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Aziraph

Are RN CAs actually good?

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Devonshire through to Drake are consistently at or near the top of tech tree cruisers in terms of win rate and average damage after ~250,000-400,000 games played each (https://wows-numbers.com/ship/4075730896,Drake/). Is that normally enough data to roughly know how good a new line is?

 

I know they had a lot of criticism, and I played up to Surrey myself before giving up, thinking they were rubbish, but then it was my first cruiser line, so realistically it was me that was rubbish. What's the general consensus on them these days?

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28 minutes ago, Aziraph said:

Devonshire through to Drake are consistently at or near the top of tech tree cruisers in terms of win rate and average damage after ~250,000-400,000 games played each (https://wows-numbers.com/ship/4075730896,Drake/). Is that normally enough data to roughly know how good a new line is?

 

I know they had a lot of criticism, and I played up to Surrey myself before giving up, thinking they were rubbish, but then it was my first cruiser line, so realistically it was me that was rubbish. What's the general consensus on them these days?

That they are still new.

I think that they are hard to play as you need to get close and they are not that strong (floating shell arcs) vs DD, the prime target of cruisers. I consider it to be difficult carrying my team through decisive actions with them.

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The high performance is because they are quite new, thats always the case with new ships. I think from the stats and what i see somewhere else(i haven't grindet them yet) they perform ok, but are defenetly not meta due to their lack of utility. Your tools are He and super heal, you give up DPM and utility. Thats objectively not the best traid. If you like the high alpha high firechance HE only gameplay, and if you can manage your hp/heals and the low range, they can be fun. And as for every ship, they will perform better then their competitors if you like the playstyle more. the strongest ship is always the one which suites your personal preferences the most.

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Hawkins I didn't enjoy one bit.

 

Devonshire is a nice solid, if slightly unremarkable, tier 6 CA.

 

Chessie is a..odd one..Sorry it's rather hard to describe to someone who's never played her.

 

Not played the rest.

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The Line is quite nice.

These Ships have good Armor, A Heal, Hard hiting Guns and Decent Concielment.

The Range is limited but Workable. 

Hawkins might be on the weaker Side, because you Need to show  a lot of Broadside to fire all the Guns and the Armor is not so good as you expect from a Tier 5.

The Ship got Buffed 2 Times.

The Rest of the Line is very Strong.

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I played Devonshire and London when they came out and then dropped the grind, cause I found more interesting things. Only recently picked the line up again (Azur Lane getting Drake might have something to do with that :Smile_hiding:). But I found some solid, albeit rather actionless cruisers. I felt like writing something about them for a while now, but held off, so might as well do it here when asked.

 

British CAs are as a line are not bad. Some ships are kind of questionable, but overall, the line cannot be called weak. The main issue with the line is that it seems a rather boring playstyle and it also is a bit off-meta at times (just like British CLs and BBs are not really the most meta ships, yet can be very strong). Their gimmick is the main issue of why they kind of are boring - they get repair party. Repair party is one of the best consumables a ship can have. On a heavy cruiser though, it very much restricts what else the cruiser still gets. With the British, I have to say, WG released a balanced line, that very much manages to have such a powerful consumable without trashing the meta (looking at you, French DDs that needed nerfs). Aside from the consumable, British CAs generally have several characteristics:

  • low detection. Most stay at 9-11 km.
  • low range. This is a real drawback and means you can't just long range HE spam.
  • A spotter plane. T10 doesn't get it, but instead gets some base range increase. Spotter plane still helps out with the range woes temporarily.
  • low speed. Most are pretty damn slow, with Surrey being at 30 knots the third slowest cruiser in the entire T5-9 bracket (only beaten by Krasny Krim's 29 knots and (HSF) Graf Spee's 28 knots).
  • Good turret traverse. Might seem minor, but it really is just a very great QoL feature on a line that at times seems almost purposefully painful.

And anyone with a bit of experience in cruisers will now tell you that this can end very badly. No range, no speed, average armour and damage means that if you mess up your position, you are stuck next to some enemy BB and get deleted, no chance to run away. You kill something, stuck on your flank, spend 5 minutes repositioning, being absolutely useless. These are all issues these ships struggle with and which you have to get used to if you want to do well in this line. Sadly, as BBs are popular as always, matches with lots of them continue to exist. Because British cruisers (including lights, tbh) thrive not in BB heavy meta, but in cruiser meta. Where your armour holds up and your repair gives sustain, while concealment allows you to ambush people. And before you think "Hey, anti-cruiser cruiser should do well in CB", no. Not with CVs, not with ranged meta. These ships are too inflexible. The only time I can see these ships legit being a valid choice might be T7 or T9. But hey, I'm not an expert and maybe they still fall flat. And we don't get CB with those tiers.

 

As to individual ships:

 

Hawkins: Entry to the line. First victim of her own strengths. Great armour, heal. Obviously utterly trash when it comes to dealing significant damage, because otherwise it'd be OP. But this thing has insane armour. But who wants to just tank damage and not kill crap? In the end, they just outtrade you anyway...

 

Devonshire: Absolutely solid. Average in most areas and gets a repair party. Does T6 cruiser things and even if BB might oneshot you, it also does that to other T6s. But if you fight cruisers or DDs, as said before, repair gives great sustain. Also, note that as the line is a CA line, you now get 203s, which overmatch the RN CLs, T5 cruisers and Atlanta/Flint. AP also is not special, but 203 mm is 203 mm. If someone insists in broadsiding, you can punish it.

 

Surrey: This ship to me is where the line seems to get mature enough for its gimmick, where the cost for the repair party is no longer punishing. Surrey is a typical T7 cruiser except for two drawbacks: aforementioned speed and a low range. But if you aren't trying to race around or get farmed by a cruiser from beyond your range (which requires spotting your very stealthy ship though), Surrey can very much do a number on other cruiser. For stuff like T7 ranked or CB, I could see this ship played just because it gets repair and so many meta T7s get overmatched by 203s. Surrey also is a legit threat to T8 cruisers if you don't get shot out of the water by a BB.

 

Albemarle: Now, this is Hawkins 2.0 almost. With superheal at T8, you obviously gotta pay in some way. And your citadel is that way. It's huge, a Neptune hull with Neptune cit. The armour against most BBs is crap. Sometimes 15 inch (380/381 mm) guns bounce off, but if they go through bow/stern, they likely are cit pens. This ship can be fragile to the point that you wonder how this is in any way a good ship. Then you get into one situation against ships that cannot overmatch you and suddenly you might realise why this ship needs the drawbacks it has. If you face an Edinburgh, Edin only has half its guns forward and shoots AP only. You angle, shrug it off. Albemarle has 2/3 of its guns forward and shoots HE. 1v1, Albemarle can very much demolish other cruisers, as the ability to regen half your hp pool with one repair charge changes encounters. Overall though, most often you just remember the times you got trashed by BBs.

 

Drake: Surrey 2.0. The citadel is better protected, the guns are more potent, Drake cannot be underestimated. Maybe it is because I got a good few games in Yoshino, so I learned how to use a heavy cruiser with mediocre mobility, giant citadel but meme level side armour and large, slow reload, high HE alpha guns. If you don't get caught out of position, but always appear on your terms, angled and ready to react to shell fire, Drake can amass incredibly potential damage, as the ship is just very well armoured and with repair is hard to kill. The belt armour is supercruiser level. This ship has more armour ontop of its citadel than some Stalingrad and comparable to some Venezia or Yoshino, with comparable spaced armour shenanigans to just be a giant middlefinger to whatever hits amidships. If it hits at steep angle, auto-ricochet, if it hits at an angle where it might ricochet, it needs two checks on two plates to actually do anything and aghainst cruisers, angled Drake side plating is often too thick anyway at any appreciable distance. But as most think you are free citadel (admittedly you are to BBs if you broadside), expect to be shot at extensively and enjoy the all new and improved (?) ricochet sounds we got since last patch. 234 mm guns also are a notable step up from 203s. These guns pen 59 mm of armour, they pen anything but belt of most cruisers and Kremlin/Soyuz deck. Other than that, everything is a valid target and you get 28% fire chance with full fire build to help with your poor dpm. Just for context, you basically have similar fire setting as a Yoshino, the best HE supercruiser in the game, just that you get cruiser dispersion and less range. 234 mm AP is pretty poor for what it is (WWI gun does WWI performance), but it's 234 mm, it overmatches superlight cruisers still and gets an epic (lol) 5° of improved ricochet angle. Load when you catch Neptune, Smolensk or other such ships. They'll appreciate getting absolutely crapped on from any angle. Sadly, Drake has much poorer torp angles though, so no more kiting torps.

 

Goliath: Don't have, but should be ok.

 

Exeter: Furutaka with no armour, but concealment and heal. Solid.

 

London: If you got it for free, cool. If not, don't bother. London is just as bad as it gets for British CAs in terms of getting balanced for consumables. You know how I said they got to be mediocre for having repair? Now imagine a ship balanced for having repair and smoke. London, when you use the consumables to its max is solid. But it just feels so underwhelming.

 

Cheshire: The real kicker when going up to Drake was the armour, not so much the guns. Getting crap dpm on this crap hull basically is just terrible. Just no.

 

Finishing, this line is good performance-wise. It is very questionable fun-wise. I'm going to straight up admit, I overall found the line ok and Drake is very fun (would play more if I could get my connection sorted to not derp out and find myself half dead). But like ships like Yoshino/Azuma or the French CA line before they added MBRB, these ships are absolutely great at giving you achievements like Arsonist or Witherer (and Dreadnought, which the French were less likely to give), but I'd argue that you shouldn't expect to do insane carries. Drake and Goliath can do some nice work, as killing other high tier cruisers has impact, but the speed at which you kill things typically is just beaten by the speed with which your allies die these days. Maybe I should just play in div.

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Thanks so much for the responses! I think this explains why I didn't end up having much fun on the line but enjoyed the RN CLs all the way up (and loved 6/7/10).

 

It's a really interesting insight that their heal - because it's so strong as a consumable - means they've had to have big compromises elsewhere that make them quite unfun (mainly through lack of versatility?), on top the lack of utility.

 
 
 
 
21 hours ago, Bunny_Lover_Kallen said:

this line is good performance-wise. It is very questionable fun-wise.

I feel this really sums it up. That might be good in a competitive setting but in casual play that's not always what you want, is it!

 

Thanks a lot for the super comprehensive look at all the ships Bunny_Lover_Kallen. I'm sure that'll help a lot of people make a decision about whether it's really worth pushing up through the line. I've got Minotaur and Baltimore at the moment. I think if I do progress another cruiser line, I'm much more likely to go up one of the others, now - maybe French or Italian.

 

Cheers!

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One thing I forgot: I do recommend spotter plane mod. Yes, you might lose your main gun more often at times and torp tubes might die, but the spotter plane is of such insane value.

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On 7/13/2020 at 9:21 PM, HaachamaShipping said:

Goliath: Don't have, but should be ok.

Ok, after acquiring Goliath and playing a good few matches in it, I think I should give some words on it too.

 

First off, I think tier for tier, Drake is better. Not massively, but Drake is just a very solid ship and the lower range + spotter makes it more flexible than larger base range without spotter. Also, the competition at T9 is different from T10.

 

That out of the way, Goliath is a very good ship and is a proper upgrade at least for randoms. Goliath has 58k hp, superheal and a 40 mm deck, which makes it quite tanky comparatively. It will occasionally eat cits from the stepped citadel, but I hadn't really seen a lot of those. Kinda like playing Stalingrad and getting citadelled through the upper bow. Possible, saw it happen, not very frequent. At medium range, so, like 12-14 km, Goliath does quite well against BBs and can be quite the floating brick. People say it takes a lot of damage that others wouldn't take, but that's kinda silly. Maybe a Moskva, Stalingrad or Petro can take less damage in  the first place, but neither of those shares a playstyle with Goliath and kiting they all aren't taking really less damage most of the time, as their stern can be overmatched. Compared to Hinden, Henri or Zao, Goliath really can just sit there and take a beating. Which is not to say sit there and get farmed, it's just, if you have to, you can. Imo, Goliath would have excelled in competitive if it had been released during Henri meta, because it would be very good at fighting off Henri push and still can deal with Stalingrad. Obviously, show side and you die.

 

The range of 16.8 km is good enough. Barely. I run reload mod, some go range. In my opinion, range mod Goliath is the poor man's Yoshino. Reload mod Goliath is solid though, as it can stay around at mid range. I did consider going range mod after running into MvR + Slava divs that shut you out, but I do have a Yoshino and can just play that. If you don't run into this cancer though, the range is fine.

 

Now, the upgrade of Goliath over Drake are two things - one additional turret and a ton of tankiness.

 

The dpm increase is not just appreciated as it is a fairly normal step up like with Roon to Hindenburg, Iowa to Montana, etc, but because with the 28% fire chance these shells have, you can almost always count on a full salvo setting fires if there aren't already any. Setting ships on fire and farming Witherer and Arsonist awards isn't hard in Goliath, really not. The alpha of a Goliath salvo also is no joke, easily dealing up to 10k HE damage or being devastating with AP on broadsides. The shells are same as Drake, so the HE is just great and has no issues with anything. Even against Kremlin, the ability to set fires reliably makes Kremlin wary about fighting Goliath once it realises that it has to either sacrifice a lot of hp or a lot of damecon charges. 

 

The tankiness increase meanwhile means that the Goliath can stand its ground against most T10 cruisers fairly comfortably, if you know how to fight your battles and aren't getting overrun by like 5 different people. But for Goliath, fighting cruisers is like with Conqueror fighting battleships. You'll likely win if it is not very specific matchups. To go into specific details:

  • Against the likes of Henri and Yoshino, Goliath is just tankier and has more dpm. Shouldn't be hard, as you outspot them. Henri you can screw over if it turns too, if you load AP.
  • Stalingrad and Petro are way too AP reliant, so angling will deny them most of their dpm and in an HE fight, Goliath wins even with just two turrets. Petro's smaller hp pool comes to bear hear. Don't try to brawl, they will trade typically, because their improved pen angles mean that your torps can't be launched before you eat cits. So it often can end in rams. At midrange though, Goliath comfortably wins. Moskva has a bit more dpm, but also loses much of its own tankiness vs Goliath and you very much can torp rush Moskva, because it doesn't have improved pen angles.
  • Hindenburg deals a good bit of damage, but Goliath can outlast it. Typically, would avoid engaging it, though you can burn it down. LU Hinden is like silly to deal with, but yeah. Doable. Don't brawl, Hindenburg wins the brawl.
  • Venezia is dangerous, but so are you. SAP can do a lot of damage, but keep in mind that your large citadel belt means much of your side is off-limits. That doesn't mean broadside, but angled side can be surprisingly effective. If you have to fight Venezia, personal recommendation is to ambush with the superior concealment and AP it if it tries to turn or HE it if it is angled. Either way, you should get the first salvo and you can make it count. I had games where Venezia ran into me and lost 50k hp in AP cits, HE pens and 2 perma fires for doing maybe 10k in return.
  • Zao is basically a joke. It outspots you, that's its biggest advantage. If it runs into you head on, you can try to AP it in the turn. Zao cannot win the mid range trade because it has no hp and it cannot win the brawl because its torp angles suck. At long range Zao will hurt, but you shouldn't try gun a Zao down at long range.
  • Des Moines is scary because of its dpm. Engage at mid range and you should win due to 40 mm deck. As these people camp some corner, you can easily hit and roast them. If you get the broadside at mid range, Des Mo takes huge AP damage. Do not brawl Des Mo, unless you know you'll catch its side and just blap it out of existence. Keep in mind, they might run LU and accelerate fast.
  • Worcester is like a crappier DesMo. Honestly, if you don't get free farmed, pretty easy. Outrade at range or just rush it down. In a brawl, Goliath wins. Unlike Des Mo, no improved pen angles here.
  • Mino, Colbert and Smolensk are all high dpm annoyances that however have the fundamental issue that they lack any effective armour and get overmatched. If they wouldn't get overmatched, Goliath should actually fear the Mino and respect the others. As is, they have to very much respect a Goliath.
  • Salem is the worst enemy of Goliath. Thankfully, most are played by absolute morons who don't know anything about how to cruiser, but if they have an idea what their ship can do, just don't stay around. You cannot brawl Salem, just like DesMo. You cannot win a mid range, because Salem has much more dpm and even with 40 mm deck, your tankiness is not good enough when you deal with a Des Moines with superheal. Just respect Salem. 
  • Puerto Rico can be farmed quite easily, but be aware that its huge hp pool means it'll take a while before it dies. Can be annoying, but that's about it.

Drake in such matches might be a bit worse, because it doesn't have almost supercruiser levels of hp and a 40 mm deck, so it has to respect many higher tier cruisers more. At its own tier, thankfully, the biggest dpm in cruiser form is Seattle and Seattle hasn't got the turret angles to not get absolutely devastated for trying to fight a Drake with all of its turrets.

 

Frankly, all things considered, Goliath lacks a lot of utility in terms of consumables and like most of the line, you have to accept that dealing damage is not necessarily enough to win games. In competitive, Goliath will lack the range or radar to matter. But for randoms, Goliath is a very easy-going ship that can pull its weight. Just to get nice numbers, Goliath farms damage pretty well, but for impact, you will have to use your ship, tank when necessary and at times take the risks this ship can take. Personally, I like the ships because you can take them out and regardless of what you run into, kinda do your thing (except MvR + Slava cancer) and get some good damage and contribution, but I guess not everyone likes it. Kind of like playing Yoshino, Zao or Henri.

 

Also, it might be an unpopular opinion, but imo, the Goliath has replaced for me the Zao. I stopped playing Zao a good while ago, because it sucks vs CV, it sucks vs RU BB, it sucks vs 50 mm plating Moskva. Goliath seems to me like someone who fills that niche of stealthy HE spammer that can delay a flank or play mid range support with the current state of the game in mind, as the Goliath can actually tank BB far more effectively, doesn't struggle as hard to deal with all the reinforced BBs, has absolutely no trouble with the Russian 50 mm plating cruisers and has the hp to survive CV better. Goliath outspots any heavy cruiser that isn't Zao and like Zao has a very heavy 12 gun salvo that isn't as accurate, but has bigger shells with bigger alpha to compensate when shooting DDs. Makes me sad about Zao, which was a great cruiser, but I really don't see the point of playing Zao these days over just playing Goliath or Yoshino in randoms, depending on what range I want to have.

 

Lastly, take a detonation flag on Goliath. It seems to detonate a bit more than normal cruisers.

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They have low detection but smoke is better ofc. If I want to play short ranged cruisers, I'd go for US CL's or Baltimore instead (personally).

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3 hours ago, Nebuched said:

They have low detection but smoke is better ofc. If I want to play short ranged cruisers, I'd go for US CL's or Baltimore instead (personally).

Des Mo or Worcester cannot play like Goliath, just lile Goliath cannot play like them. And smoke isn't necessarily better. Sometimes tanking shots for your team is actually useful. And it isn't just negated by radar or robbing you of vision. 

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On 8/15/2020 at 9:04 AM, HaachamaShipping said:

Des Mo or Worcester cannot play like Goliath, just lile Goliath cannot play like them. And smoke isn't necessarily better. Sometimes tanking shots for your team is actually useful. And it isn't just negated by radar or robbing you of vision. 

Sounds fair, but that is a risky playstyle, and not suited for someone who is too aggressive, like me. And while Goliath is end tier, for the lower tier ships smoke benefits you more if youre bottom tier or so and cant "tank" as hard

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4 hours ago, Nebuched said:

Sounds fair, but that is a risky playstyle, and not suited for someone who is too aggressive, like me. And while Goliath is end tier, for the lower tier ships smoke benefits you more if youre bottom tier or so and cant "tank" as hard

Yet none of the USN cruisers at these tiers have smoke, except for two premiums. Devonshire and Surrey are tankier than Pensacola and NO, even with their bow tank gimmick, because of heal and Omaha is not even remotely close to the same ballpark of Hawkins in tanking damage. So, saying you'd rather play USN just does not work out. The only ship where it applies maybe is Albemarle vs Baltimore and then only against ships that are 38 cm gun, because against lower caliber Albemarle is insane and against higher caliber, Baltimore cannot tank it either. Albemarle at least can hope on the 30 mm deck and if not, it still has a heal.

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7 hours ago, HaachamaShipping said:

Yet none of the USN cruisers at these tiers have smoke, except for two premiums. Devonshire and Surrey are tankier than Pensacola and NO, even with their bow tank gimmick, because of heal and Omaha is not even remotely close to the same ballpark of Hawkins in tanking damage. So, saying you'd rather play USN just does not work out. The only ship where it applies maybe is Albemarle vs Baltimore and then only against ships that are 38 cm gun, because against lower caliber Albemarle is insane and against higher caliber, Baltimore cannot tank it either. Albemarle at least can hope on the 30 mm deck and if not, it still has a heal.

Which two USN cruisers again ? Flint and the other one being ?

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