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Avenge_December_7

Asking For Help With Positioning In Cruisers

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Although (because I use a Mac) I cannot view my own replays, I have noticed that apparently I have a general problem with proper positioning while sailing cruisers. Namely, I seem to have trouble finding a perfect middle between (IMO) ineffectually tossing HE from near max-range or getting too close and thus getting destroyed by the whole enemy team (even when angled).

Separating my problems into 2 categories:

  1. In cruisers not dependent on firing from concealment (like Japanese cruisers, French cruisers, or sometimes American heavy cruisers), I find that I tend to stay at close to maximum range. However, I believe (not sure if I'm correct or not) that this is overall bad for my damage capabilities, as I feel that the further away I am, the less effective I am. In addition, I find that my first instinct when being targeted by any enemy ship is to turn away, even if I don't know if it's just a destroyer lobbing a few potshots at me or a battleship getting ready to bring the pain. This may increase my survivability, but I dislike having to constantly be retreating.
  2. In cruisers more dependent on firing from concealment (like British and especially American CLs), I find that my results in a battle are essentially dependent on a) setting up in a place with concealment so that I can shoot at the enemy without getting shot at in return and b) said place having a firing line on a good portion of the enemy team. More often than not I find that either a) I set up in a position with great concealment but effectively zero targets, forcing me to relocate or b) I set up in a target-rich environment but also end up exposing myself too much and becoming the latest snack on a BB's menu.

I also use destroyers and battleships, but both of those classes have advantages which allow more leeway in positioning. Cruisers have neither the concealment to do damage without making themselves vulnerable nor the armor/hp to tank anything thrown their way.

I'm aware that I will never be able to control entirely what targets the enemy team chooses to shoot at, but I would like to know how to best balance my own survival/aggro-ing the enemy team and my damage output. This, I feel, is critical to my success in both categories of cruisers.

All tips/advice are appreciated.

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When trying to stay alive as a cruiser, I usually picture what I would do if I were the Battleship trying to DevStrike me 

There's nothing wrong with using your range on the likes of HIV, Zao, Hinden, sometimes getting close can mean instant death if you don't have troll armor to save you. No matter what class I'm playing , I'm always checking the minimap to see what kind of information I can get early on, (What ships are where, are there divs?). When playing my cruisers it's all about what can Blapp the crapout of me If i get too close. 

I always want an escape plan, especially with my cruisers since they're more open. Typically with heavy cruisers I prefer to push on a flank allowing me to go dark and kite out if it gets too hot out there -- or if I have hydro (which i typically always run over defAA) I don't mind pushing in towards a cap if there's sufficient island cover that effectively blocks one of broadsides. In light cruisers (Mino/Worc, or maybe DM depending on how I feel) It's typically push towards the general island cover, and really a matter of don't get greedy. You're spotted? Wanna get that last salvo off? Don't, go dark and hide/run if needed. 

Never underestimate the power of cutting your engine and turning in/out, (especially HIV). Nothing more frustrating then trying to target a Cruiser at range and consistently having your shells go in front of and behind them since they kept changing speed

At the end of the day, an annoying HE spamming Hinden or HIV or Worc, chilling behind islands or at max range, just kiting your team can be the best thing for your team. They're a pain in the [edited], and can easily bait players into lobbing shots at them and wasting time.

Sometimes the enemy is also just gonna get a lucky shot, We are bubbles just waiting to pop after all

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As a very experienced cruiser player, I always look at the map. You gotta have a general idea where the dd's are. Before you shoot look at the map and think are you gonna be kitting or pushing. Make sure to always have an exit strategy and not get caught bow in. Last piece of advice is always play with the throttle and have priority target. A predictable ship is an easy ship to hit. 

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I have always played cruisers in open water, never "seeking cover" but rather using it when the opportunity arises. This method has served me well in cruisers of all types and nationalities but is obviously easier to do in the faster boats. Bait reds then kite.

53 minutes ago, _Pixi_ said:

Sometimes the enemy is also just gonna get a lucky shot, We are bubbles just waiting to pop after all

This is our life (or death) when playing cruisers, when i get nailed hard i don't panic but rather try to disengage letting the enemy find new focus then resume operations.

 

2 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

In cruisers not dependent on firing from concealment (like Japanese cruisers, French cruisers, or sometimes American heavy cruisers)

I just don't believe that we are dependent on firing from concealment but rather our best attribute is our agility and situational awareness.

 

2 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

More often than not I find that either a) I set up in a position with great concealment but effectively zero targets, forcing me to relocate or b) I set up in a target-rich environment but also end up exposing myself too much and becoming the latest snack on a BB's menu.

You seem fixated on "setting up" like you are a piece of artillery....you are a fast moving "battery" of artillery able to shoot and scoot and maneuver to avoid incoming shots.

 

2 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

I find that my first instinct when being targeted by any enemy ship is to turn away

When playing a BB I will wait for you to begin your turn and anticipate it ...i WANT you to turn away, if you turn in it is harder for me to hit. I find it way more frustrating and harder to hit a cruiser that is stopping and starting....changing speeds and direction.

Some recent cruiser games.

My 2 cents.

 

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30 minutes ago, eagle_lance said:

You gotta have a general idea where the dd's are. Before you shoot look at the map and think are you gonna be kitting or pushing. Make sure to always have an exit strategy and not get caught bow in. Last piece of advice is always play with the throttle and have priority target. A predictable ship is an easy ship to hit.

This is good advice!

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Using map terrain, i.e. large islands, to limit LOS to your ship is useful.  I'm not saying you need to camp that island, but you can use islands to block LOS so that fewer ships can shoot at you.  An island 10km of your side could block off 4 of the 6 enemy ships in the area from shooting at you.

 

In addition, as a Cruiser player you have to be paranoid about any and all possible angles that can be used against you.  IMO, it's not the reds that you see across from your group that's the most dangerous.  It's the guy off to the side somewhere.  I'll use the map "Strait" as an example because personally, it was the first map that made me think hard about the cross-map dangers.

sYaLLJm.jpg

Pretend the ships in this picture don't exist for this.

Situation:

I'm playing my Fuso, I'm spawned at around B8 in the northeast with several of my teammates.  We sail towards Cap A.  Naturally we find our direct counterparts of the red team coming in from the west of Cap A.  We're trading shots, the usual stuff.

 

I've got another AP salvo loaded but I'm scanning the area.  The enemy DDs at or near Cap A aren't spotted or are smoked up.  The enemy Cruisers are hanging back at ranges where I can't reliably hit them, even with Fuso's gunnery.  They're also actively maneuvering to be annoying to hit and protective about showing broadside.  The enemy BBs?  They're not stupid and they're angled and not showing flat broadsides.  So, from the vicinity of C7, I have no valid targets for my AP salvo to engage enemy ships in the area west of Cap A.

 

Soooo.... I scan the entire map looking for a good, vulnerable target and I find one.  Down in the southern part of the map for Cap C, both teams are fighting just like we are.  Cruisers maneuvering, BBs angling, DDs doing DD things.  Etc.  But I notice some mid tier Cruiser was in the vicinity of G4.  He was angled away from my teammates in the south.  From G4 he was sailing northwest.

 

In that Cruiser's situation, he was angled, maneuvering and being not an ideal target to shoot at from my teammates east of Cap C.  However, from my position in C7, I see nothing but a full broadside Cruiser.  I have that window, that gap between the big and small island of F5 to shoot through.  I fire a 15km or so AP salvo as a "cross-map" attack and nail the Cruiser with multiple Citadels.

 

15km for Fuso is quite reasonable.  The Cruiser player thought he played it right but to me, he was showing a flat broadside.

 

IMO it's these cross-map attacks against a Cruiser that are the most devastating.  They're the ones that many aren't prepared for.  As you climb the tiers, this danger is magnified because even a number of BBs in High Tier can threaten and smash Cruisers at 17km, 18km, etc.  Go ahead and ignore that Yamato player who has a 60% WR and good Damage Average.  Ignore him because he's not positioned directly opposite you and that the range is long.  Surely he has something more convenient to shoot at at his half of the map, right?

RIGHT???

:Smile_trollface:

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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I remember feeling very similar to you, especially in kiting cruisers. I'd either be at an ineffectively extreme ranges or stuck bow-on and getting way too close to the enemy. Whenever I was at that ideal medium range I would quickly find myself overextending trying to avoid giving broadside while dodging at maximum speed. The solution I found was less to do with positioning and more to do with getting comfortable with all the survival tools available to cruisers which don't just involve going bow-on at maximum speed until you run out of ocean.

 

Kiting cruisers are frequently told that the way to survive is to wasd-hack, which most interpret to mean that they should turn left and right as they dodge shells. That's all well and good, but one shouldn't forget about the s and d keys. Altering your speed is half the battle and many cruiser players (including myself until quite recently) gimp themeselves by only utilizing half the degrees of freedom available to them when dodging shells. Especially against BBs it is possible to play mind-games with your acceleration, frequently leading to volleys which score zero damage, which can be very frustrating for an enemy who only gets to shoot 40 times in a battle. You're safer and cover less distance, making it easier to remain at those medium ranges.

Try sitting with your stern to the enemy. It makes escape easier, which both disuades smart enemies from firing at you and allows you to take greater risks. If nobody is firing at you, remain stationary. Why move from the ideal range when the enemy is doing nothing about you? If they start shooting, reverse. Good way to confuse 'em. At their next volley, accelerate. With your bow away from the enemy getting out of detection is surprisingly quick.

Another technique (and this does dip a bit into positioning) is to think about the enemies' target choices. Players can only shoot at one thing at a time, and they pick that thing based on what offers the greatest reward and what poses the greatest threat. As such, if you are neither the juiciest target available to the enemy, nor the most immediate threat, then most smart enemies will ignore you. This is doubly true if they must rotate their turrets to fire at you. This point also applies to island campers: most cruisers believe that if they're gonna island camp they gotta be undetected, so they mash themeselves against a rock and pray to Poseidon nobody outflanks them. But in many cases there's nothing wrong with an island camper getting spotted. You can be quite far from your island and as long as there's better targets around you'll be fine. The island in this case just serves to block lines of fire you're not utilizing at a given time and as a quick place of retreat in case of trouble.

 

EDIT: Not sure what you mean about mac players not able to see their own replays. I'm a former mac player and I used to be able to watch all my own stuff as long as it was from the current patch.

Edited by senseNOTmade
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3 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Although (because I use a Mac) I cannot view my own replays, I have noticed that apparently I have a general problem with proper positioning while sailing cruisers. Namely, I seem to have trouble finding a perfect middle between (IMO) ineffectually tossing HE from near max-range or getting too close and thus getting destroyed by the whole enemy team (even when angled).

Separating my problems into 2 categories:

  1. In cruisers not dependent on firing from concealment (like Japanese cruisers, French cruisers, or sometimes American heavy cruisers), I find that I tend to stay at close to maximum range. However, I believe (not sure if I'm correct or not) that this is overall bad for my damage capabilities, as I feel that the further away I am, the less effective I am. In addition, I find that my first instinct when being targeted by any enemy ship is to turn away, even if I don't know if it's just a destroyer lobbing a few potshots at me or a battleship getting ready to bring the pain. This may increase my survivability, but I dislike having to constantly be retreating.
  2. In cruisers more dependent on firing from concealment (like British and especially American CLs), I find that my results in a battle are essentially dependent on a) setting up in a place with concealment so that I can shoot at the enemy without getting shot at in return and b) said place having a firing line on a good portion of the enemy team. More often than not I find that either a) I set up in a position with great concealment but effectively zero targets, forcing me to relocate or b) I set up in a target-rich environment but also end up exposing myself too much and becoming the latest snack on a BB's menu.

I also use destroyers and battleships, but both of those classes have advantages which allow more leeway in positioning. Cruisers have neither the concealment to do damage without making themselves vulnerable nor the armor/hp to tank anything thrown their way.

I'm aware that I will never be able to control entirely what targets the enemy team chooses to shoot at, but I would like to know how to best balance my own survival/aggro-ing the enemy team and my damage output. This, I feel, is critical to my success in both categories of cruisers.

All tips/advice are appreciated.

Lots of good advice already... but bear in mind the optimum role of the individual ship.

Hindenburg- great for HE kite. Turtleback and torps mean you can troll armor zerg rush a yammie or musashi and either cit them in the belly or unleash torp hell. Acoustics make dds tremble in fear. Bad for island camping but great for island ambushes.

Zao- kite god. Laser HE. AP is no slouch. Torp firing angles beg to be kited with. Bane of dds and bbs.

Henri- former cb god... not sure post nerfs. Probably still a beast kiter with trollish compartmentalized armor.

DM- island waifu OG. Trollish face tanking ability. Positioning on the map and map awareness are everything to DM

Wooster- burn the world to ashes... as long as theres islands to hug. Hard to cit as a bb due to crazy overpen potential. Plane and dd no fly zone.

Mino- squishy. Squishy as an emerald armored in more emeralds. Buuut... dpm is bar none. There is no tanking... there is only crossing fingers... if they dont dev strike you... your 11k/3s dpm and 16 torps will make them regret their life choices. Eats dds.

Moskva- do people still play her? Laser flat shell arcs... troll face armor... dies horribly when broadside. Feels like everyone has better dpm than her. Or at least better gimmicks.

YMMV.

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Well, there's very few one size fits all answers as cruisers vary so widely in game-play between nations and even tiers....But as far as open water gunning..knowing when and where incoming fire is coming from is the most important skill to all cruisers. Priority target, gun zoom, and your mini map will give you answers to that. Not effectively recognizing and dodging incoming fire is the most common mistake I see over and over. With the combination of conceal and agility cruisers are very difficult to kill when played properly. Its just that it means keeping on point with whats going on around you. Tunnel vision in a cruiser is a sure way to a quick death....and be effective at your max range. If your flank collapses make them pay the whole way back to the safety of the rest of your team. Light the world on fire at extreme ranges with a spotter plane. Open up on a BB right after he shoots, and go dark when hes loaded and looking at you if you have to. Don't feel you have to do too much too early, and die early in the process. In the late game seal the win.

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