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Verblonde

Hydro versus Def AA?

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[SM0KE]
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Prompted by a return to La Galissonnière, after messing about with DDs for a while: which is more use on a T6 cruiser, such as La Galissonnière - Hydro or Def AA, and why?

I'm tolerably familiar with the hydro on Loyang (in my case, boosted by the Hydro Mod 1 upgrade, making it downright indecent), but the version on La Galissonnière has a range of 'only' 3.96 km (versus 5.4ish for Loyang).

On the other hand, Def AA isn't that often useful, given the relative paucity of CVs in most games.

So, what would competent players recommend, in general?

 

Thank you in advance.

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Weekend Tester
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It's a matter of preference, there's no right or wrong answer. I almost always take Def AA over Hydro although there are very often times when I wish I had the other!

 

Hydro is very useful for extending the range at which you spot torps and for charging down DDs in their smoke, but the latter is very risky with or without hydro and probably isn't something you'll be doing that often. Def AA is obviously very useful for defending yourself or a team mate within range from being struck by the enemy carrier, even on ships with poor AA because of the panicking effect that it has on any strike planes within its range by increasing their bomb dispersion and torpedo spread, but is obviously not useful if there are no carriers or if the carriers steer clear of you. The downsides of each are also, obviously, that by taking one you don't have the other!

 

The game is too dynamic and unpredictable to say which is overall more useful. There will be times when you'll wish you had Def AA when a carrier halts your clutch and times when you wish you had Hydro when their last DD has smoked up in your cap with 10 seconds to go! Personally I think the penalty for not having Def AA when you really need it is worse than not having hydro when you need it, even if Hydro would perhaps be useful more often, so I value Def AA more but it's really up to you and the conclusion you come to.

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[WG-EU]
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I always use Def-AA instead of Hydro.

CVs are dangerous and Def-AA ensures your survival against their attacks.

Hydro helps against torps, but map awareness and WASD-Hax has the same effect.

There is nothing that can replace Def-AA like that.

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[CPC]
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Well, it's more a matter of personal taste I think.

 

The main point of Hydro sonar is to spot incoming torpedoes and ships in smoke.

 

On the other hand, Def AA helps you kill fast enemy planes and cover your team, but CVs are quite rare.

 

So for german cruisers, Sonar is a good pick because they have a greater range, on the other nations, well it depends ... Japanese cruisers need to be stealthy and their AAA is not great so if there is a CV in game, they are screwed without Def AA as they will take damage and be permanently spotted (I often use Def AA on them to kill catapult fighters and spotter planes too). French cruisers have good AA weaponry but they are often far from the front line, closer to BBs so Def AA is useful to protect your teammates and sonar has little use. US & USSR cruisers have a good AAA and radar at higher tier (allowing them to deal with the spot hidden ships), so for them it is just a matter of personal preference, both can be used.

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IMO in randoms i would go hydro just because it's a dps buff and your impact to the outcome is way greather. The lack of AA can be mitigated if you keep company to other def AA capale ships which you use as meatshields anyway. Randoms lack comunication and teamplay so your hydro will net better results for your side. In ranked on the other hand, teamplay is eveything and planes do a lot of scouting and crowd control so def AA is a push tool opening up new strategic options by denying vision from air. And ranked has a more defensive feel anyway because your CV team mate is to precious to loose early.

 

For your consideration @Verblonde

Spoiler

We haw a competition running from February 3rd till May 2nd and it would really be helpfull if you would choose and mark one post as the best answer.

 

 

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The only ship I use hydro on, if I could use defAA instead is the Graf Spee for randoms, because it has German hydro, so it has a decent range. It helps vs torps and to kill smoked up DDs, where my guns just don't have the ability to always deal with them fast enough. Typically, the amount of times where you can push or have to push some smoke though without being able to get shot at by all the BBs on the enemy team are not too many, so defAA, despite carriers being not always present, is the better choice, imo.

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[ADRIA]
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Generally I'd go with Hydro over DefAA as you'll meet DDs and other torpedo armed ships pretty much every game, while CVs... And then in the rare case when there is a CV it's even rarer when it will go for you.

 

As for French cruiser specifically - long range HE spam is their thing, and that's why I played my LaGal with DefAA. If you with your playstyle eliminate the main need for Hydro, DefAA is probably the safe choice :cap_like:

 

Whichever you choose is mainly a personal preference thing, whichever you choose there will be situations where the other one would have been better :cap_haloween:

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[THROW]
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There seem to be quite a lot of CV's at mid tiers so I tend to go for Def AA over Hydro because they can be so dangerous. Particularly for cruisers best played at range like the french ones. With them you really are best using your speed to stay and range and fire HE. For the german cruiser it is a more difficult choice as there hydro is stronger!

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference, best thing to do is play around with both and see which you prefer. 

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[G-S-W]
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Depends also on your captain skills.

If you already have vigilance it buffs your hydro-range (I think it affects both ship/torpedo sonar range).

If you already have advanced firing training, it gives a huge boost to your defAA.

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[AAO]
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Since you are playing french i would take DFAA, you are too squishy for short range engagements. Wich means you are kiting way or other majority of times, wich makes you more vunerable to planes than torps. 

 

Hydro vs DFAA is quite easily sorted. 

1. Whats your ships role: Support or agressive, close or further back or backline HE spammer. 

2. What is your ships base AA values, can you fend off planes without it. 

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[VAR]
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When I play cruisers alone I usually go with hydro since my first and foremost job is to hunt and kill DDs and whatever torps I spot will also get spotted by the rest of the team

 

Playing in a division it can go either way, we tend to change roles so one player goes AA and the other goes hydro if both play CAs that is ... 

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It depends on personal playstyle and on your ship's build. Personaly, if I have a ship with above average AA, I boost it with skills and upgrades and I take the hydro so that i can be more verstile. If the ship's AA is preety bad, I take the defAA. For high tier cruisers with acces to radar, hydro is not so useful so I take the defAA. But for the mid tiers that we are talking about it is clearly a matter of how you want to play the ship in most cases. If you want to be agressive and hunt destroyers in their smokescreens and spot torpedoes early, or your if ship's AA is strong enough and you want to be more versatile,  you take hydro. If you want to cover your teamates from airstrikes (which means staying back with your allies and having a more conservative playstyle) or if your AA is below average and you want to protect yourself, you take the defAA. Just keep in mind that ships with good AA are not usualy attacked by planes (and in most cases they don't even get close), because most CV players know how this usualy ends (with some exeptions of course). Also the catapult fighters have the same effect on the drop patterns as the defAA (but not the same dpm), so the 2 planes skill is a decent solution for your AA problem if your ship has good maneuverability and relatively small size. 

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[B0TS]
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@Verblonde

I'd also chip in with the fact that CV's are much more common in battles up to T7 than in T8-T10, as is the almost regular double CV match, so for a T6 cruiser, DefAA as the choice does have more utility than in the highest tiers. With the general weakness of AA in the lower/Mid tiers (with exceptions) you can probably get more purposeful use out of DefAA than Hydro.

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Vor 14 Stunden, Jvd2000 sagte:

The relative lack of cv’s is also a reason, and even with cv’s youre most of the time not their initial target...

 

You yourself are mostly only going to be an accidental or misinformed air strike target when you're in an AA cruiser. That is not really the point.  The point is to support your team mates with defensive AA! Cruisers are support ships.

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[SM0KE]
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Tentative tick selected, but I would have preferred to select four or five answers!

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I've mostly gone off defensive AA in T6 and T7 (don't have any higher tier Cruisers) because it feels as though I hardly get any carrier games in them at all. Atlanta works plenty great as a deterrent even without Def AA  in the few games where there are carriers. Mostly mount def AA and AA signal flag for Scenarios. Got the biggest number of plane kills ever in my Gneisenau afair.

 

On the other hand, Atlanta's hydro is so much worse than the German version and I mostly need to stay out of its range in that ship, even going to radar range is very dangerous in that squishy ship. It got a bit better when I got the concealment skill. But I still rarely use the hydro. Maybe going to ordinary def AA for Random Battles in future and  de AA II for scenarios.

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[SINT]
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From tier 8 i prefer sonar above defaa. I really like to make dd’s life miserable and sonar (and radar if available) are ideal. It is a gambl since at the start with all those BB’ around going active dd hunting is quite deadly so the first usage is mostly to prewarn my teammates of incomming torps. After the first kills the hunt is on. Nothing more enjoyable to sneak up to an smoked dd and blab him with a Zao or 155 Mogami at point blank range. 

 

The relative lack of cv’s is also a reason, and even with cv’s youre most of the time not their initial target...

 

But it remains a gamble...how many times did i equip the aaa flag for the extra 10% dmg without any cv present in a game.

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