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kiteohatto

I need help with cruiser playstyle...please

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As the title says, i just can't grasp the playstyle of the cruisers. I've gotten used to destroyers and battleships, but I just don't know how to adapt whenever I feel like playing a cruiser.

 

With DDs, i scout, provide smoke for the guys behind me and deny the enemy push with my torps.

With BBs i provide firepower support and "tank" if we need to push.

 

With cruisers....i try and stay behind BBs or DDs and try to start fires or swap to AP if there is a broadsiding cruiser somewhere within 12km of me, but i just end up dying a lot.

 

I tried camping behind islands with Cleveland/Montpelier, i tried being careful with Baltimore(although i can push sometimes if top tier).

I tried kiting with Atago.

I don't dare play UK cruisers because they are even more paper.

 

I just don't know how am I supposed to survive while still being useful to the team in a cruiser, feels like im just a big destroyer when im spotted.

 

At the start, do I go with BBs or do i support DDs ?

I should probably use the terrain more often in both cases, but i just don't have the patience for it :(

 

I've sort of decided that i wand DM to be my first tx cruiser, but if it plays like balti/cleve i might be making a mistake. The other choices I have are zao or hindenburg or even moskva. Im getting real tired of being deleted if someone looks at me.

 

Please help.

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This is true of all ship classes, so it may seem redundant when I say you need to have really good awarness to be effective in a cruiser. When you start a game, first look at your and enemy team: how many bb's are there, and how many overmatch you? How many radar cruisers? How many big gunned supercruisers that might overmatch you? How many dd's? Which type are they, torp spammers, gunboats, cap contesters or flankers? Are there CV's? This is all very important information when deciding on what to do and how to position initially. Checking this alone will put you above most players, and it takes a few seconds to check this info and take it on board. With experience, you will be able to say with relative certainty things like "enemy DM will probably go to that island at D5, and the Stalingrad will probably bow tank A" or stuff like that. At any rate, you should have your eyes glued to the mini map, and take note of where specific ships are going, paying special attention to the enemy ships that are particularly dangerous to you / act as your hard counters.

 

Secondly, look at where your team is going. If they're abandoning a flank completely, well... that's not good, and you should try to get them to not do that, but if you can't, don't go to a flank alone then rage at the team because you died. Of course you did, you tried to hold a flank alone. Now, your team did potato by letting the enemy have it and potentially catch them in a crossfire, but even worse than this happening is you dying at the start, removing your ability to do anything about this. Don't. Yolo. Alone. So many people do this. 

 

In addition, think of playing cruisers like doing a bank job: you always want to have a clearly defined exit route from any situation you might find yourself in. You might be going to a flank, with the enemy team still unspotted, and that's all fine, but think about what happens if enemy bb's get spotted going to that same cap, or the one next to it: if you get spotted and focused, what's your game plan? Will you be able to turn and kite without presenting broadside? Is there island cover to help you get stealth and position to a better angle? Assume you won't be able to tank for a lot, and act accordingly. If you're playing something like a DM and going to a radar position behind an island, consider - can you survive if you get spotted on the way there? What's your exit plan from that spot if the enemy pushes through that cap, or the cap next to it? Think ahead.

 

Other than that, understand your ship, and what it's role is: "cruiser gameplay" is a very broad term. For example: Des Moines, Zao, Stalingrad, Henri IV, Minotaur, Alaska. All of these ships are technically the same class, and none of them play similarly. Well, technically Henri and Zao are both kiters, but in a different way - Henri is more of a long range spammer / one man flank sort of deal, while zao with it's excellent stealth can afford to get much closer than a Henri would, and thus plays a lot differently.

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Hmm, thats probably one of my issues, i don't fully know about ship to ship penetration, gotten through my games by "don't show broadside" and "wiggle that ship butt" and "wasd hacks" so far.

Also, its probably due to me being able to adapt from the DD playstyle where I have a smoke and low detect range to fall back on, because of that i didn't have to rely on isalnds that much.

 

From what i found out, i think i prefer heavy cruisers more, do you have any suggestions which to pick ?

 

Thanks

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11 hours ago, kiteohatto said:

Hmm, thats probably one of my issues, i don't fully know about ship to ship penetration, gotten through my games by "don't show broadside" and "wiggle that ship butt" and "wasd hacks" so far.

Also, its probably due to me being able to adapt from the DD playstyle where I have a smoke and low detect range to fall back on, because of that i didn't have to rely on isalnds that much.

 

From what i found out, i think i prefer heavy cruisers more, do you have any suggestions which to pick ?

 

Thanks

It depends entirely on what kind of play style you want. A heavy cruiser is defined by it's armament - basically anything with 203's or above (305 mm and above would be considered a supercruiser). So, you have plenty of choice, but overall I like to recommend the Zao as the first t10 cruiser; it's combination of great HE, good AP, great stealth, solid torps, maneuverability and troll armor make for a strong combination. It's the embodiment of a kiting cruiser, and it will teach you a lot about that play style; it will teach you good positioning and awareness, ammo selection, how to use predictive torps, and so on.

 

If you want an island camper, look no further than a DM. It's literally the best at that play style. Team utility is great with radar, hydro, and great AA, DPM is really high with excellent HE and probably the best 203mm AP in the game with very forgiving autobounce angles.

 

If you want to lock down a cap bow on, tanking everything while covering the cap with your 12km radar and very accurate guns, Moskva is your friend. Get a legendary module for it, it makes the dispersion insanely good. Stalin is also nice but I find it plays a bit differently.

 

Henri IV, more of a one-man-flank sort of deal. You generally stay at long range, punishing the enemy from a flank all by your lonesome. Accomplished by great speed, range, responsive throttle (use speed boost mod 1) and what appears to be a quantum singularity that eats shells placed inside it's spaced armor.

 

Mino, very unique playstyle, high skill ceiling, high reward sort of ship. Leave this for later, when you're more experienced in cruiser gameplay, as this one requires developing it's very own skill set. Better get good with cruisers in general before you do this. She's a light cruiser, anyway, and you said you wanted a heavy one.

 

tl;dr - keep calm and get Zao :)

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BTW @kiteohatto it might be a good idea to join a clan: if you choose wisely, you'll find some people who can provide you with spiritual guidance vis-a-vis how to cruiser, plus (assuming their base is reasonably developed) you'll get a bunch of useful economic bonuses to boot.

 

Playing in a division (especially if you have voice comms) is an excellent way to learn to play betterer fasterer.

 

Sadly, I can't offer specific help on cruisers, as my capabilities with that class are approximately equivalent to my ability to do quantum physics while tightrope walking, naked, across Niagara Falls...

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20 hours ago, Verblonde said:

Sadly, I can't offer specific help on cruisers, as my capabilities with that class are approximately equivalent to my ability to do quantum physics while tightrope walking, naked, across Niagara Falls...

 

So, unicum? :Smile_trollface:

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14 minutes ago, Captain_Newman said:

 

So, unicum? :Smile_trollface:

He never claimed to be successful

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I would consider this a decent introduction to (heavy) cruiser gameplay:

 

 

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Cruisers are a very utility based unit, by that I mean that they have a bit of all roles in them. Some things I've learned from playing them is that they fall into one of several play styles.

 

Destroyer cap/support

Quite a risky play style, as Cruisers are vulnerable, especially early game, however the HE firepower support is invaluable to help your DD's early game. Many have good concealment, so you'll be looking at using ships like the Leander, Fiji, Perth, Atago, Edinburgh and so on. Survival is important, so use Island cover where you can, to block crossfires. If you have smoke and hydro, use them, as you can fire from the safety of a smoke screen. Hydro will give early warning of torpedoes of course, but be aware of the map. Look out for the radar cruisers and make sure you have an escape plan to get out of there. Never over extend in a cruiser, or you will get punished for it. Close support is usually easier with Light cruisers that are nimble and can avoid incoming fire.

Later game play/kiting away

Some cruisers can play quite well by camping behind islands and spamming HE when a ship comes into range. This is fine, but can limit your contribution to the game, as like a spider, you are waiting to trap a ship that comes into range. The danger is that you get ambushed yourself or spotted via radar or aircraft. Another style of game play is to maximize the usage of priority target. Kite away from the enemy, using island cover to minimize exposure. Lay fire down, HE to set fires, but plunging AP is also effective. If targeted, maneuver to avoid as much damage as possible. The new Italian ships are ideal to practice this as they are very easy to citadel, so you can use them to practice avoiding incoming fire.

Torpedoes

Mainly, cruisers should deploy them for area denial, or when you get an opportunity to safely fire them. This is because you usually cant stealth fire them, and have to show a lot of broadside to deploy, leaving you vulnerable.  There are exceptions, heavy cruisers like the Prinz Eugen have a lot of Bow armour and angled well can bounce 15in shells. So late game you can get up close with some of the heavy cruisers and use those torpedo. Be mindful that if upreared, 16in shells will over match tier 8 cruisers, and 15in shells will over match many too.

 

Conclusion

Use the strengths of the chosen cruiser, The Irian has a great fire chance and good gun range, so is a great kiting ship. Its torpedoes have a huge 13.5km range so it can be great for delaying a BB push up a flank. The Fiji or most of the British cruisers are very nimble and have great concealment, plus smoke. Then can provide close support and their AP is deadly against Cruisers and DD's. Hydro makes then good at defending caps too as they make great DD hunters. Heavy cruisers can afford to be a little more aggressive, but still benefit from a kiting style of play. With a cruiser, its generally better to keep moving, be a difficult target to hit. Use that Priority target to avoid incoming fire. Late game a cruiser can afford to push in more aggressively, use your hydro to protect the BB's.

You are a true utility ship, and your job is to support both DD's and BB's. Use map awareness to avoid incoming fire and position yourself accordingly on the map. Dont worry about damage early in the game, stay alive, cruisers really come into play later in the game, although there are exceptions. You should always try to support your DD's unless they overextend to the point when you have to retreat.

Hope this helps, its what i've learned in the 6 months i've played ships, and only recently has my game play improved, as I changed my cruiser play style! Managed a game the other day in the Perth, hit 85k !! Had another in the Molotov, and managed 95k. Especially with the Molotov i'd have tried to hide behind islands, but this time I kited an pushed in towards the end of the game when I could take full advantage of fewer ships. Even then, I lost map awareness momentarily, and almost got deleted. Fortunately I managed to kite away in time and set 3 fires on the Sinop, burning them down!

 

 

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shot-19.11.17_17.46.31-0369.jpg

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Thank you for all the helpful feedback, you guys rock. I've dabbed with al montpelier and atago recently, as well as baltimore and i just have to play less aggressive than i normally do, that way i stay consistent in 80k+ dmg range st least. 

 

But i still love my fletcher and Massachusetts to bits :D, aalso have some interesting games in al yukikaze. I think i broke my damage upon spotting record, might have to check replays (idk if 216k is a lot for a dd though)

 

I have belfast and kutuzov, but im just not confident in those...barely used them at all.

 

I feel like im doing alright for the amount of games i played, but please feel free to look me up and give more feedback.

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6 minutes ago, kiteohatto said:

Thank you for all the helpful feedback, you guys rock. I've dabbed with al montpelier and atago recently, as well as baltimore and i just have to play less aggressive than i normally do, that way i stay consistent in 80k+ dmg range st least. 

 

But i still love my fletcher and Massachusetts to bits :D, aalso have some interesting games in al yukikaze. 

 

I have belfast and kutuzov, but im just not confident in those...barely used them at all.

 

I feel like im doing alright for the amount of games i played, but please feel free to look me up and give more feedback.

Your stats are actually really good, 38k average in a Murmansk is good!! You are struggling with the Furutaka and this is a tricky ship to get to grips with, its strength comes from its speed (36kts with speed signal) and you have to kite in it. It has reasonable armour, but show a sniff of broadside and you're doomed! You play the Atago, which is a similar ship, play them in a similar manor.... I've not played the AL Montpelier, but it seems almost identical to the Cleveland, a deceptively tough little cruiser! I've seen most who play the Cleveland play in a similar way to the Atlanta, as it has high fire arks, so a bit of a camping ship from what i've seen, lobbing shells over islands!

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9 minutes ago, natswright said:

Your stats are actually really good, 38k average in a Murmansk is good!! You are struggling with the Furutaka and this is a tricky ship to get to grips with, its strength comes from its speed (36kts with speed signal) and you have to kite in it. It has reasonable armour, but show a sniff of broadside and you're doomed! You play the Atago, which is a similar ship, play them in a similar manor.... I've not played the AL Montpelier, but it seems almost identical to the Cleveland, a deceptively tough little cruiser! I've seen most who play the Cleveland play in a similar way to the Atlanta, as it has high fire arks, so a bit of a camping ship from what i've seen, lobbing shells over islands!

Ah, i havent played murmansk or furutaka in actual years, those are the old versions. 

 

What im struggling with is with positioning with cleve/montpelier. I try and stay between our dds and bbs, behind cover if possible but i still get blown up :)

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Just now, kiteohatto said:

Ah, i havent played murmansk or furutaka in actual years, those are the old versions. 

 

What im struggling with is with positioning with cleve/montpelier. I try and stay between our dds and bbs, behind cover if possible but i still get blown up :)

Ah, ok, the issue with both those ships is that they have limited counters when used as close support. I've played the Dallas, similar to the cleveland, and would suggest that they are ships that are tricky to use close in. I found that carefully pushing in, keeping guns in range, but, be ready to withdraw, and angle away. A fast cruiser, retreating, while firing is a hard target to hit. Once you have disengaged, check the map, and see where you can push up again to support. Its like a yoyo with being a cruiser, always on the move, taking opportunist shots. Maybe this will help (its a music video, but shows my first game in the Fiji. The British cruiser line is one of the best that teaches you how to play a cruiser!!

 

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Make sure you have at least a 10 point captain, for max concealment. The cruiser players you are up against will have this and more and out spot you potentially. Some of the ships that give you the impression you are struggling are now very weak in the match making/newer classes introduced after them. Pick a couple of cruiser lines and focus on them. You have a Belfast, use it, it is one of the best T7 cruisers. Get a Fiji. Also very good for its tier. You have a Kutusov, again use it and train a good RU cruiser captain and play the line. IJN cruisers are good, but really need a good cruiser play style to survive.

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14 hours ago, kiteohatto said:

What im struggling with is with positioning with cleve/montpelier.

Whilst I suck in cruisers generally, something to be mindful with these two is that you represent a serious threat to enemy DDs (due to the radar); as a result, any team that isn't brain-dead will prioritise you with their big guns (yes, I know that in randoms 'not brain-dead' can be a bit aspirational at times) - if you can knock off the enemy radar, your DDs can wreak havoc.

 

Because of this, there is a lot to be said for exercising caution in the early game - your ability to light up DDs (and other sneaky blighters in smoke/behind cover) is more valuable than the damage you're likely to do by opening fire if anything serious has LOS to you.

 

Speaking as a DD main, don't underestimate the importance of your radar; even when it isn't switched on, you will be hampering the enemy DDs by forcing them to play round your radar radius (and try and keep track of things like radar cool-downs) - this stops when you get sunk.

 

It's just a shame that the reward system doesn't reflect the importance of this stuff...

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