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  • USN DD, CL, CA Guide

    01. 28. 2007 10:35

Welcome to my guide on the ships of the United States Navy in Navy Field! This
guide is a compilation of the knowledge of many players, new and veteran alike, and
is always growing. If you feel that something needs to be added, simply post in this
thread (or even better, send me a message) and I'll see if it's worth adding. I'm
always looking for more viewpoints about the ships in the game, so don't hesitate to
add something.

While the US is listed as being the most balanced nation in NF, many veteran players
will say otherwise from experience. Nonetheless, the US can be a fun nation to play;
some times you'll be very happy that you chose the US as your nation, though there
will also be times when you'll wonder why you chose it in the first place. It's true
that the US doesn't have any real strengths, but it also doesn't have many glaring
weaknesses, as the other nations do.


I. Update Log

II. Contributions and thanks

III. Basics of the game

IV. Destroyers
-Gearing DDR
-DDX Project

V. Light Cruisers
-Juneau II

VI. Heavy Cruisers
-New Orleans

VII. Ship Tree Branches

  • Re : Honor, Courage, and Commitment: Ships of the United States Navy

    01. 28. 2007 10:37

Placeholder for future use if I need it.

  • Re : Honor, Courage, and Commitment: Ships of the United States Navy

    01. 28. 2007 10:37


The US Ship Tree branches in several places. At each branch, you'll have to choose a
ship to use in order to proceed forward. But the problem is that once you go down
one path, you can't go down the other. While some choices are inconsequential since
the tree comes back together immediately after that ship, others are more long-term
and can completely change what ships you can access in the future. A full ship tree is
available at Trainworld under the Shipyard section, but I'll outline all of the major
branches that you'll encounter.

Gearing vs Somers

This debate has been going on for a very long time. The Gearing is accessible at level
17, while the Somers is accessible at level 19.

Both ships have their advantages and disadvantages. The Somers starts out with 4
gun mounts, which gives you more raw firepower earlier on, while the Gearing
requires the Timmerman remodel to get 4 mounts. The Somers also has 3 T mounts,
which means that you can TW semi-effectively, while the Gearing has no T mounts in
its final stage.

At the very end, the Gearing is the better ship, since its remodels give you far more
options than the Somers, and the Timmerman's R mounts are better than the
Somers's. However, the remodels cost money (not a lot though), and can only be
accessed at very late levels. By that time you'll almost be at the level where you get
access to the DDX.

Overall this decision isn't that important, since the ship tree converges at the DDX.
Just think of it as practice for future decisions you'll have to make.

Brooklyn vs Northampton

This is easily the most complex decisions that you'll have to make in your US ship
career. Both ships are accessible at level 38, but they're completely different ships,
and they lead down two completely different paths.

The most obvious point here is that the Brooklyn line doesn't give you access to the
CVs. However, new players shouldn't even think about getting a CV with their first BO,
since it can cause a lot of pain in the future if not enough thought is put into
making the decision. If you want to get a CV, you're better off powerlevelling a neutral
sailor to the level that you want, and then turning it into a BO and giving it access to
the CV that you want. It's faster and less painful. However, learning how to use your CV
is still very important, since CVs can have a huge impact on the outcome of a battle.

The second point is that the Brooklyn is a CL, while the Northampton is a CA. The main
problem is that the Northampton will require higher level gunners in order to minimize
your spread, since it fights CA style, as opposed to the Brooklyn, which fights DD style,
plus the long range at which the Northampton fights at is extremely hard to get used to
(and you may have a lot of trouble marking shells at first). As such, playing the
Northamption well will require having gunners that are higher leveled than your BO (and
greatly increasing the ability of your BO if you can), which can be impossible unless you
have a friend or second BO with which to level the gunners.

Finally, both lines don't reconverge until the Iowa, so you'll only have access to certain
ships until you get there. The ships of the Brooklyn line have shorter grinds between
each ship depending on which ones you choose, so it's easier on new players. However,
the Northampton line, for the most part, gives you access to better gunships: the
Portland and the New Orleans are considered good CAs, while the Pennsylvania and Tennessee
are among the best BB2s in the game. While the Brooklyn line has to deal with the Alaska
and (for most players) New Mexico, the Northampton line also contains the Northampton
(which, while not terrible, does take a lot of patience to grind through) and the Nevada,
which, while not as bad as it used to be, is still quite hard to play at-level. The
difference between the South Dakota and the North Carolina is mainly gun space vs speed
(with the North Carolina having more gun space but being slower), though there are also
several other factors that make the South Dakota the better ship currently. However, many
of these issues are prone to change in the future.

Portland vs New Orleans

This is one of the less repercussive decisions that players have to make, but it's still
something that bears thinking about. The Portland comes at level 45, while the New
Orleans comes at level 46.

First thing to take note of is that in the past, the Northampton was once considered
the worst CA in the game, so players wanted to stay in it for as little as possible.
Today the difference is less pronounced since the Northampton is better, and leveling
time has dropped. However, as players will have to use the ship for the best part of 10
levels before gaining access to the Nevada, it's still an important decision.

As the Portland has slightly more gun space than the New Orleans, taking it will allow
you the option to wield the triple 8" Mk 14 L's, which have more range than the Mk 13 L's.
However, the New Orleans is also the only US CA (barring the Pensacola) with the ability
to armor whore, which is a huge factor in many players' decisions. The New Orleans is also
more versatile, since it can either speed whore or armor whore, while the Portland is
stuck with being slower but having more range.

Bogue vs Nevada

Unlike the other ship tree branches, this line doesn't reconverge at the end, so there's
no going back once you make this decision. The Bogue is accessible at level 50, while
the Nevada is accessible at level 57.

The obvious difference here is that the Bogue line leads down to the CVs, while the
Nevada line leads to BBs; another thing is that the Independence, the CV that comes after
the Bogue, is at level 55, so you have to forgo getting the Bogue as well as the
Independence if you want to get the nevada. By the time you reach this point on the ship
tree, you'll hopefully have done at least some planning for your future. So consider the
following questions:

1. Do you have several pilots that are ready to be used to pilot fighters and bombers?
2. Do you already have another BO for a BB of any nation?
3. Do you have a lot of credits?

If you can answer yes to the above 3 questions, then go ahead and pick the Bogue.
Otherwise, the Nevada is the only real choice here, which, while a bitter pill, is still
far less painful that choosing the Bogue, and is certainly not as bad as it used to be.
Playing as a CV1 these days is one of the hardest things to do, since CV1 pilots perform
at a level far below those of pilots flying off of bigger CVs.

Pennsylvania(1930) vs Tennessee(1941)

This decision is fairly short-term, since the overall grind between here and the North
Carolina is less than 10 levels. However, as both ships are BBs, this choice is still
quite important. The Pennsylvania(1930) is accessed at level 65, and the Tennessee(1941)
is accessed at level 66.

First and foremost, simply by achieving either of these ships in the past forever marked
you as a SONS, Survivor of Nevada's Suckiness, arguably the most prestigious group to
belong to in the game. The Nevada was once the worst possible ship to grind in the whole
game, and clearing it was no mean feat. After the OpenNF patch the Nevada has moved up
considerably since it can finally mount a usable gun setup and fight at non-turtle speeds,
but it's a hard ship to grind regardless if you haven't played a BB before.

The general trade-off between the Tennessee and the Pennsylvania is gun space vs
speed. The Tennessee has more gun space at both stages (initial and remodel), which
lets it carry more ammo or more powerful guns; the Tennessee(1945) is capable of
using the dual 16"/50 Mk 2 L's while the Pennsylvania carries triple 14"s at both
stages (the Mk 10's as a BB1, and the Mk 7's as a BB2), but the Tennessee's also slower at
both stages. The Pennsylvania(1943) is the fastest USN BB2, and can run at extremely high
speeds even at-level, while the Tennessee requires high-level Engineers to achieve good
overheat speeds. If looks are a preference, then the Tennessee is probably a good choice,
since it gets completely renovated when it gets remodelled (the superstructure is
completely replaced), and its remodel looks pretty awesome. The Pennsylvania(1943) can
sport a better AA battery than the Tennessee(1945) though, which is also an important
factor to consider.

New Mexico (1930) vs Colorado

This decision is also relatively short-term, since the grind between these ships and the
South Dakota is relatively short. But as with the choice between the Pennsylvania(1930)
and the Tennessee(1945), it can be very hard impacting. The New Mexico(1930) comes at
level 65, and the Colorado comes at level 70.

The first and most obvious thing here is that by the time you have access to the
Colorado (if you haven't made the decision yet), you'll also have access to the New
Mexico(1945); this makes grinding to the Colorado considerably harder than grinding to
the New Mexico(1930). And given that you have to do this grind in a Guam, the "Colorado
club" is also a highly prestigious group to belong to, though still second to SONS.

Depending on how much you want to get out of your Guam (or Alaska if you didn't remodel),
you may want to pick the New Mexico(1930), since it provides considerably more firepower
than a Guam, though at the cost of speed. However, the Colorado doesn't need a remodel to
reach its full potential, so the jump between ships is far more pronounced. The Colorado
also sports a very nifty camouflage scheme.

This side of the ship tree mirrors the Pennsylvania(1930) vs Tennessee(1941) decision,
though in this case it's more like choosing between picking the Pennsylvania(1930) or the
Tennessee(1945). The Colorado has better gun space and can mount the dual 16"s right off
the bat, and it also has a very useful AA battery, while the New Mexico carries the same
guns as the Pennsylvania (Mk 10's at the BB1 stage and Mk 7's at the BB2 stage). It's
quite slow, however, compared to the New Mexico(1945), and the New Mexico(1945) sports a
better AA battery.

One of the neat things about the Colorado, though, is that it has enough gun space to
carry the 16"/50 Mk 3 D's. These are the D variant of the guns that the South Dakota and
North Carolina carry, and you mount four of them instead of three, which gives you a grand
broadside of twelve 16" barrels. Be warned, though, these guns have extremely limited
range, and can carry only 2 binds of ammo, so they can't be used as a serious setup in any
situation. However, if you want a short-ranged boomstick that can obliterate or cripple
almost any target out there with a single salvo, then these guns can give you a lot of fun.

In the end, taking the Colorado over the New Mexico(1930) is a matter of pride and
patience; if you want to have the pride of going through one of the worst grinds in the
game and getting a BB2 that truly shines, and have the patience to put up with the grind
without picking the New Mexico(1930) for 5 levels, then you will be rewarded justly. If
not, then the New Mexico(1930) is still a good BB1 that has the potential to become a
great BB2.

  • Re : Honor, Courage, and Commitment: Ships of the United States Navy

    01. 28. 2007 10:36


Like their DDs, US CAs can seem to lack variety, but that's far from saying that they're
completely homogenous. CAs are the final stepping stone between you and your first
BB or CV, and unlike DDs or CLs, they can easily sink anything smaller than them, and
even take on some ships bigger than themselves. They may not have the variety or
as many specialized roles as the US CLs, but barring BBs and CVs, they're considered
among the most fearsome ships in the game.

One of the nice things about USN CAs is that they, unlike IJN and KM CAs, have the
capability to blockshot. This means that, once your gunners reach a certain level, your
shell spread will be practically nil, meaning that you'll have essentially 100% accuracy
with your guns. If you're smart enough to take advantage of this and have good aiming
skills, then it's possible to land all 9 shells, a "block" of death and destruction, on a
single target with each salvo. However, achieving blockshot capability can take a while,
since even the best gunners out there won't blockshot until at least the 50's, and
somewhat later for average sailors.


The Northampton previously held the reputation as the worst CA in the game, but it
has improved since then, due to an increase in its gun space given in previous patches.
But for the new player, taking the Northampton right off the bat instead of the
Brooklyn is inadvisable; while the Northampton can be selected at level 38, it's
prohibitively expensive, and the spread with the triple 8" guns can be troubling to
get used to, especially with at-level gunners. For someone who has enough money and
high-level gunners, the Northampton can be a good ship, but otherwise, getting the
Northampton is better left to someone who wants a challenge, or wants access to its line
of ships.

Because it's a CA, the Northampton is best suited to be a line ship. Also, depending on
how good your gunners are, you can mount different sets of triple 8"s. The
recommended set for the Northampton is the Mark 13 L's, which give you the best
range of its set, though the other sets have their advantages as well. While you can fit
the Mark 14 N's, they have less range and take up more gun space in exchange for
better damage and less weight. As a line ship, range is very important; because the
Northampton doesn't have the best range out there, it will be prey for ships with
better ranges until you get a better CA.

One of the problems posed by an at-level Northampton is that your Bridge Operator will
most likely be unable to spot shells at maximum range due to it not having enough ability;
this is more of an issue of at-level pains than anything to do with the ship itself. As a
result, you may be forced to fight at much shorter ranges than you're fully capable of.
Sadly, there isn't much you can do about this except to level up your Bridge Operator and
try to increase the number of experts and veterans on it. After a while though, you should
be able to start spotting your shells.

The T mounts on the Northampton are pointless because they don't have enough
space to mount AA weapons. Torps are pointless as well, as you should've stopped
using them before you got your Atlanta. Your best bet will be to just use the T slots
for levelling sailors.

The Northampton can mount considerably more armor than the Atlanta. However, this
armor won't do you any good against enemy heavy shells, so it's pointless. If you need
to mount armor though, bulge is the best choice, both against TWs and TBs, but not so
much that you lose speed. Since you can't stop those heavy shells, you'll have to rely
more on your speed to avoid them: use your speed to scoot into range, fire a couple
shots, and retreat, using a hit-and-run tactic.

If you haven't played with the Omaha, and don't have experience with ships of other
nations, this will be the first time you can use a scout; the Brooklyn gets scouts too,
but it's on the other line of the ship tree. Obst has a handy guide on how to use scouts
on NF-Guides, go there to learn how to use scouts. Unlike the Brooklyn though, you'll
be using your scouts to spot your own fire, since you have a far longer reach than it.

In the end, the Northampton is considered to be food by higher-level CAs, since it's not
really a competitive CA without a really good crew. Take relief, though, that it used to
be worse than this, and that it definitely will get better afterwards; if you're clever
enough and have good skills, you can occasionally surprise the enemy with this thing,
but you should still know your limits.


The Portland is one of your choices as your second CA, the other choice being the New
Orleans. While it comes one level earlier than the New Orleans, it's capable of
mounting the same type of equipment, except for the guns; however, one of the key
differences, as you'll see, is that the New Orleans can be armor-whored. While some
players consider the New Orleans to be better because of this, the Portland can still
be a formidable ship in the right hands.

First things first, it's a CA, so you should play it like one: use line tactics, range
your opponents, and back away when you feel that you can't win. The Portland
performs similar to the Baltimore, though it's a smaller target than the New Orleans or
the Baltimore. Also, because of the OpenNF patch, the Portland can mount the same guns as
the Baltimore, the triple 8" Mark 14 L's. The Mark 14 L's give you better range, which can
be very helpful, but comes at the price of a longer reload time, which can hurt you
somewhat if your gunners aren't good enough.

Like the Northampton, you can launch scouts from the Portland. For the Portland
they're more important though, since the Mark 14 L's give you more range. As before,
treat them with care, because losing all of your scouts will severely hinder your
ability to fire at targets at a distance.

Because the Portland has a higher base displacement than the New Orleans, it can't go
as fast. As a result, you'll have to rely more on your range and try to keep the
enemy far away. The problem with the Portland is that it doesn't have as much DP as the
Baltimore, and it can't be protected nearly as well as the New Orleans, so compared to
those two ships, the Portland can seem somewhat fragile.

The other problem is that the Portland keeps the same T mounts as the Northampton.
For this reason, the Northampton line of CAs don't have the same AA potential as the
Baltimore, since you can't even mount the basic AA gun on them, the 3"70's. So, like
the Northampton, you should use the T slots to level up sailors for your future ships.

Overall, the Portland is more or less balanced; it's heavier and slower than the New
Orleans, but it can carry the Mark 14 L's with enough ammo to stay in the fight.
Because it lacks armor compared to the New Orleans and DP compared to the Baltimore, you
should rely on your range to try to keep the enemy at arm's reach, where they're less
likely to be able to hit you.

New Orleans

The New Orleans holds the reputation as the only US CA that can be armor whored.
For those of you who don't know what that means, it means mounting so much deck
armor that it can completely stop shells of the same caliber that it fires. It competes
with the Baltimore as the best US CA, and the debate between the two continues to
this day.

Originally, getting the New Orleans was considered a true test of patience, since
players had to go through the Northampton, which was once one of the worst CAs in
the game, and pass up on getting the Portland, which came two levels earlier.
Nowadays it's not as hard since the Northampton isn't so crappy anymore, but
nonetheless it's still a good reward at the end of a long grind. While the OpenNF patch
has closed the gap slightly between the Portland and the New Orleans, the New Orleans is
still a very flexible ship.

Like the Portland, you should play the New Orleans like an actual CA: use line tactics,
engage your targets at range, and back off when you know you can't handle the
enemy. Most players prefer to mount the Mark 13 L's, but you can also mount the Mark
14 L's with 3 binds of ammo. Beginner and advanced players alike prefer the Mark 13
L's because there's no risk of an ammo shortage, though players that like to play
more slowly and make their shots count can choose the Mark 14 L's. However, this
should only be attempted if your gunners are good enough to minimize your spread.

The engine choice on the New Orleans is a bit more complicated. You can actually
mount a CV II Engine on it to speed whore, but the displacement that it takes up
limits how much armor you can mount. Conversely, you can mount a DD III Engine,
which slows you down to a crawl but allows you to mount more armor. In general, you
should pick the CA III Engine, which is more balanced and suited for CAs. The New
Orleans is similar to the Cleveland in that it can be equipped in various ways, so you
can choose to speed whore, or armor whore, it's up to you.

Now, the kicker. The New Orleans has a low HE defense rating, lower than any other
CA. This means that with the proper engine and gun setup, plus a light enough crew,
you have lots and lots of room for armor, and this time you can make it count. The New
Orleans can mount up to 5" of deck armor, even more, which is enough to stop 8"
shells! While this means that you need lots of money and will run slow as a tub, it's
also well worth it if you force your opponent to switch to AP rounds in order to damage
you. If you don't have enough room to mount that much deck armor (heavy crews,
wrong engine setup, using the Mark 14L's), then it's best to just speed whore it and
play it like a Northampton. The problem, however, is that because you're putting so
much displacement into deck armor, you'll have very little space for other armor,
namely bulge, which makes you very vulnerable to torpedoes from ships and bombers.

Unfortunately, the New Orleans, like the Portland, keeps the same amount of space on
its T mounts as the Northampton, so mounting AA weapons is out of the question. Like
the Northampton, you should use the T slots to level sailors, as they'll be useless
otherwise. This can be a huge pain for those who like to use AA guns, as you won't be
able to do anything about circling scouts or approaching bombers. This actually
compounds your weakness to torpedoes, since torpedo bombers can approach you
without fear of being shot down.

Like the Northampton and the Portland, the New Orleans can launch scouts. As before,
use the scouts to spot your own fire, and look for the enemy. Remember to be careful
with them though, since you will actually need them, and they'll otherwise be shot
down quite easily, leaving you blind.


The Baltimore can be summed up as one of the best independent combat CAs in the game.
It has durability, range, firepower, scouts, and a very good secondary battery. It
can mount the best US CA guns, the triple 8" Mark 14 L's, and still have space left
over for a good amount of ammo. While debate still rages as to which US CA is the
best, there's no doubt that the Baltimore is a very powerful ship to have at your

The first and best thing about the Baltimore is that you can mount the Mark 14 L's, the
longest-range and hardest-hitting set of triple 8"s in the USN's arsenal, and still carry
enough ammo to hold your own; it comes with the slowest reload time in the arsenal
though, but it's time to get used to that. Remember that range is the most important
factor here in a CA, since at this stage your guns can do enough damage to put down
relatively small targets in a quick manner, and engaging at max range will let you do this
to most CLs without getting a scratch in return.

For your engine, the CA II Engine is the best choice. While it's rated lower than the CA
III Engine, it nonetheless has a better horsepower rating, which lets you move around
faster. Unless you have really good engineers and strip off armor though, don't expect
to be able to fly around like you could in your Cleveland; its base displacement is far
too high for you to be able to do that. Playing in a CA requires planning ahead, knowing
what's around you, and plotting your moves accordingly: this is what it will feel like
when you start using an actual capital ship.

Because you can mount the Mark 14 L's and 5 binds of ammo, you can actually
effectively load different types of ammo to maximize combat against big ships; the
general recommendation is 4 binds of Light HE and 1 bind of AP. As a CA whose role is
to fight in the battle line, range is very important, and LHE is the exact ammo to
maximize your range. As for AP, you never know when you might run into a RN CA or an
armor-whored BB that needs AP to break through its armor, so having AP at the ready
is never a bad thing. The problem, though, is that at initial levels, you won't be
able to mark your shells with the Mark 14 L's; if that's the case, then using Normal or
Heavy HE instead of Light will be necessary. While this gives you a more noticeable
punch, it also reduces your range advantage, so you'll have to get closer to your target
in order to hit it.

While the Baltimore doesn't have much more space to mount armor than the
Cleveland, it's a lot tougher nonetheless, since your support sailors will be at a
formidable level by this point. As before, deck and bulge are your most important
armors, but as the Baltimore can't mount enough deck to stop 8" shells like the New
Orleans, bulge will be more important. Like the other CAs, you'll be able to mount
enough bulge to laugh off several torpedoes without harm, something you couldn't
do in a CL.

The Baltimore carries the best arrangement of T slots of all the US CAs, barring the
Pensacola. Since you can't mount decent armor, now's a good time to start learning
how to AA for yourself. The 5"38's are the best choice since they're light, have good
range, and do good damage, despite a slower reload speed and higher gun space
requirement. The weight is also an important factor, since you'll want to keep it down if
you run your Baltimore unarmored. Because you lack range compared to the other
nations (though certainly more than the other US CAs), you'll want to keep them from
spotting you until you're within range, and the best way to do this is by using your AA
to shoot down their scouts. The AA will also serve your team well, as the Baltimore
can perform support roles quite well with its combination of heavy guns and anti-air

You can carry only 4 scouts on the Baltimore, which is less than what the other CAs
carry. However, they're no less important, since you'll still be using them to spot your
own fire. Since you have less scouts, you'll have to learn to use them sparingly; stay
away from AA ships, never put them directly over an enemy fleet, and constantly check
on their situation to keep them safe from enemy fighters and AA ships. This shortage
also means that from time to time you'll rely on using allied scouts to spot your fire,
which helps you understand more how important it was for you to use your scouts to
help your allies when you were in your CL.

The Baltimore will be the first real ship of the line for Brooklyn line players. Cruise
alongside the other heavy ships in your team, send out scouts, and shoot at anything
that comes into range; as you should have learned by now, rushing right into battle is
NOT a good plan, because that means that the enemy will be able to spot you more
easily with scouts, and shoot at you before you can even get in range to reply. Stick
with your teammates, and don't go out alone unless the area is well-scouted by your
allies and you're extremely confident that you won't get spotted.


Like the Texas, the Pensacola is a Premium ship; you'll have to dig actual money out of
your real-life wallet to buy it. It comes 3 levels after the Baltimore (or 5/6 levels after
the New Orleans/Portland, respectively, depending on your line), so hopefully you know
what you're doing by that point. For Northampton line players, it can be a nice break from
the New Orleans or Portland, since there are 11 levels between the New Orleans and the
Nevada, and it can even serve as a grindbreaker if you're going down the Bogue line.
Otherwise, if you're an Alaska line player, all you really get is an inferior Alaska that
just takes up a CA slot instead of a BB slot.

The first thing you'll notice about the P-cola is that it only has two R mounts, but that
each mount has more space than an Alaska. Like the Texas, you'll be able to mount guns
that would normally be carried by ships of the class above you, in this case a CA carrying
BB1 guns, the triple 12"s. This can only be done if your gunner are at the level where
they can handle BB guns though, since otherwise you'll be sucking up dirt with a pair of
CA triple 8"s, and even at that point your spread with the triple 12"s will be horrible
for a while to come. Coupled with the fact that you're still using a CA II FCS, and it
becomes a real chore to be able to land your shells on target and spot them at the same
time unless your crew is level 60+. Furthermore, carrying only two guns means that your
maximum output is six shells per salvo, which makes it very hard to hit targets even if
you have good gunners, as you lack the ability to saturate an area with shells.

One of the insane things about the Pensacola is that it has more available displacement
than even the New Orleans, so you can armor whore it even better. For this reason, you'll
be almost invulnerable against any other CA out there, minus the PCAs of the other
nations, which can similarly carry BB guns. As with the New Orleans though, this can take
a lot of credits to accomplish.

You get 5 support slots on the Pensacola, which is more than the Alaska and the same as a
Guam. This can make you more durable in terms of SD, and even though this advantage is
slightly negated by the Alaska's higher DP, the Pensacola is a much smaller target to hit.
Furthermore, with a CV II Engine, the Pensacola can be a pretty fast ship, which can make
it harder to hit.

While it can't compare to a Cleveland or Baltimore, the Pensacola's T mounts allow it to
carry AA, which can be a good break for Northampton line players. As a result, some
players sometimes run their Pensacolas as pure AA ships. With a good crew and a competent
player, the Pensacola can own most other ships due to its combination of good AA and 12"
shells. However, be warned that you can only really carry 3" AA guns, as the 5" guns don't
give you enough space to carry enough ammo for sustained Aa operations. While the AA does
tend to take up space, considering that the Pensacola has lots of available displacement,
it's a small price to pay.

Like the Baltimore, you can carry only 4 scouts. Because of this, the Pensacola suffers
the drawback of carrying too few scouts for its maximum possible range. The only real
solution to this is to work with your team to fire where allied scouts are already in
place, and to be careful with your own scouts so that you can use them if the need arises.

Because of its good blend of firepower, AA, and speed, the Pensacola is a favorite support
ship in fleet league battles, where allowed. While it can't quite compare to an Alaska in
terms of overall capability, it gives you a good amount of bang for the cost of a CA slot.

  • Re : Honor, Courage, and Commitment: Ships of the United States Navy

    01. 28. 2007 10:36


Unlike their DDs, US CLs are far from lacking variety; rather, they're known for their
specialized roles. While they are indeed a step up from a DD, they're not quite at the
point where you'll be able to take on bigger ships with confidence, or even ships of
your own class. The CL stage of the US can be quite fun, and very few players dislike
this part of their grind.


The Omaha is the NCL of the US, which were added to give players the choice of a
low-level CL (you don't even have to select it on the ship tree to use it). Due to a
patch that significantly boosted its speed and scout capacity, the Omaha is no longer the
steaming pile of crap that it once was. While deceptively powerful at first glance, this
ship still packs some surprises that can throw off players. This ship is only recommended
for experienced players though, since right out of the box, the Omaha can hurt newbies
more than it can help.

For its level, the Omaha can mount good CL equipment (meaning FCS and Engine); the
advantages it holds over the Atlanta is that it can mount a CL III Engine, which makes
it far faster, and it has much more usable displacement. This makes it faster and more
maneuverable, which make it ideal for using as an AA ship.

At first glance, the weirdest thing about the Omaha is its turret placement. While the
bow and stern mounts have quite a bit of space (more than the Atlanta's, in fact), the
ones closer amidships have considerably less space. Since mixing guns of different
calibers is a no-no, the best method of approaching this problem is to use the same
caliber gun for all of the mounts, but to use dual turrets on the bow and stern mounts
while placing single turrets on the ones closer amidships, then using Simultaneous
firing in battle to keep your salvos even. Using this scheme, you can mount the
equivalent of 10 barrels, though the gun placement is bizarre to the point where firing
in different directions will fire different numbers of barrels.

The Omaha can also make a fearsome AA ship in the right hands, because of its gun
placement and ability to mount a better engine than the Atlanta. The lopsided gun
placement can make it weird to use, but by putting dual turrets on each mount, you
can bring 10 barrels to bear on either side. While this is still less than what the Atlanta
can wield, the advantage is that you can bring them to broadside position in almost any
direction, unlike the Atlanta. Combined with a better speed, maneuverability, and firing
arcs, the Omaha offers a different style of AA-ing than the Atlanta, though because of the
smaller mounts it can't carry as much ammo.

The Omaha is also able to carry scouts; originally it could only carry one, but it was
boosted to 3 in a previous patch. While this gives it an advantage over the Atlanta, if
you AA in the Omaha, you may find yourself accidentally shooting down your own scouts.
However, you can also use it to help your team by scouting for them, or for using the
scout as a lure to bait enemy scouts and fighters into your envelope of fire. This is only
recommended if you know what you're doing, though.


The Atlanta has the reputation as the best High-Angle ship in the game, and for good
reason: if you learn to HA properly and your gunners are good enough to minimize
your spread, you can do serious damage to big enemy ships with each salvo. Given the
right circumstances, you can kill other CLs with ease and even scrap CAs! Mastering HA
takes time, practice, and accuracy on the part of your gunners, but if you do it right,
you'll be able to rack up insane amounts of damage! Many veteran players still drive
their Atlantas around despite having access to much higher- leveled ships, which is a
testament to the true power of the Atlanta.

The best way to use an Atlanta is High Angle: mount the 5"54 L's, stock up on APC and
maybe a bind of AA (be warned, however, that the AA for the 5"54 guns is very weak),
set your gun angle to 55 degrees or higher, and shoot at anything that comes into
range; follow acompton's HA guide, and you'll do fine:

The 5"54's can dish out 300+ damage per shell using high angle, the same level of
damage that CAs cause! The drawback, of course, is that your spread is horrible, but each
shell is doing massive damage, so landing even a third of your shells on target still causes
around 1000 damage.

You'll also be fighting at your maximum range because of this, which gives you a
serious advantage against ships with shorter ranges. Because of this, you may need
to use zoom mode (press F11 then wheelmouse scroll) to see both yourself and where
your shells are falling at the same time.

For the most part, people only use six of the gun mounts, disregarding the two wing
mounts since they take up too much extra weight if you're using the 5"54 L's. However, in
the case of lighter guns like the 5"38 Mk 38's, mounting those extra guns can give you a
noticeable increase in firepower, if you choose to do so. Just remember not to use Auto
FCS on it, since that would cause the wing turrets to malfunction (in fact, you shouldn't
be using Auto FCS on an Atlanta at all).

One drawback of the Atlanta is that while it can pack some serious firepower, it's still a
vulnerable ship from lack of armor and DP. For this reason, the Atlanta isn't a "ship of
the line", and going solo in the Atlanta is discouraged, since it can't take many more
hits than a DD. The only armor of value that you can mount is bulge, but you can also
depend on your speed and maneuverability to avoid torps. And because it's a distance
fighting ship, getting rushed is a real danger, so don't let it happen to you.

For players that like to spray shells constantly, ammo can also be a problem, especially
with the 5"54 L's, which only allow you to carry a total of 3 binds per gun. As a result,
sometimes you may be forced to aim more carefully or to even hold your fire if you can't
be guaranteed that your salvo will connect successfully with its target. Switching to the
5"38 Mk 38 gun set helps to alleviate this problem somewhat, since you'll get a total of 6
binds per gun, plus you'll get extra usable displacement since the guns weigh less. The
drawback, though, is that they have considerably less range than the 5"54 L's (still
impressive, but not astounding), and their shells do less damage with High Angle, around
150-250 damage per shell. However, they're also much more viable as AA guns, since the
shells for the 5"38 guns do impressive damage against airplanes.

Because the Atlanta can only mount a CL I Engine, you'll need to plan your moves
before you make them, since you'll be cruising and turning more slowly. This is part of
growing into a higher class of fighting: if you don't plan your moves beforehand, then
you'll find yourself in tactical situations that you can't win. Learn to play smart now,
and it'll become a habit in the future.

This brings us to the main drawback of the Atlanta class: the firing arcs. For the player
used to being able to deliver broadsides while running towards or away from a target,
the Atlanta's firing arcs can be a big nuisance, since the forward arcs can't reach all
the way back and vice versa; combined with the Atlanta's slowness, it can take forever
to realign your ship for a full broadside. For this reason, many people say that the
Atlanta's firing arcs suck, but it's not as bad as it seems; with the proper planning
and situational awareness, and you'll never be caught delivering partial broadsides.
Get used to this, and the drawback becomes a minor inconvenience.

The Atlanta also has two very useful remodels, the Juneau II and the Oakland, that
can turn it into a serious AA ship, or a beefed up version of the original Atlanta. Both
have their merits; the Oakland has less DP than the Juneau II but more gun space, while
the Juneau II gives you a touch more durability at the cost of gun space. Beware,
however, that CVs will also take you more seriously, and make the assumption that you're an
AA ship; the Atlanta and its remodels hold reputations as some the most devastating AA
ships in the game, so you'll find yourself far more often the target of enemy bombers.

This is not a ship that you should skip, even if you have to clean out your bank, sell
your DDX, and ask for money from your fleetmates. It can teach you much about using
line tactics, the way that true gunships play when you reach that stage of the ship
tree, since the skills you learn from HA-ing transfer very nicely over to learning how to
shoot in a CA and BB.

Juneau II

The Juneau II is an AA-dedicated remodel of the Atlanta. While it removes your T slots
and the two rear wing turrets, it also gives you two extra support slots, so the total
number of sailors on your ship stays constant. The increased gun space lets you carry
an extra bind of ammo (for the 5" guns), which comes in very handy, since many people
tend to run out of ammo in their Atlantas with the 5"54's. Its AAW rating is also higher
than the Atlanta's or the Oakland's, but this isn't a very big advantage. It also has a
bit more DP than the Oakland, which can be helpful, though it can still hold one less bind
than the Oakland. Since the Juneau II can be used as a dedicated AA ship, it's a very
useful asset to have later in your career; however, it can also hold its own as a beefed
up Atlanta, even without the two wing turrets. It also has the ability to carry more armor
or crew than the other two remodels due to its slightly lower base displacement, so if
your crews are getting a bit heavy, the Juneau II can give you a bit more elbow room.


The Oakland looks just like the Atlanta, but don't mistake it for one; it can hold one
more bind of shells than the Juneau II (with 5" guns), and is tougher. You get your two T
slots back, but again, you won't make much use of them; any AA you need you can use from
the 5"54's (which, again, is pretty crappy, but it's better than nothing). The Oakland is
basically an Atlanta on steroids, since it's essentially the same ship but better in every way
except for the two rear wing turret mounts, which most people don't use anyways. Because
of the increased gun space, you can carry up to 5 binds of shells with the 5"54's, so you can
function as a secondary AA ship while playing as a primary HA ship. Many players use the
Oakland as an AA ship over the Juneau II because of the increased ammo space and higher
durability, so it keeps the reputation as a very deadly AA ship.


Ah, the Brooklyn. Beware DDs, do not get anywhere near this thing if you don't want to
sink early and fast. When outfitted with five triple 6" guns, the Brooklyn can dish out
pure DD doom in each salvo. With the right armor, it can laugh off any DD's futile
attempts to damage it. And with a CL III Engine, it can chase down fleeing DDs at will.
Truly, this ship has earned its reputation as the best DD killing cruiser in the game.

Right out of the box, the Brooklyn has often been likened to an oversized DD, and for
good reason. The first caveat about using the Brooklyn is that 6" shells don't have
enough power to damage CAs effectively. The reason you could do so much damage in
the Atlanta was because the 5"54's could HA, something you can't do with the triple
6"s, which have a max angle of 40 degrees. The triple 6"s also lack range, so
sometimes you'll find yourself under fire from enemy ships and not being able to reply.
As such, with the triple 6"s, the Brooklyn is not a ship of the line, so don't try to play it
like one. They do excel at sinking DDs though, since DDs can't mount enough armor to
stop 6" shells, and the Brooklyn spits out 15 of them per salvo. Since they lack range,
you'll have to use a luring tactic to destroy targets: let your target get close and start
shooting at you, and then pounce; this gives you a better opportunity to close in on
them, since by the time they realize their mistake they're well within your firing
envelope, and you can continually close the distance.

The armor on the Brooklyn is more than what you can mount on the Atlantas, but it's
still not enough to let you compete with other CLs. While you're unarguably tougher
than an Atlanta, it's not tough to the point where you can survive being bum-rushed by
DDs, which CAN and WILL happen if you're not careful, since DDs will always want a
piece of the bigger ships around. Since your main opponent will be DDs, the best armor
that you can mount is belt and bulge; with enough belt you can shrug off the DDs'
attempts to damage you (as long as it's a reasonably small number of DDs attacking
you), and with enough bulge you can stop most of the damage done by torps.
Bulkhead is too heavy, and the Brooklyn can't mount enough deck armor to make a

Most people prefer not to use the T slots on the Brooklyn, since there isn't enough
space to mount proper AA weapons on it. Using torpedo launchers instead isn't
encouraged either, even if you're sorely tempted to; it just takes away displacement
that you can use for armor or speed instead. Besides which, we've already gone over
how torps are bad for your gunners, and your gunners are the most important sailors
you will own.

The Brooklyn is also the first US ship on this side of the ship tree that you can fly
scouts from (the Omaha can launch scouts as well, but it has a smaller capacity, and
it's not on the ship tree). Obst has a handy guide on how to use scouts on NF-Guides,
go there to learn how to use scouts. In the Brooklyn, you'll mostly be using your scouts
to pinpoint the locations of enemy ships, and to spot for friendly BBs. In this way, your
scouts will contribute more for your team than your guns, since BBs can do far more
damage than you, and can sink ships far more efficiently if they can see where they're

If you want to use the dual 8" D's on your Brooklyn, you'll need high level gunners and
your BO will need to grow several levels to mark your shells. If you pull it off though,
you'll have a Brooklyn that packs a lot of raw long-range firepower and can outgun
most other CLs in the game. It's recommended that you only use the dual 8" D's if you
know what you're doing though, since it takes a while to get used to them, you can't
carry a lot of ammo, the dual 8"s can take a long time to get a good spread, and the
Brooklyn is still a fragile ship compared to the Cleveland. While you still can't exactly
play as a ship of the line, a Brooklyn with dual 8"s is far more dangerous than one with
triple 6"s.

Some players opt to use their Brooklyn as an AA ship, since it can take advantage of the
dual 6"47 DP guns, which are the longest ranged and most powerful AA guns in the USN's
arsenal. While you can't put as many barrels in the air as an Atlanta (10 as opposed to
12), you have the advantage of higher durability, more armor, more speed, better firing
arcs, and more ammo. However, the Brooklyn is also a larger target, and will often be
targetted over an Atlanta because it's a CL2.


Widely considered to be one of the most versatile CLs in the game, to call the
Cleveland a light cruiser is a travesty: with the right guns, proper crew, and a good
armor setup, the Cleveland becomes a pocket heavy cruiser. You can wield heavy CL
weapons (the dual 8"s) that no other CL (and even most CAs) can withstand, mount enough
armor to last a long time, and with the CL III Engine you can run around like you're in a
Timmerman. While the firing range still doesn't allow you to use the Cleveland to its full
potential when you first get it, you can achieve far better penetration with the 8" shells,
which, for the first time since the Atlanta, lets you actively compete against CLs and CAs,
though you'll be far more durable this time around. Because it's so versatile, the Cleveland
should never be underestimated.

Even though the dual 8" D's don't sport a comparatively impressive range, they're the
first guns you'll use that let you range other ships of your class. Mounting the triple
6"s on this ship is a downgrade; if you want to use triple 6"s, stick with the Brooklyn,
since it has 5 mounts instead of 4. With the dual 8"s, it's time to put those basics you
learned in the Atlanta to good use: set the guns to max angle, engage enemies at the
farthest range possible, and back away whenever an enemy rushes. The 8"s are
designed to fight at range, since your target might not be able to reply at that range,
and your slower reload time is a disadvantage at close range.

Your main problem is that right out of the box, you may not be able to use the
Cleveland proficiently because your spread is horrible. While your spread will,
unfortunately, take time to tighten up, the thing to consider here is that even landing
one or two shells per salvo on a target will cause considerable amounts of damage;
each shell can do 300+ damage to most targets (with AP, you can penetrate the armor of
armored BBs and cause around 200 damage), so hitting with even half your shells can cause
1200+ damage, which is considerable for a CL. However, this also means that CAs will start
taking you as a serious threat, and will target you among a group of ships if you're not near
bigger friends.

One problem is that since your spread is so wide at first, you'll have trouble hitting
small ships (which gives you an idea of just how frustrated all those BBs and CAs felt
about shooting at you when you were in your DD). The solution, sadly, is to close the
gap enough to tighten your spread. Since DDs can't withstand 8" shells at all, you have
a good chance of crippling the DD before it can get too close to you if your aim is good,
or at the minimum force it to turn away if you engage it far enough away.

The Cleveland used to only be able to mount a CL I FCS, but the OpenNF patch increased its
FCS space slightly so it can now carry a CL II FCS, which helps your spread slightly. However,
the spread can still be very hard to use at first; therefore, most players will be forced to use
the dual 8" D's with HHE, which limits their range. It will, unfortunately, take time to be able
to use the Cleveland to its maximum potential, but once you do reach that potential, you'll be
taken as a serious threat in every room you enter.

The Cleveland can mount considerable amounts of armor, but you still can't mount enough
deck to protect against 8" shells or higher. For that reason, the only realistic armor you
can carry is bulge. Some people play their Clevelands unarmored and run around like
jackrabbits, others put all the armor they can on it and play RN-style; either way is
fine, it just depends on your own preference.

The Cleveland also sports some T mounts that actually have usable gun space. This
means that you can carry useful AA weapons on your Cleveland, which is invaluable
for your team. The main problem with mounting AA is that they take up a lot of weight
that could be used instead for more armor or speed, but learning to AA and use your
heavy guns at the same time is an important skill to learn for when you get a capital

Like the Brooklyn, some players use the Cleveland as an AA ship. While the Cleveland has
one less R mount than the Brooklyn, it also has very useful T mounts, which allows you to
put up to 16 barrels in the air, something that's worth considering. The problem here though
is that it takes good micromanagement on your part to switch between the R and T guns,
point them in the same directions, and keeping the angles right. If you can pull it off though,
the Cleveland can make a fearsome AA platform, though it suffers from the same
drawback of being a bigger target than an Atlanta.

Penguin0123 suggests the following:

"With 6/47 DP guns, the Cleveland becomes the epitome of an AA CL. Although the
6-inch has a slow reload time and a shallow angle, it has the longest reach of
all USN AA guns; and at 147 damage per shell, even one hit is capable of downing
a scout. The L version of this gun is recommended since it fires so slow. At
level, you will not get a second salvo off before the planes cross your golden
angle even if it is the D version. This is where your T slots come in. With
either 5/38s or 3/70s, you can still throw up a wall of flak up-close. Since
your guns will hit planes you cannot spot, you should scout (as you should have
been doing since you hit the Brooklyn). Lastly, the 6-inch AA will not become
effective until your gunners hit low 70s, but once they do, you can snipe scouts
from afar while still maintaining an awesome flak wall up close. The trick is to
know when to switch between R and T guns. Once you have mastered this, nothing
in the sky is safe."

Like the Brooklyn, the Cleveland can carry and launch scouts. Unlike the Brooklyn
though, you'll be using the scout to spot for your own fire, since the dual 8"s can
actually fire outside of your sight-range. It's not by much, but it's an important step
towards learning how to use scouts to help yourself; this is how BBs conduct business,
and it's a good time to start learning how to do that. By this time, you may be using
tier-2 or -3 scouts, which is rarely a bad thing.

Depending on your fighting style, you can choose to mount dual 8" N's or D's, with the
respective guns affecting how much ammo you can store. The D's let you carry 5 binds
and weigh less, but you'll sometimes find yourself wishing that you had better range.
The N's sacrifice armor and/or speed, you'll need really good gunners and a top-notch
BO to hit targets and see your shells land, and you'll only be able to carry two binds
(80 rounds per gun, 40 salvos total), but you'll be laughing at how much range you
have. With LHE, the range with the N's is quite insane, and you may even find yourself
ranging some CAs.

If you've been learning real line tactics up to this point, the Cleveland will be one of your
favorite ships. While it's still a CL, it comes really close to being a ship of the line; with its
heavy armament, good durability, formidable secondary battery, and high speed, the
Cleveland can perform multiple support roles and becomes an independent combat platform
at higher levels. Best of all, these skills transfer directly and well into your next ship, the
Baltimore, and well beyond.


The Texas is a Premium CL, a national CL that can only be bought with real money
(though you can also buy them from players in-game). This ship can kick a lot of ass,
depending on circumstances. While it has the smallest displacement out of all the US
CLs, its gun space lets you mount triple 8"s (if you have the gunners for it, that is),
making it a mini-BB, quite literally. What makes this even more pronounced is its small
size; it's the same size as a FF!

Because it's so small, no real armor is needed, since it's very hard to hit anyways; the
best armor you can mount is bulge, but not so much that your speed decreases
dramatically. You need all the speed you can get, since you're supposed to use it to
dodge the enemy shells as best as you can, and the Texas isn't a very fast boat by
itself without the right engine to mount on it.

One of the main problems you'll face is rushing DDs; because the Texas only has two
gun mounts, you might find yourself wishing you had more turrets to fire, but that's
why you have the triple 8"s: to nail enemies at a distance. In this way, the Texas is
similar to the Atlanta, best suited for distance fighting. Not to mention, the reload time
for the triple 8"s can seem horribly slow at times, so rushing DDs are most definitely
your enemy.

Zig-zagging becomes a very important trick to learn in the Texas. You're relying on your
small size and evasiveness to avoid being hit by shells, rather than mounting armor to
defend against it, so zig-zagging is essential. Ledan suggests the following:

"When engaging enemy ships at maximum range, a good tactic would be to zigzag.
Fire, press 'G' to go back to your ship, steer towards your target. Press G to watch
where your shells land. Adjust angles and fire, press 'G' to go back to your ship again,
steer away from the target and press 'G' to observe the shell."


The Randall APA is a unique ship. To select it, you have to select it on the ship tree
directly after the Fletcher, at the same branch as the Somers and Gearing, only 11-13
levels later. It also has no more ships after it on the ship tree.

As a fighting ship, it sucks; it's weaker than a Fletcher, can only mount a DD I FCS, has
weak gun space and few guns, and costs almost as much as an Atlanta. However, its
purpose isn't to fight other ships; its purpose is to land soldiers on an enemy harbor in
the Harbor Assault special game mode; as such, this ship is really a fleet asset rather
than a fighting ship. If you're not in a fleet, then you won't need this ship at all; but if
you want to help your fleet by using this ship, make sure that:

1. You already have a BO that's well beyond this line
2. The BO that you're planning to give the Randall is expendable
3. Your fleet master has a Level 80 Radioman, a C.N.O.
4. Your fleet is strong enough to compete for a harbor

If you fill all of the above requirements, then go ahead and get this ship, then ask your
fleetmates how it works.

Also, because of their gun placement, some players use the APAs as AA platforms.
While their gun space isn't as good as an Atlanta's, it isn't limited in its firing arcs like
the Atlanta, and it has a large number of support slots that can be used to level

  • Re : Honor, Courage, and Commitment: Ships of the United States Navy

    01. 28. 2007 10:36


While DDs are a dime a dozen, their importance shouldn't be overlooked. US DDs make
great gunships, and one of them even has semi-TW ability. Their speed and size makes
them well-suited for running around the map and avoiding enemy fire, though their
firepower always leaves something to be desired. There isn't much variety to be had
here, but hey, everybody has to start somewhere.


The Fighting Fletcher is the first ship that all USN players start out with. It's the best
DD1 in the game, mounting 5 turrets; the only other DD1 that has this capability is the
German Z1.

For the new player, you'll have an advantage over other DD1s because of the extra
turret. However, because you're just starting out, you won't be able to mount the best
guns on it right off the bat because your gunners are at far too low a level to use them
at all. Your targets will consist mainly of other DD1s, and on occasion DD2s once you
get better gunners. As a DD, don't expect to kill anything higher than that; DD3's
outmatch you everywhere, and everything else will just laugh at you; there will be
exceptions (such as massing on a crippled CL or CA, or "humping" a CV), but don't
depend on these exceptions to get you ahead all the time. Know your limits, and don't
try to go beyond them.

DDs have the lowest ranged guns of all the classes out there (barring FFs), so you
can't depend on range to destroy your targets; instead, get close to your target and
take advantage of your high reload speeds to dish out damage. But remember,
because you have no range, everything else has the ability to shoot at you while you
can't shoot back. The best tactic for dealing with bigger ships is to make sure they're
distracted, then rush in with a couple buddies and start firing.

The rule of thumb is that DDs should depend on their speed and maneuverability to
survive. They can't mount enough armor to stop anything except extremely low-caliber
shells, so you shouldn't put armor on your Fletcher. If you have to, belt and bulge are
the best options. Bulkhead is extremely heavy armor and will slow you down more
than it helps, and deck is far too heavy to mount too much of it. Still, don't mount too
much armor, or you'll slow down and lose your speed and maneuverability advantage.

The two T slots will serve you well against other DDs, but this is assuming that you
have two torpedomen that you're willing to sacrifice for the purpose; US torpedomen
become useless once you get a CL, so at best you'll only be able to sell or give them to
new DD players. I recommend that you use the slots to level other sailors for future
use instead, and play as a gunship; it's good practice for when you get up to the
higher levels, and those extra sailors make life far easier for you as you upgrade to
better ships.


So you're probably thinking, "From 5 turrets to 3? Why use this instead of the
Fletcher?" The reason is that you'll have much more gun space, so you can take
advantage of more powerful dual-barreled guns; the Fletcher can mount only dual
4"50's, whereas the Gearings can mount dual 5"54's at their highest stages.

At first, the Gearing can be hard on newbies; many pick it over the Somers because it
comes 2 levels early, and since you'll only have 3 gun mounts instead of the Somers's
4, your initial total firepower will be comparatively weaker; however, you have more
gun space than the Somers, so for higher levels you'll be better off, since you can take
advantage of heavier guns, or more ammo.

Again, like the Fletcher, you'll be relying more on speed than on armor to survive, so
don't put too much on. If you absolutely have to though, belt is still the best armor;
bulge helps, but you should rely on your speed to avoid torps instead, since no DD can
mount enough bulge to completely stop torp damage.

One of the best tactics you can use in the Gearing is "high angle" attacking: this means
setting your gun angle to higher than 50 degrees and raining shells down on the
enemy's deck. While this takes getting used to and can be very hard without good
gunners, the damage jumps from a measly 80 points per shell to a whopping 200+
damage per shell! Also, you'll be shooting at them from maximum range, so you'll be
hitting the enemy while they can't shoot back!

While the torpedo mounts are the same as the Fletcher, this is a good opportunity to
start learning how to fight without using torpedoes, if you haven't already; if you want,
mount a future pilot and an extra support sailor on those T slots, they'll come in very
handy in the future; for more info on rolling sailors, there are several guides about it in
the "Tips and Tactics" section of the forum. Obst's guide page also has some very
handy guides for the same purpose.

You also have two very powerful remodels at your disposal, the Gearing DDR and the
Timmerman. These make the Gearing the better DD2 in later levels, though again it can
be hard to play in beginning levels; at the very least, the remodels will give you a bit of
variety as you level up towards the DDX. While remodelling money isn't returned when
you sell your ship, the Gearing remodels aren't prohibitively expensive, even for new


Again, you lose turrets when you upgrade from the Fletcher, but again, you have more
gun space, so you can mount far better guns on it. Many players consider the Somers
as the best US DD2, though that debate has been raging through the ages; it's largely
a matter of preference, playing style, and player level.

For the grinder who's just looking to get to his/her CL, the Somers is easier on new
players because it has 4 turret mounts, as opposed to the Gearing's 3. This makes
initial playing far easier, since you have more firepower than the Gearing, and can jump
into the fray right away.

Like other DD's, you'll be fighting at close range, so mounting belt armor is important.
Bulge is also good, but again, you should rely on your small size and high speed to
dodge them, since torps will do massive damage to you regardless.

The extra T slot allows you to act as a partial torp whore against other ships, and can
help somewhat in DD battles. However, this is the wrong way to go; US TWs will never
be as effective as IJN TWs, torpedoes reduce the XP that your gunners gain, and
torpedoes are the wrong way to go on the US line anyways. You'll have less useable
displacement at your disposal, but you'll have 4 turrets at your disposal right from the
start, which gives you an initial advantage over the Gearing; however, the Gearing's
remodels make it the better US DD2 at later levels.

Gearing DDR

This is the first remodel of the Gearing you have at your disposal. While it doesn't look
like much, it's a big step upwards. First, you have more gun space, so you can store
more ammo, or use bigger guns. Second, it has the most DP of all the DDs in the game,
which can make you harder to sink in DD battles (though ultimately it's only a small
advantage). Finally, you have more FCS space, which allows you to mount a CL I FCS; this
can be very useful in DD games, since you'll be able to see farther than other DDs, and
aim more accurately. Play this ship like a heavier Gearing, and you'll be fine.


The second remodel of the Gearing, and the best US DD2 (it's even regarded as a DD3 in its
own right!), this ship is a pure gunship that packs a lot of surprises. Many veteran USN
players still praise the Timmerman as the finest DD that they have ever driven.

Along with the extra gun space, you get a fourth turret to play around with, which,
combined with the increased gun space, gives you more firepower than the Somers overall.
And since you now have 4 gun mounts with more gun space, you can now mount the
5"54's, which are prime HA-ing weapons that can do 75% more damage than the
5"38's! While the Timmerman used to have displacement problems early on, these have all
but vanished due to the extra usable displacement added onto it by the OpenNF patch.
You'll lose your T slots, but that's not really a problem since you should already have
stopped using torps by now, and you gain an extra support slot regardless. While you have
less DP, the true beauty of this ship is its power plant space: a whooping 164 space! This
lets you mount a DD III Engine, which literally lets you run circles around other ships!
Combining high speed with huge damage, the Timmerman can be a devastating DD in the

DDX Project

Formerly the most powerful US DD, the DDX used to compete with the German Z99 as the
DD in the game. Since the OpenNF patch, this ship has been cut down in power, but is still
a competitive DD nonetheless. With a good driver, this ship can still do extremely well
against other DDs, and even compete with some CL1s.

With 5 R mounts, you can wield a sizable amount of raw firepower for a DD, given the
right guns. The DDX used to have almost as much gun space as an Atlanta, but it's been cut
down to those of a Gearing DDR in the OpenNF patch; think of it as a Fletcher on steroids.
While you can only mount a DD I Engine, you can still mount the 5"38's on this ship, which
lets you do lots and lots of damage depending on how you use it. The single T slot should
be inconsequential by now, since torps should be a nonissue at this point; and in terms of
leveling sailors, the DDX gained an extra support slot in the OpenNF patch, plus the extra
displacement to keep it on, so your total number of sailors remains the same.

In general, you want to use range to your advantage whenever you can, though in a
DD this isn't always possible. However, with HA, you can keep range and damage at the
same time, given enough skill and good gunners.

  • Re : Honor, Courage, and Commitment: Ships of the United States Navy

    01. 28. 2007 10:36


Guide goes live

Cleaned up spacing
Backed up all current work for an overhaul

Overhauled each section for conciseness so that it's easier to browse

Added new info on Gearing and DDX by TimmyC

New Ship Tree Branches section

Updated information regarding the Omaha, Cleveland, New Orleans, and Baltimore

Added info on Brooklyn and Cleveland about using them as AA ships

Replaced ship pictures to include more information

Added a contribution by Penguin0123 about using the Cleveland as an AA ship

General update to the guide, preparations made for upcoming OpenNF patch.

Fixed an error in the Omaha's sailor slot data, thanks to xian244 for pointing it out.

Minor corrections in picture data for Omaha, Cleveland, and Baltimore.

Complete overhaul to match data from the OpenNF patch.

Removed information about the 12" duals, which were removed from the game.

Revised information about the Atlanta's potential in mounting a 14-barrel broadside.

Added some information about using the Northampton at-level.

Revised the Juneau II's information based on last night's patch.

Revisions made in the ship tree branches section.

Redirected image links to new picture host.

Revised the Pensacola section based on personal experience.


First, I have to thank everybody who made this guide possible. While I've written this
guide in my own words, it would be neglectful of me not to give credit to those who made
it possible for this guide to really shine. So, I would like to thank the following people for
their contribution to this guide, listed according to which ships they helped me with:

Gearing: TimmyC
DDX Project: TimmyC
Atlanta: Ledan
Texas: Ledan
Northampton: Menace1
Cleveland: Penguin0123
Portland: Spagz
New Orleans: Menace1, BlindEye
Baltimore: NoStyleGuy
Pensacola: JohnnyFive, sofine69


If you're new to NF, I highly recommend that you read the following; if you're a vet
who's just starting on the USN line, feel free to skip this section.

1. Know where to go to for information. The two most important sites are: - Created by AZ player Obst, this page has many useful
guides for new players. If you're just starting out, this site can give you the best
information about how to start the game out, bar none. - Maintained by technical moderator Rolleso, this is where to go for
anything and everything you need to know about ships, sailors, guns, planes, and much,
much more. While not perfect, Trainworld is considered the best source of information in
the game on just about everything.

2. Learn manual aiming as early as possible! While automatic aiming is less of a hassle,
it's also far less accurate than manual aiming, and it's near impossible to use AA
weapons with auto. While it can be hard to learn at first, after a while it becomes second
nature. Obst has a very good guide on this on NF-Guides. Go read it now!

3. When mounting guns, you must consider the gun space available, as well as the
weight of the gun: the more space a gun takes, the less ammo you'll be able to store;
the more a gun weighs, the less displacement you'll have for other things like armor and
crew, and the slower you'll go.

4. Different guns and what each letter means:

N: normal variant; balanced muzzle velocity and reload times.

L: long-range variant; more range, long reload time; heaviest variant; the most-used
variant on CLs and higher.

D: short-range variant; less range, faster reload time; lightest variant; most commonly
used on FFs, DDs, and some CLs.

A: anti-air variant; very heavy; faster reload speed than D guns, same muzzle velocity as
D guns, high train speed; generally useless for USN as it requires the use of an "AA
gunner" class sailor.

5. Torps (short for torpedoes) are only useful in DDs (it's a far different matter for IJN,
since their torps are actually useful); because they require you to get in relatively close in
order to guarantee a hit, you should learn to stop using them before you get a CL. While
they're useful as a close-in punch against other DDs, playing at range becomes an
absolute requirement at higher levels, so torps become useless well before then.

6. NEVER take on a ship that you know you can't win against without help. If you're in a
DD, don't go rushing against a Brooklyn unless you have several other DDs as backup,
and even then be careful. If you're in a CL, don't go thinking that you can challenge CAs
or BBs, even if they're crippled. While several ships provide exception to this (for
example, the Cleveland, equipped properly, is able to take on low-level CAs without much
trouble), you should still use your judgment.

7. Credits you spend on ship remodels is NOT returned when you sell your ship! Also, a
percentage of what you spent on your Engine, FCS, and guns will be deducted as well!
This can especially hurt when you sell your Guam or New Mexico 1945, so be aware of
this! If you don't want to lose as much money, you can sell the ship to someone else who
wants it for an in-between price.