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epojokke

How do you play the British heavy cruisers?

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I am up to the tier IX (Drake) and I can't quite figure out how best to play them.

They seem like okay ships but with huge citadels. I normally eat 1-2 citadels every time a BB shoots at me.

I try to angle but it doesn't seem to work well unless there is only one red shooting back at me. The DPM seems really bad because the long reload and killing DDs isn't easy.

So, how do you guys play this line?

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Don't know.  I don't think I have any.  You might read the Performance sections of the Ship pages. E.g. Devonshire.

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1 hour ago, epojokke said:

I am up to the tier IX (Drake) and I can't quite figure out how best to play them.

They seem like okay ships but with huge citadels. I normally eat 1-2 citadels every time a BB shoots at me.

I try to angle but it doesn't seem to work well unless there is only one red shooting back at me. The DPM seems really bad because the long reload and killing DDs isn't easy.

So, how do you guys play this line?

With the RN CA's that are tier 8 and below, you want to aggressively abuse terrain.  The shell arcs are too low (IIRC) to just park behind islands and lob shells like a USN or RN CL.  You need to be further back from the island.  Or you can shoot over corners of islands.

The sub-tier 9 RN CAs don't have the gun range to long range kite and rely on dodging incoming fire.  You need to work the terrain.  Or try to maneuver yourself into positions where you can engage enemy ships from their unengaged side so that their guns are aimed in the other direction while you fire.  And if you see them turning the guns towards you, cease fire and go dark if you can.  Maybe duck behind an island to break contact.  Maybe use the corner of that island to fire unseen.

I'm on the Drake myself.  And with the slot 6 range module, it had the gun range to open water kite with ease.  Its HE hits hard and is a good fire starter.  The downside is that her low rate of fire and lack of DD hunting tools (i.e. radar or hydro) makes her very sub-optimal as a DD hunter.

 

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Drake and Goliath need to stay at range and start fires.  This is easier with Drake than Goliath, as the latter does not have any way to extend range.  (IMO Drake is the better ship tier for tier.  YMMV) Goliath also has that odd 'stepped' citadel which will yield citadels through the bow and stern for any BB who can overmatch your armor.  Range mod works (I think I took RoF) in slot 6, if you go double rudder you can wiggle well enough to open water kite.  If you can find a friendly island to hide behind you can mimic the USN CA style, but your DPM will be considerably lower due to lower RoF.  You have better HE damage and fire chance than USN CAs though, and while fires are very RNG you should be setting quite a few.  If you can set up an ambush, your AP is usable against enemy cruisers if they are fairly close and give you a nice flat broadside; otherwise stick to HE.

They are decent ships, but overall the DPM is pretty low and they don't bring much in the way of utility to a fight.  IMO they are kind of boring in that 'could randomly explode at any time due to BB fire' kind of way.

Edited by Uncle_Lou

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10 hours ago, epojokke said:

I am up to the tier IX (Drake) and I can't quite figure out how best to play them. They seem like okay ships but with huge citadels. I normally eat 1-2 citadels every time a BB shoots at me.

A few weeks ago a forum thread asked "what's the weakest ship line" and the RN Heavies got more than 50% of the responses. The problem is exactly what you're citing, they're too easy to blap for a heavy cruiser. So you have to play so terribly cautious for so much of the match for fear of getting nuked from long range that they're just not fun to play. And they absolutely pale in comparison to the other heavy cruisers that are available. Sure, 10km torps - but so what if you have to stay so far back that you can't fire them off unless you're solo kiting. 

Anyway... just my two cents. Well, actually most of the player's two cents too it seems. 

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Honestly, I don't really like them. The UK CAs don't have a lot of utility as compared to the CLs. They basically seem to start fires. 

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Approach enemy to just beyond your concealment, optimal ranging for blapping with the relatively slow shell flight times is "as close as possible". Point bow at enemy, start firing HE (only), jocky fwd+/rev- (more reverse than forward!). Stop firing and go dark to recover concealment, retreat in reverse, never show your sides, until you are reasonably safe, then reposition.

You do not have to cautious so much as to be sensible, and to know the qualities of the enemy ships facing you. Mistakes are rarely forgiven, the RN had a tradition of courtmartial for captains endangering their ship, the WOWS equivalent is for the RN cruiser to be citadelled.

They are not the most exciting heavy cruisers, but they can be effective.

Also, they have excellent AA, not perfect, but excellent all the same.

 

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10 hours ago, Uncle_Lou said:

Drake and Goliath need to stay at range and start fires.  This is easier with Drake than Goliath, as the latter does not have any way to extend range. 

Drake and Goliath can both take the range module in slot six. 

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12 hours ago, epojokke said:

So, how do you guys play this line?

Basically, follow @Crucis excellent advice, you need to abuse terrain to ambush your prey and also keep hard cover at hand in case you need to retreat. 

10 hours ago, Crucis said:

With the RN CA's that are tier 8 and below, you want to aggressively abuse terrain.  The shell arcs are too low (IIRC) to just park behind islands and lob shells like a USN or RN CL.  You need to be further back from the island.  Or you can shoot over corners of islands.

The sub-tier 9 RN CAs don't have the gun range to long range kite and rely on dodging incoming fire.  You need to work the terrain.  Or try to maneuver yourself into positions where you can engage enemy ships from their unengaged side so that their guns are aimed in the other direction while you fire.  And if you see them turning the guns towards you, cease fire and go dark if you can.  Maybe duck behind an island to break contact.  Maybe use the corner of that island to fire unseen.

I'm on the Drake myself.  And with the slot 6 range module, it had the gun range to open water kite with ease.  Its HE hits hard and is a good fire starter.  The downside is that her low rate of fire and lack of DD hunting tools (i.e. radar or hydro) makes her very sub-optimal as a DD hunter.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Crucis said:

I'm on the Drake myself.  And with the slot 6 range module, it had the gun range to open water kite with ease.  Its HE hits hard and is a good fire starter.  The downside is that her low rate of fire and lack of DD hunting tools (i.e. radar or hydro) makes her very sub-optimal as a DD hunter.

^This.

I'm on Drake as well (and doing much better in it than Albernarle).  Play patient and be smart with shot and target selection.

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You don't really, you play the Japanese or German heavies which are broadly similar but far more enjoyable. 

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12 hours ago, epojokke said:

I am up to the tier IX (Drake) and I can't quite figure out how best to play them.

They seem like okay ships but with huge citadels. I normally eat 1-2 citadels every time a BB shoots at me.

I try to angle but it doesn't seem to work well unless there is only one red shooting back at me. The DPM seems really bad because the long reload and killing DDs isn't easy.

So, how do you guys play this line?

I've recently welcomed the Drake to my Port and can't say that my set-up is the "be all & end all" way to go.  Just offering it for the sake of comparison.

I like that the British heavy cruisers can be a little-bit-tanky when they're angled properly to incoming gunfire (at least much better than most light-cruisers).
I like they they're versatile.
I like that they have decent repair parties.  It is a big help when trying to stay afloat during a long match.
I'm less thrilled with how the BB's in their Tier-8/9/10 matchmaking brackets can seriously damage or outright sink 'em with a few main-battery projectiles that hit the right place(s).  (Welcome to "cruiser life", eh?)
I like the white & brass camo scheme.

They're not the fastest or the most armored or have the most guns or torpedoes.  But what they do offer is a reasonable package-deal of armament, armor, concealment and consumables that a good player can make use of.

shot-20_09.14_12_51.24-0681.thumb.jpg.7d3ed749a159a257c7cb44effc1bd07a.jpg
shot-20_09.14_12_51.39-0149.thumb.jpg.99dcd4b4064c64f6f6a6c5606221537a.jpg
shot-20_09.14_12_52.01-0190.thumb.jpg.82acbd463d6b86af6ede3ed28b6f2608.jpg
 

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11 hours ago, Crucis said:

The downside is that her low rate of fire and lack of DD hunting tools (i.e. radar or hydro) makes her very sub-optimal as a DD hunter.

NOTE: You can take HYDRO (which I do), but low rate of fire is not good vs DDs

 

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11 hours ago, Crucis said:

The downside is that her low rate of fire and lack of DD hunting tools (i.e. radar or hydro) makes her very sub-optimal as a DD hunter.

 

6 minutes ago, dashtardly said:

NOTE: You can take HYDRO (which I do), but low rate of fire is not good vs DDs

As @dashtardly has pointed out, and my screen-shot proves, Hydro-acoustic search is available on the Drake (and several other British heavy cruisers, too).

shot-20_09.14_12_52.01-0190.thumb.jpg.a996393a8f6db287bb5b7482cfd690d1.jpg
 

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Accidental double-post.


 

Edited by Wolfswetpaws

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12 hours ago, Crucis said:

With the RN CA's that are tier 8 and below, you want to aggressively abuse terrain.  The shell arcs are too low (IIRC) to just park behind islands and lob shells like a USN or RN CL.  You need to be further back from the island.  Or you can shoot over corners of islands.

The sub-tier 9 RN CAs don't have the gun range to long range kite and rely on dodging incoming fire.  You need to work the terrain.  Or try to maneuver yourself into positions where you can engage enemy ships from their unengaged side so that their guns are aimed in the other direction while you fire.  And if you see them turning the guns towards you, cease fire and go dark if you can.  Maybe duck behind an island to break contact.  Maybe use the corner of that island to fire unseen.

I'm on the Drake myself.  And with the slot 6 range module, it had the gun range to open water kite with ease.  Its HE hits hard and is a good fire starter.  The downside is that her low rate of fire and lack of DD hunting tools (i.e. radar or hydro) makes her very sub-optimal as a DD hunter.

Thanks.

I do try to use islands but there aren't always any available. I took the reload module, but maybe I should change it to the range one.

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3 hours ago, TheArc said:

A few weeks ago a forum thread asked "what's the weakest ship line" and the RN Heavies got more than 50% of the responses. The problem is exactly what you're citing, they're too easy to blap for a heavy cruiser. So you have to play so terribly cautious for so much of the match for fear of getting nuked from long range that they're just not fun to play. And they absolutely pale in comparison to the other heavy cruisers that are available. Sure, 10km torps - but so what if you have to stay so far back that you can't fire them off unless you're solo kiting. 

Anyway... just my two cents. Well, actually most of the player's two cents too it seems. 

I agree with those 2 cents. I am basically only playing the line to get to the tier X so I can get the super container. I hope buffing this line is something we will see in the near future.

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1 hour ago, mofton said:

You don't really, you play the Japanese or German heavies which are broadly similar but far more enjoyable. 

This has been my experience as well. Drake just doesn't do anything for me compared to Ibuki, or even Roon... 

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2 hours ago, hateboat said:

Approach enemy to just beyond your concealment, optimal ranging for blapping with the relatively slow shell flight times is "as close as possible". Point bow at enemy, start firing HE (only), jocky fwd+/rev- (more reverse than forward!). Stop firing and go dark to recover concealment, retreat in reverse, never show your sides, until you are reasonably safe, then reposition.

Also, they have excellent AA, not perfect, but excellent all the same.

I have tried this a couple of times, but what normally happens is that some BB 20 km away sees my broadside and shaves off 75% of my health because I am not angled towards him.

Even 1 vs 1, this is rarely a good strategy since the DPM tends to be lower than every other ship you meet on the seven seas. I had some luck against a lower tier BB in one game but after some time he got lucky with one salvo and shaved off the last 10-15K hp I had left.

The AA seems to be the only "okay" thing about this ship line.

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34 minutes ago, epojokke said:

I have tried this a couple of times, but what normally happens is that some BB 20 km away sees my broadside and shaves off 75% of my health because I am not angled towards him.

Even 1 vs 1, this is rarely a good strategy since the DPM tends to be lower than every other ship you meet on the seven seas. I had some luck against a lower tier BB in one game but after some time he got lucky with one salvo and shaved off the last 10-15K hp I had left.

The AA seems to be the only "okay" thing about this ship line.

Your assessment is right on point imo, you don't have the DPM to trade shots bow on with almost anything, also you are limiting your mobility.

I think of the line as opportunistic ambushers (pirate ships I called them in another thread), you abuse terrain and concealment to ambush and surprise your targets. You reveal yourself, unleash punishment on unsuspecting foes and disappear before they have time to effectively retaliate. If I have to go for open water engagement, I usually "reveal" myself close to my spotting range with a full all gun barrage, one or two volleys until the enemy starts aiming at me, then kite away and go dark. Your RN CA ships have nice alpha, so you focus on a getting a few powerful free strikes each time and then disengage. Ambush and Hit & Run tactics, just don't trade in a fair DPM battle, you are not fitted for that.

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the best way to play british heavy cruisers is to not play them at all.

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Devonshire and Goliath are excellent standouts of an otherwise very mediocre line.

See the Goliath thread currently on page 1 or 2. Explains a lot.

Goliath (somewhat Drake) Cliffs notes:

Great boat. Often misunderstood and underestimated. Suites me just fine.

Big Alpha w massive HE. And trajectories suitable for both abusing cover and lobbing long range.

Pocket Conq with torps.

Distance is life early on. 

It'll take a beating mid range but wait until mid game when battleships decide to push and then stick close to them.

Build and spec with rudder shift, turret spin, fire chance, etc.

Edited by thebigblue

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