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Gneisenau013

Cruiser skippers and our strategy

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Ahoy fleet!

I've seen plenty of posts discussing destroyers, CVs, and of course the big guns of the fleet (BBs) but I wanted to get a discussion going on the mainstay of the fleet: the cruiser.

Historically, the role of the cruiser has varied throughout the navies of the world. From merchant raider to flag ship of a task force, the cruiser can sortie by itself or can provide vital fire and air defense support.

When I take sail one of my cruisers into battle, I try to provide fire support for one of my destroyers heading for the objective. At the same time, I can draw fire away from the DD trying to capture the base because once a base is captured, it forces the enemy team to play more aggressively otherwise they risk running a point deficit. The risk of this strategy is encountering multiple contacts, including other cruisers and BBs, and having them peppering me with gunfire. Should I survive the oncoming barrage, I continue to support the DD I am providing cover fire for until either either of us are destroyed.

Although this is a risky strategy, I have found success in protecting my DD use this tactic when playing cruisers. While this works for me, I am curious to find out what tactics other cruisers skippers employ.

"Remember, there are no bad crews; just bad leaders." - John J. Urgayle, USN (GI Jane)

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So as a former BB main who loves the "CA - LYFE"

More or less I realized that the cruiser was the real winner of world of warships...the gameplay more or less combines the two other main lines - BB/DD into one multirole hull - the CA. You have punchy guns and armor that can take a hit every so often, and the ability to dodge and hide and torp like the DD...but neither to the extreme of the other two classes. 

When I jump into my Hindy/DM/Mosk/Zao I outright keep this mentality...I farm the larger battleships at the outset of the match with the spotter plane. These guys HAAAAAAATE being set on fire and they are fat and slow. Priority target I feel is vital for this trick...who is looking at you when you are doing this. Typically at the onset of a match I can rack up 20 to 30k damage in fires alone...that spotter is evil once I realized how to use it to abuse it. 

As the match progresses and I've done my fire damage and I'm in the mid line, I'll typically coordinate with div mates to spank the destroyers...who by now have capped and have gotten over confident in sending out torps. Our Radar anchor lights them up and then we murder the DD. If I'm alone without div mates, I'll typically wait until the DD pops up with either my radar or sonar and give them a bloody nose. 

-------------------

EVERYTHING I have spoken about here depends on one vital thing: eyes on the mini-map. Where I am, where my team is, where the main thrust is going. If I'm alone versus 5 enemies...it's time to run....if I'm facing two and one is a DD I've got a shot.

Cruisers are risk vs reward, you can easily shift the balance of the game.

 

image.png.dc50e8076789b760b92cc4e1adc30f5e.png

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Trying to stay alive when out in open waters lol.

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6 minutes ago, Gneisenau013 said:

Ahoy fleet!

I've seen plenty of posts discussing destroyers, CVs, and of course the big guns of the fleet (BBs) but I wanted to get a discussion going on the mainstay of the fleet: the cruiser.

Historically, the role of the cruiser has varied throughout the navies of the world. From merchant raider to flag ship of a task force, the cruiser can sortie by itself or can provide vital fire and air defense support.

When I take sail one of my cruisers into battle, I try to provide fire support for one of my destroyers heading for the objective. At the same time, I can draw fire away from the DD trying to capture the base because once a base is captured, it forces the enemy team to play more aggressively otherwise they risk running a point deficit. The risk of this strategy is encountering multiple contacts, including other cruisers and BBs, and having them peppering me with gunfire. Should I survive the oncoming barrage, I continue to support the DD I am providing cover fire for until either either of us are destroyed.

Although this is a risky strategy, I have found success in protecting my DD use this tactic when playing cruisers. While this works for me, I am curious to find out what tactics other cruisers skippers employ.

"Remember, there are no bad crews; just bad leaders." - John J. Urgayle, USN (GI Jane)

#anchorsaweigh

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Well I am a big cruiser player (PvE mainly hope that does not matter) I try to support my fellow cruisers, battleships, CV and of course Destroyers, depending who is in game.

My favorite thing to do is support the Big Boys BBs, I love setting the Red BBs on fire while my teammates are whooping on them.

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RoF and maneuverability to force angled belt hits. Combine that with Radar and ease of changing ammo type, I play as a DD hunter/medium range harasser.

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Depending on the tier and ship is how I’ll play my Cruiser, Murmansk I’ll be out in the open because I can avoid a lot of shells because iof it’s maneuverability while supporting DDs, the Zoe on the other hand lends itself more to a stealthy approach and different tactics 

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I try to support DDs first, mostly by shooting red DDs and cruisers. Of course this after I find cover because I am no good after I'm deleted. Of course if some BB or CA overextends I will focus it down to weaken the red team.

After that I hunt BBs to burn down. I also cap if I can or if I have to but I don't do that as a first option because cruisers are easy to see and shoot.

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It's a lot of a game of numbers.

When I face an opponent, I am immediately recalling several pieces of data which I need to properly fight my enemy:

1. Can he overmatch me? Where can he overmatch me? This data will help me to angle appropriately. If I get overmatched at almost any location, I will attempt to avoid every shell, which in return limits my damage output. If I can bounce shells at certain areas, I will attempt to bait the enemy shells there. If I can bounce shells everywhere, I will make sure to maximize my damage output.

2. Can my HE penetrate the target? Where? This helps with the aim that I will use, and also affect my ammo selection. The enemy's fire resistance coefficient will play a rather small factor.

3. How viable is my AP against this target? This question will be repeated multiple times throughout the entire engagement, and knowing the features of your AP will regularly increase the effectiveness of your shell selection.

4. Is there a Torpedo risk? This mainly focuses on if my target has Torpedoes, and will obviously affect my frequency of preemptive maneuvers.

 

Then there's the Situational Awareness:

1. Am I showing my side to someone? Can I afford to take this risk?

2. If I chase my opponent, do I risk overextending? If I would, can I consider kiting my opponent or would it remove my influence from the current battlezone?

3. Should I disengage? Can I use the concealment to my advantage e.g. getting into a position where I can put shots into the enemy's side?

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26 minutes ago, Dr_Venture said:

So as a former BB main who loves the "CA - LYFE"

More or less I realized that the cruiser was the real winner of world of warships...the gameplay more or less combines the two other main lines - BB/DD into one multirole hull - the CA. You have punchy guns and armor that can take a hit every so often, and the ability to dodge and hide and torp like the DD...but neither to the extreme of the other two classes. 

When I jump into my Hindy/DM/Mosk/Zao I outright keep this mentality...I farm the larger battleships at the outset of the match with the spotter plane. These guys HAAAAAAATE being set on fire and they are fat and slow. Priority target I feel is vital for this trick...who is looking at you when you are doing this. Typically at the onset of a match I can rack up 20 to 30k damage in fires alone...that spotter is evil once I realized how to use it to abuse it. 

As the match progresses and I've done my fire damage and I'm in the mid line, I'll typically coordinate with div mates to spank the destroyers...who by now have capped and have gotten over confident in sending out torps. Our Radar anchor lights them up and then we murder the DD. If I'm alone without div mates, I'll typically wait until the DD pops up with either my radar or sonar and give them a bloody nose. 

-------------------

EVERYTHING I have spoken about here depends on one vital thing: eyes on the mini-map. Where I am, where my team is, where the main thrust is going. If I'm alone versus 5 enemies...it's time to run....if I'm facing two and one is a DD I've got a shot.

Cruisers are risk vs reward, you can easily shift the balance of the game.

I agree with everything that you describe about cruisers, except the conclusion that they are the real winner.  The cruiser is indeed the jack-of-all trades, but it's also a master of none.  They can, as you describe, do some good fire damage that helps the team out (although most BBs will heal most of that back) and also chase off destroyers.  They can't cap or inflict crushing damage like DDs and they can't belt out broadsides like a BB.  Most critically, they can't carry a match either by running around and capping, winning the 1 on 1 finale (unless the other 1 in the match-up is a weaker cruiser), or making a decisive push/defense at the right moment.   

Much of what cruisers do well is suited to serious team-play rather than public solo play.  I find that it's very hard to decisively affect the outcome of the game in a cruiser compared to other ships where you can carry.  If you're a so-so player, then maybe cruisers are OK as the skill ceiling is low and it's hard to completely screw them up so long as you don't charge ahead foolishly.  If you're a good player though, go for a ship that can win games or that capitalize on the fact that you are good.  In other words, if you're good, play as the queen not the bishop. 

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I'm not very good with cruisers so I have a question if one of you can help me out.

 

Battle starts and you (cruiser) start heading towards the cap behind the DD.  ! pops up followed quickly by a number like 3-4.  What do you do? 

1. can't go dark because you got the ! probably from an enemy DD

2. can't turn because the BBs are waiting for you to turn and expose your broadside

3. Stop bow forward and reverse

4. ???

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1 hour ago, Gneisenau013 said:

Ahoy fleet!

I've seen plenty of posts discussing destroyers, CVs, and of course the big guns of the fleet (BBs) but I wanted to get a discussion going on the mainstay of the fleet: the cruiser.

Historically, the role of the cruiser has varied throughout the navies of the world. From merchant raider to flag ship of a task force, the cruiser can sortie by itself or can provide vital fire and air defense support.

When I take sail one of my cruisers into battle, I try to provide fire support for one of my destroyers heading for the objective. At the same time, I can draw fire away from the DD trying to capture the base because once a base is captured, it forces the enemy team to play more aggressively otherwise they risk running a point deficit. The risk of this strategy is encountering multiple contacts, including other cruisers and BBs, and having them peppering me with gunfire. Should I survive the oncoming barrage, I continue to support the DD I am providing cover fire for until either either of us are destroyed.

Although this is a risky strategy, I have found success in protecting my DD use this tactic when playing cruisers. While this works for me, I am curious to find out what tactics other cruisers skippers employ.

"Remember, there are no bad crews; just bad leaders." - John J. Urgayle, USN (GI Jane)

#anchorsaweigh

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Cruisers are not a mainstay of  WOWS.      lol       you are lucky to see 2 or 3 in each side     

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Personally I just yolo out in front as fast as I can and shoot at anything in my way.  Heh.  No......now seriously folks one thing I like to do with cruiser is to run with 1-2 other cruisers as a wolf pack IF I feel they got a grip on how the game is unfolding. If they are going where I feel it not wise to go I don't hang with them. 2 cruisers can delete a DD real fast. Get those DDs as early in the match as possible.  You lose your DDs early and the reds still have theirs is very very bad. Odds are your team will lose in my experience. The other thing I do is support an aggressive BB. If he is hooked up in a fight with another BB the addition of my guns can really make a difference as to which BB survives. Of course tactics vary as to circumstances.  It's like chess.  No two matches are the same. One must adjust as needed. 

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#1 thing to understand about cruisers is that they are not all the same type of ship, and must therefore be played differently. This is very much unlike battleships, where 90% of gameplay in all lines is angle-and-click, and the differences are fairly subtle.

Cruisers, on the other hand, tend to break down into four or five general types that must be played in different ways:

  1. Rock huggers. Examples: Atlanta, Des Moines. High arcs and high rates of fire. Use islands to block incoming fire, peek out around corners, and lob shells at ships on the other side (who often can't even see you to shoot back). Strong AP and/or torpedo capabilities provide protection against people who want to rush your position. Opponents who get firing angles against your position from a long distance will be a problem. Avoid engaging in open water without good reason.
  2. Open water HE hoses. Examples: Molotov, Henri IV. Poor concealment but good maneuverability. Git gud with WASD and rain fire on unmaneuverable targets from 15+ km. Does a lot of damage over time, but can't really press the issue without taking major risks. Good for damage padding, mediocre for winning.
  3. Wannabe battleships. Examples: Moskva, Kronshtadt. Poor maneuverability, offset by strong armor in certain places on the ship. Learn where those places are and what they can and cannot deflect, or you will get smashed. You still need to WASD.
  4. F'in ninjas. Examples: Zao, Atago. Low concealment but also low range. Typically a heavy broadside, but long reload. Extremely effective at ambushes, following a few km behind friendly scouts. However, sometimes this is not possible, and you'll have to play them like open water HE cruisers until the enemy ships thin out a bit.
  5. Smoke squatters. Examples: UK CLs, Mikhail Kutuzov. Fragile ships with the ability to smoke themselves for prolonged periods of time. Get yourself into a good position, smoke up, and shoot. Turn on hydro and move around while you're in your smoke, or you will get deleted by people who know how to aim off your tracers. Expect that you will eventually have to leave your smoke to avoid torpedoes.

There's a lot more to it, and there are also hybrids (e.g. Hindenburg) and unique cases (e.g. Admiral Graf Spee). But the point is simply that "crusiers" is a very diverse category of ships, and you need to respect that if you're going to play one well.

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First you have to think like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Every red ship can and will kill you, so you need to know where they all are. 

Some cruisers can sneak up with the DDs or at least close behind them. However, you need to have turned to kite away before getting spotted. Kiting away while wiggling and setting the world on fire is a core part of cruiser play. Go dark, push back in, turn, and start kiting again.

Use terrain anytime you can to shoot while unseen. Learn where those places are on every map. For example, there are magical spots on Sleeping Giant in unexpected places. There are openings on Estuary where a cruiser can lob shells at a BB that can’t return fire. 

Cruisers become more powerful the longer the game goes on, partly because there are fewer ships to blap you from a distant crossfire.  But mopping up the remaining DDs is vital to victory. So is setting that half HP BB on fire, letting him repair, then setting more fires that will burn full duration. Most players get more conservative when they lose half or more of their health. Conservative BBs are more likely to retreat or stay by the campfires. 

Take all of this with a grain of salt. Cruisers are not my strong suit. I can do well in smoking cruisers, and for some odd reason the Shchors is my best T7 cruiser by a significant margin. I do ok in Mogami, but higher Tier cruisers frustrate me. 

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56 minutes ago, prevans said:

I agree with everything that you describe about cruisers, except the conclusion that they are the real winner.  The cruiser is indeed the jack-of-all trades, but it's also a master of none.  They can, as you describe, do some good fire damage that helps the team out (although most BBs will heal most of that back) and also chase off destroyers.  They can't cap or inflict crushing damage like DDs and they can't belt out broadsides like a BB.  Most critically, they can't carry a match either by running around and capping, winning the 1 on 1 finale (unless the other 1 in the match-up is a weaker cruiser), or making a decisive push/defense at the right moment.   

Much of what cruisers do well is suited to serious team-play rather than public solo play.  I find that it's very hard to decisively affect the outcome of the game in a cruiser compared to other ships where you can carry.  If you're a so-so player, then maybe cruisers are OK as the skill ceiling is low and it's hard to completely screw them up so long as you don't charge ahead foolishly.  If you're a good player though, go for a ship that can win games or that capitalize on the fact that you are good.  In other words, if you're good, play as the queen not the bishop. 

Many cruisers are fast and have torps like the French tier 5 Emile, Kuma, Svetlana....she can torp from dang near any angle. There are also others that can easily inflict just as much "crushing damage" as DDs....so I guess I got a bit of a disagreement with you on that one. Cruisers have much better guns than DDs and many with torps that are just as good. Now I only play up to tier 7 so what I have said may not apply to tiers higher than 7. But at 7 and below cruisers are a force to be reckoned with. 

Edited by dmckay

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40 minutes ago, Reikyu said:

I'm not very good with cruisers so I have a question if one of you can help me out.

 

Battle starts and you (cruiser) start heading towards the cap behind the DD.  ! pops up followed quickly by a number like 3-4.  What do you do? 

1. can't go dark because you got the ! probably from an enemy DD

2. can't turn because the BBs are waiting for you to turn and expose your broadside

3. Stop bow forward and reverse

4. ???

First rule of CAs is dont go anywhere without an exit plan.

I often follow DDs towards CAPs but im always cognizant of: "how do i get out of here alive?"

Usually that means you dont go into a cap if you dont have some cover to turn behind/or break line of sight. Part of this plan is taking a close look at what ships you are facing? Are there radar ships? Over abundance of BBs or DDs? All these things should factor into your decisions about where to go and how to do it.

Playing a CA requires that you think more than most ships: you dont have the HP to tank, and you dont have the concealment or smoke to just disappear so dont start the game by putting yourself in a position you cant get out of. Supporting a CAP doesn't always mean you have go into the cap...just keep other DDs out of it.

Remember that as a CA you get much stronger as the match goes on..so look to support your DDs at the start without putting yourself in a position you cant get out of. At the start of most matches BBs are 100% looking to catch broadside CAs because our citadels make big numbers appear on screen..so keep that in the back of your head at all times...first 5 minutes you are being hunted..the longer you last..the more likely you can turn that around and become the hunter.

Hope that helps somewhat?

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6 minutes ago, Hanz_Gooblemienhoffen_42 said:

First rule of CAs is dont go anywhere without an exit plan.

I often follow DDs towards CAPs but im always cognizant of: "how do i get out of here alive?"

Usually that means you dont go into a cap if you dont have some cover to turn behind/or break line of sight. Part of this plan is taking a close look at what ships you are facing? Are there radar ships? Over abundance of BBs or DDs? All these things should factor into your decisions about where to go and how to do it.

Playing a CA requires that you think more than most ships: you dont have the HP to tank, and you dont have the concealment or smoke to just disappear so dont start the game by putting yourself in a position you cant get out of. Supporting a CAP doesn't always mean you have go into the cap...just keep other DDs out of it.

Remember that as a CA you get much stronger as the match goes on..so look to support your DDs at the start without putting yourself in a position you cant get out of. At the start of most matches BBs are 100% looking to catch broadside CAs because our citadels make big numbers appear on screen..so keep that in the back of your head at all times...first 5 minutes you are being hunted..the longer you last..the more likely you can turn that around and become the hunter.

Hope that helps somewhat?

Oh I didn't mean enter the cap as I would leave that to the DD in the opening game.  Should I be setting my distance to the enemy side of the cap as roughly my detection range or should I be a few km further back from that?

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48 minutes ago, centarina said:

Cruisers are not a mainstay of  WOWS.      lol       you are lucky to see 2 or 3 in each side     

LOL.  Depends on the MM. I guess in the highest tiers you see fewer cruisers but tier 7 and below (where I play) I see plenty. Often half or more in the match.....just depends. 

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55 minutes ago, Reikyu said:

I'm not very good with cruisers so I have a question if one of you can help me out.

 

Battle starts and you (cruiser) start heading towards the cap behind the DD.  ! pops up followed quickly by a number like 3-4.  What do you do? 

1. can't go dark because you got the ! probably from an enemy DD

2. can't turn because the BBs are waiting for you to turn and expose your broadside

3. Stop bow forward and reverse

4. ???

As someone already said, always have an exit plan. Mine usually involve an island. Basically, don't make an approach where you can't get out of dodge when the PT indicator starts lighting up (although if it hits 9 you're just screwed, found that out the hard way). Cruisers probably require the most minimap awareness and fore-planning. It's not easy, multiple times I've screwed up, had to make the turn, and paid for it.

 

For the original question: Support. I play USN cruisers, which don't play at range well because hitting anything past 12km is really hard unless it's the world's dumbest BB driver (of which there are plenty in WOWS). So I find a central position with decent cover where I can use my DF and Radar to cover the center of the map. I also try to have my flanks covered, and a shooting angle on at least one cap. Then I sit there and make the reds' life miserable. Bonus if you can shoot over the island you're behind. This might be low damage, but your presence forces the enemy DDs and CV (if there is one) to go around you. If you're in the center, then they've just lost control, and your team has the advantage (whether they'll use it is another matter). Once central control has been gained, then you can move up and hunt down that DD or move with the BBs to annoy the red BBs. Or you can find that annoying RN CL in his smoke, radar him, and show him whose AP is better.

What you don't do is go into a cap with a DD, have no exit plan, get perma-spotted and targetted by every BB and then die in 2 minutes (whining the chat for the rest of the game optional). As a BB main, the first ship to die is usually either a DD torped in smoke or a cruiser yoloing as above. Remember, for most cruisers you are a support ship, you need to help and be helped. That means work with your team (don't laugh, I'm serious). While you can probably rack up the damage on your own, you will contribute more to the win if you support the rest of the team.

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58 minutes ago, centarina said:

Cruisers are not a mainstay of  WOWS.      lol       you are lucky to see 2 or 3 in each side     

There it is! Hell, the only class that one sees fewer of in most matches are CVs.

I think that CAs/CLs would be more popular if they weren't floating citadels with the resultant poor survivability.

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 how I play   cruiser depends on the cruiser.   US  high tier has distinct different style then IJN  vs KM .                  many of them prefer long range fire starting, but some can tank pretty well. 

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27 minutes ago, Hanz_Gooblemienhoffen_42 said:

Remember that as a CA you get much stronger as the match goes on..so look to support your DDs at the start without putting yourself in a position you cant get out of. At the start of most matches BBs are 100% looking to catch broadside CAs because our citadels make big numbers appear on screen..so keep that in the back of your head at all times...first 5 minutes you are being hunted..the longer you last..the more likely you can turn that around and become the hunter.

This is very important to remember.  When I'm playing in a BB and we start spotting enemy targets, I'm usually looking around for a cruiser that's "supporting" the enemy DDs. 

Honestly, when there are a lot of BBs (and few DDs) in a match sometimes the best thing you can do at the start is nothing.  Go and get a coffee and come back 3-4 minutes into the round.  It will take away the temptation to get ahead too far and get lit up.  The last thing you want to do is try and fill in the gap in DDs by playing like one.  Often, by the time you realize you're in trouble, it's too late.  It doesn't matter how much you WASD, angle, or have an "exit plan", the fact is when 5 or 6 BBs have you sighted you're going to get hit hard and probably destroyed.  If you're playing cautiously enough to stay alive, you're probably not much use to the friendly DDs in any event, so you might as well just sit close to main for the start until you can see where you're needed.

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10 minutes ago, ReddNekk said:

There it is! Hell, the only class that one sees fewer of in most matches are CVs.

I think that CAs/CLs would be more popular if they weren't floating citadels with the resultant poor survivability.

You guys must be talking about the highest tiers.  I played tier 5 cruiser Emil a while ago. There were 3 BBs, 2 DDs, and all the rest were cruisers on my team. What tiers you play ReddNekk?  Just curious. I play tier 7 and below. DDs have the worst suitability unless the player is very good.  They are generally the first to go. 

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Cruisers are the second most useless ships in the game. They aren't as fast or as stealthy as DDs and they aren't as tough or hard-hitting as BBs. Cruisers are basically floating citadels and nothing more.

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1 hour ago, Reikyu said:

I'm not very good with cruisers so I have a question if one of you can help me out.

 

Battle starts and you (cruiser) start heading towards the cap behind the DD.  ! pops up followed quickly by a number like 3-4.  What do you do? 

1. can't go dark because you got the ! probably from an enemy DD

2. can't turn because the BBs are waiting for you to turn and expose your broadside

3. Stop bow forward and reverse

4. ???

Get to cover as soon as possible. If you have to show your side then show your side for as brief a time as possible. Try to wait until you see shells in the air, dodge them, and complete your turn to minimize your exposure. This takes advantage of their reload time.

Of course it is better to plan your route in so that you are near cover to begin with. Most of the time this means that you are behind a rock that is like 3km behind the cap but your gun range should cover most if not all of the cap. Being alive and covering most of a cap is better than running for your life or being deleted.

Edited by MasterDiggs

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