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missile742

Buffalo Description in American Cruisers Update 0.7.5 Article

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Like many of you I read the article posted on the website today and am looking forward to the split.  Been intrigued by the CA-B / Buffalo heavy cruiser every since she first appeared in the extended tech tree way a few years ago.  Got myself a copy of Friedman's US Cruiser History for Christmas and it's been a great source as more details on the US cruiser split come out.

So I read the article announcing the heavy cruiser update coming in 0.7.5 and found the Buffalo section to be somewhat misleading in some sections and veering off into WG-fantasy in others.  So I decided to post the Buffalo section of the article with my notes in BLUE, all based on what Mr. Friedman has to say about the CA-A, B and C designs.   Any and all feedback welcome.

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Historical Reference

In 1940, the US Bureau of Ships was developing several enhanced designs under the 35-knots cruiser project.

Navy General Board was interested in a new light cruiser, armed like the Cleveland but capable of 35 knots with improved deck armor, protection against 141 lb heavy 6in shells, depth charges, torpedo tubes and better endurance.  One of the designs produced can be seen here: https://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/images/s-file/s511-18.jpg

The board also asked for three 35-knot heavy cruiser designs that would be protected against the heavy 335lb 8in shell.

On July 31, 1940, the performance specifications were delivered for three versions of the 'enhanced Wichita' cruiser. On September 16, engineers presented three sketch designs codenamed CA-A, CA-B, and CA-C.

Bureau of Ships (BuShips) delivered three fresh/new designs (CA-A, CA-B, CA-C). They were not modifications on the “enhanced Wichita” (i.e. Baltimore). CA-B is visible here:

https://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/images/s-file/s511-25c.htm

The first version featured reinforced armor that was meant to withstand a hit from a new 335-pound shell. The other two versions added an extra main battery turret.

This implies that CA-B and CA-C didn’t feature the extra armor.  All three versions had the same deck, belt, barbette, turret, etc armor.   Buffalo should have better armor values versus Baltimore across the board.  (see table below)  Maybe WG thinks Buffalo would be too OP versus other cruisers if she had a 190mm belt. 

CA-A was in fact the same work that was being done under the Baltimore project at the time.

No idea what this means.  Friedman says that CA-A “paralleled” the Baltimore design, with aircraft catapult and hangar at the stern, but with more armor and 2100 tons heavier.

CA-C featured a water displacement of over 20,000 tons and was getting beyond the size limits of a heavy cruiser, thus falling under the category of a 'large cruiser'. This said, the CA-B design seemed to be a preferred choice, but there were some difficulties with the installation of the 150,000 hp propulsion into the ship's hull that was necessary to achieve the required 35 knots; but the design could offer 'only' 33 knots for the ship's current size.

CA-B was designed for 33 kt/120,000hp.  Only CA-C was planned for the 150,000hp power plant which is why it was so much longer and heavier than CA-A/B.

Finally, it was decided not to build the ship using these designs.

Friedman states in several sections that this decision was less about the designs and more about not wanting to bring cruiser construction to a halt when war appeared to be imminent.

Ship Model Description

Granted this section is where WG can take some creative license, but they really veer off into the land of make believe.

Under the CA-B version, the ship's hull resembles that of Baltimore and Cleveland, but has an extended forecastle.

LOL wat?  With an amid-ships catapult and hangars?  I mean US wartime cruisers all share similar traits but I’d say Buffalo looks like more like Seattle than Baltimore. Seattle’s design is here:  https://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/images/s-file/s511-38.jpg

The performance characteristics set by the design were too optimistic, and it was impossible to meet them during development. Cruiser Des Moines was used as a prototype for calculating weight loads. It was Des Moines from which the propulsion with four boilers was borrowed, which allowed her to produce the speed of 32 knots in the 18,000-ton displacement trial configuration.

Another LOL wat?  The first preliminary Des Moines design came out in Dec 43.  Three years later..

Due to excessive overloading, the ship received neither Des Moines' main turrets nor torpedo tubes.

Maybe they are giving a theoretical reason why the Des Moines guns aren’t an upgrade option for the Buffalo?  As for torpedoes, Friedman listed eight 21inch torpedo tubes in the CA-A/B/C design, but they do not appear in either the CA-B or C Spring Style drawings. 

The ship carried small caliber AA artillery conventional for 1943–1945: twin and quadruple 40 mm Bofors and 20 mm Oerlikon guns.

Sounds legit, though would be nice to get the 76mm AA guns in the final hull.

IMG_1828.JPG

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I've played/tested the USS Buffalo on the test server. It is a decent ship, but the slow reload time will make this a mediocre DPM ship at best. I understand that they try to keep things as real world as possible. But this is still a "game" and the map dynamics and mechanics don't match real world time and specs anyways.  The reload is abysmal at this point, It will not knife fight well, a tier 8 Cleveland will out DPM the Buffalo easy and that just seems wrong. The Buffalo should be comfortable in a knife fight with any cruiser as a "Heavy Cruiser", and at this point it's not. WG I hope you buff the reload rate to give this beautiful ship a real purpose in this game. As of right now, it's a 'Lame duck" and will not promote aggressive play. In fact it will only make players to sit back farther and not get in a confrontation. That also makes it worthless as a "Radar" ship. With this ship staying in the rear, it takes it's abilities and capacity out of the picture and is not a direct threat at a Cap point. Food for thought.

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I've enjoyed playing the Buffalo on the PTS so far. She feels like a beast at tier IX.

Yes. @CWO4_Maverick is correct, that her reload is a wee bit slow, but I was able to get it down to 11.4 seconds with the Main Battery Mod 3 upgrade. Grabbing Adrenaline Rush as one of the Commander skills could help later on in battle as well after she has taken some damage. But I love those twelve 203 mm guns. She punishes cruisers that dare to show any broadside. Her Repair Party and ability to heal HP helps to mitigate damage she receives when going up against cruisers with a higher ROF like the tier 8 Cleveland, especially since a lot of those ships will be firing HE at her.

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23 minutes ago, daVinci761st said:

I've enjoyed playing the Buffalo on the PTS so far. She feels like a beast at tier IX.

Yes. @CWO4_Maverick is correct, that her reload is a wee bit slow, but I was able to get it down to 11.4 seconds with the Main Battery Mod 3 upgrade. Grabbing Adrenaline Rush as one of the Commander skills could help later on in battle as well after she has taken some damage. But I love those twelve 203 mm guns. She punishes cruisers that dare to show any broadside. Her Repair Party and ability to heal HP helps to mitigate damage she receives when going up against cruisers with a higher ROF like the tier 8 Cleveland, especially since a lot of those ships will be firing HE at her.

Thanks mate, also to note, I looked at the reload mod as well, problem is: the ROF is still lousy, and with a 15K+ range of fire, that is worthless at Tier 9/10 where you will spend 95% of the time. She has the ability to become a great CA, I hope that is looked at more carefully. As an avid Cruiser player, this is one CA I would not "enjoy" playing at this time in it's current state. I've really given it an effort at probably 25+ games, but she is truly lacking any of the luster I'd hoped she would have. After all, playing a game, and having "fun" ships to play is what it's all about. If I'm not going to enjoy it, I'm not going to play it. There are many abysmal ships I will never play...*pensacola...cough cough*....and many others, why? Because the "fun" factor is not there. And to "grind" through" those is painful to say the least. Why should anything in a "game" be so disliked, (ie: painstaking) and make someones experience miserable? More food for thought. The "Grind" should be "fun", a player should look "Forward" to attaining the next level ship and experiencing it's glory. There are many ships currently that are anything but glorious or fun to play. Some are just a drag and negative experience. I believe every tier higher should bring more fun. And we still need to get the Match Making down to +/- 1, not +/- 2 as it is currently. One additional note, this ship and Tier class needs to directly compete with the Des Moines , Worcester, Moskva, Hindenburg, etc. right now, all those Cruisers would eat it for lunch.

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15 minutes ago, CWO4_Maverick said:

Thanks mate, also to note, I looked at the reload mod as well, problem is: the ROF is still lousy, and with a 15K+ range of fire, that is worthless at Tier 9/10 where you will spend 95% of the time. She has the ability to become a great CA, I hope that is looked at more carefully. As an avid Cruiser player, this is one CA I would not "enjoy" playing at this time in it's current state. I've really given it an effort at probably 25+ games, but she is truly lacking any of the luster I'd hoped she would have. After all, playing a game, and having "fun" ships to play is what it's all about. If I'm not going to enjoy it, I'm not going to play it. There are many abysmal ships I will never play...*pensacola...cough cough*....and many others, why? Because the "fun" factor is not there. And to "grind" through" those is painful to say the least. Why should anything in a "game" be so disliked, (ie: painstaking) and make someones experience miserable? More food for thought. The "Grind" should be "fun", a player should look "Forward" to attaining the next level ship and experiencing it's glory. There are many ships currently that are anything but glorious or fun to play. Some are just a drag and negative experience. I believe every tier higher should bring more fun. And we still need to get the Match Making down to +/- 1, not +/- 2 as it is currently. One additional note, this ship and Tier class needs to directly compete with the Des Moines , Worcester, Moskva, Hindenburg, etc. right now, all those Cruisers would eat it for lunch.

 

Aye. I think her ROF needs to be buffed down from 13 seconds to 10 seconds, which is the same as the current tier 9 German cruiser Roon and the French cruiser Saint-Louis, both of which are armed with 203 mm caliber guns. I also think her max gun range needs to be boosted from a base of 14.1 km with the Mk9 mod 1 Gun Fire Control System to 15.6 (which is what the GFCS mod 2 upgrade increases it to currently), and then that mod 2 upgrade boosted to 17.1 km. That being said, the way the heavy cruisers are going to play in WoWs to the higher RoF light cruisers in the current meta is not going to be for everybody.

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Only a handful of games in the Buffalo so far, but I think the rate of fire is fine. The Buffalo has the 2nd best AP DPM of the T9 heavy cruisers, and 4th overall of T9 cruisers, while having the 1st best HE DPM for a T9 heavy cruiser, and 2nd overall behind the Seattle.

The range is typical USN 15.6km so I think it's playable. If they want to buff the entire USN line I certainly wouldn't complain though

Anyways, I would say my biggest gripe is the Buffalo agility, she feels like a Moskva when turning. Even with the rudder shift mod the Buffalo has a 9.0 sec rudder shift, the Baltimore is 6.3sec and the Des Moines is 6.9 sec for comparison. I find this more limiting in a cruiser knife fight than the rate of fire. I need to be able to dodge torps and angle my armor in close range engagements. 

I think a fair change would be improving the stock 11.2seconds to a stock 10 seconds. With the rudder shift mod that will bring it down to 8 seconds. Still puts the Buffalo more than 1 second behind the Baltimore and the Des Moines, but is more workable at the shorter ranges the Buffalo has to work at. 

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18 hours ago, BadlyBrowned said:

Only a handful of games in the Buffalo so far, but I think the rate of fire is fine. The Buffalo has the 2nd best AP DPM of the T9 heavy cruisers, and 4th overall of T9 cruisers, while having the 1st best HE DPM for a T9 heavy cruiser, and 2nd overall behind the Seattle.

The range is typical USN 15.6km so I think it's playable. If they want to buff the entire USN line I certainly wouldn't complain though

Anyways, I would say my biggest gripe is the Buffalo agility, she feels like a Moskva when turning. Even with the rudder shift mod the Buffalo has a 9.0 sec rudder shift, the Baltimore is 6.3sec and the Des Moines is 6.9 sec for comparison. I find this more limiting in a cruiser knife fight than the rate of fire. I need to be able to dodge torps and angle my armor in close range engagements. 

I think a fair change would be improving the stock 11.2seconds to a stock 10 seconds. With the rudder shift mod that will bring it down to 8 seconds. Still puts the Buffalo more than 1 second behind the Baltimore and the Des Moines, but is more workable at the shorter ranges the Buffalo has to work at. 

I agree on the rudder shift as well. Although that could be a "balancing" factor only if they buff the ROF and Range. I will have to disagree on the ROF with you, when a Tier 8 Light Cruiser can punish you in a knife fight, then I don't see the balance. And not to mention that a 13 sec reload is abysmal for this CA. It's not a Zao meant to skirt the mid-line of battle, it's a "Heavy" meant to "tank" and assist in caps with Radar, AA and Hydro. Can't do that effectively if your opponents will consistently out DPM and take you in a knife fight. If that's the case, then everyone will just stick with the Des Moines  and call it a day. This ship (Buffalo) needs to be an "Effective" brawling fighting machine, not a mid-liner back with the Zao's & Henry's. We have enough of those already. WG needs to help "Promote" more aggressive game play and reward those for tanking. Not reward the XP farmers in the rear camping and hiding the whole game. Nothing Tees me off more as a DD player when NONE of my radar ships are near me to help. They're all 15K+ out camping and running or kiting away trying to farm what XP they can. How about giving us some more "brawlers" to combat that crappy meta. Well, that's my take on it. I'm sure there is as difference in "opinions', but that's what the Light Cruiser line should be for, not the Heavies.

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