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Drifter_X

Brit. Heavy Cruiser theory of gameplay?

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Howdy folks, was wondering if anyone could inform me of the way the heavy line is supposed to be played. The tech tree info says they have high durability, good HE, and main guns are good for close in work. The ship surrey lacks all these qualities and discussion of the line is relegated to saying there are good things to them. There has to be a catch I have not noticed?

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The play style is to live long enough to eventually kill the other guy with your slow reload.

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15 minutes ago, Drifter_X said:

Howdy folks, was wondering if anyone could inform me of the way the heavy line is supposed to be played. The tech tree info says they have high durability, good HE, and main guns are good for close in work. The ship surrey lacks all these qualities and discussion of the line is relegated to saying there are good things to them. There has to be a catch I have not noticed?

Varies a from mid tiers to high tiers when you get the super heal.

I'm experienced up to the Surrey, and they do have good HE, the shells are slooow so they work best the closer you are (not that you have long range to do otherwise), and they are relatively durable due to the heal, which is uncommon at those tiers. IMO, they are ambushers (I think of them as pirate ships, arghhh!), you surprise people when they don't expect you, hit them hard and if they are still able to retaliate, just run and hide again, rinse and repeat. Abuse islands and your concealment to annoy guys bigger than you, and bully smaller guys with your good HE alpha, "armor" and healing. I like the line a lot, my advice to you... role play a pirate ship and have fun. 

Higher tiers I'm not too familiar but I understand the work more like a bottle cork and damage sponge... you basically outlive your enemy. Sounds fun too.

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They do not start shining until tier 8.

At tier 9, the Drake is a beast. Stay at range, kite .... go dark and heal up... rinse repeat.

I did 191k on a loss....

Tier 10 has super heal. HE that could make a Conquerer blush and AP on broadsdes is devastating.

 

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36 minutes ago, Drifter_X said:

Howdy folks, was wondering if anyone could inform me of the way the heavy line is supposed to be played. The tech tree info says they have high durability, good HE, and main guns are good for close in work. The ship surrey lacks all these qualities and discussion of the line is relegated to saying there are good things to them. There has to be a catch I have not noticed?

Hawkins and Ablemarle could be the worst ships of their tier, floating citadels.  Between is the Surrey and Devonshire that just seem to be average workhorses, solid ships.  T9 and 10 are good but I put them up as high ceiling ships, AP on most of the British CAs is pretty good even on Hawk and Able...so they can do good damage but none of these CAs, even the 9/10 shrug damage enough to make up for their slower speed, no radar etc.  Probably the most underwhelming line in WoWS.

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So far in Drake I've had the most success playing it somewhat like a Kronshtadt, assuming anything that doest touch the belt armor will do significant damage and playing from long-ish range.

HE hits more like a supercruisers then a normal 203mm CA, leading is weirdly floaty but got used to it.

Heal is very effective provided you managed what type and how quickly you take damage.

Expect all aspects of the ship to function poorly, and you'll go through battles with lots of little surprises like "wow that salvo did more then I expected" etc. Thats how I came to enjoy Drake.

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The only "durable" thing about them is they have Repair Party access.  Their armor isn't good and a bunch have very exposed Citadels.  Even worse, some of them later on have these atrocious "Stepped" Citadels to more easily trap AP shells and get Citadeled.

 

The HE however is good and they are good Fire Starters.

 

Close in work?  With that armor and Citadel?  No way.

 

Goliath below:

ANqM4Yh.jpg&key=e97f656ef025cef50f7b42d66BMiaEd.jpg&key=deed8948b2d4d768c5295e3aQGLAy3e.jpg

 

Goliath, Albemarle, Drake don't take too well to AP shells.  IMO, a good number of the RNCA Line has some of the squishiest Heavy Cruisers you'll see in this game.

 

I will say that their shell flight characteristics, ranges mirror IJN & USN CAs pretty closely.  I still remember the debate Tier X Goliath players were having with each other: Faster Reload (MBM3) or Increased Range (GFCS2) with Slot 6 upgrade slot.

- Goliath has a really slow reload, MBM3 improves that as a nice QoL boost.  Reload would go from 18.5 to 16.28 seconds.

- OTOH, some have expressed that Goliath hanging around at 16.8km or less (her max gun range) is quite unhealthy in a world of 430mm+ armed Battleships like Republique, Thunderer, Kremlin, Georgia, etc.  GFCS2 would improve the 16.8km range to 19.49km.

 

The signature feature of the line is at Tier IX-X, they have 234mm guns.  RN 234mm guns have an HE shell with very high default Pen at 59mm, as well as a high 24% Fire Chance.  Only Sovetsky Soyuz and Kremlin have deck armor to possibly cause non-pens, every other BB will get farmed.  The catch is the slower reload.

 

The AP is pretty weak considering the size.  It barely outdoes the smaller 203mm AP of Des Moines.  And a whole host of other CAs in Tier X have better AP Penetration.  So it seems this reinforces even more that RNCAs rely on their HE quite a bit.

a4mPVyV.jpg

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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20 minutes ago, dEsTurbed1 said:

They do not start shining until tier 8.

So basically the usual WG garbage of garbage ships until you suffer your way up to the tiers they deign to be actually worthy of possessing a line’s ‘flavor?’

(-)

How to play them...

Get an Exeter and ignore everything else?

Though I didn’t find London or Devonshire to be too bad.

Bully things like with a Furutaka.

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45 minutes ago, dEsTurbed1 said:

They do not start shining until tier 8.

 

20 minutes ago, Estimated_Prophet said:

So basically the usual WG garbage of garbage ships until you suffer your way up to the tiers they deign to be actually worthy of possessing a line’s ‘flavor?’

Not really my experience, I've had a blast with Devon and Surrey, and even Hawkins is fun to play in its own way, it is very "peculiar".  In particular, Hawkins teaches you the very basics of how to play these guys, at least up to Surrey, and for what I read the same flavor remains up to Goliath.

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RN CAs play similarly to other kiting cruisers. They have better heals and high alpha in exchange for poor mobility and short main battery range. They are meant to outlast their opponents.

 

Their protection against BB AP is fine if you angle correctly, though it's less forgiving than other cruisers. 

RN CAs tends to be under rated in terms of capabilities, but their playstyle is nothing remarkable. Definitely not an exciting line if you've played similar cruises

 

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Hmm...

  • Hawkins is painful.
  • Devonshire is workmanlike, not great.
  • Surrey is fun
  • Albemarle is a giant tinfoil citadel clown-bote.  Tried it on PTS, skipped it on Live with FXP.
  • Drake has been great so far.

And to come around to the question... I wouldn't play any of them exactly the same way.

 

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So far I've gotten the best results by leaving them in port and playing something German, Japanese or American instead.

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1 hour ago, dEsTurbed1 said:

They do not start shining until tier 8.

At tier 9, the Drake is a beast. Stay at range, kite .... go dark and heal up... rinse repeat.

I did 191k on a loss....

Tier 10 has super heal. HE that could make a Conquerer blush and AP on broadsdes is devastating.

 

this is spot on.

When playing the Brit heavy cruiser you are truly a support ship with little sway in the outcome of the battle.  Never go to brawl using these ships.  The Brit heavy cruisers play similar to the IJN cruisers.

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Heavy cruisers and supercruisers are my preferred ships in-game and I play a ton of them.

The british line, as a whole, is probably the most underwhelming and least rewarding of any heavy cruiser line IMHO.  The challenges:

- abysmal main battery range
- slow shells
- meh armor
- meh maneuverability
- no bailout consumables to disengage with

In essence you have to try to find ways to make your slow, range-deficient guns useful, which tends to get you into spots where you are not armored or maneuverable or smoky or radar-capable enough to get out of.   The heal will not bail you out of even a 1v1 engagement f more than a few salvos, much less getting focused by several ships ala Nelson or Conq.

The ships do generally have great concealment, so the strategies are basically as people have outlined above.

- accept a loss in continuous damage contribution to try and get into positions undetected and ambush.  I find this doesn't work much offensively since you aren't particularly fast or maneuverable, can't bully DDs who spot you with instant radar, no speed boost, etc. This might sort-of work defensively - staying dark and letting people push into you - but  your AP is too poor and reload too slow to capitalize on brief ambush windows, with no MBRB, no enhanced AP pen angles, few overmatch opportunities, etc.  So - you could hide behind a rock and maybe smack a DD or trade a kill with torps.  Most of the ships also have not-great torp angles, so that's tricky as well even if you can single-launch, and you are not going to stand up to anything at close quarters with no icebreaker bow, no turtleback, etc. 

- play a hit-and-run style of open-water gameplay at the extremes of your gun and concealment ranges, limiting the number of opponents who can shoot you, carefully planning to be able to disengage quickly by going dark.  Generally it's fire enough salvos to make somebody decide you're worth dealing with, then trying to dodge the incoming salvo and get dark to use your heal and open distance before repeating.  The trouble is your reload is long and hitting shots is not straightforward with miserable velocity, so it's a challenge to get consistent damage in and you're not likely to hard carry anything.  You also are not super fast or able to smoke, speedboost, or facetank your way out of trouble, so you play conservatively and feel like you're not making much of an impact.

Basically I don't think they're very fun.  No real feel-good tools.  Mediocre everything.  Disappointing guns "flavor" mechanics that don't really complement each other.
The numbers against the other heavies seem to suggest the RN CAs are doing okay, but I'd posit that's down to two main damage sources - doomed close-range torp trades at all tiers and ineffective fire damage stacking at 8-10.  Hitting destroyers with any amount of heavy-cruiser HE is also going to be good for XP gains, but they just don't feel like they have anything they're outstanding enough at to play over any other heavy line.

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1 hour ago, Estimated_Prophet said:

 

(-)

How to play them...

Get an Exeter and ignore everything else?

Though I didn’t find London or Devonshire to be too bad.

.I Have the Exeter and London.

Love the Exeter. Have to play it carefully, don't show broadsides. I'VE HIT MORE CITADELS IN THIS SHIP THAN ANY OTHER. Many of those against Omahas and similar. Good firestarter against BBs, but keep your distance and angle.

To "balance" the London vs Exeter they gave London OK smoke but decreased the gun range to 13.4km. In my opinion, that means EVERY other cruiser outrages you. Guess you could play the London hide-shoot-hide, but not my style.

The economics on the Exeter are very good too.

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The RN CAs just are not a fun line to play. Super long reload with floaty shells.  The AP is nothing special outside of tier 9/10 where you can overmatch a few cruisers.  The HE hits hard.  You do not have the DPM to make a push when you need to.  The heals are good if you don't eat any cits.  Though i find after 2 full heals, the final heal isn't good unless you had a lot of fire damage.  The tier 10 is a very large boat.  It can eat a lot of shots that would otherwise miss other ships.  I call it the floating barn for a reason. It is more vulnerable to overmatch cits than the drake. 

 

Long story short, you are relying on the match not being over in the first 5 minutes to be of some use to the team like other low utility kiting/farming cruisers.  As Lert said above, there are better cruisers for this role.  They are more fun too, which is the point in playing the game. 

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The heavy cruisers in RN are junk, particularly Surrey etc.

I spend a great deal of time in the Leander one of the light cruisers. And run the Minotaur like a DD. Add Radar to Mino which people do not expect gets to delete destroyers you know are close.

The RN Ca's don't have the traverse, reload or agility to do any of that. they are lumps on a log and you might as well just sit in one spot and plink enemies to get something before you are destroyed. The Goliath is the exception, able to stand up to the Pommern for a short time. (Use AP so you don't see it reheal all of your HE damage)

Neptune gets deleted in the big boy fights. But it has its moments.

The rest of the cruisers in the RN are to be endured and then disposed of They don't have what it takes to be in battle any length of time.

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They seem to thrive on hanging back on the skirmish line and slinging HE on distracted targets, very solid at killing DDs too. Bow on, the armor is very strong, so take that into consideration and never engage ships in more than one direction. They somewhat remind me of the Graf Spee's playstyle.

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High shell arcs with stupid good accuracy and decent concealment. Use islands. Treat them like the overweight offspring of wooster and Conq with no radar. I take range for my Goliath and is a monster. You, much like the monty python skit, do not want to be seen, until the bbs are dead.

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Thanks for the input everyone. I have taken advice and got a decent 125k damage game. The heal allowed me to retaliate against a new orleans that ambushed me. The HE is better than I thought after looking at other ships, and really does well against most targets, setting 15 fires for the game alone. Abuse the max range and the 9 something km camo lets me dissapear when the reds decide im too annoying to ignore, and the armor bounces 203 rounds at angles.

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2 hours ago, ArIskandir said:

Not really my experience, I've had a blast with Devon and Surrey, and even Hawkins is fun to play in its own way, it is very "peculiar".  In particular, Hawkins teaches you the very basics of how to play these guys, at least up to Surrey, and for what I read the same flavor remains up to Goliath.

 

2 hours ago, brewakeg said:

.I Have the Exeter and London.

Love the Exeter. Have to play it carefully, don't show broadsides. I'VE HIT MORE CITADELS IN THIS SHIP THAN ANY OTHER. Many of those against Omahas and similar. Good firestarter against BBs, but keep your distance and angle.

To "balance" the London vs Exeter they gave London OK smoke but decreased the gun range to 13.4km. In my opinion, that means EVERY other cruiser outrages you. Guess you could play the London hide-shoot-hide, but not my style.

The economics on the Exeter are very good too.

 

2 hours ago, KilljoyCutter said:

Hmm...

  • Hawkins is painful.

Hawkins was okay? In a strange kind of way; but then intend to like ships most others don’t, just ask @UltimateNewbie and a few others.

Liking Exeter was sealed my first game out.

Jumped cold turkey into a random in it. Didn’t really have a great game, but learned a few things about Exeter.

As others have said about the regular heavies, you hang back and play support; light things on fire and punish broadsides.

Where I’ve found particular success with Exeter though is mid-late game; when destroyers and other damaged ships start sniffing around caps. You push a known or suspected enemy with your hydro at the ready, and either drive them away or smash them up with 203mm HE.

Slow rate of fire? Sure; but at the ranges those fights usually happen at I don’t often miss; and 203mm HE does wonders encouraging existence failure; especially if the target is a damaged destroyer.

Edited by Estimated_Prophet
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2 hours ago, xHeavy said:

The heavy cruisers in RN are junk, particularly Surrey etc.

I feel compelled to break a lance in favor of these guys, I think they are a misunderstood bunch and I'm realizing I play them a lot different than most guys around here advice them to do. I play this ships ALWAYS around hard cover, I never do open water with them if I can help it and try to avoid max range fights. I usually lurk behind island around caps and try to ambush DDs if they come near or support my guys if they go in, I always run Hydro (AA is useless anyway). When not hunting DDs I try to lob HE over the islands (the slow arcs become an advantage) at whatever comes near. If things go sour and the enemy pushes on my position, the single launched torps are good enough to put the pain into anything brave enough to dare "turn the corner", you are tanky enough to last a while against most things that rush you. If things turn good, I leap frog islands always trying to creep up on someone, if it is a point blank drive by, much better (providing they don't see you coming and are aiming  their guns the other way). As I said, I like to play like a pirate galleon, get the jump on some unsuspecting fellow, give them a couple broadsides to demoralize them and board them, if they prove too hard a nut to crack, turn tail and flee to Tortuga. Wait for a better prey next time.

Wm3N4Rd.png

1 hour ago, MBRicochet said:

High shell arcs with stupid good accuracy and decent concealment. Use islands. ... You, much like the monty python skit, do not want to be seen, until the bbs are dead.

This is so very true.

Edited by ArIskandir
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5 hours ago, Drifter_X said:

Howdy folks, was wondering if anyone could inform me of the way the heavy line is supposed to be played.

For one, free XP all the way to tier 9, so that you don't have to deal with the suicidaly short gun range.

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10 minutes ago, vak_ said:

For one, free XP all the way to tier 9, so that you don't have to deal with the suicidaly short gun range.

The short gun ranges so many of this line has is crazy.  No Spotting Aircraft for a lot of them doesn't help their case.  They pay a lot for standard access to Repair Party.

V Hawkins 13.92km gun range.

VI Devonshire 14km

VII Surrey 14.82km, at lest has Spotting Aircraft.  Seriously, this is unacceptable considering the threats Surrey faces.

VIII Albemarle 15.7km is average for the tier, but has Spotting Aircraft.  But Albemarle is super squishy a.f.

Tier IX Drake (15.9km) & X Goliath (16.8k) have average gun ranges for their tiers, as well as having access to GFCS2 in Slot 6 to improve their range by 16% if that's what the player wants.  IX Drake has Spotting Aircraft access but Goliath in Tier X doesn't.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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