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  1. Hey everyone! First post on the forum here. I thought I'd give back a bit and contribute some tactics and general tips for playing low tier cruisers (approximately the I to IV range) to give those starting out a bit of helpful info. The forums have been a huge help to me and this is all stuff I picked up from playing my first 300 battles or so, most of those in cruisers and a significant number of them in the IJN Kuma. Cruiser Lines IJN: my personal favourite thus far. Typically fewer guns but a faster rate of fire and better HE damage/chance of starting a fire. Relatively lightly armoured but more maneuverable than their counterparts. USN: More heavily armoured with an emphasis on AP over HE shells and generally more guns, at the cost of being less maneuverable and slower. There are many other cruiser lines in the game, but these are the ones I started with. I'm sure someone else can speak on the others better than I can. Tactics If you're playing a cruiser (CA) you're usually in a support role. You don't have the speed of a destroyer (DD) to rush ahead and capture areas, but you also don't have the armour of a battleship (BB) to survive an onslaught of enemy fire. Try to stay in the middle of the pack where your consumables can help your team, bigger ships will protect you, and you can take out softer targets like enemy DD's before they reach your fleet. Hang out with BB's when possible. Even better, put them between you and the enemy. When you do this you can angle your ship more aggressively and bring more guns to bear on the enemy because most of their fire will be concentrated on the battleship. Focus on your HE shells. Your high rate of fire compared to other ships means that you can rain hell down on BB's or other CA's from a distance. Your guns are small and won't do the same type of damage that the bigger guns of BB's will, so aim to start multiple fires on enemy ships and be a general nuisance instead, forcing them to use up consumables and throw a wrench in their plans. Don't be afraid to use your Hydroacoustic Search and Fighter consumables if you have them. The tide of battles can turn earlier than you think, so try to resist the urge to save them until the end of the game. Hydroacoustic Search is especially valuable when capturing areas early in the game to see if enemy DD's have gotten there first. Lower tier CA's typically don't have great AA defences, so when possible stick together so that enemy planes have AA fire from multiple ships to contend with as opposed to yours alone. When you're detected, take evasive action early and don't rely on your AA guns to save you. Don't be afraid of a tactical retreat. Sometimes you're simply outnumbered and outgunned when trying to capture an area and it's better to live to fight another day than rush headlong into oncoming fire only to get lit up moments later. When you do this, vary your course and speed to make yourself harder to hit, and return fire as a second priority in the hopes of disabling modules and being one more thing the enemy has to worry about. Make sure to tell your team too. Issue a "get back" command (F9) or tell them in the chat so you don't hang them out to dry and make them an easy target in the process. Choose your commander skills carefully. Some good starting points depending on your play style are Incoming Fire Alert, Priority Target, Last Stand, Expert Marksman, Adrenaline Rush, Demolition Expert, Superintendent, and Concealment Expert. Generally avoid skills like Survivability Expert (doesn't make a meaningful difference to HP at low tiers) and Torpedo Armament Expertise (your torpedo tubes should be a last resort when surprised at close range). Hope this helps some people new to the game get their sea legs!
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