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deathsadow

USN Heavy Cruisers, in current meta

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Can someone give me some advice on the USN heavy cruisers ? I have reseted them to play the line again , but the tactics what used to work back in 2015-2016 when i originally grinded them are not really working nowdays.

 

What i have problems with is that i just cant seem to get the ships in range to effectively use the super heavy AP rounds, seemingly all engagements on T8-10 just happens to be on 15km+ where the USN CAs AP with its slow shells are just impossible to land the hits.

 

I have tried to play with HE out on range but the Baltimore and the Buffalo has still pretty bad shell velocity on their HEs and their DPM is also an issue vs the newer cruisers.

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  • stay closer to islands
  • use HE on long range
  • look for stationary targets behind islands, US CA can take care of them
  • practice to hit targets beyond 15km

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1 minute ago, ColonelPete said:
  • stay closer to islands
  • use HE on long range
  • look for stationary targets behind islands, US CA can take care of them
  • practice to hit targets beyond 15km

With HE i have no issue hitting them , just with the AP ... 

 

So all in all they just play like the USN CL , but with far far worse DPM , and the adventage of having better AP in the rare cases when ships forget to angle against you in 10km or bellow ranges ?

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5 minutes ago, deathsadow said:

What i have problems with is that i just cant seem to get the ships in range to effectively use the super heavy AP rounds, seemingly all engagements on T8-10 just happens to be on 15km+ where the USN CAs AP with its slow shells are just impossible to land the hits.

Do not engage in fights on the enemies' terms, e.g. a kiting away cruiser at 15 km. Focus on the fights that favor YOU. So stick near the caps, where you have islands to protect your citadel. Fight ships that get in closer range, where your heavy AP shells can penetrate their citadels.

If you position yourself near caps and with an island to block Line of Sight, then you can decrease the distance over which you fire at the enemies. Whilst they are engaged with your bbs behind you and your kiting cruisers, you can sit closer to the cap lobbing HE and providing radar on the cap for your DDs.

And my biggest tip for hitting targets at max range (15-16km) is to lead more than youre used to......and then some. Most of the time you underlead targets. Practice, practice, practise....

 

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7 minutes ago, deathsadow said:

 

So all in all they just play like the USN CL , but with far far worse DPM , and the adventage of having better AP in the rare cases when ships forget to angle against you in 10km or bellow ranges ?

Far worse DPM is debatable. The raw HE DPM is often higher on the CL line, but the actual DPM is more similar as the 203 can pen 32 mm plating without having to sacrifice 4 captain skills. AP DPM is also pretty similar but the 203 mm AP is better overall with pen, improved pen angles and alpha damage. 

 

And if we compare the Wooster and Des Moines, the Des can apply that DPM easier as you only get 3 turrets which are more comfortable to use than the Woosters 6 turrets that often get in the way of each other.

 

Also 10 km radar on the heavy cruisers vs 9 on the CL.

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7 minutes ago, GarrusBrutus said:

Do not engage in fights on the enemies' terms, e.g. a kiting away cruiser at 15 km. Focus on the fights that favor YOU. So stick near the caps, where you have islands to protect your citadel. Fight ships that get in closer range, where your heavy AP shells can penetrate their citadels.

If you position yourself near caps and with an island to block Line of Sight, then you can decrease the distance over which you fire at the enemies. Whilst they are engaged with your bbs behind you and your kiting cruisers, you can sit closer to the cap lobbing HE and providing radar on the cap for your DDs.

And my biggest tip for hitting targets at max range (15-16km) is to lead more than youre used to......and then some. Most of the time you underlead targets. Practice, practice, practise....

 

This is short of what i am trying to do , sit behind an island and cover a cap, that usually even works too if there is no IJN CV around to blast me out of there. The problems starts when i actually need to make some play to get my team back in the game.

 

For example with Baltimore i have no issues holding a cap vs 2-3 ships, but when i would need to relocate to other cap , or push another cap when we lose 1:2 on caps it just feels impossible. The ship i great at blocking DDs from getting caps , or providing HE spam from cover( there are far better ships but its "good enough"), but it is totally incapable of supporting a push or flanking the enemy.

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1 minute ago, ollonborre said:

Far worse DPM is debatable. The raw HE DPM is often higher on the CL line, but the actual DPM is more similar as the 203 can pen 32 mm plating without having to sacrifice 4 captain skills. AP DPM is also pretty similar but the 203 mm AP is better overall with pen, improved pen angles and alpha damage. 

 

And if we compare the Wooster and Des Moines, the Des can apply that DPM easier as you only get 3 turrets which are more comfortable to use than the Woosters 6 turrets that often get in the way of each other.

 

Also 10 km radar on the heavy cruisers vs 9 on the CL.

Yeah for the Des or the Salem i can agree , the issue i face is more for the T6-9 CAs, but thanks for pointing it out , i wasnt accurate on the topic.

 

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1 minute ago, ColonelPete said:
  • stay closer to islands
  • use HE on long range
  • look for stationary targets behind islands, US CA can take care of them
  • practice to hit targets beyond 15km

This.

The only thing I would add is there are two methods of playing the ships.

 

I've only ever run legendary Des Moines since I unlocked the equipment. Makes her much more dynamic to play. In respect of that, the key I find is to try and position around Islands. They can also kite well provided you pick yoiur fights well - the HE can be lethal as the DPM is quit good i.e. Baltimore, Buffalo, Des Moines.

2 minutes ago, deathsadow said:

With HE i have no issue hitting them , just with the AP ... 

 

So all in all they just play like the USN CL , but with far far worse DPM , and the adventage of having better AP in the rare cases when ships forget to angle against you in 10km or bellow ranges ?

The great thing about US cruisers is that they are strong with HE and AP - the issue is you can't really play aggressively with them - use Islands and Kite. Ignoring the HE aspect of the ships is pretty damning.

 

As an example, Baltimore (T8) has higher HE DPM than say, Atago - 151,200 hp/m vs 120,000hp/m taking into account Atago's one gun advantage. The russains come no where.

The only aspect in which Atago/Takao/(203mm)Mogami has an advantage is Fire chance (when specced), 21% vs 16%.

1 minute ago, deathsadow said:

This is short of what i am trying to do , sit behind an island and cover a cap, that usually even works too if there is no IJN CV around to blast me out of there. The problems starts when i actually need to make some play to get my team back in the game.

 

For example with Baltimore i have no issues holding a cap vs 2-3 ships, but when i would need to relocate to other cap , or push another cap when we lose 1:2 on caps it just feels impossible. The ship i great at blocking DDs from getting caps , or providing HE spam from cover( there are far better ships but its "good enough"), but it is totally incapable of supporting a push or flanking the enemy.

 

The CV Meta shits on the line, WG need to re-buff their AA. Their static playstyle is wrecked by AP bombs - hence why I at least try to mimigate by playing Legendary.

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@OP They can be played as stated above, however if there is much point in playing them is another matter alltogether... I am regrinding the sam eline and 90% of time in Buffalo I catch myself thinking gosh I wish I was in Drake...

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3 minutes ago, Schrowe said:

This.

The only thing I would add is there are two methods of playing the ships.

 

I've only ever run legendary Des Moines since I unlocked the equipment. Makes her much more dynamic to play. In respect of that, the key I find is to try and position around Islands. They can also kite well provided you pick yoiur fights well - the HE can be lethal as the DPM is quit good i.e. Baltimore, Buffalo, Des Moines.

The great thing about US cruisers is that they are strong with HE and AP - the issue is you can't really play aggressively with them - use Islands and Kite. Ignoring the HE aspect of the ships is pretty damning.

 

As an example, Baltimore (T8) has higher HE DPM than say, Atago - 151,200 hp/m vs 120,000hp/m taking into account Atago's one gun advantage. The russains come no where.

The only aspect in which Atago/Takao/(203mm)Mogami has an advantage is Fire chance (when specced), 21% vs 16%.

 

The CV Meta shits on the line, WG need to re-buff their AA. Their static playstyle is wrecked by AP bombs - hence why I at least try to mimigate by playing Legendary.

You have collected the details pretty damn well, and form the recent comments i seen its more like the 3 highlighted parts are indeed the issue for the ships except the Des who has legendary mod and the rapidfire guns to play around the mentioned problems.

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30 minutes ago, deathsadow said:

Yeah for the Des or the Salem i can agree , the issue i face is more for the T6-9 CAs, but thanks for pointing it out , i wasnt accurate on the topic.

 

I would say it still apply on the mid tier ships aswell. Cleveland Baltimore is proably the best comparision in this regard. Yes the Cleve beats the Baltimore in overall DPM, both AP and HE, but once again the Baltimore gets better HE pen and the AP is much better. Still the Cleve has 4 turrets vs the Baltimores 3 so if you can use all of them the Cleve beats the Baltimore in raw damage output. Also really smooth 18 sec turret traverse.

 

However this is where the true differences start to show, the Baltimore gets 66% of its firepower in the front and a 27 mm nose. So the Baltimore can much more aggresively push into enemies with greater success. If a same tier cruiser wants to use more firepower against the Balti you use AP and smash it to bits without sacrificing that much firepower.

 

All in all most tips have been said so I don't really have that much more to add. In general though I was a bit late to the heavy cruiser party considering the time I have played this game, but so far I have been enjoying it more than the light cruiser line, mainly because of the slight shift in playstyle but also that wonderful AP.

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