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Fastwolf66

How to french CAs?

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I consider myself an above average player, I play with all lines and ships, but I just cannot make the french CA line to work... currently grinding the Charles Martell, and its a pain in the [edited].

Weak AP, weak HE, mediocre armor... any tips on playing the line will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

PD: Free XP to full config, much better than stock, but still feels unplayable to me.

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Well, you see, your problem is you're playing a Tier 8 cruiser in a meta where you will almost always get uptiered and be facing things with a heal party while you do not possess one.

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CM is best   t8 cruiser around.     agile, fast and   decent dpm with fire chance.        it just doesn't do well below 14km though.  :D

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They play mostly like the IJN, but with better range.

At Tier 8 it's usually an uphill battle fighting Tier 10s so often. Just focus on staying alive and picking your spots. Get to Tier 9.

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1 hour ago, Fastwolf66 said:

... any tips on playing the line will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

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1 hour ago, Fastwolf66 said:

any tips on playing the line will be greatly appreciated

 

Engine boost is not for getting to the front quickly but for GTFO moments such as needing to turn full broadside to a bunch of BBs to avoid a torp wall...that boost allows you to get past the broadside quickly & throws off most shots when employed strategically & while it's active most shots fall behind as the average player takes a minute to adjust to ships changing speed so quickly...of course when targeted by above average player all you can do is pray to RNGesus.

In open water it's great for baiting BB w/a broadside & quickly cutting to avoid incoming rounds while HE spamming them while getting you back up to full speed from maneuvers...& the best part is once it wears out it throws off the enemies shots again as hey have just gotten you dialed in at the fast speed.

Definitely not a front line capping supporter...leave that to the smoking Brits & the radar ships at start unless you're just diving in quickly to pull heat off the DDs &get some distraction shots in & using boost to quickly get out of harms way.

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1 hour ago, Fastwolf66 said:

Weak AP, weak HE, mediocre armor... 

Huh?  

I don't even.....the Martel/Saint Louis has very solid AP.  It's not fantastic, but great at punishing broadside cruisers...and the HE.....it has phenomenal HE.  With DE and both flags it can get a 19% fire chance, and has a respectable alpha of 2800.  9 guns with a 10 second reload make the Martel easily one of the best HE spammers at Tier 8.  Her armor isn't fantastic, but I find the Martel to be one of the most survivable Tier 8s because of her fantastic maneuverability.

But to answer your question, play the CM like a Soviet DD.  Run double rudder shift mods, always keep your guns firing and stay at max range whenever possible.  Make BBs shoot you, and then use your fantastic handling to doge the shells.  At max range a BB won't be able to reliably hit you simply because you have enough time to dodge their shells after they've been fired.  And above all else, keep your guns firing.  That 19% fire chance adds up real fast the more shells you spit down range.  Your job is to be a pain in the rear end of every BB on the enemy team and set the world on fire.

*edit

And taking Priority Target is an absolute must on french cruisers.  

Edited by yashma
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I have a few examples sent to me by a friend if its easier to learn from watching another player:

Spoiler

 

 

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It really depend how you play your French CA. French cruiser past T6 are really good and I can easily rank them among the top 3 CA of their tier. Charles Martel is not an exception. Compared to Algérie, you don't need to give broadside to use a lot of firepower, shells on CM are less floaty and lazy, you finally have access to Concealment module and both HE and AP are good. You don't have IJN HE damage or German AP damage but they are really good anyway.

 

Charle Martel and Saint Louis are better fire starter than IJN actually just because with DE you have 17% fire chance and you can shoot every 10s ( 8sec with Saint Louis + reload mod).

 

Speed boost for a cruiser seems stupid but it actually increase your dodging abilities by greatly reducing the loss of speed when turning. Also it allows better repositionning. If you have a Speed Boost mod, use it on French cruiser, especially the Henri. 

 

Another thing you really need to be carefull with is the ruddershift. French ruddershift tend to break easily. Only the Henri has a good ruddershift, Saint Louis and Charles Martel will often get incapacitated so ruddershift mod is a must.

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French Cruiser style of play is simple:  OPEN WATER / ENGINE BOOST / RANGE / BURN THEM ALL

1.  Have lots of open water.  These are not island hugging ships like high tier USN Cruisers.  Open water gives French Cruisers lots of room to maneuver.

 

2.  Save Engine Boost for when it's needed.  When in active combat or when you really need to move quickly from point to point, or get away from a collapsing front.  French Cruisers behave very differently when Engine Boost is on and they're actually pretty mediocre without it active.  Preferably save Eng.Boost for active combat above all else, but burn it if you getting somewhere is more important.

 

3.  Keep at range, from Tier VIII on most especially, you need to be 15km at the bare minimum.  Any closer at high tier and you are in the preferred engagement ranges of Tier VIII+ Battleships.

 

4.  French Cruiser HE is leagues better than their own AP.  Their AP is pretty f--king terrible until you get to Henri IV at Tier f--king X.  In general, French Cruiser HE, shell for shell, is worse than IJN Cruiser HE.  IJN has far superior fire chances and they pack a lot of guns.  But French Cruisers have superior gun range to really annoy BBs with.  French HE has solid values, even better Fire Chance than USN, RU, German Cruiser HE.  But range is what you have the benefit of.  If an IJN CA needs to open up at a BB, until Tier IX-X, they are at very comfortable ranges where BBs can reliably shoot at.  The French Cruiser however has great range in general.

 

At longer ranges with Engine Boost active, lots of open water to maneuver around in, the French Cruiser is very, VERY annoying to many Battleships.  But you try to get cute and get close, then those BBs will easily remind you why Cruisers need to stay the f--k back.

 

Once you're Tier VIII, the Cruiser competition is very fierce.  Your ranged HE spam is good against BBs but when you're dealing with Moskva Railguns, Zao Lazorz, Henri IV's bigger guns, and Hindenburg's ranged performance and free, built in IFHE, the French Cruiser has its work cut out.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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if you get the special speed boost mod to increase the length of speed boost, you can pretty much run for 12 minutes at really high speed, making you harder to hit.  It is a excellent fir starter too.  Same with the St Louis.

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