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Giorgio_marksman

Help with cleveland

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it's a while now i have been playing the Cleveland. I have analyzed its strengths and it's weaknesses and i have watched various tutorials on how to play it, but i still never have good matches, mainly because of the slow shell velocity and the very big shell arcs. The targets i hit are generally destroyers (when under 9km) and battleships because cruisers are very hard to hit because of your shell arc and velocity unless they are under 10km. I generally use HE against destroyers and battleships, aiming for the superstructure and i rarely expose my sides, even thought, i get citadelled very easily, and i have to lead my target a lot because of the shell arc. Also, because of the long time the shells stay in the air, the enemy ships manage to maneuver and very rarely i hit. In port it says that the Cleveland's fire chance with HE is 12% but i almost never set anything on fire even if at the end of the match i have over 120 shots on target (although most of them non-penetration). Is there a way to reduce the shell arc or should i perhaps change play style? (i usually play behind the first line of cruisers in our team) Please help me.

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Cleveland is a bit of a tricky cruiser to do very well in.
There are two main ways to perform well in her:
A)  Get very good at shooting from range - they might not be able to dodge, but they'll be too busy dodging to fire back effectively as well.

or
B)  Brawl.  Cleveland has an extremely low citadel that is notoriously hard to hit.  She's not invincible, but she's one of the harder cruisers to delete in a single salvo.  Also her AP shells are really powerful at medium to close range.

The big issue is knowing when to commit to an attack.  Almost all aggressive ships live or die by the timing of their attack.
My suggestion is practice firing until you can reliably hit ships moving straight at max range.  Once you get the hang of that, you can slowly work on your attack timing!

Edited by Kenjister

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Ooo, she is tough to play. And like kenjizer said brawl. Who would thought that, mine is a dd eating machine under 7k. Loading ap at that range citadel like crazy. I know I just like dory or a dd... Just keep moving in the most crooked line possible. Most times my guns are out ranged, and CVs won't challenge my AA... You are going to have a lot of bad games. Set those bbs on fire with every Salvo... Arc those rounds over mountains on a camping cruiser... Help the cv  with the planes. 

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You better get the feel of how to use those shells past 10km.  If you don't then your effective engagement windows will be seriously restricted to short ranges.  At least learn to engage BBs reliably past 10km and towards max range.  Ignore Cruisers at those extended ranges until you get real good with your aim, even then, they're easy for Cruisers to avoid due to Cleveland's long shell float time.

 

You also need to exercise fire discipline.  No sense in giving away your position on the map for trying to take a pointless potshot at a Cruiser 13km away.  If you're going to fire, make sure the range and your aim is right, don't spam gunfire just to keep you lit on the map.

 

Also, be wary about being kited by Cruisers and Destroyers.  Cleveland is freaking awful chasing ships with her extremely floaty shells.  When I play other Cruisers or RU DDs against a Cleveland, I try to bait them to come after me and I kite them at 12km or so.  Most Cleveland players can't hit a Cruiser, much less DD sized target at that range that is kiting them.  I just keep wearing them down as they run into my shells.  Every salvo Cleveland fires at me keeps them detected for others to shoot at them.  If you want to give chase to some DD or Cruiser and it's already climbed to about 12km, forget about it, turn around and go back into concealment.  Don't be stubborn and give yourself away for the sake of terrible, long ranged shots that will be easy to avoid.

 

Also remember that in a CV match, your AA is the best around at Tier VI.  Other Cruisers at this tier or lower are worthless in AA.  BBs not named Texas at Tier VI and below tend to have awful or very mediocre AA.  Remember that you got the best AA and it is worth protecting your BBs because CVs actively try to go after BBs.  DDs are also another potential, early match escort target.  Sail several km behind your DDs that are trying to go to a cap.  Find an island near the cap to camp behind but in range to cover the DD(s).  At the beginning of every CV match, CVs always check caps to spot DDs for attack and team focus fire.  You may be able to bag some aircraft kills as they try to scout your DDs.  Your Defensive Fire will panic those bomber attacks on your DDs and they will appreciate it.  This may seem obvious but you'd be surprised how fast some Clevelands rush out to get themselves sunk early in a match in a CV match.

 

As for setting fires, slot Demolition Expert if you can and IFHE if you got the points.  Your damage will be more consistent.  Setting fires however is still RNG.  Sometimes you set a lot of fires.  Sometimes RNG flips you off.  There's nothing you can do but keep hitting.  With IFHE at least your shells will do more consistent damage.

 

Also, if you are doing your angles, profiles to the target just fine but still get nailed a lot, several things come to mind.

- You're still a Cruiser and you'll eat BB gunfire poorly.  Cleveland is tougher than many of her peers in these tiers but she is still a Cruiser nonetheless.

- Another thing to consider is if you fire and become engage, consider how many targets you are opening yourself to.  Being out in the open water where 6 guys can shoot at you is a dangerous prospect for any Cruiser because all some a$$hole BB needs is one lucky salvo to land on you and end your game.  If you are somewhere where multiple BBs and other ships can engage you, when your Priority Target warning is up at 4 or whatever, then you are going to run out of time really soon.  Use terrain, position, range to limit the amount of people that can attack you.  It's all a game of angles.

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When engaging enemy ships, make sure you're aiming at the superstructure when firing HE. HE will fail to penetrate belt armor of BBs and more heavily armored CA/CLs, and you can't set someone on fire that way. Aim around the deck level and the floaty shells will plunge into the superstructure, netting you more damage. 

 

Once things get close and personal, and your enemy is showing you a broadside worth shooting at, switch to your AP. It may only be 155mm, but Americans have super heavy AP shells which will make short work of anyone who gets within about 9km range. Any more than that, and you're fishing for plunging fire, which is somewhat pointless when you could just be throwing HE at them for more consistent damage. 

 

Your AA, even without speccing into it, is enough to dissuade CVs from coming anywhere near you. This means that this ship is probably the first effective escort cruiser in the game. If you see a ship like the Fuso or Nagato, someone who has good carry potential but lacking AA, stay in formation with them during the beginning stages of the game. You'll force the CV to either ignore a serious threat, or eat up their planes with your DF active. If that player's halfway decent, than just following them around and preventing the CV from sniping them is a fairly worthwhile endeavor. Once the game starts developing more, feel free to split off if you can see you're needed elsewhere more, or if your escort is just sitting back and sniping.

 

The high shell arc is a curse, but it does come with a blessing too. You can shoot over a lot of islands. Either parking yourself behind an island within range of enemy ships and lighting them up from safety, or catching people trying to do the same thing you're doing. 

 

Be cautious about your armor. Yes, it's pretty nice for a cruiser, but that's actually a bad thing. While your citadel is legendarily well protected, the rest of your armor is thick enough to arm AP shell, but not thick enough to stop them. You'll eat a lot of penetrations, and while they won't be the knockout citadel hits, you also won't get away with many overpenetrations either. If you get into a brawl, make sure you know in advance that you're going to come out on top. 

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Cleveland is the one ship that clearly belongs at Tier 10...  not tier 6.

If you can't do OK in a Cleveland..  you might want to have your medication re-evaluated.


 

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I also just recently unlocked it.  All these Cleveland posts recently are useful.

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Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters, Beta Testers
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If you have trouble using the Cleveland, make sure you're actually playing in it.

I haven't played it since Alpha and it's been OP ever since.

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The Cleveland has seen a flurry of nerfs since the closed beta ended. Plus the introduction of the Budyonny, which more or less fills her role as HE spamming CL better than she does now.

 

I'm holding out of the inevitable line split, where they put her at tier 8 where she belongs, with buffs to fit. 

Edited by Aegis270

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