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Naval Intelligence: Worcester (review)

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Name: Worcester298px-Worcester_wows_main.jpg.698733507f97ed03b956e6cea7093fb5.jpg
Ship type: light cruiser
Class: Worcester
Nation: United States of America
Tier: X


Greetings fellow captains, supreme overlords, and dispersion divinities. Today, in the third installment of Naval Intelligence, I bring you the last "all-gun" light cruiser built for any navy in the world; the pinnacle of the United States Navy light cruiser line: Worcester. 

My objective is to inform players about a different, and factual piece of information that hopefully will aid you in deciding whether to obtain this ship or not. This review will go over its history briefly, her in-game characteristics, and other factors such as aesthetics, modules, and what you can expect if you so decide to give her a place in your port.


History

“History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”  - Mark Twain

Worcester belonged to a class of ten ships; however, the number was considered surplus to the war effort as the 5b4d529583223_USSWorcesterII.jpg.68b6df106a977614ff57b5e16a59671c.jpg year of 1945 passed and so, only two vessels: Worcester (CL-144) and Roanoke (CL-145) were constructed. This new class of cruisers was conceived as a successor of the Cleveland-class, but their new 152 mm gun mounts and further modification (that were based on experience from World War II) turned them into a much heavier design.

The development of the Worcester-class dates back to May 1942, as the General Board requested designs for a new light cruiser class; this new class would fulfill several roles and specifications: destroyer-like speed and maneuverability, dual-purpose artillery, destroyer flotilla leaders, cruiser dimensions, scouting operations, and seakeeping capabilities in almost any weather.

USS Worcester was laid down on 26 January 1945 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, New Jersey. She was launched in February 1947 and entered service on 26 June 1948. Though she didn't participate in World War II or any particularly remarkable engagement afterward; Worcester played a secondary role at the beginning of the Korean War (1950-1953). 

The ship and her crew were complimented by their comrades and superiors several times during their short time in Asia; Worcester received some awards, citations and campaign ribbons during her service career (such as the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, and the United Nations Korean Service Medal). 

Being the embodiment of a design philosophy pertaining to a bygone era, Worcester was deemed obsolete shortly after her commissioning, and unlike the contemporary Des Moines-class of heavy cruisers, she did not find a new life in the era of the Cold War and newer technologies. 

USS Worcester was decommissioned on 19 December 1958 and was stricken from the Naval Registry on 1 December 1970. She was sold for scrap to Zidell Explorations, Inc. in July 1972. Two-hundred tons of Worcester's armor plating has been used by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, in Illinois.


Specifications

“It's supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button.” - John Brunner

5b4d5297439c2_USSWorcesterIII.jpg.ffc4ccb46da50275951a306062de8eff.jpgWorcester was powered by four Westinghouse 620psi boilers; each fed steam to a General Electric geared steam turbine that turned one shaft respectively. Her power plant was rated at 120,000 shaft horsepower and produced a speed of 33 knots. She had a maximum cruising range of 8,000 nautical miles at a speed of 15 knots.

The cruiser was also considered as one of the largest ships of this type in the world; with a length of 207.3 m (680 ft), and a displacement of 14,700 tons when commissioned, she is truly one of the heaviest and biggest light cruisers to ever be commissioned (though the Courageous-class of battlecruisers built for the Royal Navy during World War I are considered by sources as "large light cruisers", which dwarf Worcester in comparison). In-game, her dimensions grant her a rated turning circle of 740 m with a stock rudder shift time of 8.1 seconds; the latter can be considerably decreased by utilizing (separately or simultaneously) Steering Gears Modification 2 in Slot 4 (-20% rudder shift time), and Steering Gears Modification 3 in Slot 5 (-40% to rudder shift time, and -80% to repair time).

Her armament consisted of twelve 152 mm (6")/47 Mark 16DP dual-purpose guns encased in six twin turrets, with turrets 3 and 4 being the only ones in a superfiring position (this means that they're mounted at a higher level than the rest of the main battery mounts). These 152 mm guns have a stock rate of fire of 4.6 seconds and can be brought further down with the relevant Slot 6 Upgrade and the Adrenaline Rush skill. These guns are complimented by a 180° turret traverse speed of 7.2 seconds. The High Explosive (HE) (2,200 maximum damage, 12% base fire chance) and Armor Piercing shells (3,200 maximum damage, standard cruiser AP) used by the Worcester are fitting to the magnificent rate of fire that it possesses. They also have a base firing range of 16.7 km, which is sufficient for these guns due to their shell arcs; but more about them on the following section.

The anti-aircraft suite on the Worcester is unrivaled in terms of damage and range. The 152 mm dual-purpose mounts have a stock average damage per second of 121.2, and a base firing range of 6 km. Worcester is also equipped with twenty-four 76.2 mm (3")/50 Mark 33/34 mounts which can also be found on Des Moines-class cruisers. Twenty-two of these barrels are mounted in Mark 33 dual mounts; ten of them are mounted on the sides of the cruiser while a single dual mount is located near the bow, they have an average damage per second of 306.9. The other two 3" barrels are located on the stern in single mounts with an average damage of 39.4. Both dual and single mounts share the same firing range of 5 km. The ship also has six dual 20 mm Oerlikon Mark 20 mounts that have an average damage of 73.2 and a stock firing range of 2.01 km. 5b4d4e0d005fc_WorcesterArmorScheme.thumb.gif.f45e705a5face761c534ced619c9a7c2.gif

Worcester's armor is typical of an American light cruiser: thin armor plating covering the citadel with a relatively small portion of it above the waterline, while the rest of the citadel is submerged. The entirety of the cruiser's hull is covered by 25 mm of armor, which is sufficient against high tier cruisers, but is defective against any warship that sports a gun caliber equal or above 380 mm. The gun turrets have 38 mm covering their sides and rear, while their faces are covered by 127 mm of armor; though not heavily armored, these values allow the turrets to bounce incoming shells sporadically. The barbettes also possess a thin skin, which can make the main battery mounts prone to being knocked out (it is advised to equip the relevant upgrades and commander skills to enhance the turrets' survivability).


Playstyle

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” - Bruce Lee

800px-WorBroad2.jpg.c63d819377446e9987a6b965c8c1f115.jpgAt first, she may not be that appealing to those that treasure short shell flight times and flat travel arcs; but she makes up for the lack of fast shell velocities with an impressive array of consumables and impressive rate of fire that allow Worcester to adapt to most situations that arise on the battlefield.

It is noteworthy that Worcester's 152 mm guns benefit from utilizing Inertia Fuse for High Explosive Shells (IFHE); this commander skill increases shell penetration by 30% while reducing the probability of causing a fire upon hitting a target by 3%, though the sheer volume of fire is sufficient to compensate the fire chance reduction. The usage of this skill grants Worcester an HE penetration number of 33 mm, which is enough to cause penetration damage to any battleship with a conventional armor scheme (i.e. Conqueror/Montana).

Those players that own the Tier VII USS Atlanta will find Worcester as a much-improved version of her. Worcester's core features are (similar to Atlanta's): the ability to hurl shells over islands towards incoming enemy vessels; searching and eliminating hostile destroyers; support the fleet with a no-fly-zone of anti-aircraft artillery;  and,  since she can handle open water engagements more appropriately than Atlanta (though perilous in nature), Worcester is capable of kiting and evading incoming shells while providing suppressive fire that can soften or sink hostile vessels outright.

Worcester can prove to be a difficult enemy to bring down if handled correctly, though her fragility compensates the potential havoc she can bring down upon the enemy team. She is not to be taken lightly, as her varied consumable lineup mixed with a high rate of fire and proper positioning can turn Worcester into the fulcrum of her team in terms of damage and support; alas, like most warships in the game, Worcester requires a team that can synergize well to bring victory, and this cannot go unnoticed or unspoken.


Consumables

Consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremium.png.f457c19dbad5d3112734327dc95d1641.pngConsumable_PCY011_AirDefenseDispPremium.png.725aba638715b5dfd19a6a554f940c43.pngConsumable_PCY020_RlsSearchPremium.png.93c4826bd314f3b3ef2c2722fd54c617.pngConsumable_PCY010_RegenCrewPremium.png.9f4f379410e64406147bf812230fb8aa.pngConsumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremium.png.530a4dd29850b632242d47fdc6cbcb23.png

“You will need to be mature and pragmatic. You must use your heart to decide the destination, but use your head to plot the journey.” - Amish Tripathi

Worcester has the most amount of consumables at Tier X; starting with a standard cruiser Damage Control Party, standard-issue Defensive Fire AA, Tier X USN Surveillance Radar (range: 9.9 km, duration: 40 seconds), cruiser Repair Party, and a standard Tier X Hydroacoustic Search with a 4.9 km range.

Using these consumables at the right moment is key to performing well in Worcester; though running an all-premium consumable lineup is quite expensive without Premium Account, and necessary precautions must be taken if one is low on credits (such as prioritizing some premium consumables over others, signal flags, and camouflages).

As a Tier X ship, Worcester gets access to a unique Legendary Module named "Enhanced Countermeasures". This consumable increases by 20% the duration of Hydroacoustic Search and Defensive Fire; additionally, it increases by 10% the duration of Surveillance Radar.


Aesthetics

“Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.” - Paul Rand800px-WorStart.jpg.57b856aef075141ea4bc3cd40ef1cdd4.jpg

This class of light cruisers, like those before it, were based on the hull of the Brooklyn class cruisers, which gives them an interesting appearance when looking at their bow from an oblique angle. The superstructure is not cramped, and the funnels don't have that "crooked" aspect that Cleveland-class cruisers have.

The gun turrets, unlike Seattle's, are not overly wide nor tall, they give an interesting flair to the design which certainly makes it stand out from its predecessors.


Conclusion

USS_Worcester_(CL-144)_underway_in_1953.thumb.jpg.6f722900cd2d3ed7e50f752033d59c09.jpg“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”  - Albert Einstein

This light cruiser is a challenging ship to master at the beginning, but once one gets used to the shell arcs, the odd engine acceleration, and the idea of being a support ship that has damage-dealing potential; it is one of the most enjoyable ships to play in my book. In my opinion, the grind to Worcester is worthwhile, and a triple division of Worcester's is a frightening sight to behold.

"Ad Astra Per Aspera"

Phantom out.
 

 


References and resources

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Put Admiral Halsey on the Worcester and try not to laugh in glee when Confederate hits.

Favorite response to the ship that isn't happy with the shell rain they're under is, 

"Taste the RainBow". 

:cap_cool:

Edited by RedSeaBear
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Have cleveland only faced two Worcester. One i dont think knew what he was doing or totally misread the sit. Got caught out in the open and shreaded. The other was a devil at island popping. Rate of fire was impressive considering he was only using front two mounts as a BB and myself pushed out to get angle at him. 

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21 minutes ago, Sped_Gax said:

Have cleveland only faced two Worcester. One i dont think knew what he was doing or totally misread the sit. Got caught out in the open and shreaded. The other was a devil at island popping. Rate of fire was impressive considering he was only using front two mounts as a BB and myself pushed out to get angle at him. 

Worcester, though able to kite and keep its distance, is not well-suited for open water engagements. Though there are some occasions where it’s a viable tactic. 

And if you like Cleveland (and Helena :cap_haloween:), you’ll definitely enjoy the “Wooster”.:Smile_honoring:

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Still rather be in Minotaur over Worcester...:cap_like:

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In a battle last night with my Alabama when myself and a Yamato, i believe, were getting ready to surround 1 behind an island on Trap. I would have had him except a Minotaur on my team managed to torp me. It was awesome, lol

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4 hours ago, Roadster311 said:

In a battle last night with my Alabama when myself and a Yamato, i believe, were getting ready to surround 1 behind an island on Trap. I would have had him except a Minotaur on my team managed to torp me. It was awesome, lol

Gotta love it when your teammates help turns out not so helpful :cap_old:

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Worcester is a ship of extremes.

Stuff a good, disciplined player that leverages her strengths, she's annoying a.f. and can really help establish team dominance in the area.

Stuff a bad player in her, and she can easily die early.  Think of a poorly played Minotaur that doesn't have smoke.  Yeah.

 

The ship is tanky, to an extent.  The OP's review is on the mark.  Against DD & Cruiser gunfire, she's fine, up to a point.  But against Zao, Moskva, etc, she needs to be played smartly, but she can hang in trading shells for a while, especially the shorter the range gets and the floaty shells are no longer an issue.  But the OP commented on BBs and that's where her greatest vulnerability lies.  Even 380mm BBs will overmatch her 25mm armor, and she is coated in 25mm armor.  Let's not even think about what 406mm+ armed BBs can do to you.

 

Do you complain about US Cruisers hiding behind islands too much?  Sail a Worcester into the open at 16km and see that Priority Target counter go to 7+ instantly.  See how long she lasts when those shells land.

 

IMO, the ship is a very poor solo ship, but when working with other ships, is extremely dangerous.  Camping behind islands, she needs spotting.  If she's alone, she feels much more vulnerable due to the 25mm and HP pool.  Get caught in the open you're in trouble.  However, you got good stealth like a Zao, so leverage that to survive and go dark, and run.  Working with teammates, division buddies, you can put Worcester's strengths towards winning locally.  If things are falling apart, Zao, Hindenburg can kite and still be very deadly.  Worcester doesn't have that same level of safety and damage dealing in that capacity.  25mm plate all over the place, low top speed make make her very vulnerable.  Sometimes it's just a better idea to stay dark and run with her.  But a kiting Zao, Hindenburg can still cause very reliable damage, and Zao has 12km torps now that can surprise lots of pursuers.  Worcester doesn't have those tools.

 

Need HE spam support?  Someone like a DD can spot and Worcester camps an island and pumps out a non-stop stream of shells.  You'd be surprised how often this works in driving people away from the cap, from the area, even though you didn't connect much, and got only token damage in.  People do not like being anywhere near Mega-Atlanta that is connecting shots.  I can drive off nasty ships like Hindenburg to consider doing something else.  DDs that see a Worcester in an area, or evidence of her gunfire spam, have second thoughts, especially if she's relatively close by.

Need Radar?  She'll easily provide that.

Need AA?  LOL no better AA Bote exists than Worcester!

 

If enemy Cruisers and Battleships are not an immediate, local threat, Worcester is extremely dangerous to Destroyers.  I like to do the same trick as I did with Cleveland.  You know where a DD is operating?  Simply sail until the DD spots you, pop Radar, and rain a hail of gunfire on them.  It's that simple.  I've even learned to do this against Khabarovsk.  You try to trade shells with Khab in the open water at 11km, Khab will give you problems.  But hold your fire, force the Khab to your detection range of <10km, and rip Khab apart.  Just don't aim for the side of the hull because of LOL 50mm plates, but aim for superstructure and rip Khab apart.  Simply put, you deny Khab the ranged, open water fighting she excels at.  Cleveland did these same tricks for me with her superior 9.1km detection range, but she doesn't have Worcester's rate of fire.  Worcester fires so fast that you can simply hold the LMB down and walk your gunfire until you are consistently hitting the DD.  Cleveland can miss and there's precious seconds the DD can do to cause problems or just try to disengage.  Not against Worcester.  Time is ticking and those shells are getting closer every fraction of a second.  It has to be stressed though, this is only viable if enemy BB / Cruiser threats are not in the nearby area to blast you as you try to hunt the DD.  You don't want to do this while some Yamato or Montana is at 16km away or something and looking for something to smash.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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On 7/17/2018 at 4:09 PM, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Worcester is a ship of extremes.

Stuff a good, disciplined player that leverages her strengths, she's annoying a.f. and can really help establish team dominance in the area.

Stuff a bad player in her, and she can easily die early.  Think of a poorly played Minotaur that doesn't have smoke.  Yeah.

 

The ship is tanky, to an extent.  The OP's review is on the mark.  Against DD & Cruiser gunfire, she's fine, up to a point.  But against Zao, Moskva, etc, she needs to be played smartly, but she can hang in trading shells for a while, especially the shorter the range gets and the floaty shells are no longer an issue.  But the OP commented on BBs and that's where her greatest vulnerability lies.  Even 380mm BBs will overmatch her 25mm armor, and she is coated in 25mm armor.  Let's not even think about what 406mm+ armed BBs can do to you.

 

Do you complain about US Cruisers hiding behind islands too much?  Sail a Worcester into the open at 16km and see that Priority Target counter go to 7+ instantly.  See how long she lasts when those shells land.

 

IMO, the ship is a very poor solo ship, but when working with other ships, is extremely dangerous.  Camping behind islands, she needs spotting.  If she's alone, she feels much more vulnerable due to the 25mm and HP pool.  Get caught in the open you're in trouble.  However, you got good stealth like a Zao, so leverage that to survive and go dark, and run.  Working with teammates, division buddies, you can put Worcester's strengths towards winning locally.  If things are falling apart, Zao, Hindenburg can kite and still be very deadly.  Worcester doesn't have that same level of safety and damage dealing in that capacity.  25mm plate all over the place, low top speed make make her very vulnerable.  Sometimes it's just a better idea to stay dark and run with her.  But a kiting Zao, Hindenburg can still cause very reliable damage, and Zao has 12km torps now that can surprise lots of pursuers.  Worcester doesn't have those tools.

 

Need HE spam support?  Someone like a DD can spot and Worcester camps an island and pumps out a non-stop stream of shells.  You'd be surprised how often this works in driving people away from the cap, from the area, even though you didn't connect much, and got only token damage in.  People do not like being anywhere near Mega-Atlanta that is connecting shots.  I can drive off nasty ships like Hindenburg to consider doing something else.  DDs that see a Worcester in an area, or evidence of her gunfire spam, have second thoughts, especially if she's relatively close by.

Need Radar?  She'll easily provide that.

Need AA?  LOL no better AA Bote exists than Worcester!

 

If enemy Cruisers and Battleships are not an immediate, local threat, Worcester is extremely dangerous to Destroyers.  I like to do the same trick as I did with Cleveland.  You know where a DD is operating?  Simply sail until the DD spots you, pop Radar, and rain a hail of gunfire on them.  It's that simple.  I've even learned to do this against Khabarovsk.  You try to trade shells with Khab in the open water at 11km, Khab will give you problems.  But hold your fire, force the Khab to your detection range of <10km, and rip Khab apart.  Just don't aim for the side of the hull because of LOL 50mm plates, but aim for superstructure and rip Khab apart.  Simply put, you deny Khab the ranged, open water fighting she excels at.  Cleveland did these same tricks for me with her superior 9.1km detection range, but she doesn't have Worcester's rate of fire.  Worcester fires so fast that you can simply hold the LMB down and walk your gunfire until you are consistently hitting the DD.  Cleveland can miss and there's precious seconds the DD can do to cause problems or just try to disengage.  Not against Worcester.  Time is ticking and those shells are getting closer every fraction of a second.  It has to be stressed though, this is only viable if enemy BB / Cruiser threats are not in the nearby area to blast you as you try to hunt the DD.  You don't want to do this while some Yamato or Montana is at 16km away or something and looking for something to smash.

Very good observation. It is indeed a “radical” ship; however, I’ve recently found that players tend to ignore Worcester, and simply allow you to farm away.

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It's a horrible ship and no one should waste their time playing it.

(except for me)

 

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1 hour ago, Uber_Ghost said:

It's a horrible ship and no one should waste their time playing it.

(except for me)

 

Ah yes. Why would someone even want ship? :cap_hmm:

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2 hours ago, PhantomXT said:

Very good observation. It is indeed a “radical” ship; however, I’ve recently found that players tend to ignore Worcester, and simply allow you to farm away.

Whether or not the reds ignore you depends on if they got LOS to you :Smile_Default:  Sail in the open with nice LOS to the reds, that will change quickly.

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11 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Whether or not the reds ignore you depends on if they got LOS to you :Smile_Default:  Sail in the open with nice LOS to the reds, that will change quickly.

True. However, there are certain cases where they fire one volley at you while in open water, and then proceed to fire at a more “profitable” target since they did not obtain the citadels they desired. It’s a strange phenomenon which is probably related to a mindset.

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