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How useful are cruisers??



  • i was wondering how useful are cruisers :? are they good are they bad because im usually Russia so i don’t buy them and just wondering are they any good??



  • My friends and I sometimes adopt the strategy of neglect battleships and buying a destroyer and cruiser for the same amount of money.  Dice point total goes up 1, rolling 2 dice instead of 1, and 2 hits total to eliminate the pair just as it were for a battleship.  Cruiser does bombard which is nice and I personally think they are worth buying.  Great supplement to a fleet with the 3 attack and 3 defend.  You also gotta look at it from a country standpoint; Japan, America, Germany, and UK are the predominant fleet buying factions and sometimes you don’t have the IPCs to buy a battleship so buying a cruiser works great instead.



  • I don’t see Germany building much of a fleet besides subs. UK just sinks it with planes. I see Italy building way more of a fleet than Germany.



  • Aye, but with Italy, the safest fleet option is simply a plane turn 1, a carrier turn 2. Guaranteed to have the Allies looking more than twice at the Med.



  • Battleships are almost all but obsolete now with cruisers.  As was pointed out in the first response, buying a cruiser and a destroyer costs the same, gives you 2 units to receive hits (the same as a battleship lets you absorb two hits), and yet you have the chance at giving 2 hits also, while also having the ability to bombard.  I haven’t seen anyone in AA50 or AA42 buy additional battleships beyond what are already on the board at the start of the game.



  • Battleships are great for strafing attacks. Having 2 more than the enemy is a big boost in Pacific Ocean, and I buy bbs here and there in some games if I feel I have too few of them, even if the basis is dds+ACs

    The balanced approach is always the better, have a bit of all



  • I agree variety is the way to go, just I feel you should babysit those battleships with a multitude of units and make it the center of your fleet.  Just the cruiser destroyer build instead of a battleship also nets the benefit of stopping sub sneak attacks.  Of course being that this is a axis and allies game, you can win with just about any combination of ship builds.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Of course, cruisers are the most cost effective bombarders.

    But Battleships are better bombarders.  For example, if Italy buys a cruiser when she has one transport, that unit will not be able to bombard.  But if she buys a battleship, bombardment is upgraded from 3 and 4 to 4 and 4.

    Like Func said, no other boat can absorb hits, except the Battleship.
    And to the person who said he’s never seen an additional Battleship buy in 42 or 50, I would say that your opponents are not using their full arsenal of strategies.  I have seen battles where a power has 3 battleships.  Battleships raise the stakes of winning and losing.  The side that doesn’t wipe out the other side has to deal with the survivor’s 2-hit battleships.  Imagine if there are 2-4 of them.  Destroyers and cruisers can’t do that.

    Sometimes you don’t want destroyers and their anti-sub capabilities.  Don’t forget, if you don’t have a destroyer, your planes can’t hit their subs.  So if they’re coming after you with mostly subs and bombers (some fighters) like I’m facing in a game right now, you don’t even want a destroyer, because that allows them to take off subs as casualties instead of bombers.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    @gamerman01:

    Sometimes you don’t want destroyers and their anti-sub capabilities.  Don’t forget, if you don’t have a destroyer, your planes can’t hit their subs.  So if they’re coming after you with mostly subs and bombers (some fighters) like I’m facing in a game right now, you don’t even want a destroyer, because that allows them to take off subs as casualties instead of bombers.

    In this game, I currently have 4 German carriers loaded with 6 German fighters and 2 Italian fighters, 2 subs, and 2 cruisers (2 transports).

    The USA has 3 subs in range, a destroyer, a fighter or two, and 7 bombers.  I have no destroyer, and I don’t really want one.  My subs can absorb his sub hits, and my round one fighter hits (8 fighters) must be taken by his 1 destroyer and then his fighters and bombers!  If I had a destroyer, he could take 3 of my plane hits to subs, and I do not want that.

    My point?  So many people want to make generalizations.  It’s as if they don’t want to have to think when they’re playing the game.  If a person decides that battleships are not good, then they can feel good never buying them.  If a player decides cruisers are not good, then same thing - just won’t buy them.  The truth is, you have to think to be good at this game.  You have to decide what you need based on the current situation on the board, which is in large part a result of what your enemy is doing.  You shouldn’t just decide “cruisers and battleships suck, so I’m just going to buy destroyers, carriers, and fighters like mad”.  One of my opponents has a fleet like this (carriers, destroyers, subs) and I have no bombardment to fear.  His only land based amphibious offense is some planes, so my AA is a better defense, since he has no cruisers or battleships.

    Battleships are still kings of the sea, and if you never buy any (never is a strong word, you know) you are missing out!

    To the player who said the Germans shouldn’t/don’t buy fleet, I just chuckle.  German fleets are awesome, and you CAN keep the British from destroying them.  Just buy something G1, jeez.  Why concede Z5 to the Allies?  You really want them bombarding and assaulting Norway, Finland, Karelia, Baltic States, Poland, Germany, and NWE at will?  I don’t.



  • It is situational Gamerman01, just like most of the game.  But as to the topic question like I stated before, cruisers are useful.  You as a player just have to decide how to diversify your fleet depending on what country you are playing as and what your opponent is doing.  I agree with your strat in the above post saying no to a destroyer buy so you can kill more airforce with your retaliation strikes.  And I also agree with your statement that Germany should try to build a navy within reason of not letting the eastern front with Russia come to a grinding halt.  If you play with NOs then you can certainly build a navy.  Cruisers are a wonderful addition to the AAA series of games and make destroyers cheaper and put the emphasis for them back on finding and destroying enemy subs.  If you do want a strong navy, anchor it with a battleship and carrier, surrounded by cruisers and destroyers for fodder.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    @Gharen:

    It is situational Gamerman01, just like most of the game.  But as to the topic question like I stated before, cruisers are useful.  You as a player just have to decide how to diversify your fleet depending on what country you are playing as and what your opponent is doing.  I agree with your strat in the above post saying no to a destroyer buy so you can kill more airforce with your retaliation strikes.  And I also agree with your statement that Germany should try to build a navy within reason of not letting the eastern front with Russia come to a grinding halt.  If you play with NOs then you can certainly build a navy.  Cruisers are a wonderful addition to the AAA series of games and make destroyers cheaper and put the emphasis for them back on finding and destroying enemy subs.  If you do want a strong navy, anchor it with a battleship and carrier, surrounded by cruisers and destroyers for fodder.

    Well said - I agree!
    A few more words about the German fleet - a lot of players don’t realize that it greatly oils the engines of the Eastern front war.  One or two transports can move 2-4 ground units from Germany to Karelia or the Baltic States - a move that would normally take 2-3 turns to make without a German fleet.  Also, planes on carriers in Z5 are in a very, very strategic position to support infantry all over Europe and Eastern Europe, and can even invade Moscow.  And then, like I said, it protects about 6 territories from Allied invasion from Z5.  And finally, it supplies cheap casualties to attack the UK fleet if it gets too close!


  • 2016 2015 '10

    Well I’ll respectfully throw a wrench in….cruisers aren’t bad (an improvement over the destroyer in Revised) but I voted “not very useful” because I can’t justify buying em.  They lack the flexibility, mobility and defensive punch of figs/acs and are less cost efficient than destroyers.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Back to topic, I voted “very useful” for cruisers.  I think every single different type of boat is “very useful” in most games.  The each have a unique function, and at lower costs than previously (and with more money - from NO’s) the fleet and NO changes alone (not to mention tech) makes AA50 vastly superior to outdated versions of A&A (with Spring 1942 running right behind it).

    What’s “very useful” about cruisers?  Well, they are the best at bombarding per IPC spent.  So if you are doing much bombarding, or want to even threaten bombarding, cruisers are the way to go.  They provide equal protection against air as destroyers (1 1/2 times more expensive, 1 1/2 times more effective) but destroyers are needed as air cannon fodder (destroyers are superior in that they are the cheapest per “hit point”)

    Cruisers (like destroyers, carriers, and battleships) can also block enemy fleets (except for subs).  Of course, the destroyer is the cheapest way to do this, but sometimes a destroyer is not available for the task, and the cruiser can do it!

    Remember, many players obsess too much about replacement cost.  First of all, are you even going to replace the unit?  If not, it is irrelevant.  Future utility vs. present utility is what should be measured in the player’s mind.  If a bomber is the only unit available to prevent German tanks from blitzing to Moscow, you use the bomber for that.  Yes, infantry would be prefereable, but one must not obsess about replacement cost.  Same thing for cruisers vs. destroyers.

    So cruisers are kind of like the tanks of the sea (except movement range is the same, of course).  There are cheaper, inferior units that you want to have take the hits, but that shouldn’t deter you from buying them, because cruisers can do things that destroyers can’t!!


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    @Zhukov44:

    Well I’ll respectfully throw a wrench in….cruisers aren’t bad (an improvement over the destroyer in Revised) but I voted “not very useful” because I can’t justify buying em.  They lack the flexibility, mobility and defensive punch of figs/acs and are less cost efficient than destroyers.

    Exactly, Zhukov.  If you don’t consider the bombarding capability of cruisers, then they are inferior.

    However, they are the best bombarding unit for the cost.

    And in Revised, they would have been too dominant if they could bombard without the silly tech, because bombarded units couldn’t fire back!
    Destroyers don’t bombard!  So they don’t project the threat level on long coastlines that cruisers do.  I’ve said it before - I’m much more comfortable defending my coastline against 5 destroyers than I am against 3 cruisers!  And my AA can deter the fighters on the carriers.  Bombarding is still a viable alternative.


  • '10

    I’m torn on the subject…  sometimes I buy a dd and ca for the 20 bucks, sometimes a bb. I still haven’t decided wether it is better to soak a hit with the bb or have a chance at 2 hits with the ca dd combo…probably all of this is moot since I never roll less than 3 except for AA hits on my aircraft.



  • The US is in the best position to utilize cruisers (in both theaters).

    The UK may be able to buy one on occasion

    I see no consistent use for them with any other power though


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    @dondoolee:

    The US is in the best position to utilize cruisers (in both theaters).

    The UK may be able to buy one on occasion

    I see no consistent use for them with any other power though

    Whatever.  As you can see in my game, I had two German cruisers.  They don’t start with two.  The game’s in round 10, and I have enjoyed having 2 cruisers for bombardment for the entire game. (although they missed an awful lot of times for me, including a double miss attacking one infantry in BSt for the NO in an early round)

    Sorry, it just annoys me when people draw conclusions with such certainty about various strats.

    The UK may be able to buy one on occasion

    Speak for yourself.  I often have 3-8 transports for the UK.  Having the capability for multiple no-risk bombardments turn after turn is very attractive, and makes sense.  Cruisers are the best for bombarding per IPC, and with lots of transports, are a better option than battleships.

    Remember our one game, maxo?  In defending against G1 heavies, I bought (among other things) cruisers.  Defense against heavy bombers and turn after turn bombardment (or the threat of bombardment - very important).  UK cruisers were instrumental in our win.

    It’s a good idea for Italy to get a second transport early (if they’re not going to get crushed right away) to make use of the second cruiser’s unused bombardment capability.



    1. I said consistent use.  I just don’t see how Germany can make a Cruiser a cornerstone in a strat consistently.  Any power can utilize anything at any time, it is when it can become a backbone to a countries overall agenda consistently is what I am concerned with.

    2. It has been awhile since I thought about the 8 tran 8 cruise strat, but I remember spending long hours calculating and it always added up as being economically inefficient.

    In fact I think that is part of the problem with cruisers, they are economically inefficient in most cases (sans the USA).  Germany is usually going to be better off with a fighter, bomber, 2 tanks, 4 inf etc.

    If Italy wants to build a navy, the Destroyer and Carrier are far more appealing, though I could see a Cruiser built it just won’t happen often

    Japan can build whatever it wants, but I don’t see any reason why it should specifically want to build a cruiser (not that it would be a bad build)

    Russia is Russia, and I have yet to see a naval strategy that can be explored with consistency, much less one with a cruiser.



  • Well, I still think cruisers are very useful, but you’ll be happy to know that I have reconsidered my evaluation of battleships.  Cruisers and destroyers both have a punch/IPC ratio of 0.25, and while battleships have a punch/IPC ratio of 0.20, with their ability to absorb a hit, it about makes up for that loss if they don’t get sunk the first battle you have them in.  With a cruiser/destroyer combo, you get two rolls and 1 extra punch vs. a battleship, but after 1 hit for each, the battleship gets 1 extra punch vs. the remaining cruiser; so battleships get a better skew value since you lose none of your punch after 1 hit.  So I now view battleships vs. cruisers with UK & US like I view fighters vs. tanks with USSR: if you don’t end up killing them right away, they pay for themselves by their extra versatility.

    Because of this I have made my first battleship purchase in the AA50 '41 game I’m playing with Gornsdorf, so we’ll see how that goes.  :mrgreen:


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Pretty good analysis, silver.
    Many make the mistake of simply dividing attack/defense power into cost, but it’s not that simple.  The free hit on the battleship can make them extremely valuable.  You can do free strafing with a battleship, but without one, if that defending sub or destroyer hits, well, you lose a boat.  Hard to put a price on that.
    Don’t forget bombardment value.  A battleship bombards more effectively than a cruiser and a destroyer.
    But this thread is about cruisers.

    It’s pretty simple, really.  If you plan on doing bombardments turn after turn, you will want to buy cruisers.  No ship is more useful for efficient bombarding, so yes, the cruiser is a very useful unit.  Every unit in this game is very useful, IMO.  Well, except artillery.  :lol:


  • 2007 AAR League

    I rate them as Usefull to Very Usefull.  At 12 IPC they are great for what they were designed for, Shore bombardment and fleet protection.  I think UK gets the most benefit as they lead the 1-2 punch for any UK\US invasion of Europe, and has to worry most about an Air attack on their fleet.


  • TripleA

    cruisers are a very poor purchase. i am shocked people are voting anything more than not very usefull.

    if you want fleet defense or attack, destroyers are a far superior purchase.

    a loaded carrier is slightly worse when attacking fleets, but better on defense and way more flexible.

    cruisers’ bombardment pale in comparison to a loaded carrier’s land attack. the loaded carrier is more flexible in its attack aswell.

    cruisers are garbage.


  • Moderator

    That’s not true about the bombardment.  One of the benefits of bombardment is that it doesn’t matter how many defenders there are.  With 2 inf and 2 cruisers you can bombard every turn and essentially try to trade 2 inf for 2 inf.  But you cannot do this attack with 2 inf and 2 ftrs b/c you’d lose the ftrs.

    I like having at least 2 bombarding ships with the UK, but will try to get it to 4.  Given how many European countries boarder the sea, its nice having the free bombardment and not having to worry about an AA gun.

    Also, I don’t really trust 2’s on defense. Even if you have one loaded AC you might want more real punch for defense but you may not want to commit 34 to another loaded AC, but you can probably spend 24 on two cruisers and get the extra defense you needed and still get some offensive punch and have 10 ipc to spend on whatever.  You can even buy a ftr to go with your two crusiers.



  • Both destroyers and cruisers have a punch to cost ratio of 0.25 (2/8 & 3/12), so I don’t see how destroyers are better defensively except that you could get more pieces (3 destroyers for 24 IPCs vs. 2 cruisers); however, that’s like saying you should ONLY purchase infantry for defense and never purchase tanks or fighters (though the punch/cost ratio correlation is also different).  While it’s true that infantry and destroyers are the most efficient defensive pieces because they’re cheaper and you can get more of them, you also want some pieces that will boost your skew and be more likely to score some hits per round of battle.



  • In my opinion cruisers are not very useful. Looking from power to power who needs them.
    A German navy won’t take off unless the U.K is asleep.
    The Italians have all the cruisers they need and they don’t really have the money to buy 1 any ways.
    The Japs are doing very few costal attacks and once it is satisfied with BB and Carriers it doesn’t need cruises it needs dd to take a few hits to keep the real expensive stuff alive.
    The U.S.S.R will almost NEVER need a navy and if they ever have that much money to put toward a navy with serious intent then the war is pretty much over.
    As the U.K I would rather use 12 bucks for a bomber because seriously how many places have AA guns when the UK can hit Norway, Poland, Baltic States, North Western Europe, and Finland the only two territories with AA guns are Karelia and Germany. And if you’re going for Germany then and I would say only then would I buy cruisers as the U.K, even then a tank and a transport looks pretty good plus a tank fires every round not just one.
    The only real Power that could use them is the U.S.A, because they are out chill’n in the ocean with no U.S Infantry to back them up in case one gets killed taking back some south Pacific islands. Even then a bomber sounds good because a cruiser to late in the game and you might as well say come get me Jap navy America is trying to add me to its huge fleet that taking back the Philippines, East Indies, Borneo, New Guinea and Solomon islands Where as a bomber can land in Australia help take a few islands and be pretty kick butt in offensive Naval combat.

    I have yet to see why a cruiser is necessary when if you’re worried about bombarding a transport and tank work just as well. And if you’re worried about defense destroyers work swell to take a few hits.


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