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How to play T8 Axis CA's

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I'm sure this must sound completely stupid, but I think I've finally hit my wall at tier 8. I'm playing the Mogami, Admiral Hipper, and Atago, and I'm just getting targeted like nobody's business. I think almost every stereotype people rage over on this forum has hit me with a sledgehammer when I'm a T8 thrown into matches that include T9 and T10's.


Classic examples include:

-DD's and RN cruisers hiding in smoke and just railing hell onto me from a distance

-High tier battleships all targeting me the minute I'm spotted and essentially deleting me with what feels like lasers for guns

-And watching as carriers unleash bombers upon bombers on me due to not being American or British.


I think it's the frustration of seeing my priority target almost constantly being activated with at least three people turning their guns to me through a match, but how on earth do you high tier German/Japanese cruiser players hold your own at the top of the food chain?

Edited by Rommel603

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Mogami is a ship that relies on Stealth when facing Battlships. Your ship is basically one huge citadel. Use islands, don't engage multiple targets at once. 


Admiral Hipper is (or at least was for me) a support ship. Stay back with the Battleships, give them AA cover and use your long range for plunging fire with AP against Battleships. 

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While I can't speak about the Hipper or Atago having never played them, I can talk about the Mogami. 
I ground through her, before the recent buff, and I'm working on the Ibuki. 

First thing to remember, the longer you stay alive the more of a threat you become. So stay alive.  

Second thing, you are not a front line ship. Don't be the ship leading the charge. Don't push caps early game trying to support your destroyers. Stay at range, set fires and keep raining damage on everything in range. 

Third, Kit, Dodge, Weave, and protect that citadel. Use the ships speed to control who can fire at you and when. Don't be afraid of disengaging if the situation gets to hot. 

Finally, try to keep Battles ships and other large cruisers between you and the enemy. Remember Team work gives the enemy more targets to shot at. 

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Hey Rommel!  Don't give up on the cruisers - you have some great ships you're playing there at Tier VIII.  Some of the earlier posters are spot-on on w/ the tactics you need to get comfortable w/ for these ships.


With the recent turret traverse change, the Mogami is now a fire-spammer w/ decent turret performance to allow it to maneuver while firing so it needs to be played like a maneuvering, kiting 2nd line cruiser like a Chapayev or Kutuzov.  You shouldn't be up front leading the charge due to your huge citiadel so maneuver & cover are essential when playing this ship.  Tho I went through this ship prior to the recent changes and played mainly the 8" gun version, I plan on rebuying the ship as soon as I finish unlocking the rest of the Tier Xs (May) just so I can play the new turret changes using the 6" guns on this ship.


The Atago also has stealth/maneuver as it strengths and performs well as a fire starter.  It plays as a much better Myoko and the tactics described earlier also serve it well.  Don't overlook the oversized destroyer aspect.  The Atago has great long range torpedoes for firing into smoke, area denial or camping BB concentrations.


The Hipper is a different beast - under the right circumstances, you can get away w/ more aggressive play. I've actually taken down a full health Fuso w/ a Hipper in a accidental brawl, but you still need to maneuver and armor angle well (& finish w torps).  The Hipper has good AP at modest range but don't be afraid to use your HE (yes the damage value is relatively weaker, but you can still light fires with it). It is a big ship tho, but it's gun layout is like the Bismarck & FDG.  The lessons w the Hipper are sometimes it's better to use just your front guns to avoid exposing your side, but you need to use cover and maneuver as in the previous 2 ships.


One the best reasons for not giving up is that the Ibuki & Roon (& beyond) are definitely worth it! Good Luck!

Edited by hangglide42

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Hey there Rommel,

I am conveying the same sentiment of my brethren and adding some tips.

First (and most important) all Cruiser have 2 required skill their captain should strive for :

1 - Priority Target : Most important skill of the game for ANY and ALL Cruiser. 

2- Concealment Expertise : Unless you are running a pure AA skill set (which case you strive for AFT first THEN C.E. right after)


Basic strategy and tactics : All Cruiser operates under the same 'algorithm' :

- straddle your detect range line and fire at priority targets (1st- DD; 2nd- Cruisers; last BB).

- As soon as P.T. numbers climb past 1 , veer off, stop firing and get back to safety until that numbers goes back to 0 or until you're no longer detected

- rinse repeat !


Particularities of each :

IJN CA : These have short ranges and low detect range (particularly with C.E.)  Best way to play is to escort a DD and help clear out enemy DDs or Cruiser that threaten your DD.  This leaves that DD free to go wreck havoc on the BBs.  Furthermore, once you've eliminated the enemy DD in the area you can now use your torps to ambush enemy BB.  As a IJN Cruiser it is very important for you to incorporate torp in your gameplay.  Personally I always find the best time to use them is mid to end game (again once you've eliminated them pesky DDs)


Kriegsmarine CA : These are made for a much longer range game.  I use mine as BB screens.  Typically I can straddle the 13-15km line without being seen by the enemy until I fire.  Most (sensible) BB will stick to the 15km line in the beginning)...  So my role is to fire at range at enemy Cruiser and intercept any DD trying to sneak through and torp the BB right behind me.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you do not stay at the 13-15km line the whole game.  Like any Cruiser you are at your most destructive inside the 10km line (using AP and if possible torps).  So toward the end of the game you need to be looking for opportunities to sneak inside enemy line and explode for 50K + damage game... Otherwise you'll be lucky to get a 20K damage game...


To sum up : the most important thing for you is to straddle your detect range game and use P.T. to avoid being focused...   Like somebody before me said,as a Cruiser your value increase exponentially the more alive you stay...


My 2 cents

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The advice stated above all holds true, but let me add something here.


Cruiser play has increasingly-fewer "safe" or "worthwhile" opportunities to be aggressive as you progress up tiers.  T7 and T8 have the biggest gap, in no small part because MM dumps T8s into T8-10s all the time while T7s usually see T5-7s.  People will complain about you being passive if you yourself adjust your playstyle to be further back, but cruisers are supposed to be passive until those moments when their utility can be brought to bear - pushing a cap with allies, for instance, is a very effective use of radar/hydro, however you can't just do it on a whim at any tier.


The utility-based reasons for cruisers being up at the front line also means you can't lead a push unless there's no larger ship available.  Tanking in a high-tier CA is a joke (even Moskva is only mediocre at it if the enemy knows how to counter you), especially when most matches have 5+ battleships nowadays.  You depend on your team to create the opening, then you make sure they can take advantage of it.  That plan doesn't exactly go over well if the number of team complaint threads we see here are any indication.

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