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Grand_Viceroy_Zhou_Ziyu

American cruisers (CAs), what am I doing wrong?

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So, this mostly refers to heavy cruisers like Pensacola, NOLA etc. If you go on WT and look at my Pensacola stats, I've played 51 battles in it and am currently averaging 43-44k damage. WR is above 50%, and K/D isn't too bad. Plane kills is low but it's not like it matters that much anyway. What constantly frustrates me is that I have difficulty securing kills in American CAs (and cruisers in general), despite doing above the server average for damage and a decent K/D. What am I doing wrong? What can I do to ensure more kill secures? Should kills even be what I'm aiming for (as my main goal), or is it more important that I successfully manage to deal increasing damage and provide supporting fire as the battle goes on?

  Other than that I like the USN CAs for their AP shells and good maneuverability, and really look forward to Pensacola at Tier 6 and NOLA at Tier 7. The CLs like Cleveland, not so much due to their extremely floaty shells. However, I'd like to see how Helena is.

Edited by Zionas

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  Kills are alright, but lots of players like to wait and shoot at cripples- which is frustrating as heck, sometimes, lol.   I like to use my US CA's as artillery support and flankers.   Smashing any fool that shows me broadside, and using HE to cripple DD's and set BB's on fire- until they show me side- then I switch to AP and hammer their casemates, bows and sterns.  Hunting for citadels and normal pens seems to be a more effective way to use these ships.  You get more XP for taking the bulk of that enemy's hp, anyway.   It's still surprising to me, sometimes, just how hard you can punch battleships with that USN 8" AP, lol.

  Without torps, there's really no reason to get very close- at least until the late game.   You can mitigate incoming fire much better from further afar.

  I am kinda looking forward to NO at tier 7, but  not to my beloved Balti dropping a tier.   NOLA is doable as is, but it feels a tad bit overtiered at T8.   T7, with it's better mm- and no tier 10's- should treat it a little kinder.  It did do pretty well for me last ranked season.  The jury is still out on Pepsi- as it stands now, it'll simply be nerfed in relation to the ships it already struggles with.   The recent buff to it's concealment did wonders for it, and it looks to be losing that.   "Look! A Pensacola!  SHOOT IT!!!"  will still be a thing...

  If you can get your hands on the tier 9 Balti, do it!   Freaking thing is a monster in the right hands- 10 second reload (keeping this as of now) with those guns is hillarious!   So is the no-fly-zone AA suite.  Mine is at 99 with AA upgrades 2 and 3, and AFT/BFT.   It'll lose the AA 3, but that suite will still be powerful.   I just got out of a game where the red CV simply couldn't stop sending planes at or near my Baltimore.  Full squadrons just melted away, and I think he only made one bomb drop on me- the torp bombers never had a chance.  Even saved our CV's bombers with a well timed defensive fire + ctrl- left click to murder the red fighters.  Ended up with 39 plane kills- more than twice as many as our CV got, lol.   Got it set up with Defensive AA; radar; and heal.   Actually has fairly decent armor for a cruiser, too.

  I plan on giving the new high tier CL's a try, but, like you I'm not expecting much from the floaty 6" shells.   I AM looking forward to Buffalo- I've loved all the CA's so far, and see no reason I won't like this one.   First, though, I gotta grind a LOT of credits!

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I see. I often have the targets I've brought down to low health (mostly or completely on my own) killed off by some other team mates. I won't use the term "kill stealing" here but understandably, I still feel quite dissatisfied to have the fruits of my effort being picked by someone else just waiting for that moment to fire (I'm sure they've done it deliberately). At 51 battles in the Pensacola I've killed off 38 ships. I admit it was better (had a good start with it), but after some late night play it all went down from there. Pensacola's reload isn't battleship level, but 14 seconds can often result in lots of missed opportunities to secure kills. In fact, I have better ship kill ratios in BBs.

 

  I am nervous to see what they will do to Pensacola at Tier 6. As it is I think it's perfectly fine at Tier 6 and certainly doesn't need a nerf. Concealment could be reduced by like 1 km but 2 km is way too much. What I'm even more concerned about is that they will nerf her guns, because the guns are what make this ship good. Durability, well. At least it's somewhat maneuverable. NO at Tier 7, I heard it will lose radar, a 1 second nerf to reload, and loss of access to the Tier 8 module upgrade like Concealment, but..... Again, what I'm most concerned about are the guns. It's slightly less maneuverable than Pensacola, not by much, but in exchange it gets better armor. Please don't nerf that either.

   Should I be worried that I'm not getting many kill secures, or am I fine as long as I provide that effective supporting fire by taking out enemy cruisers (broadside) with AP, hitting DDs and assisting in killing BBs?

 

Edited by Zionas

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Those player types are called "Cherry Pickers"....   My advice would be that you start sequence firing your mains at a target once its HP is down enough if you think one of those types are around..   Not only might the "Cherry picking" player think you fired a full salvo but your target might also think you have and could end up showing you his tastie side thinking you are on the reload...

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You know what's pathetic about those types of players? They don't realize that I'll end up with the majority of the EXP anyway. However, it's still nice for me to see kill ribbons and considering how much emphasis sites such as WT place on kill secures. Ran into more of those players today, tried sequential firing but their shells were just faster. Bad luck, I guess. My highlight of today was a 5-kill, 107k damage, Confederate+Kraken epicenter game in the Pepsi Cola. I do over 44k damage in that thing, which is quite decent for a Tier 7 cruiser (and especially the Pepsi), but my ship kill is below 1.0.

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I'm honestly at a loss as to what to do with American CA's. I have an Indy, and it's a lot of work to even be mediocre in her. 

- She's big, sluggish, and fragile. "Heavy" has nothing to do with armor. Odd lack of hitpoints compared to the Pepsi-cola, too

- Those "rainbow" arcing shells take forever to hit anything at range, and the lower rate of fire of CA's makes them less effective against destroyers

- Lack of torpedoes is a pain, too. Yes, cruiser torps are meant only to be used in desperation or when kiting, but it's just another option American CA's lack.

- Good AAA, for what that's worth. 

Yeah... just not sure what to do with her. It seems a lot of matches I spend tossing slow shells around, getting some hits now and then, and mostly trying not to be killed by BB's. DD's tend to avoid the shells unless they get too close and nabbed by rader, and her guns seem to do little against BB's unless the BB driver is nice enough to ignore me long enough to light him on fire all over. Sadly, that is rarely the case. If I press the attack, I get creamed, if I loiter in the distance, my slow shells hit infrequently, and if the enemy BB's press, all I can do is run away and probably die since I can't lay down a torp screen to discourage them. Honestly, other than killing other cruisers (which a BB is better at anyway) and using AAA in the games where it matters, I have no idea what American CA's are useful for at all, sadly.

I want to like them - heck, I spent money on the Indy - but I just don't get them. It's not like low-tier flamethrowers where you just spray fire and can mostly avoid dying because you're small, nimble, and the enemies don't have great aim or accuracy.

Edited by old_radagast

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Indy and Pensacola should be pretty similar ships. Try your best not to get into brawling range with battleships, you can still brawl some cruisers under favorable circumstances. Kite away from the enemy most of the time and utilize your decent firing angles. Use islands for cover when under lots of fire. Generally with battleships try not to stray closer than 11-12 km, that way you can still have time to dodge shells. Set fires with HE, the HE is not Japanese or Russian HE but still workable. If a battleship or cruiser presents a nice broadside, switch to AP, USN 8" AP has the best autobounce angles meaning you can even citadel or at least land decent hits on somewhat angled enemy cruisers. If AP against a broadside battleship isn't netting consistent damage due to RNG, switch back to HE and lighting fires. These ships don't have the rate of fire to be effective DD killers, but that doesn't mean you can't put some decent shots into DDs to assist your team. Generally, play the Indy, Pensacola, New Orleans, and Baltimore as general purpose support ships that deal damage to everything to help your team, with a focus on killing enemy cruisers and harassing battleships / destroyers as a secondary role. As for their maneuverability they're still more agile and less sluggish compared to other cruiser lines. For example, Pensacola, Indy, and NO all have about a 7.0 rudder shift time, while say, the French Algerie at Tier 7 has a 9.1 second rudder shift. The Americans also have smaller turning circles compared to the other nations. Pensacola, NO, and Indy have 620m, 620, and 660m turning circles respectively. That is significantly better than Myoko's 750m and the Germans / Russians.

 

P.S. Make good use of the AP.

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^ I disagree totally,  with all due respect.  I LOVE the Indianapolis, and HATE the Pensacola.  Really have no use for the Pensacola whatsoever.  And I feel like they are totally different ships in the game, not stylistically close etc.

 

And I like all things in their own respectiveness , I love the Indianapolis and I love the Atlanta but they're totally different ships, as different as two "cruisers" could be.  But I love them both.

 

Pensacola is a failboat.

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Just now, ScrapmasterFlex said:

^ I disagree totally,  with all due respect.  I LOVE the Indianapolis, and HATE the Pensacola.  Really have no use for the Pensacola whatsoever.  And I feel like they are totally different ships in the game, not stylistically close etc.

 

And I like all things in their own respectiveness , I love the Indianapolis and I love the Atlanta but they're totally different ships, as different as two "cruisers" could be.  But I love them both.

 

Pensacola is a failboat.

Errr, Pensacola has been OK to me. The guns are good, but the ship's hull is a CL hull. I've had two stray shells with German dispersion, fired from a Tirpitz 17km away, hit me twice in the citadel. Pensacola's a team dependent ship, when the team's providing good cover and distraction for you, just sail around, pummeling enemy cruisers and deal damage to everything. However, when you're singled out early on or at any stage of the match really, and you don't have support, it quickly becomes Pennedsacola (quoting crzyhawk).

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I am just the opposite.  Indianapolis is a waste of space, Pensacola has redeeming qualities.

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How noticeable is the Indy's increased armor and decreased maneuverability compared to the Pensacola? I'm not talking about straight up tanking BB shells all the time, but general survivability.

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Very noticable to me.  The Indy's armor leads to more penetrations rather than over-penetrations:  Her armor doesn't stop any shells, but it arms them.  She's fat.  A shell that would miss the Pensacola hits and penetrates the Indianapolis.  Pensacola dodges shots better than the Indianapolis does due to superior handling.  Finally, she flat out has more hit points for some un-explainable reason (Indianapolis displaced much more than Pensacola did).  if the Indianapolis handled like the Pensacola does, and had the proper amount of hitpoints she'd be a much better ship.

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IMHO, the Indy has no ability whatsoever to resist any real attacks on her, if looking at her armor. I was actually surprised the other day when a cruiser AP round bounced and I heard that distinctive sound a bouncing shell makes. But BB's will simply drill holes in you, and everything else will damage you. 

At bare minimum, they could give the Indy an appropriate number of hitpoints based on tonnage compared to the Pensacola, but US ships having abnormal lack of hitpoints seems to be a theme in this game - anyone else remember the lunacy of the Colorado up until earlier this year? Fewer hitpoints than the New Mexico, and way too few for a tier 7 BB. Ugh.

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I gotta disagree, the Indianapolis at least lets you play the game a little, the Pensacola is a walking talking sailing citadel.  I have been one-two shotted more than a few times.  The first round citadels me down all the way to little health, next round in the spread of rounds kills me.  Total fail.

 

Indianapolis however basically paid for my Iowa class AND all her modules AND all her upgrades.  Much more fun for me.  

 

 

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I'm getting very conflicted opinions here. I've also watched some Youtube videos of streamers like Zoup, and they seem to think the Indy is alright. I guess I'll give her a try once shes released on the 1st day of June, and compare her to the soon-to-be former Tier 7 Pensacola and the NO. 

 

Pensacola is not that bad of a ship for me, I like her mostly for the guns. However, a determined Omaha player that does the circle of death firing HE has caused some major annoyance for me and those Tier 5 HE rounds weren't exactly kind to my hull.

Edited by Zionas

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I wish I knew how people did well in the Indy, or any American CA. I played 2 games in that ship yesterday - I've been playing it more lately, and it's amazing to watch it tank my stats - with dismal results.

Game 1: 28 shots hit, all HE, for a miserable 10,000 damage. That's about 360 damage per hit, which is horrible and meaningless to any ship in the game

OK, but I remembered I should use AP now and then... still trying to figure out the best time to use it, but game 2, I mixed it up

Game 2: 42 shots hit, a mix of AP and HE, for a still miserable 20,000+ damage. 476 damage a hit is still poor, and once one factors out the single - but admittedly impressive - 5,000+ AP hit I got against a Nagato, we're down to 41 hits for about 15,000+ damage, which is again about 360 damage a hit. 

I admit I stink with this ship, but I have no idea how I can kill anything with such horrid damage numbers. The ship also takes damage from everything - heck, an OMAHA of all things beat me up while tossing shots over an island?! And if a BB gets angry, I can't run, I can't take damage, and I can't even torp him out of spite. And if an CV shows up, he just avoids me, wisely. Ugh... at least the radar has been useful now and then to punish DD's sitting in smoke clouds, but that's about the only time I feel like I'm contributing at all with this ship. The rest of the time, I'm shooting harmless spitballs and taking damage. 

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Zionas, US CA's take a lot of finesse to play, unlike other nations cruisers which can deal good damage out with HE or AP, I have found that US CAs favor AP (until you get to the Balti at least, that and the DM can just put some many rounds down range that fires will crush ships). I recommend primarily using AP. a lot of it is the technique of how you position yourself. I don't know your play style but these are a few things I've discovered.

If you start out the game at 1/4 - 1/2 speed and let other ships move in to be the primary target engager, you are much freer to maneuver your ship to the broadside where you get the good damage. So don't try to charge in as US cruisers rely completely on maneuverability in order to make use of their guns. Also of note, I've found that US ships do essentially no damage to the bow of an enemy ship.

So, my preferred tactic is to go at a target with another ship (preferably a BB that can absorb damage) and then maneuver to the broadside. If you are in the Pensi or NO don't even bother with HE, the reload time is too slow to be useful...with the Cleveland you can get away with it though. One last thing, within about 8km you can do nasty damage to a broadside BB with AP on the 203s of the heavy cruisers, so don't be afraid to take advantage of your maneuverability and get close, especially when near the end of the game and you don't run the risk of getting flanked yourself.

Not sure if that's any help, it's hard to describe tactics. Biggest recommendation is to just keep practicing a few different techniques and make their weaknesses strengths (for instance, the high ark most people complain on many of the US cruisers about gives you the ability to get cover behind islands and launch shells from relative cover.

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Thanks for the advise. I had a few good games in the past few days - 40k damage or so, and got some kills even. OK, by objective standards, that's not great, but that's certainly better than 20k damage and dying pointlessly, which was my fate in too many games. 

American CA's are still rough to play, though. No torps for a last minute exchange, and not much else going for them. They badly need something other than slightly better auto-bounce angles on their shells. I guess good AAA is nice, when it matters. I did have a few games where some CV sent planes near me, and most were shot down, so there is that. Still, they are probably one of the most demanding ships in the game to play.

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13 hours ago, ianh070 said:

Zionas, US CA's take a lot of finesse to play, unlike other nations cruisers which can deal good damage out with HE or AP, I have found that US CAs favor AP (until you get to the Balti at least, that and the DM can just put some many rounds down range that fires will crush ships). I recommend primarily using AP. a lot of it is the technique of how you position yourself. I don't know your play style but these are a few things I've discovered.

If you start out the game at 1/4 - 1/2 speed and let other ships move in to be the primary target engager, you are much freer to maneuver your ship to the broadside where you get the good damage. So don't try to charge in as US cruisers rely completely on maneuverability in order to make use of their guns. Also of note, I've found that US ships do essentially no damage to the bow of an enemy ship.

So, my preferred tactic is to go at a target with another ship (preferably a BB that can absorb damage) and then maneuver to the broadside. If you are in the Pensi or NO don't even bother with HE, the reload time is too slow to be useful...with the Cleveland you can get away with it though. One last thing, within about 8km you can do nasty damage to a broadside BB with AP on the 203s of the heavy cruisers, so don't be afraid to take advantage of your maneuverability and get close, especially when near the end of the game and you don't run the risk of getting flanked yourself.

Not sure if that's any help, it's hard to describe tactics. Biggest recommendation is to just keep practicing a few different techniques and make their weaknesses strengths (for instance, the high ark most people complain on many of the US cruisers about gives you the ability to get cover behind islands and launch shells from relative cover.

Thanks for the advice. I'm an aggressive player which means in USN cruisers I can pull off decent / good damage when my team's taking a pushing stance or helping me distract enemies, but there are also a lot of times when I end up paying for my aggression with severe damage or death. Currently I tend to play the USN cruisers as cruiser hunters with AP, and I switch to HE and harass battleships with fires when I've killed the cruisers or if there's no cruiser presenting itself as an appealing target. I will definitely try to hang with the battleships more, but what I've noticed is that I often end up being more aggressive than many of the Bbaby snipers and cowards. I zip around the map just dealing damage to almost everything in sight, with a focus on sinking broadside cruisers with the AP. Also, what do you think of island camping in the USN CAs / CLs?

   I am fully aware of how good the USN 8" AP is, and that's the main reason why I like the USN heavy cruisers. Today I was in the Pensacola, had to defend my team's base from an advancing Atago. He turned broadside, and I took off 22k off of his nearly 40k total HP (in 2 or 3 salvos, but still).. Later in the match there was a cyclone, the enemy's Hipper was engaging me and the friendly Bismarck at 6.5km and closing. Bismarck fired a salvo reducing his HP from 32k to 21k, I fired my salvo that took off 14k/22k, then I killed him with my finishing AP salvo.

    I'm looking forward to New Orleans becoming the Tier 7. Pensacola's been nerfed quite badly for Tier 6, so it's sad that she'll end up becoming a port decoration. I might get Indianapolis as well. I just really like the good autobounce angles of USN 8" AP. The ship on the CL line I'm looking forward to is the Helena. Being at Tier 7, these three will receive the best that MM has to offer, they'll be top tier quite a lot.

 

   Feel free to disagree, but I think USN cruisers can become good brawlers with enough BB support.

Edited by Zionas

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Any thoughts on when to use AP against enemy BB's when in a CA? It works well on enemy cruisers, obviously you use HE on DD's, and - amusingly - AP can trash enemy CV's well on those rare games you get within gun range of them. But BB's are so annoying in a CA. HE just nibbles on them, fires don't happen often enough (yes, yes - it depends upon which side of the fire you're on regarding if it is too often or not often enough), and AP can be hit or miss. I've gotten great hits sometimes, but often little to nothing.

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8 hours ago, old_radagast said:

Any thoughts on when to use AP against enemy BB's when in a CA? It works well on enemy cruisers, obviously you use HE on DD's, and - amusingly - AP can trash enemy CV's well on those rare games you get within gun range of them. But BB's are so annoying in a CA. HE just nibbles on them, fires don't happen often enough (yes, yes - it depends upon which side of the fire you're on regarding if it is too often or not often enough), and AP can be hit or miss. I've gotten great hits sometimes, but often little to nothing.

I sometimes switch to AP when the enemy BB is presenting a nearly full broadside or a full broadside, and usually at distances below 11 KM. I aim for the superstructure. I've gotten some nice AP hits on Japanese battleships, especially the Kongo. 

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I should point out that I am probably a different type of player than most .... I play for the team to win. I could not care less about stats and left WoT because of the supreme reliance of stats and the supreme hostility surrounding them.

to me the Indianapolis is a great ship for the team to have. I probably won’t get great stats. But I will most likely contribute positively. When you’re trying to rack up 100sK damage and Kraken and stuff , perhaps not the ideal ship.  But I play for the team to win and I love the Indianapolis for that reason. I do not do clans but I bet it would also make a great clan ship team member.

now against BB fire and taking on VIII & IX bad guys , not as easy or fun. 

 

I also play it less since I got a bunch more ships since but love it the same. It was Admiral Spruance’s preferred flagship and that is damn good enough for me. 

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19 hours ago, Grand_Viceroy_Zhou_Ziyu said:

I sometimes switch to AP when the enemy BB is presenting a nearly full broadside or a full broadside, and usually at distances below 11 KM. I aim for the superstructure. I've gotten some nice AP hits on Japanese battleships, especially the Kongo. 

This. Aim just above the main armor belt and USN heavy AP shells can penetrate red BBs. When slinging BB AP, aim at the waterline but CA AP aim a little higher on broadside BBs.

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FYI ,

 

Very happy to read on the WoWS Development Blog Facebook post that the Indianapolis will receive 2 buffs in this coming update-

 

  • Rudder shift time decreased from 9.1 to 8.4 seconds;   (My text- Which makes her more maneuverable, big!)
  • Turret traverse speed increased from 6.0 deg/s to 7.0 deg/s. (My text- Which makes her better for shooting while maneuvering, big!)

and looks to still retain ~10Km Radar detection range.  (Which is big! as well because for example, the Atlanta is only ~8.5Km, which trust me, that 1.5Km makes a world of difference in actual game scenarios.

 

Anyway just wanted to update.

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What upsets me is why they have Indy / Portland a 9.1s rider rshift in the first place? Pensacola has 7.0 and NO 6.9, Tier 6 Cleveland has 7.2. Its inexplicably frustrating why they'd give a different rudder shift time to what's essentially a Pensacola / NO clone.

Edited by Grand_Viceroy_Zhou_Ziyu

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