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Ensign_Cthulhu

Approaching Neptune - advice required.

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I am 12,000 XP short of moving up. It will probably be a while before I actually buy her, because the silver is relatively short right now and the module slots are not cheap to fill. (Plus the US light cruisers are coming, and I want to be able to grab Dallas at once, to fill that HE-capable six-inch-gunned hole the Cleveland left when she moved from T6 to T8. So Dallas gets first call on the cash; hopefully next Wednesday, unless they decide for reasons to delay till July 4th.)

Because Neptune's spotting distance with concealment optimised will NEVER be less than her radar range, I see no point in even trying to run her as a radar ship. With this in mind, advice on selection of upgrade modules for the various slots is invited. I don't want to have to do this thing twice.

Now as regards captains - I have the 14-pointer I moved up from Fiji into Edinburgh, and my Fiji and Leander both have 10-pointers with PT, LS, SI, CE builds (the 14-pointer also has Survivability Expert). The next season of Ranked Battles is bound to be soon, and I don't want to move a 10-pointer (or above) out of a ship I'm taking into Ranked until I know which tier it's going to be. (I've heard the number seven mentioned a couple of times.) So my first thought is to get a one-pointer with the ship, give him priority target and grind him up with his ride, which should put him in a very nice position by the time he's done. I can always move someone else up, but I know there's a break-even point beyond which it's easier to start a new captain. Does anyone remember off the top of their head where that is?

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If you have beaucoup commander elite xp laying about, boost him as high as you can get him. The last five steps are of course, the most $$$. 

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2 minutes ago, Herr_Reitz said:

If you have beaucoup commander elite xp laying about, boost him as high as you can get him. The last five steps are of course, the most $$$. 

Alas, I spent almost all of it. Cleveland captain to 10 points for IFHE, Leander and Fiji captains to 10 points for Concealment Expert. At 13-14 points, even a couple of hundred thousand XP doesn't go very far; that last part of the climb is brutal (though admittedly, not as exponentially brutal as it used to be!).

I had a US 10-pointer that I fitted out with CE as the 10 point skill to make use of radar. If I get the Indy or one of the other US premium ship missions, I can always put him in one of those; he has Superintendent to increase the number of radar charges, and could do OK in a destroyer.

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50 minutes ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

I am 12,000 XP short of moving up. It will probably be a while before I actually buy her, because the silver is relatively short right now and the module slots are not cheap to fill. (Plus the US light cruisers are coming, and I want to be able to grab Dallas at once, to fill that HE-capable six-inch-gunned hole the Cleveland left when she moved from T6 to T8. So Dallas gets first call on the cash; hopefully next Wednesday, unless they decide for reasons to delay till July 4th.)

Because Neptune's spotting distance with concealment optimised will NEVER be less than her radar range, I see no point in even trying to run her as a radar ship. With this in mind, advice on selection of upgrade modules for the various slots is invited. I don't want to have to do this thing twice.

Now as regards captains - I have the 14-pointer I moved up from Fiji into Edinburgh, and my Fiji and Leander both have 10-pointers with PT, LS, SI, CE builds (the 14-pointer also has Survivability Expert). The next season of Ranked Battles is bound to be soon, and I don't want to move a 10-pointer (or above) out of a ship I'm taking into Ranked until I know which tier it's going to be. (I've heard the number seven mentioned a couple of times.) So my first thought is to get a one-pointer with the ship, give him priority target and grind him up with his ride, which should put him in a very nice position by the time he's done. I can always move someone else up, but I know there's a break-even point beyond which it's easier to start a new captain. Does anyone remember off the top of their head where that is?

I would say don’t bother with radar unless somehow we get a competitive mode at tier 9. Smoke is best for randoms and grinding. 

Why would you not move the captain up? I mean you say the next ranked will be soon...it just ended. I don’t see it as soon and even if it is in a month you would be able to retrain the commander back to the ship for ranked. I can’t imagine even attempting to play a tier 9 with less than 10 points let alone a CL that is made of a citadel. Move him. The break even point is an extremely low tier. I’m wanting to say tier 4 for moving a commander. In my opinion you will be miserable without at least CE at tier 9.

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1 hour ago, Belyy_Klyk said:

I would say don’t bother with radar unless somehow we get a competitive mode at tier 9. Smoke is best for randoms and grinding. 

I agree completely, and if someone can spot me from beyond the range at which my radar is useful, why even bother with it? I flirted with it and it was fun for a while, but ships that have smoke need it. With you on that one.

1 hour ago, Belyy_Klyk said:

Why would you not move the captain up?

Perhaps it's to keep him at a tier where I feel more comfortable playing a lot of games? I don't know what the service cost per game of a Neptune is, but I'm already quietly appalled at how well I have to do in the Edinburgh just to break even and this is bound to be much worse.  Previously there was the issue of the retraining cost in XP, but that is no longer as much of a factor as I just very recently bought the Gallant and my UK cruiser captains' skills are also good for a destroyer. I may yet move the Leander captain up; I have enough ships at T6 if it comes up in Ranked that I can afford to do without him for a while.

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I'll tell you a mistake I made with Neptune when I first got her.

 

I looked at the faster firing guns.  I used the upgrade to give +16% extra gun range.  I imagined a faster firing Fiji, buffed with more range.  It was a disastrous move.  Tier IX-X RN CL guns shoot faster than anything you had before in the line, but the price they pay is that their shells float big time.  I remember, with GFCS2 installed trying to lob shells at a distant Battleship, it was a futile attempt.  The shells sit in the air long and just hang there.

 

For Slot 3, AAGM2 is a natural thing.  Dispersion is not an issue for normal Cruisers that don't slot abnormally large guns (Kronshtadt), so ASM1 is not needed.  You don't need extra turret traverse, so MBM2 isn't needed at all.

 

For Slot 6, this is where you can be more creative.  I don't suggest GFCS2 for range as it's pointless with the floaty shells.  Three of the other upgrades in this slot merit use.

MBM3 for faster firing guns is a no-brainer.

AAGM3 for +25% more AA DPS is an option if you hate CVs that much.  Because Tier IX-X RN CLs can have monstrous AA with a dedicated AA Build.  The only RN CL prior to Neptune that actually had any justification for AA is Belfast, but she's a Premium.  The rest below Tier IX have terrible AA.

TTM3 for faster torpedo reloads also have merit.  At Neptune, your RN CL once again regains the large amount of torpedo tubes you lost when you left Tier V Emerald.  Not to mention Neptune & Minotaur also have 10km long range Cruiser Torps.  It's not advisable for Neptune with her very mediocre concealment to use these torps offensively because it may have you push TOWARDS the enemy showing yourself.  However, Neptune on a fighting retreat dumping both sides' torps as she runs is a thing.

 

I don't fault anyone for taking either of those 3 in Slot 6, it just depends on what you prefer.  I settled on AAGM3 in that slot with mine but MBM3 and TTM3 are both good choices.

 

The end result, when I finalized my build on her, was a very happy grind with Neptune.  Just remember how squishy she is and be fully aware that you don't have good Fiji, Belfast, Edinburgh, Minotaur concealment relative to their tiers.  Neptune to me was a very surprising, fun, effective grind and when it was time to move onto Minotaur, I was actually kind of sad.  Typically Tier IX grinds are awful, but Neptune was a pleasure.

 

Also, due to the floaty shells, you could lob shells over islands like several High Tier USN Cruisers do.  This is a useful thing to do because you could save your Smoke Charges for later on.  USN Cruisers if flushed out of islands and forced to fight in open water are at a severe disadvantage.  Not Neptune.  You still got Smoke.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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13 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

I don't suggest GFCS2 for range as it's pointless with the floaty shells. 

I am scarred by the memory of being continually outranged at lower tiers by things that wanted me dead. Having the perfect shot and no means of taking it isn't a place I ever want to be in again. Your point about floaty shells is, however, taken.

13 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

The only RN CL prior to Neptune that actually had any justification for AA is Belfast, but she's a Premium.

Not even Edinburgh? At least she has three twin 4-inch to the Fiji and Leander's two.

13 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

At Neptune, your RN CL once again regains the large amount of torpedo tubes you lost when you left Tier V Emerald.

This is one of the things that lures me on to uptier.

13 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

However, Neptune on a fighting retreat dumping both sides' torps as she runs is a thing.

Absolutely. I obtained two of my three double strikes by this method. (The third was obtained by dumping my Anshan's torps into the mouth of the centre channel on Two Brothers. I knew things were coming up there, but was expecting nuisance floods rather than what I got. Sadly, we still contrived to lose.) Also, area denial and smoke cloud drenching come to mind. What are the rear firing arcs like?

13 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

when it was time to move onto Minotaur, I was actually kind of sad

I am not sure I want to go that high. I played around with the Norma (Space Minotaur) in Space Battles and did not do at all well in her. Granted, I was probably using her wrong. Still, thank you for your excellent advice and I will keep it in mind when the time comes.

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I'm weird of course but I really enjoyed the "Edin"... felt she was the strongest overall, able to dish it out and take a few good hits. Minotaur's become my "hah hah jolly boat" cause it's darn close to a machine gun ship. Fiji is pretty mean if you load it up with a 19pt cmdr. It's a good line from my point of view. 

I do remember a change between the Neptune and Mino... initially I didn't enjoy the change, as playing the Mino like the Neptune got me a whole lotta sunk. Been so long since I played Neptune though, I honestly don't remember what it was... hull strength maybe? 

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19 hours ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

I am scarred by the memory of being continually outranged at lower tiers by things that wanted me dead. Having the perfect shot and no means of taking it isn't a place I ever want to be in again. Your point about floaty shells is, however, taken.

Not even Edinburgh? At least she has three twin 4-inch to the Fiji and Leander's two.

This is one of the things that lures me on to uptier.

Absolutely. I obtained two of my three double strikes by this method. (The third was obtained by dumping my Anshan's torps into the mouth of the centre channel on Two Brothers. I knew things were coming up there, but was expecting nuisance floods rather than what I got. Sadly, we still contrived to lose.) Also, area denial and smoke cloud drenching come to mind. What are the rear firing arcs like?

I am not sure I want to go that high. I played around with the Norma (Space Minotaur) in Space Battles and did not do at all well in her. Granted, I was probably using her wrong. Still, thank you for your excellent advice and I will keep it in mind when the time comes.

 

Edinburgh's AA isn't all that, especially since she lacks Defensive Fire to boost it up.  Maybe if you dump in Manual AA to help the 102mm guns, sure, but the rest of the AA is very mediocre.

 

The torp launch arcs are "normal" IMO.  Not like IJN Cruisers which heavily lean towards rearward launches, which is very ideal for the fighting retreat.  When dropping the torps, be very careful that you do so without people watching you, because you do have to show sides with Neptune.  Do this while stealthed for maxed safety.  The luxury you have of course, is single torp launch option to customize your drop pattern, which is very convenient, especially if the reds have to travel through choke points.

 

Minotaur is simply a superior version of Neptune.  Both fire floaty shells, but Minotaur fires much faster.  Minotaur is also considerably stealthier.  Neptune in Stealth Build is at 10.1km at best.  Minotaur goes down to 8.9km with the same build.  It makes a big difference in how comfortable they play.  Both are still super squishy CLs, both still have the Mega Healz.  Both can have strong AA if spec'ed for it.  Both pack lots of torpedoes with the same range.

 

I still remember a moment long ago, having a good position with Minotaur and lobbing shells over a small island to hit this bow on Missouri.  A friendly DD was spotting.  I just kept firing, and firing, and firing, and firing, and firing, and firing, and firing, and firing, and firing, and firing, and firing, and firing.  Etc.  I had a lot of non-pens, but I still got him.  It took a while though, but it was long enough that it pi$$ed off the BB player who simply said, "F_CK YOU MINOTAUR!  F_CK YOU VERY MUCH!" :Smile_teethhappy:

 

BBs hate you a lot, but because of such hate and the "easy to kill" reputation of Neptune and Minotaur, you have to be very mindful about not putting your ship into a bad spot.  Both CLs will die very quickly.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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Thanks all for the replies. I have elected to defer getting her because I simply don't have enough silver right now even to buy her modules, let alone try to run her at a loss (which is how the first few battles would probably go). Your advice will, however, be kept in mind against that glorious day. I will finish the Edinburgh grind and unlock her, of course, because if I'm going to keep the Edinburgh (and I am) for the Tier 8 operation and future Ranked seasons at that tier, I at least want her to earn convertible XP.

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On 6/20/2018 at 8:10 AM, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

I am 12,000 XP short of moving up. It will probably be a while before I actually buy her, because the silver is relatively short right now and the module slots are not cheap to fill. (Plus the US light cruisers are coming, and I want to be able to grab Dallas at once, to fill that HE-capable six-inch-gunned hole the Cleveland left when she moved from T6 to T8. So Dallas gets first call on the cash; hopefully next Wednesday, unless they decide for reasons to delay till July 4th.)

Because Neptune's spotting distance with concealment optimised will NEVER be less than her radar range, I see no point in even trying to run her as a radar ship. With this in mind, advice on selection of upgrade modules for the various slots is invited. I don't want to have to do this thing twice.

Now as regards captains - I have the 14-pointer I moved up from Fiji into Edinburgh, and my Fiji and Leander both have 10-pointers with PT, LS, SI, CE builds (the 14-pointer also has Survivability Expert). The next season of Ranked Battles is bound to be soon, and I don't want to move a 10-pointer (or above) out of a ship I'm taking into Ranked until I know which tier it's going to be. (I've heard the number seven mentioned a couple of times.) So my first thought is to get a one-pointer with the ship, give him priority target and grind him up with his ride, which should put him in a very nice position by the time he's done. I can always move someone else up, but I know there's a break-even point beyond which it's easier to start a new captain. Does anyone remember off the top of their head where that is?

I have a 12 point captain and am averaging 118K a match with a 7-1 kill to death ratio. Once you get superintendent and CE the rest is just gravy.

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Honestly, I hated the Neptune.

This coming from someone who loves his Fiji and Edinburgh, and thinks the Minotaur is decent and fun.

T9 cruisers in general are worse than their T8 and T10 counterparts:  pretty much the same matchmaking as T10, but T9 is a LOT weaker against T10s. And you seldom get to bully the T7s.  At least at T8 you get the not-horribly-infrequent chance to kill T6 and T7 ships. 

 

For the Neptune specifically, I found that it had two terrible weaknesses over the Edinburgh, that really made it a crappy ship:

  1. Far worse Concealment (both normal and smoke-firing)
  2. Huge size with virtually no armor and massive citadel.

Whereas the Fiji and Edinburgh have a range of flexible playstyles - heck, a Radar Edin is actually quite reasonable - the Neptune is pretty much restricted to a single one:  Hide behind something (generally bulletproof) and AP spam from 10km+.  Radar Neptune isn't really a possibility, due to the survivability issues the ship has. 

 

The Neptune's concealment is FAR worse than any other RN CL, and it's maneuverability is worse too. That's right - both are worse than the T10 Minotaur.  Which means it gets smacked HARD by anything that shoots at it. It's hard to dodge, and you get spotted by stuff much easier - DD spotting is a major threat to a Neptune, whereas an Edin or Fiji has reasonable options to close the distance quickly or evade. 

It doesn't even really seem to benefit from overpens much, like the other RN CLs do.  Hit a Neptune with anything AP - from a dinky 100mm to the 460mm, and you'll get either a Pen or a Citadel, 90% of the time.  It's like the infamous Emerald: sneeze on it and it dies.  Compared to the guns it sees on opponents, the Neptune has by far the worse protection of any RN CLs since the Emerald.

The ROF bump and 3x torpedoes over the Edinburgh don't compensate, really, since you have a very hard time getting to use them effectively, compared to how easy it is to use the guns and torps well in a Fiji or Edinburgh. 

 

The weaknesses dictate a pretty boring, singular playstyle.  Yeah, it can be successful, but it's repetitive, predictable, and inflexible. Which means it's dull, compared to the other RN CLs.   

 

Honestly, if you're gonna dump your Edinburgh on the way to getting the Mino, move the Edinburgh captain up to the Neptune, and expect to retrain him for the Mino.  If you just want the Mino and are keeping the Edinburgh, start a whole new captain on the Neptune.  It'll be a 10-pointer by the time you finish, and ready for the Mino. 

In any case, sell the Neptune once you get through grinding it. It offers nothing that the Edinburgh or Mino can't do better, and with a heck of a lot more fun.

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Spec it for full AA with Manual AA. A Neptune with Manual AA is stronger than a Minotaur's AA suite (Neptune has 2 sets of guns that can utilize Manual AA vs Mino's single set). It is absolutely glorious what an AA specc'd Neptune can do to CVS at any tier. lmbo

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Keep the Edin, it's such a good ship for ranked. 

 

The Neptune setup I like to use is full stealth, smoke, and RoF increase. Does pretty well as long as you don't charge forward into the enemies first radar salvo.

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7 hours ago, Schindlers_Stink_Fist said:

Spec it for full AA with Manual AA. A Neptune with Manual AA is stronger than a Minotaur's AA suite (Neptune has 2 sets of guns that can utilize Manual AA vs Mino's single set). It is absolutely glorious what an AA specc'd Neptune can do to CVS at any tier. lmbo

What are the compromises? What must I give up to do this?

6 hours ago, DukeRamulots said:

Keep the Edin, it's such a good ship for ranked. 

I intend to. Among other things, I've been having games where I see a lot of T6 and T7 recently, and I like that.

Neptune is on hold for the foreseeable future while I concentrate on other things. Particularly, grinding my 14-pointer higher where he is now, and replenishing my very depleted silver reserves after a number of other successful tech-tree grinds. I suspect I will be operating this ship at a significant loss until I get really used to her, and I want to be in a position not to have to care about that.

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I built mine throughout the grind to troll CVs, as an AA build.

Modules are pretty standard, Main Arm 1,  Damage Control 1, AA Guns Mod 2, Steering, Concealment and AA Gun Mod 3.

As you can see when and if I see a CV im not really targeted, as the output with AFT from the captain brutalises those that I do see.

The captain build for a 14 point captain down the RN CL is stock standard IMO, with it being CE and AFT as the 2 4th level captain skills.

Play like the Edin with being cautious and you will do well. The torps are awesome, 2 sets that go 10km so you can hurt enemies approaching an area. The only issue you really need to note is the firing in smoke. This ship has the highest detection of firing in smoke, being 6.4 km, so you really need to know when to drop smoke, or use it to disengage if enemies are too close.

As a rule of thumb if DDs are in play and haven't been spotted, I drop hydro 10-20 seconds after smoke as that covers the smoke duration, so gives you that warning. If you get detected in your smoke and you cannot see anything, leave as that's a ship within 6.4 kms.

Overall its an awesome ship, a very good upgrade from the Edinburgh. In the 141 battles ive had in her, she has a 70 percent win rate, so it can carry a game when needed. It can kite as well, but again your citadels are big neon signs.

Flags also become more key with the health and reload of consumable being handy to use and equip.

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If you are "approaching Neptune," you have gone too far.  My advice would be to make a U-turn and come back towards the Sun.  When you see Mars, Earth will be the blue planet just ahead.

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I'm not a great player and originally started with the UK Line.   In retrospect, with my own experience gained and all that I've read, I regret every credit, FXP and Doubloon that I've spent on the UK BB's and CR's.   The BB's seem to get worse with each advanced tier while the CR line FIJI was the high spot, though still weak.   The UK BB's are slow and answer the helm poorly while their guns are weaker than their fellow tier opponents of other nations.   The CR's guns are their weak point to me as they don't have HE and just seem weaker to me.   At least the Russian CR's, though glass cannons are cannons that are quick firing, accurate and have HE & AP.   So I've returned to that line to join my US, Japanese, German, French and Italian CR's.

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2 minutes ago, dbw86 said:

I'm not a great player and originally started with the UK Line.   .

So am I, and so did I. My only regret (apart from not starting to play a lot earlier) is devoting all my efforts so early to the UK CL line (probably the hardest for a new player) rather than going for other things first. But once I got to the Leander, and especially the Fiji, it was worth it.

I disagree with you on all the rest.

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