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RagingxMarmoset

What are your keys to success in USS Alaska?

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I'm sad because such a gorgeous ship deserves better performance than I've gotten from her. What are you doing to extract the best possible performance from her and what upgrades are you running? I plan to get some more matches under my belt today, but I'd like a clear direction on what I should be trying to do. Thanks for your help!

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Hug island like you would hold onto your waifu.

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USS Alaska in real life was designed as a cruiser hunter/killer, and she is like that in the game.  Hunt cruisers....

 

 

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A mistake I've seen many people make, including myself on more than on occasion, is to assume her armor can take prolonged punishing, especially from battleship shells.

You are still a cruiser. Which means holding back a bit and using islands to lob shells over. Once the enemy team is whittled down and all the 16"+ gun battleships are dealt with (or on the opposite side of the map), then you can start pushing aggressively.

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As its been said,  play slow , aim for cruisers , and late game is where you make your push.  Especially when you have halsey proc and you get 3 salvos on his BB to his 1. I do find the alaska to be fairly citadel resistant which can save your [edited]from mistakes . But try to limit the amount of side you show.

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Hey RagingxMarmoset,

The Alaska is a ship that takes some practice to use correctly. KaptainKaybe hit the nail on the head, do not play the Alaska like a BB, you aren't a BB! You are still a cruiser that BBs can do massive damage to you.

Tips on playing the Alaska:

  • Be an opportunist: Use your concealment to get into positions to take advantage of enemy mistakes. You have good AP that you can really do some damage to cruisers.
  • Target choice: Focus on taking down enemy cruisers, then DDs and BBs. You are strong against cruisers first and foremost.
  • Radar and use: Remember, you do have radar but a longish reload. These don't go well together if you plan on fighting a DD alone. Use your radar to support your team and make sure they are ready to shoot the lit target.
  • Support, support and more support: You are best supporting your team with the myriad of abilities!

I know I forgot some things but honestly play the Alaska like a cruiser, not a BB and you will see more success!

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I think what I'm seeing here is that I'm being too aggressive early. I'll have to dial it back a little at the start and look for targets of opportunity, rather than trying to punch faces in.

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Another question I have is about it's HE. Seems to lack the punch most heavy or medium cruisers have against BBs. Should I use the AP on anything but bow-on BBs or just see what i can get for fires?

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Play Co-Op with it. It's a beast there. When I need a few hundred base XP or few 100K credits just drop Alaska in Co-Op and it's good.

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Like all cruisers, try to keep it alive until the late game.  Once things start to thin out, you run less risk of being focus-fired, and you can put its impressive brawn to full use.

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For damage output, use either Halsey or one of the Doe brothers; their improved Expert Loader will come in handy. Both AP and HE are excellent, and using only one type will do you no favors.
For survivability; your biggest threats are torpedoes and battleship AP on your broadside. To mitigate this, always keep moving, present as narrow a target as possible, don't show side, and try not to waste radar.

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1 hour ago, Nine_Lives_ said:

For survivability; your biggest threats are torpedoes and battleship AP on your broadside. To mitigate this, always keep moving, present as narrow a target as possible, don't show side, and try not to waste radar.

And equip Hydro. Carriers are few and far between these days because of their poor state, and DFAA is not currently that strong even when they do show up.

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5 hours ago, RagingxMarmoset said:

I'm sad because such a gorgeous ship deserves better performance than I've gotten from her. What are you doing to extract the best possible performance from her and what upgrades are you running? I plan to get some more matches under my belt today, but I'd like a clear direction on what I should be trying to do. Thanks for your help!

Camo net and binos.... 

To me it's putting into place where the 16inch+ shells can't get me and trying to ambush dds/broadsiding cruisers. 

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I love the Alaska, she's a CA killer and can citadel a BB on the broad side...but she is NOT a BB!  Too many times I see AK players sailing broadside exchanging salvos with BBs and wondering why they are dead.  She's fast, she has good armor while kiting, good AA and with the radar she has limited DD fear.  Play a bit more cautious, but forget island hiding...she's made to sail!  Just be battle aware, being in the middle is bad for AK, too many angles for folks to hit you, get on a flank and use your speed and guns to HELP win the flank...help is the key word...follow your BBs or if ahead be ready to kite away and get back in among them....ah such a nice ship!

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Disclaimer: I play a lot of cruisers but I don't do well in CAs. Least it feels that way.

 

A lot of my loses have come from me thinking, "Hey, I have nose armor. I can be proto-BB tank." It makes me camp in an unfavorable position and more often than not the flank will need to fall back and I get over ran. More of my successes have come from staying on the move while keeping in or near radar range to support my DDs. I personally use concealment to give DDs less room to 180 during radar brown alert, but I wouldn't knock rudder shift.  

AP & HE are a mixed bag. You'll want to use both but mostly AP on cruisers and broadside BBs and HE on destroyers and bow in cruisers that give your AP a hard time. 

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So, Alaska is one of my favorite ships in the game so I'll post my build and what I try to do. As usual, my build is how I like to play it.

For upgrades: Main Armaments 1, Radar Mod 1, Aiming systems mod 1, Propulsion Mod 1, Concealment, Gun reload mod.

I'm usually re-training captain so skill can change but I try for priority target, last stand, superintendant, concealment.

I use a lot of island cover and use my front turrets only. Priority target can give you a close if you start getting focused. I use mostly AP because Alaska AP is great. HE for DD"s and if I see I'm not doing much damage I'll switch to HE.

Keep in mind Alaska is a cruiser with comparable armor to most American Heavy cruisers.

It's still not a battleship and 16" guns and bigger will hurt.

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2 hours ago, RagingxMarmoset said:

Are you folks using concealment or double rudder shift? 

Main armaments mod 1,damage control mod 1,aiming system mod 1,steering gears 2, steering gears 3, main battery mod 3.

Capt skills with Halsey: Expert Loader, expert marksman, adrenaline rush, basics of Survivability, superintendent, concealment expert with 15 pts

 

Last 4 points will be jack of all trades, Priority Target and Preventative Maintenance. 

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   Notice the team lineups every match and watch for what ships are headed to what caps. I tend to work around Islands like most USN heavy cruisers. If I see the enemy messed up and has no BB that can cover a cap or the area I wish to approach said cap from and I know I have a favorable matchup I push said cap and kill the DD and whatever cruiser he has with him. If that opportunity never really arises you have to either abuse cover or play from distance more. It is a fairly versatile ship all things considered so she could be set up any number of ways and still give her captain a happy ending.

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5 hours ago, RagingxMarmoset said:

Are you folks using concealment or double rudder shift? 

Concealment. 

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Have it, don’t play it.

For all my games, I still have no sense for the unicorn called positioning that supposedly lets a player print achievements like it’s nothing.

Basically no point to my bothering.

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1 minute ago, Estimated_Prophet said:

 

It's quite simple actually. Check the minimap often, and put yourself into the shoe of the enemies, think of where would they most likely go, who would they rather shoot at, to which direction would they expose their weakness or would they become distracted. 

And then don't go where the enemies' most lucrative move is to shoot at you, while try to go where you can get your guns firing with impunity. And Voila you now know about how to position yourself. Do it often, and it will become a part of you.

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Key to success in Alaska:  Repeat after me:  "I'm not a BB, I'm not a BB, I'm not a BB...."

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19 hours ago, RagingxMarmoset said:

Are you folks using concealment or double rudder shift? 

Currently, propulsion + rudder. Although I'm debating getting propulsion + concealment.

Either way, the slot 4 propulsion upgrade is a MUST in my opinion. Her engines don't have horsepower. They have small Shetland ponies. It's a common curse for USN heavy cruisers and it basically means that if you are sitting still for island lobbing and you get spotted, it takes foreeeeever to actually move from that position without the propulsion upgrade, often resulting in massive incoming damage. I can handle turning a little slower. I can't handle being a sitting duck.

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