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clammboy

Cruiser help

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I have played BB almost exclusively 6000 battles . My overall stats are not good but in my last 1000 games or so I have a 50% win rate and average 53,000 damage 950 WTR mostly in the Massachusetts . I would like to learn CA play and was looking for advice on what CAs are good to learn on and at what tier I should start . Love the brawling BBs like Bismarck , Tirpitz and Massachusetts tend to die too early over extend , I'm just trying to give you my play style and preference . Thanks in advance for any of your help or advice .

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American heavy cruisers are probably the most user friendly. Good guns, decent armor, maneuverable, good concealment, and access to powerful radar at tier VIII and up.

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If you have issues in overextending, and like to brawl, cruisers will not be kind to you.  First thing a cruiser captain needs to learn is how to not get hit.

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Offensively....

HE ships at an angle and dd

AP ships broadside...cept dd

Shoot and scoot

 

Defensively....

Move a lot

Do try to never.... ever broadside other CA and BB

Get caught in a pickle?....stop shooting and try to back out of it if you are near your concealment edge...otherwise, just stay bow on

turning around will present broadside.....

 

Situational awareness is even more important than in a BB ...because CA not as forgiving.

A bb can tank his way out of trouble.

A dd can run away from trouble.

A ca can't do either....generally speaking

Edited by Renuz

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German Cruisers are the best ones to jump into for several reasons.

1.  They excel a range.  US Cruisers don't.  This also makes them less dependent on maps providing cover.  US Cruisers need islands to have a safer match.  Without islands, they're extremely vulnerable.  What makes German Cruiser gunnery nice?  Good shell arcs, high velocity shells, good range.  The Tier IX-X CAs have a very respectable reload with their 203mm guns.  Mediocre gun ranges, especially as you climb the tiers, is a dangerous thing to have in a Cruiser.  Eventually there are BBs that excel at range, so having just under 16km max gun range in high tier when that's Easy Money for a number of BBs, is dangerous.  Again, not all maps will have an island nearby for the fighting you need to do.  The German Cruiser will find itself home among islands or fighting in Ocean with absolutely zero cover.  They don't care.  But USN Cruisers will flip out when they see there's no cover around.  Have fun in Ocean.

 

2.  Do you like IFHE?  Because German Cruisers get A FREE, BUILT IN IFHE FOR THEIR GUNS.  This is a big deal as it lets them pen for regular damage against lots of thick armor.  They do not need IFHE at all.

Normal 203mm HE cannot pen 50mm decks even with IFHE.

German 203mm HE even without IFHE can already pen 50mm decks.

Normal 152mm HE cannot pen 25mm decks and demand IFHE to do so.

German 150mm HE needs 38mm of armor to defeat it.  The last German Cruiser with 150mm main batteries is Tier VI Nurnberg.

--- Caveat:  German Cruisers have the smallest raw HE damage and the lowest fire chance.  They make up for this with reliable HE damage.  Some are very spammy ships and even with the low fire chance, can be a dangerous fire starter.

 

3.  Strong AP suitable to punish mistakes.  German Cruiser AP is "normal."  They don't get special fusing nor bounce angles like RN CL / USN CA AP shells.  But the raw damage value is good and if someone makes a mistake, you can make them pay quickly, dearly with your AP.

 

4.  High Tier German CAs have good AA in the current system.  It looks like the USN ships, even Des Moines and Worcester, Seattle, etc. will be losing their AA advantage in the CV Rework.

 

5.  TORPEDOES!  German Cruisers keep their torpedoes, unlike USN that lose them in the tech tree once past Omaha in Tier V.  Good, all-around torpedoes that can be useful at times.  6km is decent, unlike RU 4.5km torps on Cruisers.  Less than the 10km of many IJN Cruisers, but your torpedo launch angles are actually useful, while IJN CAs mainly fire towards the rear.  Also, German Cruisers tend to pack a good number of torpedoes per side, unlike the laughable French Cruiser torpedo loadouts.  Tier VII, VIII, X German CAs in particular are very deadly torpedo threats.  Having torpedoes is both a deterrent and a decisive weapon.  Torps keep people honest from pushing into you with zero respect.  BBs will bull rush a stupid USN Cruiser because they know it has no torpedoes.  But if they try that against a German Cruiser, they'll get a face full of torpedoes into their face and sides.  You have enough torpedoes to put down a typical BB in the mid and late game in one good drop.

 

6.  Access to the Best Hydro in the game, German Cruiser Hydro.  Mind you, with later tiers this consumable shares the same slot with Defensive Fire.

 

7.  The Jewel of the Crown:  Tier X Hindenburg.  IMO, the easiest, most well rounded general purpose Cruiser in the game.  Fast firing 203mm guns with German Cruiser HE Pen Buffs.  A fire starter.  Strong AP to punish, good AA.  LOTS OF 6KM TORPS PER SIDE!  Her gunnery makes her extremely dangerous as she can easily rack up hits and do reliable damage where other 203mm CAs can still get non-pens against many 50mm armor ships.

"But Haze, how does Hindenburg handle in a short ranged fight?"

Image result for hitler laughing gif imgur

This is one of the most dangerous Cruisers in the game to find yourself in brawling range with.  Her protection is good enough where in a short ranged fight, even Battleships have a tremendously hard time Citadeling her.  They will get AP Penetrations instead, or maybe just simple Overpens.  But this is very safe compared to USN Cruisers or whatever getting instantly deleted by Battleship AP or at the very least, eating tons of BB AP Penetrations.  406mm+ BBs eat USN Cruisers for breakfast.  Hindenburg is a bad German girl that you strike her across the face with BB AP, she'll smile and ask for more, while she closes in and drops her torpedoes into you.  Let's also not forget those spammy guns and strong AP.

 

As you can see, Hindenburg is flexible.  She'll torment people at range, and if someone wants to get into a short ranged fight with her, even Battleships will find themselves in big trouble.

 

The 2nd most friendly Cruiser Line to get into are IJN CAs.  TLDR Pro's & Con's to IJN Cruisers:

+ Some of the best Cruiser HE.  High raw damage, high fire chances.

+ All the 203mm armed IJN CAs recently got the "Zao Accuracy Buff."

+ Very stealthy Cruisers in general, useful to control your engagements.

+ Lots of torps with 10km range.  Powerful, hard hitting.

+ IJN CAs are the only Cruisers that can realistically fight with both Fire & Flood dot effects.  A skirmishing IJN CA can drop torps at range (most ideal when kiting), get some hits, and then HE spam the target that was struck.  Typically people eat a Flood effect when hit by ship-launched torps, so they are forced to pop DCP.  When the DCP active timer is over, that's when the IJN CA opens up with HE and get some fires in.  Mind you, this takes some patience and skill to pull off.

- AA in general is very bad.

- Floating Citadels so Cruiser Survival Skills 101 need to be always applied.  But you get decent to great concealment to help make life easier.  The best form of armor from BB AP is to not be seen when you don't want to.

- The most common, worst mistake new IJN Cruiser players do is that they get desperate and make a torpedo drop while spotted, especially against an enemy that is looking right at them.  That's how IJN CAs get deleted.  Drop your torps from stealth or when you're not being targeted (Priority Target helps a lot).

 

In IJN Cruisers, Aoba is kind of mediocre but she has 8" guns in Tier VI and they're fast reloading.  Tier IX Ibuki is pretty meh.  But the rest of this line ranges from decent in low tiers to solid performers (Furutaka, Myoko, Mogami, Zao).  Zao in Tier X is a strong skirmisher.  Deadly 12km torps, one of the stealthiest High Tier Cruisers, and gunnery that is both accurate at range with strong HE & AP shells.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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You will get spotted at 16k in a german cruiser though.

Des Moines can have 10.6k concealment and 18k guns that shoot every 5.5 sec with good HE and good AP plus radar.

I don't have much trouble in open water either....since low concealment allows me to go dark and  disengage easily.

But...to be fair, good luck hitting anything over 15k consistently.

I guess it's the reward for grinding through all the lower tier US CA's.

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2 hours ago, clammboy said:

I have played BB almost exclusively 6000 battles . My overall stats are not good but in my last 1000 games or so I have a 50% win rate and average 53,000 damage 950 WTR mostly in the Massachusetts . I would like to learn CA play and was looking for advice on what CAs are good to learn on and at what tier I should start . Love the brawling BBs like Bismarck , Tirpitz and Massachusetts tend to die too early over extend , I'm just trying to give you my play style and preference . Thanks in advance for any of your help or advice .

I agree with Haze above that high tier German cruisers are both good, tanky, and fun - particularly Battleship Hindenburg. They are most like a BB playstyle. But the low tier ships like Konigsberg and Nurnberg are squishy and you need to understand cruiser play to do well in them. 

As such, I would suggest the French cruiser line to begin with. From T3 up their role is to set fires on battleships from max range and keep them burning for as long as possible whilst dodging incoming fire like a madman. They have trollish armour, so unless you are broadside you’ll get wierd over pens. Torps for close in alpha. 

DO NOT start on UK light cruisers - they have a fundamentally different playstyle and are utterly unforgiving. 

Otherwise, I agree with other suggestions in this thread - don’t go brawling with your cruisers!!! ;-)

Edited by UltimateNewbie

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2 minutes ago, Renuz said:

You will get spotted at 16k in a german cruiser though.

Des Moines can have 10.6k concealment and 18k guns that shoot every 5.5 sec with good HE and good AP plus radar.

I don't have much trouble in open water either....since low concealment allows me to go dark and  disengage easily.

But...to be fair, good luck hitting anything over 15k consistently.

I guess it's the reward for grinding through all the lower tier US CA's.

You aren't getting spotted at 16km with a German Cruiser, that is an outright LIE.  Hindenburg goes down to 12.3km with Stealth Build.  It's not super but it's not like your blatant 16km lie.

 

Des Moines also has very, very floaty shells, a characteristic of all USN Cruisers as you climb the tiers.

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3 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

You aren't getting spotted at 16km with a German Cruiser, that is an outright LIE.  Hindenburg goes down to 12.3km with Stealth Build.  It's not super but it's not like your blatant 16km lie.

 

Des Moines also has very, very floaty shells, a characteristic of all USN Cruisers as you climb the tiers.

No need to be harsh.

I didn't know what the concealment to the Hindy was/ is / could be...to be fair. I just made an assumption.

I knew it was substantially greater than the Des Moines.

Wasn't an intentional lie.

Yes..Des Moines does have slow or " floaty" shells...that's why I said. " good luck hitting anything over 15k consistantly "

Good against BB though at range.

Edited by Renuz

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German cruiser probably best fit your description brohan, but if you want to have fun and when I say that I mean real true fun then do yourself a favor and go up the french cruiser tree because there are few things where you can experience the sublime like climbing mt everest or swimming with sea turtles or holding a woman that you love but one of those is driving a henri the fourth.

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2 hours ago, clammboy said:

I have played BB almost exclusively 6000 battles . My overall stats are not good but in my last 1000 games or so I have a 50% win rate and average 53,000 damage 950 WTR mostly in the Massachusetts . I would like to learn CA play and was looking for advice on what CAs are good to learn on and at what tier I should start . Love the brawling BBs like Bismarck , Tirpitz and Massachusetts tend to die too early over extend , I'm just trying to give you my play style and preference . Thanks in advance for any of your help or advice .

One can brawl well with many BBs but brawling BBs while driving a CA/CL will get you quickly deleted. I try to maintain long ranges when fighting BBs in CA/CLs, it gives me a better chance to evade the BB AP that'll be spammed on me. When cover's available I gun and run from island to island and I don't park behind islands. A moving WASD hacking Cruiser is a lot harder to hit than a parked one is and can accomplish more. To me torpedoes are a weapon of opportunity or last resort since if you're close enough to use a Cruiser's torps on a BB, you're also close enough to get one salvo deleted by a BB.

2 minutes ago, Pytheas said:

German cruiser probably best fit your description brohan, but if you want to have fun and when I say that I mean real true fun then do yourself a favor and go up the french cruiser tree because there are few things where you can experience the sublime like climbing mt everest or swimming with sea turtles or holding a woman that you love but one of those is driving a henri the fourth.

Agreed! The French Cruisers are all, with the exception of Jurian, good to excellent Cruisers. Henri IV rivals Hindenberg as my favorite tier 10 ship, she's a beast!

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32 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

German Cruisers are the best ones to jump into for several reasons.

1.  They excel a range.  US Cruisers don't.  This also makes them less dependent on maps providing cover.  US Cruisers need islands to have a safer match.  Without islands, they're extremely vulnerable.  What makes German Cruiser gunnery nice?  Good shell arcs, high velocity shells, good range.  The Tier IX-X CAs have a very respectable reload with their 203mm guns.  Mediocre gun ranges, especially as you climb the tiers, is a dangerous thing to have in a Cruiser.  Eventually there are BBs that excel at range, so having just under 16km max gun range in high tier when that's Easy Money for a number of BBs, is dangerous.  Again, not all maps will have an island nearby for the fighting you need to do.  The German Cruiser will find itself home among islands or fighting in Ocean with absolutely zero cover.  They don't care.  But USN Cruisers will flip out when they see there's no cover around.  Have fun in Ocean.

 

2.  Do you like IFHE?  Because German Cruisers get A FREE, BUILT IN IFHE FOR THEIR GUNS.  This is a big deal as it lets them pen for regular damage against lots of thick armor.  They do not need IFHE at all.

Normal 203mm HE cannot pen 50mm decks even with IFHE.

German 203mm HE even without IFHE can already pen 50mm decks.

Normal 152mm HE cannot pen 25mm decks and demand IFHE to do so.

German 150mm HE needs 38mm of armor to defeat it.  The last German Cruiser with 150mm main batteries is Tier VI Nurnberg.

--- Caveat:  German Cruisers have the smallest raw HE damage and the lowest fire chance.  They make up for this with reliable HE damage.  Some are very spammy ships and even with the low fire chance, can be a dangerous fire starter.

 

3.  Strong AP suitable to punish mistakes.  German Cruiser AP is "normal."  They don't get special fusing nor bounce angles like RN CL / USN CA AP shells.  But the raw damage value is good and if someone makes a mistake, you can make them pay quickly, dearly with your AP.

 

4.  High Tier German CAs have good AA in the current system.  It looks like the USN ships, even Des Moines and Worcester, Seattle, etc. will be losing their AA advantage in the CV Rework.

 

5.  TORPEDOES!  German Cruisers keep their torpedoes, unlike USN that lose them in the tech tree once past Omaha in Tier V.  Good, all-around torpedoes that can be useful at times.  6km is decent, unlike RU 4.5km torps on Cruisers.  Less than the 10km of many IJN Cruisers, but your torpedo launch angles are actually useful, while IJN CAs mainly fire towards the rear.  Also, German Cruisers tend to pack a good number of torpedoes per side, unlike the laughable French Cruiser torpedo loadouts.  Tier VII, VIII, X German CAs in particular are very deadly torpedo threats.  Having torpedoes is both a deterrent and a decisive weapon.  Torps keep people honest from pushing into you with zero respect.  BBs will bull rush a stupid USN Cruiser because they know it has no torpedoes.  But if they try that against a German Cruiser, they'll get a face full of torpedoes into their face and sides.  You have enough torpedoes to put down a typical BB in the mid and late game in one good drop.

 

6.  Access to the Best Hydro in the game, German Cruiser Hydro.  Mind you, with later tiers this consumable shares the same slot with Defensive Fire.

 

7.  The Jewel of the Crown:  Tier X Hindenburg.  IMO, the easiest, most well rounded general purpose Cruiser in the game.  Fast firing 203mm guns with German Cruiser HE Pen Buffs.  A fire starter.  Strong AP to punish, good AA.  LOTS OF 6KM TORPS PER SIDE!  Her gunnery makes her extremely dangerous as she can easily rack up hits and do reliable damage where other 203mm CAs can still get non-pens against many 50mm armor ships.

"But Haze, how does Hindenburg handle in a short ranged fight?"

Image result for hitler laughing gif imgur

This is one of the most dangerous Cruisers in the game to find yourself in brawling range with.  Her protection is good enough where in a short ranged fight, even Battleships have a tremendously hard time Citadeling her.  They will get AP Penetrations instead, or maybe just simple Overpens.  But this is very safe compared to USN Cruisers or whatever getting instantly deleted by Battleship AP or at the very least, eating tons of BB AP Penetrations.  406mm+ BBs eat USN Cruisers for breakfast.  Hindenburg is a bad German girl that you strike her across the face with BB AP, she'll smile and ask for more, while she closes in and drops her torpedoes into you.  Let's also not forget those spammy guns and strong AP.

 

As you can see, Hindenburg is flexible.  She'll torment people at range, and if someone wants to get into a short ranged fight with her, even Battleships will find themselves in big trouble.

 

The 2nd most friendly Cruiser Line to get into are IJN CAs.  TLDR Pro's & Con's to IJN Cruisers:

+ Some of the best Cruiser HE.  High raw damage, high fire chances.

+ All the 203mm armed IJN CAs recently got the "Zao Accuracy Buff."

+ Very stealthy Cruisers in general, useful to control your engagements.

+ Lots of torps with 10km range.  Powerful, hard hitting.

+ IJN CAs are the only Cruisers that can realistically fight with both Fire & Flood dot effects.  A skirmishing IJN CA can drop torps at range (most ideal when kiting), get some hits, and then HE spam the target that was struck.  Typically people eat a Flood effect when hit by ship-launched torps, so they are forced to pop DCP.  When the DCP active timer is over, that's when the IJN CA opens up with HE and get some fires in.  Mind you, this takes some patience and skill to pull off.

- AA in general is very bad.

- Floating Citadels so Cruiser Survival Skills 101 need to be always applied.  But you get decent to great concealment to help make life easier.  The best form of armor from BB AP is to not be seen when you don't want to.

- The most common, worst mistake new IJN Cruiser players do is that they get desperate and make a torpedo drop while spotted, especially against an enemy that is looking right at them.  That's how IJN CAs get deleted.  Drop your torps from stealth or when you're not being targeted (Priority Target helps a lot).

 

In IJN Cruisers, Aoba is kind of mediocre but she has 8" guns in Tier VI and they're fast reloading.  Tier IX Ibuki is pretty meh.  But the rest of this line ranges from decent in low tiers to solid performers (Furutaka, Myoko, Mogami, Zao).  Zao in Tier X is a strong skirmisher.  Deadly 12km torps, one of the stealthiest High Tier Cruisers, and gunnery that is both accurate at range with strong HE & AP shells.

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed and excellent piece on the German CA line . Greatly appreciated as are all of the posts about CA help.

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