns as the aim is not good.
Escort forming price is the 5% of the ship's base price. Equipment is ignored for pricing. You don't get reimbursement when you dismiss your escort.
Every battle, 1% of price is charged.
Good luck with escorts!
PS: Requesting sticky for this!