This is a Simple T10 CRUISER guide as of 0.5.9, Nothing more, everything's less, simple.
People need to understand one concept: Personal Skill > Ship. HOWEVER, you need to play to the ship's strong point to maximize the effects.
It's not as simple as one ship is better than the other. You NEED to adjust your play style to accommodate the ship.
Zao: The single most versatile ship out of the 4 cruiser. it has speed, maneuverability, guns, concealment, and torps. Jack of all trades, master of none. a great choice for someone to get their first tier 10 cruiser.
Its flaws are also pretty spread across the board, bad turret placement, bad citadel location, bad turret traverse, bad reload, and bad torpedo arc. Nothing too crippling, but quite a big hindrance.
The zao's rear turret placement is bad, in order to fully utilize your four turret, the Zao will be at a angle where every BB, Hinden, and Mosk can citadel it. To overcome this problem, YOU MUST not be the focus fire target, use your concealment to overcome this weakness, stay in the middle of the fleet, STOP FIRING once more than 2 ship are focusing on you, let your Romulan cloaking device work, once the enemy's fire are diverted, continue pumping out shells.
The rear torpedo racks are a major issue, if you see a BB salvo coming straight for you, DO NOT allow it to hit your rear section, because it is a major citadel area, everything can citadel that region, if you are engaged in a chase fight with more than 1 ship, ALWAYS pay attention to who has fired and who is reloading. You do NOT have the hp to take hits.
You have supercharged torpedo, at 8 km range, you can either use it to ambush island or deny DD in smokes, this is a important feature as you do not have radar. the really awkward firing arc means you must be at full broadside in order to launch torps, use your concealment to get close then launch them, NEVER fire in the middle of a torp run, unless you are about to land the sweetest cit hit this game will ever witness.
Always use your concealment to adjust your ship's angling and position, you have 13s reload time, the lowest hp, you will lose in a 1v1 against any other tier 10 cruiser if they know how to aim.
TL;DR: Maximize your concealment, angle and position your self before opening fire, and always pay attention to your surrounding.
Des Moines: The DPS monster with terrible shell arc and speed, because it's the only way to balance this ship, medium skill ceiling and insane amount of high caliber AA guns.
the 2 biggest flaw with this ship is the shell arc+speed and gun range. you MUST utilize everything to make up for these flaws, else the ship will feel very very bad.
Using your gun arc and shooting behind island is plausible, against slow moving targets. at range longer than 13km, every cruiser and DD will be able to dodge most of your shells, Des Moines Excels in ambush tactic, any unsuspecting target around 10km will be decimated with your 6s reload time.
NEVER chase anything maneuverable at more than 15km, you will lose the fire fight as Des Moine is VERY weak to he shells.
Your lack of torpedo makes it extremely important for you to be aware of BB location. you cannot instantly sink BBs therefore is highly screwed if several high tier BB decide to look your direction. you MUST plan your entrance and exit before any engagement.
Radar, Fast reload, decent concealment, and nice speed means DD hunting role falls to you when there is no DD near by,
Your second to Zao Concealment allows you to choose WHEN to engage a target, trigger discipline is very important to the success of Des Moine, it is the biggest feature that will help you in open water engagement. Like Zao, you can get close, and then use the remaining concealment distance to angle your ship and then pump out shells.
TL;DR: Use your Concealment to cancel your flaw in range and shell arc/speed, pay attention to your surrounding and hunt DD when no one else can.
Hindenburg: Powerful guns, Fast shells, fast turret traverse, low shell dispersion and great torp arc, Its a AP sniper with enough punch to fend it self at knife fights..
This is a extreme ship, it have bad concealment, the ship burns as well as the airship and the rudder work as slow as internet explorer. it is simply not a front line ship. highly not recommended for new players.
You got 12 guns and they have the highest AP damage in the game, If you are shooting more HE than AP in the game then you are playing it wrong.
These monster AP allows you to wreck BB at any distance with ease, HOWEVER BB can equally wreck you with ease if you are not prepared.
With the worst rudder shift of all the cruisers, you must remember when enemy BB fired and start turning BEFORE they fire.
The lack of concealment and terrible rudder means if you are caught with your pants down by anything, you are as good as dead. the best way to prevent this is never be on the front line, always stay with friends, give the enemy something to ambush other than you.
The torps are great at denying between islands, but NEVER go in for a torpedo run in open water, it is almost impossible to pull out from a committed turn in this thing, trading 1 tier 10 for another ship is simply not worth it.
Your terrible rudder also makes DD a greater threat than anything else, you need to constantly shift vector more than anything else when you are spotted.
ABUSE your gun range and shell speed, hit unsuspecting targets with AP and always aim for cit, even against CV. You have the worst fire starting chance and HE damage, AP is more consistent for Hinden than HE.
TL;DR: Spam AP, aim for cit, Wreck BB, watch out for torp and surrounding.
Moskva: Highest HP, fast speed, Biggest guns, rail guns, and Extreme gun range, this isn't a Cruiser, its a battlecruiser, CC.
No torps, Turns just as bad as Hinden, Lowest AA damage out of all the cruiser, your concealment is worthless, it's a abomination, defiantly the most unique ship out of the bunch.
Concealment is your biggest issue, Concealed fire is not, with all concealment maxed, you can get the range down to 14km, and with the extend fire upgrade, you are now officially a conceal firing BB with very bad armor. However, at 14km, DD can turn away way before you spot them, even Zao and Des Moines can turn around and angle their armor to engage you. in short: never take the spear head of the assault.
Don't let the huge HP pool fools you, This is not a BB and at close range you will be cit a lot, even at a angle, because your rear has no armor.
Because of your concealment after you fire, you will have a very hard time figuring out if it is a DD or cruiser spotting you and their direction, this means you need to be on high alert all time when you are spotted.
Your mighty Russian rail guns means you can easily citadel anything under 14km, even BB, however, you are equally fragile at that range, combine the fact you only have 9 gun, no torp and 10s reload, you cannot afford to miss, you must know where to aim, or you will have a bad time.
Your slow turning speed and Low AA means you are exceptionally weak against tier 10 CV, it is highly recommended you have escorts.
the bow angle makes it almost invincible when charging head on, however, this is exceptionally dangerous, because your side armor is utterly garbage, ALWAYS check you flanks to make sure nothing is broadsiding you.
TL;DR: Mighty Russian steel, equipped with rail gun and superior bow angle. Glorious communist boat does not require petty things such as concealment, but could benefit greatly from it. Depleted
Stalinium can cit even BBs are close range, Glorious Russian Steel does not play like mundane cruiser, because it's not. its CC.
This guide is written through MY experience (I may or may not be a crapplayer), there are many ways to play a ship, what I view as strong point could be considered as weak points for some.
This is meant to be a reference to those struggling in choosing a T10 to grind and I hope this will shed some light.