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ruar

Playing the Pensacola to it's strengths... get called a coward

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I'm a bit frustrated right now.  I'm working my way through the Pensacola and I keep running into a few people saying I'm playing the ship wrong.  Mainly they think I'm just hiding in the back.  I feel like I'm constantly trying to stay in the fights while not letting the enemy BBs get easy shots.  I move ahead, next to, and behind our BBs depending on if I'm being targeted or if I'm free to just shoot.  I move to flanks and seek out enemy cruisers or destroyers to throw some rounds at.

Yes, my aim is pretty bad but I'll get better at that as I get used to the game more.  

Is it just that people don't understand how fragile this ship is which makes it bad at being on the front line?  I constantly see our BBs circling away from the flank instead of pushing, then I get told I should have been more aggressive after I turned back from the flank once the BBs showed they weren't moving up.

Am I supposed to just accept that I'll die early and stay up near the front until I get salvoed by a BB?

 

I read the other threads about this ship, but none of them talked about why the player base is hostile towards the design of the ship.

 

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ignore them. if your getting results(large amount of damage out put) that is all that matters!:fish_book:

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Here is a video about the Pensacola put together by a Community Contributor that I hope you will find helpful, brother.

Respects,

Am

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51 minutes ago, BladedPheonix said:

ignore them. if your getting results(large amount of damage out put High Win Rate) that is all that matters!:fish_book:

FTFY

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The problem isn't likely you.  The problem they really have is with the hide and seek gameplay cruisers are almost forced to play.  There is also the "let someone else do it" mentality....they dont want to die, so they want you to push so they can farm damage from your spotting.

Most people just need someone to blame for poor results. 

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This right here is why I have been learning the other ships beside CVs and playing all nations. Every ship has to be played to its strengths to perform well. In this case, US cruisers play best when finding a spot behind an island and firing over it. 

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I have to agree with the above poster; it really pays to play all ship types so you know what to expect from both the opposing team and your own side.

You shouldn't be up front and center, especially at the start of a match. You can support a capping DD up to a point, that point being you have nearby island cover. You should be looking for flanking opportunities and be aware of opportunities to switch ammo type based on circumstances. You're not there to spot targets, that's more DD oriented. You're an opportunist, waiting to pound any ship that is out of position and vulnerable. Your gun arcs are mediocre at best from further out. Stay mid range and use island cover extensively but also try to cover your DD's. Your armor, if you angle correctly, can hold up well against other cruisers and some battleships if their aim is poor. Just don't rely on it.

As an analogy, you're like a hyena. You can deliver heavy attacks, but you'd rather go for the easy meal. You're better in a pack, but when a lion shows up, you know to back off...yes, I was sober when I wrote that analogy part :cap_like:

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On 12/1/2018 at 12:43 AM, ruar said:

I'm a bit frustrated right now.  I'm working my way through the Pensacola and I keep running into a few people saying I'm playing the ship wrong.  Mainly they think I'm just hiding in the back.  I feel like I'm constantly trying to stay in the fights while not letting the enemy BBs get easy shots.  I move ahead, next to, and behind our BBs depending on if I'm being targeted or if I'm free to just shoot.  I move to flanks and seek out enemy cruisers or destroyers to throw some rounds at.

Yes, my aim is pretty bad but I'll get better at that as I get used to the game more.  

Is it just that people don't understand how fragile this ship is which makes it bad at being on the front line?  I constantly see our BBs circling away from the flank instead of pushing, then I get told I should have been more aggressive after I turned back from the flank once the BBs showed they weren't moving up.

Am I supposed to just accept that I'll die early and stay up near the front until I get salvoed by a BB?

 

I read the other threads about this ship, but none of them talked about why the player base is hostile towards the design of the ship.

 

Pensacola is a difficult ship to play.  She's not well armored and very vulnerable as a result.  It really takes a highly skilled player to get the most out of her, as her low ROF combined with atrocious turret rotation makes it difficult to do damage with her.  Plus it's not that often you'll be able to bring all ten guns to bear on target as you do not want to expose her broadside because she's a citadel waiting to happen.  Positioning and situational awareness are absolute keys to using her.  

To be perfectly honest she's a difficult ship to play for a relatively novice player as yourself.  I'd suggest getting more experience, learning positioning, then maybe go back to her. I was pretty terrible with her when she was at Tier 7, but I play her fairly well since she moved down to Tier 6 as I've played well over a thousand games since she moved down a tier.

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Hellfire, can you guys remember what the 'Cola was like before WG buffed her concealment? BB range concealment with CA range guns and CL amounts of armor. In TIER 7 for crying out loud.

And there were still players who did really well with her, doing exactly what you describe, OP. Play to her strengths, mitigate her weaknesses and ignore anyone who thinks you should be tanking and/or spotting for the BBs.

You could play her a bit more aggressively in T7 just by throwing the rudder shift module on her, so she handled like a DD. Honestly haven't spent that much time with her in T6 (cos I switched to the British line) but I can't imagine she's much less of a threat when handled right.

Edited by Harathan

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1 hour ago, RenamedUser_1001278837 said:

Pensacola is a difficult ship to play.  She's not well armored and very vulnerable as a result.  It really takes a highly skilled player to get the most out of her, as her low ROF combined with atrocious turret rotation makes it difficult to do damage with her.  Plus it's not that often you'll be able to bring all ten guns to bear on target as you do not want to expose her broadside because she's a citadel waiting to happen.  Positioning and situational awareness are absolute keys to using her.  

To be perfectly honest she's a difficult ship to play for a relatively novice player as yourself.  I'd suggest getting more experience, learning positioning, then maybe go back to her. I was pretty terrible with her when she was at Tier 7, but I play her fairly well since she moved down to Tier 6 as I've played well over a thousand games since she moved down a tier.

I tend to agree with this.  The Pensacola is an egg with a hammer.  You have good firepower, but one serious set of hits broadside and you're finished.  So, you have to be careful how you play the ship.  Hanging back some is smart.  The Pensacola doesn't have torpedoes or a strong secondary battery so closing makes little sense when you can do almost as much, if not as much, damage from medium to long ranges with your main battery.

In mine, I went for as much upgrading of accuracy and firepower as possible.  That makes shooting at longer ranges more effective.  Plan your turns in advance to keep those turrets on targets, any target.  I too tend to want to hang back some to avoid being zeroed out by a couple of citadel hits or cruiser salvos that get citadels by closing.  Making sure you are "wiggling" between salvos is important too.  You want to make the incoming fire, if any, as inaccurate as possible.

By playing to support your battleships and even cruisers that are better knife fighters along with your destroyers, you are contributing what a Pensacola should be contributing:  Gunfire and damage.  You can provide a useful distraction to an opposing player's ship(s) by lighting one after another up with a nice fire while your side's BB's concentrate on full destruction.  This tactic makes the opposition use up their damage control and repair parties leaving them more vulnerable to hits from your side's BB's and knife fighters.

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33 minutes ago, Murotsu said:

The Pensacola doesn't have torpedoes or a strong secondary battery so closing makes little sense when you can do almost as much, if not as much, damage from medium to long ranges with your main battery.

THIS^^

This ship has very little go gain and much to lose by getting into close quarters fighting. It is very unlikely to outspot any cruisers, much less DDs, so should hang a bit back if possible where WASD can actually have an effect on incoming fire. Guns aren't as rainbow as the Dallas but finding cover is also a perfectly valid tactic. Unfortunately your 8" guns can render hiding in smoke useless.

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The way I've always described the Pensacola is playing like chicken.  Anyone who comes up the ranks knows you are a squishy, juicy XP pinata so, even at the detriment of themselves, they will gladly give up that 80% sure shot on a close battleship and instead  take a pot shot and focus on your poor little ship.  So, when you're in a ship that's priority target number one?  You've got to play a bit cautiously.  Those who are calling you out for not pushing?  Probably never have sailed a Pensacola. 

I'd offer some advice and how I used to play it, but after going back to the wiki and videos to read up and refresh my memory?  I've got no experience in this ship where it sit's currently.  My experience was when she was buffed into a decently stealthed radar cruiser :(  But, having had a few games in rather fragile ships I can offer the following. 

  1. Ignore what others say.  If you push you're the noob who ran in without support, if you don't, your a chicken not helping the team.  This is a way of cruiser life, get used to it early on.  You can't push up against BB's and low stealth DD's unless you've got hard island cover or someone who's willing to smoke you up.  And don't think pushing the cap when 3 friendlies are in the circle is a good idea either.  You have to take into account the type of friendly between you and the enemy.  3 DD's on a Cap spotting for you? Great, but when you pull the trigger you're now spotted, the DD's, if they're passive and aren't firing their guns, they aren't spotted.  So even though you've got friendlies in the way that you think might mitigate any incoming damage, the enemy doesn't see them and so they focus directly on you.  Not someplace you want to be in a majority of ships, let alone the Pensacola
  2. Don't be afraid to shoot AP at odd angles.  Long range you can plunge it through the decks, turning ships going from broadside into an angle?  Don't switch shells, fire anyway.  The American AP can give you surprising results even on slightly angled targets that would normally bounce a lot of other ships. 
  3. Range is your friend when facing enemies of high caliber.  It's the life of a cruiser player.  Everyone knows it, everyone deals with it.  You go a whole game, dodge hundreds of shells, incoming salvo from a BB at 15km.  You can avoid 8 out of his 9 shells.  9th shell is going to hit, it's going to penetrate your deck, and it's going to find your citadel. Don't sweat it, move on and try not to let it get to you. 

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Here's a trick I tried with the Pensacola that I get very good results with: use AP exclusively.  Battleships, cruisers, destroyers, angled, not angled.......sling AP at them.  If they're well angled just aim for the deck, otherwise nail their broadsides.  You'll even do decent damage against destroyers and you don't have to worry about switching ammo, particularly since you have such long reloads.  

The reason I tried this is because I was missing to many opportunities to take advantage of broadside ships because I had HE loaded and even with Expert Loader it takes too long to switch ammo.  Give it a try, I think you'll like the results.

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There are BB players that tell guys in squishy a.f. Omahas and Emeralds to screen in front of them.

 

There are trash players that tell DDs to go in the cap despite the fact we just saw an enemy DD and a closeby Des Moines in the area.

 

Ignore idiots and keep doing good play.

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On ‎12‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 9:54 AM, Harathan said:

Hellfire, can you guys remember what the 'Cola was like before WG buffed her concealment? BB range concealment with CA range guns and CL amounts of armor. In TIER 7 for crying out loud.

And there were still players who did really well with her, doing exactly what you describe, OP. Play to her strengths, mitigate her weaknesses and ignore anyone who thinks you should be tanking and/or spotting for the BBs.

You could play her a bit more aggressively in T7 just by throwing the rudder shift module on her, so she handled like a DD. Honestly haven't spent that much time with her in T6 (cos I switched to the British line) but I can't imagine she's much less of a threat when handled right.

I ground the US cruiser line before the split. Took 197 battles to get to Elite status in the P'cola. Of course my stats say I'm a bad player. Ignore the chat and play the game for yourself.   :cap_like:

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I have a soft spot (pun intended) for the Pepsican. I’ll trade armor for manueverability any day, just my preference. Peniscola can move her butt around. Plus unlike tiers 7-8, she has 2 rear turrets so you can kite better than the N’Orleans. Love the 203mm AP: it does REAL damage.

I always try to join up with (i.e., get behind) at least one BB, if not the whole green fleet. Have you heard of the Pensacola Effect? Once detected, you will be the enemy’s prime target, no matter what other friendly ships are closer to the enemy. Priority Target is a useless skill in the Pensacola.

and, yes, I am sometimes one of the first returning to port, but only sometimes.

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Man I’m loving the Pensacola so far. 14games into the ship and I’m running a 93% win rate. That ship will just reward you citadels on broadside cruisers and if you can catch a B.B. up close concentrating on another target, you can get massive pen damage with its AP.

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I do not disagree with anything said so far (except the part about weak secondaries). However, lets go a little further with this.

Do you regularly get around a Million points in potential damage?  Do you typically sink destroyers? Do your occasionally get Close Quarters Expert? 

If the answers to these questions is NO then there are some potential opportunities for supporting your team that you may not be actualizing.   

  • Bad 1

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On 12/1/2018 at 1:54 AM, Camo68 said:

FTFY

Win rates are misleading. One could do large amounts of damage and do very well, but. Still lose. Win rates just tell you how often you're paired up with people who don't know what they're doing.

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I grinded the Pepsi at T7. Was one of my favorite cruisers. The T6 is a shell of her. Please give my the SLC as a T7 premium just like the old Pepsi. 

You are playing the Pepsi to her strengths. She had monster guns at t7 and crazy strong at t6. I played atax range and pounded cruisers with AP. I almost used ap exclusively as it overmatched cruisers. I never got closer than 12 km until late in game hunting dds or moving in to finish off crippled ships. Rush in early in a Pepsi and die

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Fantastic advice here guys.  I'm currently working through the Omaha going up the American Heavy Cruiser line.  Almost all of this is what I've figured out or picked up from you guys while playing or reading up on the Indianapolis.

 

Much appreciated.  Thanks again.

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