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Snargfargle

Reassessing the role of the Cleveland

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For the past year, I have had my Cleveland spec'd out an a antiaircraft gunboat. I used the AA module and secondary battery survival modules. I had Basic and Advanced Firing Training. I had the Defensive AA Fire Consumable. My Cleveland was a bastion against aircraft. Once, I shot down 36 planes in a single battle. Once.

 

Herein lies the problem. There are CVs present in one out of every five games. When I do meet a CV, the odds are slim that any planes are going to stray over my Cleveland. If I escort a BB then the planes really stay clear of me simply because of the Cleveland's AA reputation, combined with the BBs own AA defense.

 

Therefore, I began to ask myself, "Is it really beneficial to fully spec the Cleveland out an AA cruiser? With the current free commander skills reassignments and module de-mounting, I've been playing around with various builds for the Cleveland. I've come up with one that significantly increases my damage per game. In fact, it has been increasing it by at least 50%. Here is a recent example:

 

shot-17.10.21_09.45.05-0114.jpg

 

More on this later.

Edited by Snargfargle

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I completely agree.  I run an anti-ship build on my cleveland and run hydro.  My only concession to AA is to use the aa module, because the guns are accurate enough.

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Here is my new build.

 

  • I have the Steven Segal commander, which boosts the Expert loader and Expert Marksman skills.
  • I have IFHE to allow penetration of the bow and stern of BBs up to tier VIII. I have Demolition Expert to return the fire-setting chance to a respectable 11.5%.
  • I have Concealment Expert to reduce my detectability to 11.4 km in the open and 6.7 km after firing in smoke.
  • I have Adrenaline Rush to increase my rate of fire after receiving damage.
  • When I get to 19 points I need to decide. I may add Superintendent then, or maybe Vigilance.

 

I am debating whether to exchange the Defensive AA fire for Hydro-acoustic search. For now, I think I'll keep the former as if a CV does test me I can make it think that I'm still a fully-AA-spec'd out Cleveland.

Edited by Snargfargle

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6 minutes ago, Snargfargle said:

Here is my new build.

 

  • I have the Steven Segal commander, which boosts the Expert loader and Expert Marksman skills.
  • I have IFHE to allow penetration of the bow and stern of BBs up to tier VIII. I have Demolition Expert to return the fire-setting chance to a respectable 11.5%.
  • I have Concealment Expert to reduce my detectability to 11.4 km in the open and 6.7 km after firing in smoke.
  • I have Adrenaline Rush to increase my rate of fire after receiving damage.
  • When I get to 19 points I need to decide. I may add Superintendent then, or maybe Vigilance.

 

I am debating whether to exchange the Defensive AA fire for Hydro-acoustic search. For now, I think I'll keep the former as if a CV does test me I can make it think that I'm still a fully-AA-spec'd out Cleveland.

How about both?

 

cleve.JPG

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I don't run DE.  To me 1 extra fire for every 50 hits is not worth the investment.  I also don't run AR.  I tried it, and just didn't fall in love like most people do.

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I get what you mean here. Although, it seems that whenever I mount the Hydro acoustic module, there are CVs. When I mount Defensive AA, the opposite. But on average/long run, it tends to work out for me with Defensive AA. 

 

Hydro acoustic for me is an offensive kit with this ship. At least that's how I use it. But I almost always mount the DAA. Because, when you're using hard cover to lob shells, and enemy planes start to appear to spot me. I have a quicker means to swap them down to maintain my cover and concealment.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Snargfargle said:

Here is my new build.

 

  • I have the Steven Segal commander, which boosts the Expert loader and Expert Marksman skills.
  • I have IFHE to allow penetration of the bow and stern of BBs up to tier VIII. I have Demolition Expert to return the fire-setting chance to a respectable 11.5%.
  • I have Concealment Expert to reduce my detectability to 11.4 km in the open and 6.7 km after firing in smoke.
  • I have Adrenaline Rush to increase my rate of fire after receiving damage.
  • When I get to 19 points I need to decide. I may add Superintendent then, or maybe Vigilance.

 

I am debating whether to exchange the Defensive AA fire for Hydro-acoustic search. For now, I think I'll keep the former as if a CV does test me I can make it think that I'm still a fully-AA-spec'd out Cleveland.

I have pretty much the same build with a 19 point Steven Segal, I always get a chuckle out of the 1.9 shell switch when loaded

I build the ship with anything for antiship the AA build is good enough as is

have noticed like others that CVs seem to avoid this ship for some strange reason....

I don’t play it much anymore but would never sell it either other than the Vl escort campaigns were it’s my go to ship

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I don't run the Cleveland that much anymore, specifically for the reasons you point out.  Mine is specced for AA but things have gotten to the point where if I want to see matches with no carriers, I bring the Cleveland.

 

On the other hand, bring the Ishizuchi and you see two experienced seal-clubbing red carriers for days on end, and they always know exactly who to go after.

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Even without any AA-specific enhancements the Cleveland's inherent AA is capable enough take out most aircraft threats. In a game just now a Saipan made the mistake of thinking it could torpedo me with two full squadrons of torpedo bombers. Using the Defensive AA consumable I took both of them out before they could drop a single fish.

Edited by Snargfargle

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26 minutes ago, crzyhawk said:

I don't run DE.  To me 1 extra fire for every 50 hits is not worth the investment.  I also don't run AR.  I tried it, and just didn't fall in love like most people do.

 

What do you run at that skill level? I'm going to try going without DE for a while and see what happens. However, what to replace it with? I thought about Vigilance and Superintendent but finally settled on Basics of Survivability as I do seem to get set on fire a lot.

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57 minutes ago, Snargfargle said:

For the past year, I have had my Cleveland spec'd out an a antiaircraft gunboat. I used the AA module and secondary battery survival modules. I had Basic and Advanced Firing Training. I had the Defensive AA Fire Consumable. My Cleveland was a bastion against aircraft. Once, I shot down 36 planes in a single battle. Once.

 

Herein lies the problem. There are CVs present in one out of every five games. When I do meet a CV, the odds are slim that any planes are going to stray over my Cleveland. If I escort a BB then the planes really stay clear of me simply because of the Cleveland's AA reputation, combined with the BBs own AA defense.

 

Therefore, I began to ask myself, "Is it really beneficial to fully spec the Cleveland out an AA cruiser? With the current free commander skills reassignments and module de-mounting, I've been playing around with various builds for the Cleveland. I've come up with one that significantly increases my damage per game. In fact, it has been increasing it by at least 50%. Here is a recent example:

 

shot-17.10.21_09.45.05-0114.jpg

 

More on this later.

 

When I've run Cleveland - there's something about the reliability and simplicity of this ship that's refreshing to come back to occasionally - I've had her set up primarily for the anti-ship role.  Even so, her AA is adequate for the occasional CVs in the mix - especially if you have an 17 to 19 pt captain assigned to her.

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I think i will do a AFT, CE, IFHE for tier 4 skills.   I did pretty much all of ranked with the cleve, but without AFT.(15 point captain)  I went with the double spotter plane, which was great for spotting.

 

i will say it may be worth dumping AFT and the extra fighter for vigilance and EM.  you sitll have 6km or so for AA.  decisions decisions.

 

also, i played against you the other day while you were playing the cleve. 

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People fail to grasp what the fundamental reason is for AA Builds.

 

Air Defense to not only make enemy planes pay dearly, but keep them away.

 

Whether that AA swats lots of planes down or keeps them away, it's fulfilled its purpose. 

If your AA Cruiser's presence keeps bombers away from the ships in your area, then it's fulfilled it's purpose. 

If your AA scared away a Nuking Bomb Run on that BB near, you, it's fulfilled its purpose. 

If your AA destroyed most of the planes that attacked that BB near you, it's fulfilled it's purposes.

 

If your AA Cruiser like Cleveland, Atlanta, Adm.Hipper, Baltimore, Des Moines, Henri IV, etc. get ZERO aircraft kills in a CV match, but the ships near you have not been attacked, then the AA Build has fulfilled its purpose.

 

Also, you cannot rely on a ship's AA reputation to keep bombers away.  Because there are CV players smart enough to preview Team Member stats ingame at the roster when the map is still loading.  You can tell who really has good AA, who doesn't.  I'm not even a CV Main, but I catch a lot of "AA Reputable" ships with s--t AA and I play accordingly.

 

For Cleveland it's important, IMO.  Because she is smack in the middle of the tier range where CVs are most actively played.  She sees Tier V and as high as Tier VIII in MM.  And in those tiers you have the most played CVs in the game with some very powerful favorites.

Kaga

Hiryu

Saipan

Shokaku

Enterprise

Ryujo

Just to name a few.  And in these same tier ranges, there are lots of ships, especially in the BB area, that have terrible AA and no amount of AA Speccing for them will make them decent.  Which is why an appropriately AA Specced Cleveland is important to me and one that I still maintain.  Tier V-VII, the amount of good AA capable ships are very small.

 

Now, I'm not insisting you take BFT+AFT+Manual AA+AAGM2 in Cleveland.  You don't need to go that far, but a fundamental AA build is very strong for Cleveland in dealing with aircraft and defending the team.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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Everything is a s trade off when setting up the ship and speccing out it's captain.  Do you enhance whats already strong and turn the ship into a one trick pony or to you enhance where the ship is weak so the ship becomes over all more capable?  Being full on AA spec when there is no CV in the match is a wasted, but when there is a CV in the match it can be a god send to whom ever your running near   The players that use add on mods to get detail info about apposing players, and thier ship load out.. it's a bit cheezy. fortunatly it's not common so don't waste time or effort being overly concerned about  because the smart CV player is still going to pounce on AA speced ship if they're isolated at all and just take the plane looses early so they don't have to deal with your ship later in the match.  It's a trade off for them...Over in supremacy league play it's something we deal with all the time and I've seen no small number of CV players give up in utter frustration because of SL team getting the idea of mutual AA defense.  It's real difficult to make your tactics work if the opposition refuses to co-operate!  Suddenly CV's are not about getting anti ship strikes in but being the eyes of the fleet and air supremacy builds become king.  SL is tier 8 play but the same principles apply.  Even with out a specific AA build the Cleve is still a strong AA ship and you can still be the AA escort.  But running around solo and not in close proximity to other friendlies even with AA spec won't save you if the CV really wants to take you down.  If they come after your non AA spec cleve when your in close company they'll pay for it much if not more strongly then they would other wise.  and the Cleve ends up doing the same job it would be doing other wise while have enhanced surviveability or offencive capability.

 

There is no perfect solution, (petty sure thats part of the WG plan!)  Just always remember.. the ship is just a tool.  YOU are the weapon. 

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I changed out my AA spec Texas a while back, I have Steven Seagal as my main captain for it right now. Mainly I swapped the AA mod for the Plotting Room mod to give my the range I need for all the T7 matches I see. Still with AFT and BFT she is more than capable of defending herself against T7 CVs. That said it is rare I see CVs in my Texas and even rarer they come after me because of the Texas's reputation

 

The only ship I run a full AA build still on is my Colorado because 87 AA rating for a ship CVs think it's a easy target is plain lulz. I shot down 28 planes from a strike Hiryuu last night for no hits on me

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Cruisers rely mainly on DFAA to get rid of planes because their AA DPS isn't strong enough to protect them from planes by itself. Even a Des Moines would get run over by a Hakuryu/Midway if he forgets to turn on DFAA. Battleships on the other hand, are equipped with a larger array of AA guns that benefit more from the DPS enhancing skills such as BFT and Manual AA. All you really need to be a big threat to planes in a Cleveland (and most cruisers) is AFT and the AA range module to push your long range AA bubble out to 7.2 km. Cleveland's long-range AA also deals the most DPS out of all her AA auras, so she gets a lot of mileage out of those skills. 

 

BBs can get away with going full AA build because doing so doesn't affect their anti-ship capabilities (unless you're fanatical enough to get the 25% AA DPS boost on your T9-T10 BBs that is...). They also get great gains to their AA DPS because the skills are percentage-based (or flat increase for DFAA), and BBs have naturally higher DPS values to begin with. Whereas forgoing IFHE on the Cleveland to be a full-time CV bully does gimp your damage output against BBs and high tier cruisers.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Snargfargle said:

 

What do you run at that skill level? I'm going to try going without DE for a while and see what happens. However, what to replace it with? I thought about Vigilance and Superintendent but finally settled on Basics of Survivability as I do seem to get set on fire a lot.

I dont recall, I'll have to check my Cleveland commander.  On my more fragile cruisers like Perth and d'Aosta, I run survivability expert for the extra health (a very unpopular choice, I like it but don't recommend due to backlash from other players lol).  On Cleveland, I may still have BFT in case carriers decide to test the Cleveland's AA reputation, but I don't recall for certain.

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2 hours ago, Cruiser_Chicago said:

Whereas forgoing IFHE on the Cleveland to be a full-time CV bully does gimp your damage output against BBs and high tier cruisers.

 

I agree that IFHE seems to work well, especially when matched to tier VIII ships. In general, I find that I can consistently deal more damage with HE, not only because of the fire starting, but also because most players aren't foolish enough to travel too far broadside to even a cruiser. There are times to use AP though, and this is where that concealment module shines. With concealment, the Cleveland can sneak up within 11.5 km of a broadside cruiser and toss that first salvo of AP at it undetected, usually getting a citadel hit or two. I think I'm going to do some testing using only AP, only HE, and only IFHE to see what results I get. I'll post the data back here after I play three of four games of each. Should be a fun evening.

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Even a brief test shows the benefits of using IFHE with 152 mm guns. 

 

Without IFHE: 61% non-penetrations.

With IFHE: 32% non-penetrations.

  

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I run my Cleveland similar to what the OP had himself at the beginning. I find the complete AA spec to be alright in most battles, but I wreck face with the Cleveland in Operations. Players aren't dumb enough to send planes over you, operation bots are. I have about 25-40 aircraft shot down in almost every operation match.

I guess the usefulness (or lack thereof) of the AA spec is just dependent on what you want to do with your Cleveland.

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6 hours ago, Snargfargle said:

Even without any AA-specific enhancements the Cleveland's inherent AA is capable enough take out most aircraft threats. In a game just now a Saipan made the mistake of thinking it could torpedo me with two full squadrons of torpedo bombers. Using the Defensive AA consumable I took both of them out before they could drop a single fish.

Not saying you're exaggerating because Rngesus can be very giving at times, for either side. 

 

That being said all a Cleveland's reputation gets it is an inspection while loading in from a Saipan.  If you are thinking that a partial or non existent AA build will save you, think again.  Stick with a group overlap your AA and use your dfaa as a debuff to help protect your team.

HvP83Di.jpg

 

 

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Everyone who is going to respec without a dedicated AA build please talk it up. So when I keep my AA build on the Cleveland and Atlanta maybe CVs won't be so shy.  :Smile_teethhappy:

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1 minute ago, Kizarvexis said:

Everyone who is going to respec without a dedicated AA build please talk it up. So when I keep my AA build on the Cleveland and Atlanta maybe CVs won't be so shy.  :Smile_teethhappy:

 

Shh, you have revealed my devious plan!

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5 hours ago, Psycodiver said:

I changed out my AA spec Texas a while back, I have Steven Seagal as my main captain for it right now. Mainly I swapped the AA mod for the Plotting Room mod to give my the range I need for all the T7 matches I see. Still with AFT and BFT she is more than capable of defending herself against T7 CVs. That said it is rare I see CVs in my Texas and even rarer they come after me because of the Texas's reputation

 

The only ship I run a full AA build still on is my Colorado because 87 AA rating for a ship CVs think it's a easy target is plain lulz. I shot down 28 planes from a strike Hiryuu last night for no hits on me

 

I like the extra 20% range that the AA module that stacks with AFT. I don't feel the extra main battery range is worth it due to dispersion and T6 & T7 CVs can be punished for attacking me. They will get hits, but pay for it in an AA spec Texas. And since the AA guns are not affected by MFCAA, I plan on spec'ing the rest out for survivability.

Edited by Kizarvexis

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