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Bortt

Buffalo: Range mod or Faster Reload?

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Hello all, looking for some suggestions on how you played the Buffalo. everywhere I look is saying to use the reload mod but 15.6km in T10 games doesn't seem like enough.

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1 minute ago, Bortt said:

Hello all, looking for some suggestions on how you played the Buffalo. everywhere I look is saying to use the reload mod but 15.6km in T10 games doesn't seem like enough.

It's hard to land the shells at those ranges for most players. The trick is to put yourself in where the range doesn't matter as much. 

If you are finding it hard to hit and you are playing it in a manner that you find you need the extra range, I'd get the range if I were you. 

It's not the optimal choice for the ship, but it might be the choice for you. 

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Reload. The issue is you can't hit anything even at the stock max range. Forget anything more. The shell velocity is too slow to hit anything more than a stationary BB at more than 12km.

And yes, you are correct, it is a struggle. Positioning is very tricky with USN cruisers. You have to get close enough to be effective, but not too close or BOOM. Use islands. Shoot over them. Duck in and out of cover. Bring some meatshields teammates to distract the reds, and shoot them up while they're distracted.

With reload, you maximize your DPM. So you can do better burst damage AND long term damage. The Buffalo has 12 8" guns, with reload the DPM is downright scary. 

Range is not going to be much use to you, as you can't be effective at those extended ranges. If can't fight at closer ranges, you shouldn't be playing USN cruisers. It's not for some people, but USN cruisers cannot be effective at long range unless you are very very good at shooting.

Also, you may have to stay back at first, let things be thinned out. Then you move in. The high DPM of cruisers is most valuable late game, so preserving your health for the most effective moment. So be careful. But don't try to play Buffalo and Des Moines as long range HE spam. That can work, you will royally piss off BBs. But you will be nowhere near as effective as you could be, and have little effect on the game outcome.

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45 minutes ago, Bortt said:

Hello all, looking for some suggestions on how you played the Buffalo. everywhere I look is saying to use the reload mod but 15.6km in T10 games doesn't seem like enough.

I've played several dozen games with both and I'm sticking with the reload. Yes, the range is useful on occasion against back-line BBs and ships camping behind islands but you're going to have a heck of a time hitting anything that isn't sitting still or running in a straight line at constant speed.  It's the rare occasion where I can put the range to good use.

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Reload. Simple reasons

1. Past 12km, US 8in shell arcs get very floatly, and trying to hit an actively moving small target past 15km can get quite ambitious, and US cruisers are best at doing damage to smaller targets like DDs and cruisers. So going from 15.6km range to 18.2km would help for open ocean kiting, but Buffalo is nowhere near aigle enough or has the shell arcs to even attempt this.

2. Buffalo has a slow reload (12secs), and reload mod puts this to a respectable 10.8secs, and 12 American Piercing Shells heading to targets will destroy things and generally make a mess out of cruiser internals.

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Range. USN CA has no business spamming people with HE as its HE shell arcs are not suited to it and AP is most lethal within the first 1-2 salvoes, making reload much less useful. Range will let you punish the ships that aren't aware enough or quick enough to avoid your shells.

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1 hour ago, tfcas119 said:

Buffalo has a slow reload (12secs), and reload mod puts this to a respectable 10.8secs, and 12 American Piercing Shells heading to targets will destroy things and generally make a mess out of cruiser internals.

Reload as well, mostly because I'm not that great at long range shooting unless I'm sitting still, (preferably behind some rock.)

'If you can't hit something, get closer until you can.'

That tends to be how I have to play gunships.

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It depends on what type of matches you are playing. I don't use Buffalo much but I prefer range in random matches. T10 matches (which is pretty much all you'll see) are long-range camp-fests. Buffalo's shell flight time at long ranges is rather punitive, but you can hit camping or reversing BBs at long ranges just fine and that is most of what you'll be doing in the beginning of the match. Also Buffalo has to show more side to get all of its guns in action than is normal for an American CA (it is more like the CLs) than I would like so I prefer doing that at range where the incoming shell flight time is enough for you to start moving. Buffalo is fairly durable by CA standards but it can't tank damage on its sides any more than any non-German can. I am much more comfortable giving up the range on DM because she has the special module and can fight bow-in to minimize her target aspect. 

In Ranked I suspect you may be better off with the reload. They aren't as sedentary and you have fewer fat targets sitting at longer ranges and less fire coming in from crazy directions. Same with co-op. I suspect Clan Wars is the same as well but I don't play it so I can't say for sure. 

Edited by Tzarevitch

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2 hours ago, Bortt said:

Hello all, looking for some suggestions on how you played the Buffalo. everywhere I look is saying to use the reload mod but 15.6km in T10 games doesn't seem like enough.

Hey Bortt,

I personally use range mod but it is a valid point to use reload mod since the Buffalo concealment is not terrible. This does take you knowing the strengths and weaknesses of not only the ship but also the maps. To take advantage of the reload module, you have to be able to get yourself in a good position and sometimes those positions are risky. 

Range:

  • Sit farther back and spam HE if that is your choice, USN HE is just ok so remember that.
  • You can engage BBs at a longer range and this might help give you time to dodge most of the return fire.
  • 12 seconds is not an eternity but there will be times you wish you had reload, especially when the engagements get closer.
  • This gives you more flexibility to kite but you have to be able to hit targets with the floaty 203mms of the USN.

Reload:

  • Risk versus reward, this allows you to fire more rapidly but you have to put yourself closer to the enemy to do that.
  • Reload lets you punish DDs more if they stray into your radar.
  • This will allow you to do more damage in that mid-range area than the range mod and if you are fighting at that range anyways most of the battle, why not have reload?

Again, this will all come down to what you are more comfortable with and the playstyle that you have adopted for you. Good luck with what you choose!

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I used the reload. I think I'm more into the high risk/high reward play style. Hence why I need to learn to not overextend and get stuck out of position. Still trying to get used to the maneuverability of the Buffalo though. After playing a lot of Mino lately it's taking some getting used to.

Edited by Bortt

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On 8/12/2019 at 12:54 PM, DrHolmes52 said:

Range mod and spotter plane?

The game would be over before the shells land. :D

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3 hours ago, RagingxMarmoset said:

Reload. The shell travel time at the 18ish km max range is outrageous and of little use.

Yeah, Cruiser Range going out that far is nice if you got something like RU, German, Zao shell flight characteristics.  USN Cruiser shells don't fly like that with the arc and low velocity shells.  Range or Reload is actually a conundrum for DM-class because the reload lets you adjust more quickly.  But the more traditional reload of Buffalo, at least to me, this isn't even a consideration.  Even Old Tier IX Baltimore (I miss the 'ol girl), this wasn't even a contest, and she fired faster than the newer Buffalo because she had fewer guns.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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i went reload, but thats honesty just because i wanted maximum memeness out of having 12 USN 203s with SHS

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3 hours ago, TheKrimzonDemon said:

Range of you're comfortable with USN cruiser arcs, reload if you aren't. I took range.

Normally I'd take reload.  I tried range on the PT.  I'm very familiar with the guns so I can hit at range.  But with my style, I don't stay at range. 

Visualize it this way.  The range mod give you a narrow annulus that you didn't have before.  In order for it to be useful, you must shoot at ships in that annulus.  Sail in a little closer, and the range mod become useless.  Alternatively, the reload mod is effective all the time that you are within range.

Range mod may be most useful chasing that last carrier...

Edited by iDuckman

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Range.

At the start of the match, USN CA play is about hugging an island near a cap to radar and stealth fire. At high tiers, cruisers and BBs are incredibly passive and will often hover outside your 15km firing range. And while reload means higher dpm, your dpm doesn't mean much if everything is out of range.

Reload is only useful later in the match when ships have died out and it becomes safer to play more aggressively.

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