I don’t think the mainline A&A games need a cruiser at all – as I understand it, the point of a cruiser, historically, was to raid merchant shipping, sink enemy transports, and show the flag at small, distant ports that literally weren’t worth the cost of a battleship. Cruisers were supposed to be big enough to reliably outfight minor boats, fast enough to outrun enemy battleships, and cheap enough to send all over the world.
This role really doesn’t exist in Global 1940 – a single destroyer can reliably sink enemy transports, and if you’re going to send one ship to a distant port, it’ll be a transport (to conquer it) or a submarine (to convoy it). You would never send just a cruiser somewhere in A&A 1940, and tweaking the cruiser stats won’t fix that.
The cruiser works just fine in World at War, because that map is huge enough and dotted with enough small, marginally valuable islands that there really are theaters where you want to send exactly one medium-sized boat to protect your sea lanes. They let the cruiser carry 1 inf, as @Mursilis suggests, and they also let it bombard, and it seems to work just fine. I think it’s 12 IPCs for A3/D3/M2 carry 1 inf, bombard @3.
I think what games like Global and Anniversary and 1942 Second Edition are missing is the patrol boat: a tiny ship that can be used by countries that are small or broke or both to keep their enemies honest. Something like 4 IPCs for A1/D1/M1, carry 1 inf, bombard @1. That way if the Allies abandon the Mediterranean before utterly destroying Rome, Rome can build a patrol boat and start grabbing islands. If the Axis abandon the Indian Ocean before utterly destroying Bombay, India can build a patrol boat and start taking back Ceylon and Java and Borneo.
I have a premonition that CWO_Marc is going to weigh in to tell me I’ve got the wrong name, so feel free to call it an assault boat, or a landing craft, or a PT or AS or DE or whatever you like – the point is that it’s a small, slow, cheap, multi-purpose ship that can help lend a sense of scale and dimension to the naval wars.