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Premium Ship Review: Indianapolis


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This review was originally published on the WGNA Forums on May 29th, 2016.

The following a preview of the upcoming USS Indianapolis, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes.  The statistics discussed here reflect those she had at the time of testing. 
Please be aware that these stats may change in the future.

The following is aimed at new(ish) players looking to find a little more information about various ships from events, for premium currency or for real-world cash. The goal is to allow players to make an educated decision before parting with their time and money and to find premium vessels that suit their chosen style of play, whether that is competitive, cooperative, or simply for fun. The idea here is to elabourate on information not commonly available through reading statistics and provide some (heavily) biased anecdotal evidence to encourage or dissuade you from making your purchase. The usual disclaimers apply: everyone knows the Matchmaker clearly loves me because I spend money so that's why I occasionally get really good games, not because I have any particular skills of note

A special thanks to @iChase and Menkaure_KhaKhet for their assistance with this review.
Without further ado:

The Tier 7 American Portland-class Heavy Cruiser
USS Indianapolis

 

 

Quick Summary: A long ranged heavy cruiser designed as a fleet escort for Battleships. The only tier 7 Cruiser with the use of radar. Though overall quite fragile, she has good bow armour against cruiser caliber weapons and a strong anti-aircraft suite.
Cost:  Ship first went on sale on May 30th, 2016 for $34.99 USD with a port slot.

Closest in-Game Contemporary: New Orleans & Pensacola
Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique
Indianapolis shares much in common with the Tier 8 New Orleans and the Tier 7 Pensacola, ending up being a sort of hybrid of the pair. She has a layout more similar of the New Orleans but with a familiar fragility of the Pensacola.

PROs

  • Tier 7 Cruiser with Radar!
  • Great range of 16.9km with decent muzzle velocity on AP rounds makes sniping long distance targets comfortable.
  • Very good handling with 32.5 knot top speed, 620m turning circle and 9.1s rudder shift.
  • Good AA armament.
  • Excellent bow armour when angled towards the enemy. Can repulse even 203mm AP shells.
  • Combination of range, AA power and radar makes her an excellent BB escort.

CONs

  • She feels very under gunned with her 15s reload and only 9 rifles.
  • Poor HE Shell performance.
  • Difficult to make proper use of her radar -- she's not well equipped to hunt destroyers.
  • Armour is utterly insufficient to protect her from Battleship caliber (356mm+) rounds which can overmatch her almost anywhere.
  • Exceedingly vulnerable to concentrated HE fire.

 

AfiTaQK.jpg
The famous (infamous) USS Indianapolis.  As a Heavy Cruiser, one would think that she would be as far removed from the other tier 7 USN Premium Cruiser's style of game play as possible and rescue players from the need to use the USS Atlanta as a crew trainer.

 

Indianapolis has been a highly anticipated vessel.  Historically, she's a very interesting ship.  But from a World of Warships perspective, many players hope she can supplant the USS Atlanta as the go-to high-tier trainer / credit earning vessel for the US Navy.  In truth, this really shouldn't be a difficult mantle to usurp given the issues with the USS Atlanta.  But at the same time, this desperation to replace the Atlanta with something else may blindside some players into accepting anything better than the infamous rainbow-pooping light cruiser without seriously considering what's under the hood.  It's with two pairs of critical eyes that we take a look at this new USN Cruiser.  Lert will be once again joining me to provide some additional insight into this ship.

The Lert Box

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LittleWhiteMouse has once again let me into her den (very trusting of a cat this little mouse is) to share my thoughts about the in-game premium version of a very controversial and tragic ship, the USS Indianapolis. This is the ship that carried parts of Little Boy to the US air base at Tinian, as well as getting torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sinking. Of nearly 1300 crew, 900 went into the water, and by the time four days had passed, they were found and rescue efforts could get underway, only 317 were pulled out of the water alive.

But is the World of Warships version of this ship any good? Let's find out. For this review I will be comparing her to Pensacola and New Orleans. Why those two? The Portland class was basically a modified Pensacola hull, and carried an armament layout like that on New Orleans. Plus, she carries a form of radar, something not seen in the USN cruiser tree until New Orleans.

Options

You're pretty spoiled for choice with Indianapolis. The most interesting option is the use of her Surveillance Radar.

Consumables: Three slots

  • Damage Control Party.
  • Defensive Fire or Hydroacoustic Search
  • Catapult Fighter or Surveillance Radar (8.49km range, 25s active period)

Module Upgrades: Four slots, standard options.
Premium Camouflage: Tier 6+ standard. This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy.

Indianapolis gets access to the standard and premium American version of hydroacoustics, the standard and premium versions of defensive fire, a standard and a premium fighter, and a standard and a premium version of radar. This radar is slightly gimped compared to the regular T8+ USN radar as found on New Orleans and up, with only 8.49km range and a 25 second uptime. Still, radar at tier 7. Can't deny that's cool.

Pensacola gets everything Indianapolis gets minus radar, and New Orleans gets everything Indianapolis gets, but with the familiar 9km radar that's up for 30 seconds. As such, it won't be a surprise to anybody that I rate them the following:

Indianapolis: 2 pts
Pensacola: 1 pt

New Orleans: 3 pts

Artillery

Primary Battery: 203mm main guns in 3x3 turrets (A-B-X arrangement, super-firing)
Secondary Battery: 127mm dual purpose rifles in 8x1 turrets

The Lert Box

Indianapolis carries nine 8" rifles in the same set-up that New Orleans does, two superfiring triple barrel turrets afore, and a single turret aft. This contrasts with Pensacola's upgraded form which carries ten of the same guns, in two superfiring pairs fore and aft, carrying three barrels in the upper and two in the lower turrets. The reload on Indianapolis' guns is 15 seconds, the same as on Pensacola. New Orleans' guns reload slightly quicker, needing 14 seconds. This means that Indianapolis has the least rounds in the air of the three, with New Orleans taking second place and Pensacola first place.

The guns the trio carry are the same, firing the same shells with the same floaty arcs, the same time-to-target and the same damage potential and fire chances. Indianapolis can fire those shells the furthest out of the three, being able to lob shells at targets 16.9km away, compared to New Orleans' 16.2 and Pensacola 15.9.

Accuracy-wise the thee are the same. Indianapolis shows the worst, with 150 meter dispersion at max range. New Orleans clocks in second with 145 meter at maximum range, with Pensacola being the most accurate at 141 meters at max range. however, with the linear way dispersion works, they all have the same spread when firing at the same ranges.

All three ships have the same 8x 127mm secondaries, so nothing to write about there.

So how do I rate them? Pensacola has the most shells in the air per minute and is the most accurate, but the shortest range. New Orleans has more shells in the air per minute than Indianapolis, but at shorter range. To me, Pensacola wins because of the sheer volume of fire. But who takes second place? I'm going to give it to New Orleans, simply because the faster ROF helps, whereas Indianapolis' extra 700 meter range isn't really that much of deal.

Indianapolis: 1 pt
Pensacola: 3 pts
New Orleans: 2 pts

ZErG9ji.jpg
The use of islands as cover is invaluable for making the most of Indianapolis.  Don't get caught out in the open by enemy Dreadnoughts.  Bad things will happen.

Indianapolis is armed with the American 203mm/55 Mk14 rifles. These are identical to the guns you first upgrade on the Pensacola and use later on the stock New Orleans. She shares the gun layout of this latter class of Heavy Cruisers. They're not great guns, unfortunately, suffering in a couple of areas. This is a common problem to the American heavy-cruiser line as a whole, where they struggle with poor HE performance, have uninspired AP performance and their rate of fire isn't good enough to compensate. This is especially important as it's the only way for these USN Heavy Cruisers to do damage and their output just isn't there. Indianapolis is no different.

To put this in perspective, the Myoko has more guns that hit harder and with a faster reload. The Yorck has less guns but they hit harder and reload faster. And both of these cruisers have torpedoes as backup weaponry. At least Indianapolis can look down her nose at the 127mm off the Atlanta.

The real strength of the guns, however, is their range. At 16.9km, she has tremendous range for a USN Cruiser and it's upon this feature good performance with this ship relies. Using (and abusing) this range will keep you alive. However, while they appear to have good muzzle velocity, there's a lot of "float" in the High Explosive shells of the  USN 203mm guns, leading to a long travel time to distance making ranged gunnery a bit uncomfortable.  You won't easily bulls-eye a juking Destroyer at 12km like you might in a Soviet cruiser.  While your guns do perform well at lesser distances, the threat of reprisals, her poor armour values and the inability to match contemporary cruisers in a DPM race makes it ill advised to let anything get this close. This is unfortunate, though, given that one of her more interesting consumables is an 8.49km radar option. While she might be well equipped to unmask lurking destroyers, being so close to the enemy to make good use of it may end up being a terrible mistake.

Keep Indianapolis at range.  Look for opportunities to make use of her AP rounds against enemy cruisers.  Indianapolis can and will citadel penetrate enemy heavy cruisers at up to her maximum range with her AP shells.  If an enemy cruiser gives you her broadside, lock on and open fire.  This is the fastest way to stack up damage and help thin out the enemy team.  A good broadside can strip over 10,000 damage in a single go, with multiple citadel penetrations easily stacked in short order against unwary cruisers that are paying more attention to the lay of Battleship guns than an enemy cruiser.  Your AP performance, while good, can struggle against more heavily armoured Battleships so vary your ammunition choices as the situation dictates.

This all adds up to point a very obvious direction towards Indianapolis' intended role: She makes an excellent fleet escort for Battleships. Her range is sufficient that at the ranges where Battleships are engaging, she can often add her firepower too.  Her primary target should be cruisers where you can make use of her good AP penetration and Battleships as a secondary target.

SrJwS6o.jpg
Danger close, the secondaries of Indianapolis engage a low-health Minekaze.

Aircraft

Air Group: Single deployed float plane fighter.

If you take the fighter, you preclude the ability to take radar instead. It might feel an unfortunate waste to lose out on one of her defining graces as a premium vessel for something so mundane. The gains made by deploying her fighter are appreciable -- it does 53 dps --  but it may not be worth the cost for having a trump detection card, however short its duration.

Maneuverability

Top Speed: 32.5 knots.
Turning Radius: 620m
Rudder Shift: 9.1s

The agility of Indianapolis is downright American. This is to say that compared to the German and Japanese cruisers, she's surprisingly nimble with a good turning radius and responsive rudder. Compared to other ships in the USN arsenal, she's nothing special. Her speed does allow her to keep up with fat Battleships and redeploy to assist a straggler that may be under sudden air attack. Her maneuverability will also allow her an easier time of shifting between incoming runs of torpedoes dropped by aircraft or enemy vessels. This trading of speed for maneuverability precludes her from taking on an aggressive anti-destroyer role (not that her fragility and slow reload allowed for it in the first place). It also limits her ability to kite larger vessels effectively as any form of turning will slow her down and allow fleet footed warships like IJN Heavy Cruisers and fast Battleships to close the distance.

 

The Lert Box

Neither Pensacola nor New Orleans is particularly fast - especially compared to their Imperial Japanese competitors - but they're more agile than the oriental sisters. Does Indianapolis follow the same trend? To start with, her 32.5 knot top speed is exactly the same as the other two. Indianapolis' 620 meter turn radius is the same as that on Pensacola, with New Orleans requiring 660 meters to throw that behind around.

However, it's the rudder shift that lets Indianapolis down, with a value of 9.1 seconds compared to Pensacola's 7.0 and New Orleans' 6.9. I'm going to give this category to Pensacola, because I think a 40 meter smaller turning radius is worth more than a 0.1 second faster rudder shift. Indianapolis takes the last place, because of a 2.1 second slower rudder.

Indianapolis: 1 pt
Pensacola: 3 pts
New Orleans: 2 pts

Durability

Hit Points: 32,500
Citadel Protection: Up to 146mm
Anti-Torpedo Bulge: None

The Lert Box

Ah, the category all of these ships are known for lacking. Indianapolis boasts 32.500 hitpoints, behind Pensacola's 34.300 and New Orleans' 35.400. However, on paper Indianapolis has the strongest armor, with a belt clocking in at 146mm versus New Orleans' 127 and Pensacola's 102mm. In practise though, this doesn't really show. All three ships are soft, with their belts only covering their citadels and everything else being soft as tissue paper. Driving any of these, you want to avoid being shot at.

I was very tempted to tie this whole category, but that wouldn't really be fair. New Orleans is a fair bit tougher than Pensacola. But how to rate Indianapolis compared to New Orleans? The latter has more health, the former more armor - in very select places. So I've decided to tie New Orleans and Indianapolis, with Pensacola lagging behind.

Indianapolis: 2 pts (Tie with Nola)
Pensacola: 1 pt
New Orleans: 2 pts (Tie with Indi)

Indianapolis has an interesting armour layout.  Her bow armour is sufficient to bounce armour piercing rounds up to 220mm in caliber. Heavily sloped, it would take a 230mm round to overmatch her bow armour and be able to slam shells into her vitals. This allows her to tank and duel with other cruisers that are slinging armour piercing rounds and fight them with near impunity. However, everything changes when they reach for high explosive shells. High explosive does work very well against her, though, so take care of her fragility when facing high DPM vessels like the Soviet and American 152mm armed cruisers.

This fragility continues, as one would expect, when facing any battleship-caliber weapons.  It's possible to citadel Indianapolis with 356mm AP shells from almost any angle.  If you get struck by a Battleship, the best you can hope is to receive some over penetration damage, but coming under the attention of Battleship caliber weapons is always going to be a bad show. 

GIhtdxd.jpg
Yes, this really happened.  Second game ever in Indianapolis, I took a single torpedo just beneath the #3 turret and detonated.  The original armour model of Indianapolis was rife with bugs that have been largely corrected.

Concealment & Camouflage

13.9km Surface Detection, 8.1km Air Detection.

The Lert Box

Indianapolis boasts rather decent scores values of 13.4 km by sea and 8.1 km by air. Pensacola only manages 15.7 and 7.8 respectively. New Orleans meanwhile gives the best showing with 12.4 by sea and 7.5 by air. Very straight forward category. New Orleans takes the win and Indianapolis second place, despite Pensacola being less visible from the air - it's her enormous 15.7 kilometer visibility by sea that loses her this category.

Indianapolis: 2 pts
Pensacola: 1 pt
New Orleans: 3 pts

There's not much to say here.  WhileIndianapolis does have better concealment values than the Pensacola, she's still a large cruiser.  She doesn't have the ability to fire from the surface without being detected, even when you stack camouflage and Concealment Expert from your Captain onto her.  You can reduce her surface detection to below 12km but this won't be sufficient to let you sneak up on destroyers to get in range with your radar, nor is it a small enough value to make dropping back into stealth easy when enemy vessels begin focusing upon you.  As such, it's imperative with Indianapolis to make use of cover and be very conscious of the engagement ranges at which you find yourself.  Watch your minimap -- keep an eye on where and how far each enemy ship is in case you run into trouble and need to hide.

Anti-Aircraft Defense

AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mm
AA Umbrella Ranges: 4.2km / 3.5km / 2.0km

The AA power of Indianapolis is best described as "interesting".  It's not out-the-gates powerful like the Cleveland or Atlanta.  It has its flaws, most notably in the lack of any 5.0km range large caliber AA guns, being limited to 4.2km to start.  This really hurts her ability as a dedicated escort vessel to put out a wide umbrella to protect her charges.  This means the upper limits of her range when combined with AA Gun Battery Modification 2 and Advanced Fire Training is 6.05km rather than the 7.2km umbrella present on dedicated AA ships.  She does have some respectable DPS, however.  Indianapolis puts out a stock 212dps at 2.0km, with 58 of that coming from her 127mm rifles in 290 damage bursts every 5 seconds.  This scales well with the Pensacola and New Orleans with 217dps and 299dps respectively.

Overall, it means that if you lean heavily on her AA power, you can make her into a decent, but not truly terrifying AA vessel.  She won't have the reach to utterly murder incoming planes, but she will put a healthy bit of damage into said squadrons and make them think twice about attacking any ships protected by your umbrella.

The Lert Box

Indianapolis has 46 rating standard, with 8x dual oerlikon 20mm mounts, 6x quad bofors 40mm and 8x 127mm DP secondaries. Pensacola gets 46 rating standard, with 15x single Oerlikon 20mm, 6x quad bofors 40mm and 8x 127mm DP secondaries. New Orleans gets 49 rating standard, with 9x single Oerlikon 20mm, 17x double Oerlikon 20mm, 6x quad Bofors 40mm and 8x 127mm DP secondaries.

All three ships are very close in AA performance, being basically the USN standard for the tier. Good for escorting, good for self defense. While strictly speaking the Pensacola has less AA than Indianapolis with a single 20mm Oerlikon lacking over her premium Portland class sister, I'm still going to give them equal rating. New Orleans takes the win though.

Indianapolis: 2 pts (Tie with Pensi)
Pensacola: 2 pts (Tie with Indi)
New Orleans: 3 pts

Overall Impressions

Mouse' Summary:

  • Great AP performance, especially against cruisers at range.
  • Armour is sufficient to bounce cruiser-caliber guns and smaller at range.  Useless otherwise.
  • Too slow moving and slow-firing to be a good destroyer hunter.
  • Too fragile to lead a push.
  • Very good as an escort for battleships.

I very much wanted to enjoy Indianapolis.  With the Atlanta being such a controversial vessel, I was hoping that Indianapolis would be a straight-up performer so that the USN would have an obvious high-tier training vessel to reach for. 

But I didn't enjoy my time on Indianapolis.

A lot of this was largely coloured by my initial impressions of her.  Before 0.5.6 launched, iChase contacted me over Skype to do some testing with ndianapolis.  We spent a little over an hour trying out her armour. Early release versions of the vessel showed that even destroyer caliber guns were capable of landing citadel hits beneath the #1 and #2 turrets with their high explosive shells. One of the Russian-speaking developers later went on to say that the armour model on Indianapolis had a few bugs and she sat too high in the water which added to her fragility. This meant that any testing really exemplified her fragility -- perhaps unfairly, but such was the first experiences I had with her. 

These deficiencies in her armour have been largely corrected.  You won't take citadel hits from casually fired high explosive shells from 120mm to 130mm armed destroyers at the side of your ship.  Knowing this bug was present, I had to split my review time into two parts and attempt to look at the vessel with a fresh pair of eyes after 0.5.6 launched (which is why you're all getting this review rather late compared to the reviews published by my colleagues).  And yet, I still wasn't having a very good time in Indianapolis while I was trying her out the second time through.

She's a very typical American Heavy Cruiser.  Her interesting "quirks" are her radar and her long range.  These two quirks don't overlap very well, as you can imagine, but they're two very handy tools for helping assist heavier warships.  And it was finally acknowledging these traits that I came to realize I had to stop trying to play super aggressive with her (as I am want to do) and take a second-line position alongside the Battleships in my fleet.   I tried to put myself in a Molotov mindset ("everything can and WILL kill me if they shoot at me") and the performance numbers started creeping back in my results, though I wasn't able to dictate the pace of matches.

You can't nuke all comers with sha-mazing gun performance.  Instead, you have to wait for your opportunities, set up your targets and pull the trigger with an expectation of doing a lot of damage quickly before the enemy can organize reprisals.  She has to be played with caution and care.  Driving up close and hitting things with your sword is right out, so that's probably why I grouched quite a bit through my playtime with her. 

So does she replace the Atlanta?  Well... not in my books.  At least the Atlanta can be fun.

The Lert Box

So, let's tally up, shall we?

Indianapolis gathered 10 points
Pensacola managed 11 points

New Orleans scrounged up 15 points

In conclusion, New Orleans is the far better ship than either of these two, right?

Well, yes. That's why it's a tier 8 and Pensi and Indi tier 7's. I included Nola purely because she is very similar, especially in firepower and maneuverability. Between Pensacola and Indianapolis though, differences are a lot smaller. Pensacola wins out in the firepower department, while Indianapolis has a very cool feature with her radar consumable. While having radar at tier 7 is undeniably a cool gimmick, it is still just that, a gimmick. Other than that, Indianapolis is exactly on par with other USN cruisers of similar tiers.

.... Which is part of the problem. Neither Pensacola nor New Orleans are much beloved. They are slow, soft, tricky to play with mediocre guns. While both have their defenders, Pensacola a bit more than New Orleans it seems, high tier USN cruisers seem to be lagging behind their counterparts, especially from Japan. Also, tier 7 is not really a very good tier for cruisers, with universally divisive ships like Pensacola, Shchors and Yorck. So, while Indianapolis is on par with her American sisters, that just means she manages to reach the lowest standard set for her. I did not enjoy my time with Indianapolis, and unless a blanket buff happens to the tier 7+ USN heavy cruisers, have little to no interest in ever playing her again.

 

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Lert and I share the opinion that while Indianapolis is a good USN Heavy Cruiser, USN Heavy Cruisers are in general a rather poor choice.

 

Would I Recommend?

The Lert Box

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If you want her for what she represents and the history behind the ship, yeah, I guess so. If you can forgive her her - ... USN'ness and really enjoy the thought of having radar at tier 7, sure. But her radar is only real selling point. If you're looking for a fun, enjoyable, capable and competitive ship, look elsewhere. Despite all its faults I would recommend Atlanta over Indianapolis. Much more interesting and fun T7 premium.  (Ouch, shot down by the Atlanta?  That's a pretty harsh assessment.  -Mouse)

Rather than giving a one-answer for all types of game play, let's take a look at some of the more popular reasons someone would want to add Indianapolis to their collection.
 

  • For Random Battle Grinding, Indianapolis doesn't have a lot of carry potential.  She's a support cruiser, so you may find your success rate with the ship tied a lot to the competency of your team mates.  It's still possible to do a lot of damage and win yourself credits and experience needed for retraining Captains and earning coin.  However, she's not the ship you want to use to carry a match and dictate the pace of the engagement.  She plays passively, punishing enemies for their mistakes and she's forever trying to buy time to let her low damage totals stack up sufficiently to whittle down bigger ships.  I would give a pass on this one.
     
  • For Competitive Gaming in the form of Team Battles and Ranked Battles, no.  Though her radar is very interesting if she was top tier in a Ranked Battle, her fragility makes her an obvious target for early elimination.  Also, she struggles to put out damage quickly to anything short of cruiser targets, making her less ubiquitous than other choices out there.  USN Heavy Cruisers are not a competitive choice.
     
  • For Collectors, darn tootin'.  It's the USS Indianapolis.  She's steeped in history.
     
  • For Fun Factor, ugh.  Did you enjoy the Pensacola and New Orleans?  Yes?  Then get all over this like a duck on a beetle. If those two ships didn't tickle your fancy, Indianapolis isn't going to offer you anything new and novel to make you smile.

 

Outfitting your Indianapolis

Recommended Modules

At tier 7, Indianapolis has four module slots to play with.  Keep in mind, she will be facing tier 8+ vessels that have access to that vaunted 5th slot which can reduce their surface detection range.  When you're kitting her out, it's a pretty standard selection for a USN Cruiser.  Decide first if you want to play as an AA escort or not and then if you're going to take Last Stand or Expert Marksman for your Captain's second skill choice.  This will largely determine which modules you should install.

  • For your first lost, Main Battery Modification 1 is the only one that makes sense (they really need to re-balance these first modules).
  • For your second slot, you have a choice.  If you want to exemplify her gunnery, go with Gun Fire Control System Modification 1.  This will reduce her dispersion somewhat.  Alternatively, if you want to play up her role as an anti-aircraft escort, AA Gun Battery Modification 2 will help nudge up her range.
  • For your third slot, you have a bit of a choice.  If you're not going to take the Last Stand Captain Skill, then Propulsion Modification 1 is your best choice.  Any Battleship caliber shell hits that cause citadel penetration are likely to mess up your machine spaces.  This will help keep them in the game.  Otherwise, Damage Control System Modification 1, though not-very-good, is the better choice.
  • And finally, for your fourth slot, Steering Gear Modification 2 is your best choice to get your rudder shift time down to 7.3s.

Recommended Consumables

Indianapolis is interesting for the consumables she could choose.  It's unfortunate that she's not fast, stealthy or better armed to take on an anti-destroyer role which would make double stacking Surveillance Radar and Hydroacoustic Search a more fun and viable option.  The first question any player should ask themselves is if they intend to dedicate themselves to an AA-role in their Indianapolis.  If so, I would strongly recommend taking the premium version of Defensive Fire to accelerate the reset timer of the consumable along with providing an extra charge.  I wouldn't bother with the premium version of anything short of the Damage Control Party otherwise. But overall, I would recommend the following for most players to keep from eating too much into your credit earning:

  • Damage Control Party II
  • Defensive Fire I
  • Surveillance Radar I

Recommended Captain Skills

There's a couple different ways to specialize a Captain towards optimum performance withIndianapolis.  Again, it depends if you want to focus on being a long range gunship or performing anti-aircraft duties.

  • For your first slot, Situational Awareness is key for both builds.  You're incredibly fragile incoming Battleship fire, so you need to be aware of when you need to begin evasive maneuvers.  For an AA-gunship, Basic Fire Training will be your alternate choice.
  • From the second tier, Last Stand is arguably the best choice.  Expert Marksman may look appealing, but keep in mind it will only improve your rotation speed on Indianapolis by 0.7'/s, changing her 180' rotation time from 30s down to 26.9s.
  • From the third tier, Vigilance is the best choice for a gunship while Superintendent can be preferable for an anti-aircraft cruiser for the additional charge of Defensive Fire.  This said, the latter is very situational as it would require you to use your AA consumable 3-4 times before Superintendent would worthwhile.
  • From the fourth tier, Demolition Expert is best for a gunship while Advenced Fire Training should be the first skill you pick up here for an AA-gunship.  Manual Fire Control for AA Armament should be considered instead of the tier 5 skill for AA-gunships.
  • From the fifth tier, Concealment Expert is the best choice for gunships.
  • Thanks 2
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