World of Warships

What is the best AA cruiser at tier 10

WorldOfWarships5 - What is the best AA cruiser at tier 10

I have seen number of threads lately asking which ships have the most powerful anti-aircraft suite. Now, contrary to popular opinion…this isn't a pointless question…though the math will show something as to why people FEEL like it is a pointless question.

So, without further ado, let's get to the math.

AA gun effectiveness is HEAVILY influenced by your ship and captain build. The following is the build I applied to every tier 10 cruiser:

Module 3: AA Guns Mod 1 – doesn't impact output but does impact how soon sector control will be up again

Module 6: Auxiliary Armaments Mod 2 – Better damage output

Expert AA Marksman -> gives a 25% buff to your sector control, which is a 25% BUFF TO AA DPS.

AA Gunner -> 10-20% increase to AA DPS depending on range band.

I did NOT factor defensive AA into this assessment.

So, given a full on AA build…how do we want to assess the performance? Flak I will discount entirely since good CV pilots can avoid all or at least most of the flak that you fire. Your flak is pretty much irrelevant to your AA power. I consider DPS alone the determiner of how good the ship is.

I also consider that the near range band is only capable of shooting down a few planes post drop. Yes, it does add damage output…but that damage output is usually too late to actually matter. The most effective means of stopping an enemy CV is (at least for cruisers) with your long and mid-ranged AA. I do that math for the effective DPS of this subset, as well as the entire DPS output. It doesn't heavily influence the result much.

Finally, DPS alone doesn't really portray what that damage output will do. So I took the health pool of fully kitted out Audacious level bombers with full health and armor…and I calculate a time to kill (TTK) stat of how long it will take the DPS quoted to destroy the entire flight without flak assistance.

8t231c21whk61 - What is the best AA cruiser at tier 10

Anti-Aircraft Damage Output Assessment – Tier X Cruisers

As you can see…sector reinforcing increases your DPS by 75%. This is massive and is an important thing to remember. In practice, this equates to a rough halving of the time it takes to kill all of the Audacious bomber wave. The other interesting fact is that AA strength seems to be set so that no AA cruiser can completely remove an Audacious flight in less than 2 seconds. (Remember, this is BEFORE defAA).

The times to kill flights here are probably less than the actual game since the enemy will not spend all of the time in the far AND medium range bands. In addition, if your AA mounts take damage…your DPS output will be reduced accordingly. The main point here is the relative comparisons.

Top tier AA boats are:

  1. Venezia – this and smoke explain why this was such a popular pick for competitive play
  2. Minotaur – really annoying to deal with as it is also stealthy

Next tier AA boats (TTK < 3 seconds):

  1. Worcester

  2. Colbert

  3. Puerto Rico

  4. Des Moines

  5. Salem

Here we see American AA…and all of these ships can wipe an Audacious squadron in under 3 seconds…if using the sector reinforcement (BEFORE defAA). Really interesting to hear people say Des Moines isn't strong with AA…perhaps not when compared to Minotaur…but compared to the rest? She is pretty good.

Third Tier AA boats (TTK < 3.5 seconds):

  1. Goliath

  2. Hindenburg

  3. Henri IV

  4. Petropavlovsk

  5. Nevsky

These are the ships which are 'okish' at AA…but why would you spec them for AA? Also note how bad Russian cruisers are at AA…perhaps not much Russian bias in this aspect.

Fourth Tier AA boats (TTK < 4 seconds):

  1. Yoshino

  2. Smolensk

  3. Stalingrad

The surprise to me here is how bad Smolensk AA is…but I have to caveat this by remembering that Smolensk (like Minotaur) is sneaky…

Garbage AA boats (TTK > 4 seconds)

  1. Moskva

  2. Plymouth

  3. Zao

Complain when thrown in against a CV.

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