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Jester_of_War

Commander skills for both new USN Cruiser lines

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I would like to hear what people think about the optimal commander skills for both the new USN cruisers.

I am assuming you can use the same Commander from Phoenix all the way up through Worcester since these are all light cruisers with smaller guns. Is this correct?

And beginning with the Pensacola (now at Tier 6) you would want a different commander spec'd for heavy cruisers?

I don't really have any high point commanders (11 points being the highest) so I figure I should more or less start with what I've got in the Omaha or the Dallas and set up a Commander for CLs and start grinding. And I should set up a different commander in the Pensacola and start grinding that one.

Am I correct that these two lines can each use the same commander all the way through their respective lines?

And is this the best way to get up to a 19 point Commander? (Or should I just wait until I unlock the 15-point Halsey from the new Campaign and stick that guy in my Highest tier ship and grind from there so I'm not wasting any time on retraining for new ships?)

and again: forgive me if this has already been figured out and posted. please share the link.

Edited by Jester_of_War

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Basic build should be Priority target, Adrenaline Rush, Demolition Expert, and Concealment Expert, from their, the light cruisers can take well have to take IFHE, you can substitute Concealment expert for IFHE if you have no points since you sit behind islands a lot or just tough through the shatters and praying on RNG. As for the Heavy line, you can go aft and go with whatever you want from there, likewise you should try aft as well on the light line too.

You can put halsey on whichever ship you like tho, with the expert loader boost, probably a heavy cruiser would be nice. Also forgot to say, expert loader is a nice perk to pick too after you get 10 points to change ammo quickly on your heavy cruisers.

Edited by SuzutsukiKaiNi
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For heavy cruisers it should be Priority target, expert marks, superintendent at T8 otherwise vigilance but go with superintendent anyway first, then concealment expert, adrenaline rush at 12point, and the rest is up to you.

 

For light cruisers go with priority target, adrenaline rush or last stand ( I’m undecided about it), superintendent, IFHE especially at T7 (once the other USN light cruisers come out), concealment expert as 14point, basic firing as 17point otherwise the rest is up to you.

Edited by LiaoXanLan

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For USN CAs I consider the essentials (12 total points): 

  1. Priority Target
  2. Expert Marksmen - Adrenaline Rush
  3. Demolition Expert
  4. Concealment Expert

For USN CLs I consider the essentials (14 total points):

  1. Priority Target
  2. Adrenaline Rush
  3. Demolition Expert
  4. Concealment Expert - IFHE

Basically, the difference is Heavy Cruisers need Expert Marksman to increase turret traverse while Light Cruisers need IFHE so their HE can pen more reliably. After that I think it depends on playstyle. I like Expert Loader on non-Des Moines heavy cruisers, while superintendent could be a nice grab at Tiers 9+ for the extra heal consumable. 

The way I grind down a line is run the same Captain through the whole thing. By the time I get to the Tier X I should have a 19 point captain or close to it. The Halsey captain has a better Expert Marksman skill so suited for Heavy Cruiser or Battleship. So feel free to run through the Light Cruiser line with your regular captain as you work on the Halsey campaign. 

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cleveland is pretty good at soaking up enemy fire in that it becomes priority target and everybody proceeds to miss it for 5 minutes, but camo is also good while you ninja from island to island.  In a lot of ways seems like light cruisers are playing like the leopard. Not really that good but when played to its strengths it gives people cancer. Doesn't even need rudder shift mods to do it. Worst might, though.

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USN CL & CA builds are somewhat compatible.

 

Eventually both parts of the line take on good AA capabilities, have respectable stealth, and are dependent on consumables.

 

Where things diverge is that the CLs have a real need for IFHE.  Cleveland, who's guns are typical for many of the CL part of the split, or if not as in the case of Tier IX-X, at least use Cleveland's shells, really need IFHE.  Without IFHE you get lots of non-pens and end up relying more on Fires than you really should, and one should not rely on fires for the heart of your damage output because it's too RNG and can be mitigated by builds.

 

The CAs don't need IFHE and will penetrate just fine, which is why DM is so fierce.  She has CL rate of fire while slinging 203mm shells, because DM says, "F__K IFHE."

 

For Tier VIII+, IMO the common part of the build for the CL & CAs are:

6pts USN CA & CL

PT or PM

AR

SI (for the consumables which both lines emphasize at high tier), or DE, or BFT

 

For 10pts, this is where things can diverge for the CL & CA.

10pts USN CA

CE

Extremely easy choice for the USN CA to make.

10pts USN CL

CE or IFHE

The CL has to make a hard choice.  IFHE opens up your damage output, but CE with Full Stealth Build gives you amazing concealment to control your engagements better and SURVIVE... So you can shoot more.  But without IFHE, you'll get lots of Non-pen hits unless your shot placement is good.

 

I gravitate towards AA Build for my USN Cruisers because I like doing air defense for my team on that chance I see a CV match.  That said for 14pts...

14pts USN CA

AFT

Super easy to implement, easier to max out AA Build with a CA than on a CL.

14pts USN CL

CE or IFHE

Whichever one you did not take at 10pts.  With CE & IFHE, the USN CL finally has the heart of its firepower to do a bit more consistent damage and not reliant on Fire so much.

 

For the last 5 points towards 19 max, you got more options.  Both the USN CL & CA should by now, be able to open up their builds for personal tastes.  The CA has more freedom because IFHE is not a consideration and that's 4 pts not taken.

19pts USN Des Moines "Shell Switching" & Gun Focus I

Tier 1 - PT or PM (whichever you did not take at the start) & Expert Loader (makes DM very dangerous in quickly switching shell types on someone that thinks they can quickly flash a bit more sides quickly to fire more weapons, and go back to an angled profile)

This is less feasible for the other USN CAs that don't have DM's reload speed.

19pts USN CA Gun Focus II

Tier 2 - JOAT (cut down on consumables CD) or EM (faster turret traverse)

Tier 3 - DE (extra fire chance)

You're relying on your AFT in conjunction with Defensive Fire to do your AA work.  DE for better fire chance.

19pts USN CA AA I - Radar + Hydro

Tier 1 - PT or PM (whichever you didn't take at the start)

Tier 4 - Manual AA

Drop Defensive Fire, slot Hydro instead

This build is a compromise.  You want good AA but want the Radar + Hydro Combo which is extremely useful if you know how to leverage the 2 consumables in the right time, right parts of the map.  The AA is strong and you'll shoot lots of planes down, but without Defensive Fire, bombers won't be panicked.  This will not stop a Tier X CV but for lesser CVs, this is a massive problem to them still.  All through this, you still got Radar + Hydro for great team support, utility.

19pts USN CA AA II - "I really hate Carriers and I want them to pay":cap_rambo:

Tier 1 - PT or PM (whichever you didn't take at the start)

Tier 4 - Manual AA

Keep Defensive Fire slotted.

Dedicated AA Build because you hate CVs that much.  Defensive Fire for when the CV sends a serious mass strike.  Manual AA buffed AA for those cases when the CV doesn't do single mass trikes and does air attacks in waves.  If you didn't have Defensive Fire, the CV may very well do what it wants.  But with Manual AA, it's going to eat good losses regardless, even without Defensive Fire.  Bombers may get through still, but they'll suffer horrendous losses for their effort, and with more bombers shot down, that means less bombs / torps the CV can drop on someone.

 

19pts USN CL AA

Tier 1 - PT or PM (whichever you didn't take at the start)

Tier 4 - AFT

You should have already both IFHE & CE at 14pts, so AFT will help bring your AA out to max range.  This is a massive deal for Worcester.  With AFT & AAGM2 upgrade, she should reach out to a trollish 8.6km in AA :cap_rambo: This is what I'd lean to if I had 19pts for my High Tier USN CLs

 

You can eschew AFT, AA altogether with the USN CLs if you want, but you disregard a potent strength of these ships and you'll be left looking at some pretty mediocre options.  As you can see, the USN CAs do get to have more freedom in build choices since IFHE isn't required.  The USN CLs have the ability to have all the consumables at the same time, minus smoke of course, which the CA's can't.  If a High Tier USN CA wants Radar + Hydro, they have to drop Defensive Fire, but the USN CL has Radar + Hydro + Defensive Fire, all at the same time, which is a very nice thing.

 

The interesting thing, at least in terms of incorporating AA into USN Cruisers, is that the CAs will get to excellent AA capability much sooner than the CLs due to no requirement of IFHE.  The CL is straddled by needing IFHE early on so many USN CL AA Builds won't be as good in AA as the CA versions.  However, once we're talking a full, legit 19pt USN CL captain, the CL overtakes the CA in AA capability, especially by something like Worcester.  Des Moines at 14pts will be a far superior AA Boat than Worcester with the same points, but once Worcester has 19pts, she should be the better AA Boat.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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