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JTM78

American Cruisers?

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Why do the American Heavy cruisers have little to no armor and garbage Firing range? When compared to other heavy cruisers, American Heavy cruisers come up short.

Why do American Light cruisers have DD armor?

Is this part of the Russian Bias? 

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i don't find that at all... what tiers?   i find them some of the bounciest at mid tiers, and over pen is a form of defence..

 

desmoines laughed at my amagi while sailing broadside to me at under 10k..

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Some ships are based on real ships and each country emphasized something different. IIRC US wanted cruiser speed and gun armor. Some ship are well engineered designs but not built. Others are based on bar napkins sketched by some high ranking official. 

Edited by cmdr_bigdog
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The only nation in general that somewhat surpasses USN Heavy Cruisers in terms of armor are the German ones due to the turtleback they got, Petropavlovsk and iirc Nevsky. The USN heavies along with Germans are the only ones with 27mm plating on the bow, meaning they can tank up to 380mm.

As for the firing range, they benefit from improved autobounce angles for their AP,  arcs that allow firing behind islands and when at tier X with Des Moines, the best DPM.

Edited by warheart1992
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LOL.. play Royal Navy cruisers then come back and tell us how well that went for you. Tbh, IDK if you are joking or serious...

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At least the Royal Navy gets torps on their heavy cruisers. The USN is the only heavy cruiser line with no anti-torp bulge.

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4 hours ago, JTM78 said:

Why do the American Heavy cruisers have little to no armor and garbage Firing range? When compared to other heavy cruisers, American Heavy cruisers come up short.

And compared to others, like IJN, it's normal, and it's better than RN. This is balanced by the enhanced ability to fire over islands, as well as their AP shells having improved autobounce angles, and superior RoF. (from T8 and up anyway)

And their armor is fine, they can face tank 15" BB shells.

4 hours ago, JTM78 said:

Why do American Light cruisers have DD armor?

Is this part of the Russian Bias? 

No, it's part of the light cruiser bias, all CLs are squishy.

Personally, I don't like the advantages US cruisers get to offset their disadvantages either, but that's why I don't insist on playing them. They require a playstyle that I don't find enjoyable.

 

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USN CAs have plenty of armor if you angle and position properly.  Use islands to limit the number of enemy ships that can engage you, then point your nose at about a 20 degree angle at anything that can. 

And as others have said, all CLs are squishy except the Nevsky, because Russia.

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6 hours ago, JTM78 said:

Why do the American Heavy cruisers have little to no armor and garbage Firing range? When compared to other heavy cruisers, American Heavy cruisers come up short. 

Why do American Light cruisers have DD armor?

Is this part of the Russian Bias? 

It would help a bit if explained what ships you are talking about specifically. The only USN CLs that have thin armor are the Omahas (basically historically accurate) and the Atlantas (pretty much the same). Both of them started out as DD leaders then morphed into CLs so the were built closer to DD standards than to regular cruiser standards. The Brooklyns and Clevelands had quite a bit of armor in real life and have pretty substantial CL armor in the game. They can't tank BB shells but most cruisers can't. 

The USN CAs have some of the best CA armor in the game as long as you know how to angle. Pensacola in particular has a LOT better armor in the game than it ever had in real life. They don't have crazy long ranges but with their slow shells that is just as well. They aren't supposed to be long-ranged snipers. 

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2 hours ago, JTM78 said:

At least the Royal Navy gets torps on their heavy cruisers. The USN is the only heavy cruiser line with no anti-torp bulge.

The USN removed torpedoes from all of their cruisers other than the Atlantas and the Omahas. Those two classes kept theirs (at least some of them) because they were originally intended as DD squadron command ships and were expected to operate with DDs. The Atlantas even carried depth charge racks similar to DDs (I can't remember if the Omahas did as well.)  

The Pensacolas had  tubes originally but they were removed after fleet exercises demonstrated that torpedoes on large CAs and CLs were basically worthless. They were fire hazards and their ranges were so short compared to cruiser guns that you'd be plastered before you could get close enough to launch them. The sources I can find are contradictory on whether the Norhamptons (none of which are in the game) ever had them but if so they were removed very quickly. The New Orleans class and afterwards never had them. Truthfully only the IJN had torpedoes with long enough range to be useful outside of suicide ranges and they paid the price for those torpedoes with several of their cruisers being lost due to explosions of their own torpedoes (detonations?). If you look at most of the CAs in the game most of them have very, very few. Often it is 2 or 3 per side. 

As for anti-torpedo bulges, few cruisers had much in the way of true anti-torpedo defenses and I doubt many, if any, had true anti-torpedo bulges like BBs do. They just don't have the volume. Their defense against torpedoes was to have good lookouts and "just dodge." I  just finished reading a book on all the USN cruiser designs and I don't recall any of the WWII models having a true anti-torpedo bulge, including the Alaskas. Attempts were sometimes made to give some level of torpedo defense through armor placement and subdivision, but for cruisers it isn't much. In game they assign a torpedo defense percentage on some cruisers as a balance thing, but it isn't much and it frequently isn't historic.  Some cruisers did have bulges but they were almost always for stability and to restore lost buoyancy not for torpedo defense.  Those might give a bit of defense against torpedoes but it really isn't much. 

Few cruisers in the game have much torpedo defense. Which ones are you comparing? 

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6 hours ago, JTM78 said:

Why do the American Heavy cruisers have little to no armor and garbage Firing range? When compared to other heavy cruisers, American Heavy cruisers come up short.

Why do American Light cruisers have DD armor?

Is this part of the Russian Bias? 

They aren't battleships. 

USN CAs should mostly work close to islands, using their radar and AA to support allies. US AP is very effective, and will give you your best damage against other cruisers (aiming for citadels) and battleships (aiming for the upper belt and superstructure). Use islands to protect your citadel and to block you form ships you aren't shooting at. Duck for cover if you draw fire.Pretend that you only have your front turrets.

What you should never do is attempt to cruise at max range firing HE, the way many other nation's CAs do. It's a waste of the USN's great AP, a waste of radar, and USN cruisers just aren't good at it due to comparitily lower top speeds and shorter max range. On the positive side, USN CA conceivability is good enough that you can usually remain undetected while you go find a rock to snuggle against. 

Pensacola and New Orleans are more fragile than later USN CAs in my experience. Once you get to Baltimore and later, if you only ever expose your bow you will survive most hits. You can bow tank other CAs very well, but can't tank BBs at all.

Really the whole thing with USN CAs is to use your concealment! If you aren't going to have an unfair advantage in a fight, don't start the fight; get behind an island or go somewhere else. If a BB eyes you lustfully, get out. 

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26 minutes ago, Tzarevitch said:

It would help a bit if explained what ships you are talking about specifically. The only USN CLs that have thin armor are the Omahas (basically historically accurate) and the Atlantas (pretty much the same). Both of them started out as DD leaders then morphed into CLs so the were built closer to DD standards than to regular cruiser standards. The Brooklyns and Clevelands had quite a bit of armor in real life and have pretty substantial CL armor in the game. They can't tank BB shells but most cruisers can't. 

The USN CAs have some of the best CA armor in the game as long as you know how to angle. Pensacola in particular has a LOT better armor in the game than it ever had in real life. They don't have crazy long ranges but with their slow shells that is just as well. They aren't supposed to be long-ranged snipers. 

I am talking about the Pensacola, New Orleans, Buffalo and Des Moines. All of them have garbage armor when compared to the other Nations Heavy Cruisers and none of them have torpedo bulges.

I am also stating that the Dallas through Worcester have DD armor but don't have torpedo launchers like other light cruisers.

The American cruisers are lacking.

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7 hours ago, JTM78 said:

Why do the American Heavy cruisers have little to no armor and garbage Firing range? When compared to other heavy cruisers, American Heavy cruisers come up short.

Why do American Light cruisers have DD armor?

Is this part of the Russian Bias? 

Interesting.  You do realize that compared to their same tier peers that USN cruisers are just as well, if not better armored?

 

10 minutes ago, JTM78 said:

I am talking about the Pensacola, New Orleans, Buffalo and Des Moines. All of them have garbage armor when compared to the other Nations Heavy Cruisers and none of them have torpedo bulges.

I am also stating that the Dallas through Worcester have DD armor but don't have torpedo launchers like other light cruisers.

The American cruisers are lacking.

Nope.

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Quick history: USN "heavy" cruisers below T8 have CL armor because they were CLs until they had the CA label slapped on them by the London Naval Treaty, while the New Orleans class was still under construction. The Washington treaty only limited tonnage, so it was inevitable that somebody would get it in their head to cram as much firepower as they could into a 10,000 ton limit (always fudging the numbers slightly, of course) and then call it a "light" cruiser because they left most of the armor off- and once the US did it, everyone else started jumping on the idea too. France had the Duquesne class; the UK built the County class (but with more forethought; these were designed to be retrofitted with extra armor when the treaties collapsed). So, when the London treaty was written, gun size was the determining factor in classification- not armor protection- and that was in no small part because of these over-gunned CLs.

Dunno what you mean past that, though. Almost all cruisers feel like they're squishy if they're caught in the open, but the T8s onward in the US lines are about as well protected as anything else is. They tend to draw some extra attention because they're radar cruisers, so it might feel like they're squishier sometimes. The only cruisers in the line that really do feel like they have "DD armor" are Phoenix and Omaha, but even that is mostly down to their huge, high-riding citadels, not their armor scheme, because most of the other low to mid tier cruisers are equally crunchy otherwise.

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1 minute ago, JTM78 said:

I am talking about the Pensacola, New Orleans, Buffalo and Des Moines. All of them have garbage armor when compared to the other Nations Heavy Cruisers and none of them have torpedo bulges.
 

Where are you getting that they have "garbage" armor? They have better armor in game than the French, the British, the Italians or the Japanese. Even Pensacola which historically DID have terrible armor has better armor than any of the above on its tier. It can bow-tank about half the BBs it sees on its tier. The only ones which have better armor are the Germans and the Russians. 

 

26 minutes ago, JTM78 said:


I am also stating that the Dallas through Worcester have DD armor but don't have torpedo launchers like other light cruisers.
 

The CLs have much better than DD armor. They aren't armored up to the standards of the CAs though. It's fine as long as you aren't getting focused by BBs. They don't have torpedoes because they didn't in real life. They generally fire pretty fast though. 

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We can start with tier 8 CA.

Tier 8 Italy, UK and USN are the only Heavy cruisers that don't have torpedo bulges.
The tier 8 UK and Italy CA both have 19% torpedo damage reduction while the USN tier 8 has 4%.

All number are from stock ships.


The Des Moines has the WORST range of ALL CA! 15.8 at tier X. Which will face ships that can shoot out too 22 km and greater. Looks like it is coming up very short.

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1 hour ago, JTM78 said:

We can start with tier 8 CA.

Tier 8 Italy, UK and USN are the only Heavy cruisers that don't have torpedo bulges.
The tier 8 UK and Italy CA both have 19% torpedo damage reduction while the USN tier 8 has 4%.

All number are from stock ships.


The Des Moines has the WORST range of ALL CA! 15.8 at tier X. Which will face ships that can shoot out too 22 km and greater. Looks like it is coming up very short.

It's a little silly to say that those are the "only" CAs to lack torpedo bulges when they represent fully half of the tech tree CAs in the game at that tier.  And if you add the four premium CAs in there, the ratio stays the same - Cheshire and Wichita lack torp bulges, while Eugen and Atago have them.

Yes, US CAs get less damage reduction, but they have better overall armor and significantly better guns than the competition.  Torp damage reduction is a balancing thing not really related to real life, so it was set the way that it is for a reason.

True, the Des Moines has a short range.  But it makes up for that with a very high ROF (5.5s base reload) compared to its counterparts.  Because of that, it's much easier to justify taking the range mod in slot 6, which will extend your range out to 18.3km

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3 hours ago, JTM78 said:

I am talking about the Pensacola, New Orleans, Buffalo and Des Moines. All of them have garbage armor when compared to the other Nations Heavy Cruisers and none of them have torpedo bulges.

I am also stating that the Dallas through Worcester have DD armor but don't have torpedo launchers like other light cruisers.

The American cruisers are lacking.

Des Moines is definitely not lacking, it's still one of the most damaging cruisers in the game. It's got insane rate of fire, improved bounce angles for it's AP so it gets reliable penetrations even against BBs, and it's got very tight dispersion so it's easy to fire a volley and penetrate with every singe shot. It also has a detection range approximately the same as it's radar range, so you can usually move it to a good position without being spotted. 

I don't have the Worcester, but it's another one of the top damage cruisers.

And frankly, no CA is protected enough to survive getting shot at by BBs. When I play BBs, I regally delete CAs of all nations in a single volley — none of them have manningful armor. At best they might be able to bounce BB rounds off their bow.

Likewise, torpedo bulges are basically irrelevant on CAs because they need to be very poorly played to take torpedo hits. We all screw up occasionally, but a USN CA should generally be close to cover, only showing it's bow, and they have such high DPM that if a DD tries to swing around an island to torp, the DD is going to die. 

They just don't play like battleships. USN cruisers are island fighters, and their main defense is raw firepower.

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American cruisers suffer from all being real (mostly). It's much easier to plus up a design that didn't exist than one that did. 

The Omaha class is an outlier,  designed during WW1 to be scout cruisers, they were fast so they could dictate when they engaged and heavily armed for their size to fight off destroyers. They weren't heavily armored because scouts weren't supposed to engage in heavy combat. The Phoenix would have been the follow-on to this class. The UK had numerous scout cruisers during WW1. Aircraft carriers ended the need for scout cruisers.

The Atlanta was a separate development in WW2 intended solely to fill in as an AA cruiser.  the line ended because the Worcester came out with dual- purpose semi-automatic 6" guns, allowing it to serve as both light cruiser and AA platform. 

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10 hours ago, warheart1992 said:

The only nation in general that somewhat surpasses USN Heavy Cruisers in terms of armor are the German ones due to the turtleback they got, Petropavlovsk and iirc Nevsky. The USN heavies along with Germans are the only ones with 27mm plating on the bow, meaning they can tank up to 380mm. 

The IFHE normalization brought CAs to at least 30mm on belt and deck at T10. This means they only get the 27mm nose. This might be relevant at T8, but the amount of 406+mm caliber in T8+ is quite staggering. Further, Hipper has also a 27mm bow plus icebreaker as does the rest of the line.

At T8 other ships have Icebreakers and 25mm, but with the exception of Tallinn most CAs have the same 27mm deck/belt scheme at T8. Mogami and Albermarle, as well as Amalfi are not well armored either. However, when you go up the lines you will notice that the french CAs usually have some form of spaced armor (with torpedo protection on the outer hull, meaning those pens don't count afaik). Venezia also has 40mm spaced armor around her citadel, meaning that can't be overmatched, and her citadel is rather narrow.

So, are they particularly weakly armored? No. But they sure as hell are not well armored, as in the most important aspects (overmatch thresholds) they are effectively at the same level as everyone else. Des Moines 27mm bow is useful against only a single BB at its tier, and a handful it might see across all tiers. In my book, they have all the minimum key values that other CAs have (belt/deck plating) and a slight advantage in nose armor, but pay for it with having no armor "gimmick" whatsoever. No spaced armor, no icebreaker, no reinforced deck, no superheals, no turtleback. The armor is just standard, and the proliferation of 30mm overmatch just means that without that, even angling is not an option.

45 minutes ago, inktomi19d said:

And frankly, no CA is protected enough to survive getting shot at by BBs. When I play BBs, I regally delete CAs of all nations in a single volley — none of them have manningful armor. At best they might be able to bounce BB rounds off their bow.

Likewise, torpedo bulges are basically irrelevant on CAs because they need to be very poorly played to take torpedo hits. We all screw up occasionally, but a USN CA should generally be close to cover, only showing it's bow, and they have such high DPM that if a DD tries to swing around an island to torp, the DD is going to die. 

There is a difference between protected enough and somewhat protected. At higher tiers some CAs (i.e. Riga, Goliath, Alaska)  have thicker decks than 30mm, meaning they can bounce what would overmatch other CAs. Similarly, torpedo protection around the citadel can mean extra layers of armor and extra auto-bounce checks when angled.

USN CAs dont have "bad" armor in that they are worse than others in any category, on paper. But apart from the "27mm" bow they have nothing as an advantage. And no, thicker citadel armor (152mm vs maybe 100mm) does not really count when both just get punched through by BBs. They have just very mediocre armor (as almost all CAs) without the benefit of any useful national characteristic (Icebreaker, spaced armor, functioning turtleback).

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16 minutes ago, shinytrashcan said:

Des Moines 27mm bow is useful against only a single BB at its tier, and a handful it might see across all tiers.

Tier X:
Bourgogne (the one at tier)
Cristoforo Columbo

Tier IX:
Alsace
Jean Bart
Jean Bart Black
Lepanto
Pommern
Siegfried
Wujing

Tier VIII:
Bismarck
Flandre
Gascogne
AL Littorio
Monarch
Richelieu
Roma
Tirpitz
Tirpitz Black
Vanguard
Vittorio Veneto

That seems to me to be more than a mere handful of ships in its MM range for which 27mm plating can have value over 25mm plating.  Obviously the list of ships not affected is longer, but that list is not nothing.

Edited by Helstrem
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One of the things that happened with the IFHE Update was a lot of armor sections were unified, standardized for a ship type to a given tier.  So in terms of upper belt armor, deck armor, that's all standardized now between CLs or CAs for their own tiers.

 

But High Tier German & USN Heavy Cruisers are unique in that they have 27mm extremities, so they can tank those 15" or smaller AP shells.

 

USN CAs still have to protect their sides.  A bunch have very exposed Citadels if caught there.  And if a ship shows up with 406mm+ AP shells, the 27mm bow becomes a weakness due to Overmatch.

 

In terms of overall protection for regular CAs and CLs, I'd say German High Tier CAs are best, followed by USN CAs in those same tiers.

 

An interesting mention is Tier VI CA Pensacola, which has a 25mm hull all around.  It's actually very good protection for the tier, especially for a CA, but that falls apart when 380mm+ AP shells find her.  There's a lot of 380mm+ armed Battleships in Pensacola's MM bracket.  But if she ever finds the opportunity to face down BBs armed with guns smaller than 380mm, she has a big advantage for herself.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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1 hour ago, shinytrashcan said:

 

There is a difference between protected enough and somewhat protected. At higher tiers some CAs (i.e. Riga, Goliath, Alaska)  have thicker decks than 30mm, meaning they can bounce what would overmatch other CAs. Similarly, torpedo protection around the citadel can mean extra layers of armor and extra auto-bounce checks when angled.

 

Alaska and Riga aren't CAs; both were designed as Battlecruisers (CC). The Riga is an early Project 82 design so it's not quite up to battlecruiser standards, and the Alaska was classified as a "large cruiser" (CB) to avoid starting a new arms race with battlecruisers. They're open water ships and don't play like a USN CA or fill the same role.

I can understand if people don't like the USN CA play style, but if you are playing them in a way that armor or torpedo protection matter, you're doing it wrong. They are narrow, agile ships that most often work close to islands, so they should usually fit between torps, or be protected by islands. They should be positioned so they take almost all their hits on the extremities, and should usually only be hit by 1 or 2 shells out of a volley. For the type of fighting a USN CA does, they have plenty of protection. 

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13 hours ago, SKurj said:

i don't find that at all... what tiers?

Try t7, and possibly t6.

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6 hours ago, Tzarevitch said:

The USN removed torpedoes from all of their cruisers other than the Atlantas and the Omahas. Those two classes kept theirs (at least some of them) because they were originally intended as DD squadron command ships and were expected to operate with DDs. The Atlantas even carried depth charge racks similar to DDs (I can't remember if the Omahas did as well.)  

The Pensacolas had  tubes originally but they were removed after fleet exercises demonstrated that torpedoes on large CAs and CLs were basically worthless. They were fire hazards and their ranges were so short compared to cruiser guns that you'd be plastered before you could get close enough to launch them. The sources I can find are contradictory on whether the Norhamptons (none of which are in the game) ever had them but if so they were removed very quickly. The New Orleans class and afterwards never had them. Truthfully only the IJN had torpedoes with long enough range to be useful outside of suicide ranges and they paid the price for those torpedoes with several of their cruisers being lost due to explosions of their own torpedoes (detonations?). If you look at most of the CAs in the game most of them have very, very few. Often it is 2 or 3 per side. 

As for anti-torpedo bulges, few cruisers had much in the way of true anti-torpedo defenses and I doubt many, if any, had true anti-torpedo bulges like BBs do. They just don't have the volume. Their defense against torpedoes was to have good lookouts and "just dodge." I  just finished reading a book on all the USN cruiser designs and I don't recall any of the WWII models having a true anti-torpedo bulge, including the Alaskas. Attempts were sometimes made to give some level of torpedo defense through armor placement and subdivision, but for cruisers it isn't much. In game they assign a torpedo defense percentage on some cruisers as a balance thing, but it isn't much and it frequently isn't historic.  Some cruisers did have bulges but they were almost always for stability and to restore lost buoyancy not for torpedo defense.  Those might give a bit of defense against torpedoes but it really isn't much. 

Few cruisers in the game have much torpedo defense. Which ones are you comparing? 

The Northamptons had torpedoes as originally built, and lost them in the leadup to WWII as compensation for additional AA guns. The give away as to if they have them in a picture and if they don't is a rectangular hole in the aft superstructure, at main deck level. When the tubes were removed, the hole was plated over. The follow on Portlands (in game as USS Indianapolis) were built without torpedoes. 

Outside of the IJN, and some light cruiser/destroyer leaders, cruiser mounted torpedoes were for commerce raiding and countering armed merchant raiders. The theory being that after you've taken the crew off the freighter or armed merchant raider, you sink it with a torpedo instead of potentially waste significant quantities of main gun ammo.  In a real fight the torps would be fired or dumped at the earliest opportunity to rid the ship of the fire hazard.

As torpedoes weren't useful in an actual fight, the US Navy wasn't concerned with commerce raiding or armed merchant raiders and the US Navy was fitting multiple Chicago Pianos to all it's newer cruisers, the torpedoes had to go.

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