★ Des Moines
★ Des Moines

One of the best heavy cruisers in the world. The ship was designed using the experience gained in World War II, resulting in excellent protection and very powerful AA armament. The key distinctive feature of cruisers of this type was auto-loading main guns that had a very high rate of fire.

Max Salvo
RPM
HE Alpha Strike
HE DPM
AP Alpha Strike
AP DPM
Fire/Salvo Chance
Torpedo Reaction Time

Survivability

Hit Points
Armor
Torpedo Reduction

Aircraft

Torpedo Bombers
Aircraft
Hitpoints
Cruise Speed
Max Speed
Attack Unit
Squadron Size
Detectability Range
Aircraft On Deck
Restoration Time
Torpedo Damage
Torpedo Speed
Torpedo Range
Dive Bombers
Aircraft
Hitpoints
Cruise Speed
Max Speed
Attack Unit
Squadron Size
Detectability Range
Aircraft On Deck
Restoration Time
Bomb Damage
Bomb Fire Chance

Armament

Main Battery
Guns
Firing Range
Reload Time
180º Turn Time
HE Max Damage
HE Fire Chance
AP Max Damage
Torpedoes
Layout
Reload Time
Max Damage
Detectability Range
Range
Speed
Secondary Battery 1
Guns
Firing Range
Reload Time
Max Damage
HE Fire Chance
Secondary Battery 2
Guns
Firing Range
Reload Time
Max Damage
HE Fire Chance

Anti-Aircraft Armament

Set 1
Guns
DPS
Firing Range
Set 2
Guns
DPS
Firing Range
Set 3
Guns
DPS
Firing Range
Set 4
Guns
DPS
Firing Range

Maneuverability

Max Speed
Turning Circle
Rudder Shift

Concealment

Sea
Air
Smoke Firing
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Des Moines

USS Des Moines (CA-134)

A ship more than capable of dishing out the punishment to those who don't respect her boundaries
Captn_Thatch

It's v 4.2 with spring and change in the air! Now with all those pesky spring farm projects wrapping up and a new gig demanding less hours, I've found the time to get back to my desk. USS Des Moines finds herself in a new Bureau Project, represents the crown jewel of the United States Navy CA line. Des Moines is a GREAT ship, with a MODERATE skill floor and an EXTREME skill ceiling. Des Moines is very capable, and behind a competent captain, contains almost chilling competitive tendencies.

Behind the scenes, I've since been moved from the ST program to and now have become a Community Contributor!!

Nothing could honestly make me happier than to be able to bring reviews and writing to you all full-time. If this interests you and you enjoy reading my work, please support me if you can, as every little bit helps. My goal is to keep my reviews free and public for all to read; and by supporting my Patreon you can help keep me at my desk.

History

Named after the capitol of Iowa, the lead ship and namesake of her class; USS Des Moines (CA 134) was launched from the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts on the 27th of September 1946. The ship was commissioned into the United States Navy on the 16th of November 1948 with Captain Chandler in command. Des Moines represented several major firsts, including the ability to field helicopters instead of float planes, and her infamous autoloading 8" Mk 16 with a fierce rate of fire. The ship served until 1961 when she was decommissioned after participation in a variety of missions in support of NATO and US interests throughout the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

USS Des Moines was scrapped in 2007 after several failed attempts to turn her into a museum ship. Only one ship of the class remains intact, USS Salem (CA-139) is afloat as a museum ship at her home and birthplace at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Strengths

  • Excellent Radar
  • Solid Gunnery
  • Strong DPM
  • Versatile/Adaptable
  • Team Player

Weaknesses

  • Over-matchable Armor
  • Frail
  • Fragile Guns
  • No Torpedoes
  • Mediocre HP/EHP

The Basics

I'll keep the basics brief as there is so much to dive into on this particular ship. Des Moines is a Radar CA which represents a step up from Baltimore. Akin to Baltimore, there are two particular builds which shine quite well: either DPM/Concealment or Range/Dispersion.

The DPM build features reigning protagonist Shelly Beaply as one of the stronger commanders currently in the game. The latter, Range and Dispersion, tends to focus on Norman Scott; and while arguably slightly less effective, he is free and readily available in game and can be built using all the in-game goodies one might naturally acquire on their own.

Though the builds vary slightly in their primary focus, the end goal is essentially the same, area control. Shelly has a better natural skill set for this, where Scott has to work a bit harder for it, they are both quite capable.

Offense

GOOD

Ok, so let's start off running, shall we?

Baltimore and Des Moines (one being the other's successor...) are naturally quite similar and are quite literally a step of progression. Des Moines doesn't bring a whole lot of new things to the table that haven't already been brought, with the vaunted exception of doing those things quite a bit better. Des Moines is more than capable of halving Baltimore's reload and pushes further with her radar capabilities. The result is a ship with near unrivaled defensive and offensive capabilities to the point of blurring the lines beyond recognition. Des Moines can be so potent at area denial, she has survived an onslaught of additions and rivals alike, to still be relevant to World of Warships on the whole even being one of the oldest ships in the World of Warships orbit. Though she is new here, don't sell her short.

Let's brush up on the Baltimore really quick, the reasoning will become apparent.

There's quite a lot to dissect here in the sense that Baltimore has some quite excellently well-rounded gunnery despite their lackluster appearance at face value. As the metric used to compare and compile data becomes more in depth, the tools we have to measure these new metrics are improved. Let's start with the simple concepts and work our way through the more complex.

Captain's, you're going to read a lot of above average, and a lot about how certain weaknesses are well glossed over by cumulative strengths. This seems to be a redundant feature found in the US Naval Ships...

If you're like me, and you like looking for basic trends you can generally see one right before your eyes on this list. Light Cruisers tend to sink to the bottom with faster reloads, and heavier cruisers with longer reloads and larger guns tend to float up to the top with longer reloads. Baltimore in her equipped state has two somewhat direct focuses; counting lots of shots or making your shots count. If you're one of the fortunate few who happened to grab Azur Lane Baltimore when she briefly came through the shop during the first tour of the collaborations: you might just be in for a treat reading about some of the wonderful perks this ship has in particular.

By now, you probably noticed that AL Baltimore and her tech tree version have different reloads. The truth is simple, these ships do actually have different stats in some manners. As we progress, we'll dive into those differences and why these ships wound up with different stats and builds. Tech Tree Baltimore has a 12s stock reload, and AL Baltimore 11s. This may not seem like much but allows captains to effectively employ DPM builds where AL Baltimore can successfully fire off 3 full salvos in a single radar; and is the only Baltimore and shy of Wichita, the only heavy cruiser to be able to do so. Without getting too math-y, DPM build AL Baltimore has the ability to fire 3 full salvos during her Radar, something her TT version cannot do. Wichita sits on the cusp of being able to build into DPM, or Dispersion, but captains should thoroughly be advised that Wichita trials Baltimore in terms of DPM, Alpha, HP and EHP.

Don't re-invent the wheel, just re-align it.

The major takeaway from that paragraph on Baltimore is that is still quite vividly applies to Des Moines with the one critical exception. Instead of talking about 3 vs 4 salvos, with Des Moines, it's more like 8.

Main Battery Reload

  • Minotaur: 3.2
  • Worcester: 4.6
  • Des Moines 5.5
  • Alaska: 20
  • Stalingrad: 20
  • Colbert: --

And that's why. That 5.5s base reload.

Main Battery Range

  • Stalingrad 17.1
  • Alaska: 16
  • Des Moines 15.5
  • Minotaur: 15.3
  • Worcester: 15.3
  • Colbert: --

Personally, I find the 15.5km range to be more than adequate. However, I know there are some of you out there that prefer range. Just know, the further out you go, the more likely those shells are to enter Low Earth Orbit.

180o Turret Traverse Time (s)

  • Minotaur: 4.7
  • Worcester: 7
  • Alaska: 30
  • Stalingrad: 30
  • Des Moines 30
  • Colbert: --

This, and a lack of torpedoes represent the very few drawbacks to Des Moines. However, this issue is largely mitigated by the simple premise that Des Moines generally fights from a somewhat stationary position with adversaries contacting from a predictable location. (When compared to a kiter or flanker.)

Shells Fired per Minute

  • Minotaur: 188
  • Worcester: 157
  • Des Moines 98
  • Alaska: 27
  • Stalingrad: 27
  • Colbert: --

A large part into what makes Des Moines so great is that she fires near CL levels of CA heavy shells. Very, very few ships can sustain the constant harassment a Des Moines can unleash.

HE Alpha Strike

  • Alaska: 4300
  • Des Moines 2800
  • Worcester: 2200
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Minotaur: —
  • Colbert: --

One of the funny parts here is that Des Moines' 2800 HE Alpha is lower than Tech Tree Baltimore's 3000 but matches AL Baltimore. Captain's, there is a pattern here to find...

HE Broadside Weight

  • Alaska: 38,700
  • Worcester: 26,400
  • Des Moines 25,200
  • Minotaur: —
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Colbert: --

25k is a decent punch for a 203mm armed ship, but the ability to follow it up <5s later is the key feature here.

HE Damage Per Minute

  • Worcester: 344,347
  • Des Moines 274,909
  • Alaska: 116,100
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Colbert: --
  • Minotaur: —

And as a predicted result, Des Moines ranks 3rd overall with her HE DPM, despite firing larger shells than the 2 above her, and the next 5 below her. The yield is that Des Moines sports very effective HE for her tier spread.

HE DPM

  • Worcester: 344,347
  • Cleveland: 289,800
  • Des Moines: 274,909
  • Suzuya: 243,000
  • Kutuzov: 224,400
  • Montpelier: 220,800
  • Chapayev: 207,000
  • Ochakov: 180,400
  • AL Balti: 155,876
  • Baltimore: 152,700
  • Martel: 151,000
  • Wichita: 151,200
  • Albemarle: 142,560
  • Atago: 138,600
  • Mogami: 132,000
  • Hipper: 128,316
  • Bagration: 122,500
  • Amalfi: 118,723
  • Alaska: 116,100
  • *Riga: 106,258
  • Azuma: 105,750
  • P. Eugen: 90,000
  • Sigfried: 60,923
  • Edinburgh: --
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Colbert: --
  • Minotaur: —

Base HE Penetration (mm)

  • Alaska: 50
  • Des Moines 33
  • Worcester: 30
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Minotaur: —
  • Colbert R

It's not just about the DPM, but also base HE Penetration, which give Des Moines the ability to pen most battleships without the use of IFHE (or Equilibrium of Power, as it is known here.)

Fire Chance

  • Alaska: 27
  • Des Moines 14
  • Worcester: 12
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Minotaur: —
  • Colbert: --

Ok, 14% on 203's isn't bad, but it isn't Atago's 25% or Suzuya's 19%. Des Moines isn't an avid fire-starter in the sense that she won't seemingly burn everything to ash with a lower fire chance per salvo, however (keyword!) Des Moines spits up enough shells that she does not have to really worry about mediocre fire chances.

Is Des Moines the god of fire?

  • No. But that does not mean she is entirely incapable.

AP Alpha Strike

  • Alaska: 8900
  • Stalingrad: 8500
  • Des Moines 5000
  • Minotaur: 3200
  • Worcester: 3200
  • Colbert: --

Now, let's move onto the more punitive armament found in the Des Moines munitions locker.

AP Alpha Strike

  • Sigfried: 11,600
  • Alaska: 8900
  • Stalingrad: 8500
  • Azuma: 8150
  • Hipper: 6000
  • P. Eugen: 5900
  • Riga: 5750
  • Baltimore: 5300
  • Des Moines: 5000
  • AL Balti: 5000
  • Martel: 4900
  • Amalfi: 4800
  • Mogami: 4700
  • Atago: 4700
  • Bagration: 4550
  • Albemarle: 4500
  • Wichita: 4000
  • Mainz: 3900
  • Chapayev: 3400
  • Suzuya: 3300
  • Cleveland: 3300
  • Montpelier: 3300
  • Kutuzov: 3300
  • Ochakov: 3300
  • Worcester: 3200
  • Minotaur: 3200
  • Edinburgh: 3100

It's noteworthy to point out here that Tech Tree Baltimore and Des Moines have different shells. However, Azur Lane Baltimore and Des Moines do fire the same shells, with a monstrous difference in DPM and reload values.

AP Broadside Weight

  • Alaska: 81,100
  • Stalingrad: 76,500
  • Des Moines 45,000
  • Worcester: 38,400
  • Minotaur: 32,000
  • Colbert: --

Similar to her HE Broadside Weight, Des Moines has an adequately punchy broadside, further enhanced by following it up with a second salvo far quicker than most in the vicinity of that list.

AP Damage Per Minute

  • Minotaur: 600,000
  • Worcester: 500,869
  • Des Moines 490,000
  • Alaska: 240,300
  • Stalingrad: 229,500
  • Colbert: --

Mainz AP, round 4, anyone?

  • Much like the HE DPM Chart, the AP DPM chart is quite telling. Des Moines sports CL DPM on a CA, with shells that feature much more weight (152kg), which improves penetration values simply on the basis of inertia alone. (For those interested, Mainz has a 45.5kg AP shell, Cleveland a 59kg shell and Minotaur a 58.85kg AP shell.)

AP Damage Per Minute

  • Minotaur: 600,000
  • Worcester 500,869
  • Des Moines: 490,000
  • Mainz: 468,000
  • Cleveland: 415,800
  • Edinburgh: 337,900
  • Kutuzov: 336,600
  • Montpelier: 316,800
  • Chapayev: 306,000
  • Suzuya: 297,000
  • Hipper: 285,148
  • AL Balti: 278,000
  • Ochakov: 270,600
  • Baltimore: 270,000
  • Martel: 264,600
  • Alaska: 240,300
  • Stalingrad: 229,500
  • Bagration: 222,950
  • Wichita: 216,000
  • P. Eugen: 212,400
  • Riga: 200,322
  • Atago: 197,400
  • Albemarle: 194,400
  • Azuma: 191,525
  • Mogami: 188,000
  • Amalfi: 183,360
  • Sigfried: 160,615

But wait, there's more!

Ballistics

The golden question...

How does this compare to Baltimore?

Velocity:

  • Muzzle Velocity for Tech Tree Baltimore
  1. (AP): 853m/s
  2. (HE): 823m/s
  • Muzzle Velocity for Azur Lane Baltimore
  1. (AP): 762m/s
  2. (HE): 823m/s
  • Muzzle Velocity for Des Moines
  1. (AP): 762m/s
  2. (HE): 823m/s

-Yes, they actually do have different gunnery characteristics. Des Moines is bold. Tech Tree in standard. Azur Lane is italicized.

  • Short-Mid Range Averaged Velocity (1s-5s) [DM:TT:AL]
  1. (AP): 460m/s : 526m/s : 460m/s
  2. (HE): 498m/s : 500m/s : 496m/s
  • Mid-Long Range Averaged Velocity (6s-10s) [DM:TT:AL]
  1. (AP): 382m/s : 423m/s : 383m/s
  2. (HE): 392m/s : 402m/s : 390m/s

By the numbers, Des Moines has the exact same shell velocity and flight patterns as Azur Lane's Baltimore, which has different stats than Tech Tree Baltimore. (Tech Tree Baltimore had her shell velocity buffed). While these differences are slightly palpable to the naked eye and more so the stopwatch, Des Moines along with both Baltimore's can easily be described as comfortable.

A long-winded way of saying, for those of you whom play USN Cruisers habitually, Des Moines will have an extremely familiar feel.

Ricochet Angles: Potential/Automatic

  • Minotaur: 60/75
  • Alaska: 60/67.5
  • Des Moines: 60/67.5
  • Stalingrad: 55/65
  • Worcester: 45/60
  • Colbert: --

Des Moines inherits the same improved AP ricochet values from her predecessors. This further pushes the argument in her favor for her AP utility. In terms of AP performance, Minotaur first, Des Moines second. The next closest is not really a noteworthy argument in the face of these two. Minotaur takes the cake with short fuse and improved penetration angles. Des Moines has improved angles, but no short fuse, though she does hit quite a bit harder cannot hit as fast.

Now, this is not to say that AP is incapable on any other ship, but rather, AP received excellent and noteworthy remarks and had to be highlighted. Mainz can still tear it up, but much more situationally than these two, while Worcester is included in that sentiment with Mainz sporting stronger, HE performance overall.

Main Battery Sigma

  • Stalingrad: 2.4
  • Des Moines: 2.05
  • Alaska: 2.05
  • Minotaur 2.05
  • Worcester: 2.05
  • Colbert: --

A wild sigma chart! Thank you CMs!

AP Fuse Arming Time

  • Minotaur: 0.005
  • Stalingrad: 0.022
  • Worcester: 0.025
  • Des Moines 0.033
  • Alaska: 0.033
  • Colbert: --

Much like Baltimore, Des Moines shares the same AP Arming time.

Shell Diameter

  • Alaska: 305
  • Stalingrad: 305
  • Des Moines: 203
  • Minotaur: 152
  • Worcester: 152
  • Colbert: 127

The funny thing here is that Des Moines has a lot of the perks of a light cruiser, wrapped up in wonderful 8" (203mm) guns.

Torpedoes:

Des Moines doesn't need your silly subsurface foolishness. She has autoloading guns which fire freedom at an amazingly liberating rate.

Torpedo Alpha Strike

  • Minotaur: 16,767
  • Worcester: —
  • Alaska: —
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Colbert: —
  • Des Moines: —

Torpedo Range

  • Minotaur: 10
  • Worcester: —
  • Alaska: —
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Colbert: —
  • Des Moines: —

Torpedo Reload

  • Minotaur: 96
  • Worcester: —
  • Alaska: —
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Colbert: —
  • Des Moines: —

Does the lack of torpedoes hurt the ranking?

  • Both yes and no.
  1. Yes, because she sports lower marks for having less ability to strike larger targets.
  2. No, because her gunnery is so good that it more or less erases the points, she'd lost from not having torpedoes to begin with.

Baltimore's gunnery could be best described as comfortable. Des Moines brings similar vibes but showing much more fang and with a nasty snarl while glaring back. While I can't comfortably say Des Moines has a stronger offensive capability than Minotaur, I can say that Des Moines certainly makes a case for it. GOOD hinging on GREAT, owing to improved concealability and offensive potential to Minotaur due to torpedoes. Des Moines HE can certainly be more efficient than Minotaur's torpedoes, however, outright lack the BANG in their stopping power. The logic here is simple, burning takes time while torpedoes tend to stop things in their tracks.

Though, it's quite important to note a well versed Des Moines captain can make any match a living HE spam nightmare.

Defense

GOOD

Let's face it, Des Moines strength in her defense comes from two main points: her well-roundedness, and her excellent vision control. Otherwise, her defensive marks are rather average; she can take a punch but not several, she has functional AA but isn't atop the card, sports rather similar and familiar armor schemes, with acceptable to tolerable HP and effective HP.

Base HP

  • Stalingrad 65,000
  • Alaska: 54,720
  • Des Moines 50,600
  • Worcester: 45,400
  • Minotaur: 43,300

This is rather average, though it's worth noting Alaska has just 4k higher base HP than Des Moines, Alaska sports the extra stock heal which greatly increases her effective health pool. That being said and as previously highlighted, Des Moines can take a punch, but probably not two.

Base HP

  • Stalingrad: 65,000
  • Sigfried: 55,500
  • Alaska: 54,720
  • Azuma: 52,500
  • Des Moines: 50,600
  • Worcester: 45,400
  • P. Eugen: 45,000
  • Hipper: 43,800
  • Minotaur: 43,300
  • Amalfi: 42,800
  • Mainz: 42,500
  • Baltimore: 42,400
  • AL Balti: 42,400
  • Bagration: 42,000
  • Riga: 42,000
  • Kutuzov: 40,700
  • Atago: 40,100
  • Albemarle: 39,400
  • Mogami: 39,100
  • Suzuya: 38,000
  • Martel: 38,000
  • Wichita: 37,900
  • Chapayev: 37,000
  • Cleveland: 36,900
  • Montpelier: 36,900
  • Edinburgh: 36,400
  • Ochakov: 34,730

Des Moines HP seems higher than it actually is.

Effective HP

  • Alaska: 91,428
  • Stalingrad 83,144
  • Minotaur: 77,900
  • Des Moines 64,712
  • Worcester: 58,056

This is starting to paint that picture. Des Moines trades about 6k EHP over Worcester but sacrifices some DPM for increased penetration and weaker plating.

Effective HP

  • Alaska: 91,428
  • Azuma: 86,184
  • Stalingrad: 83,144
  • Minotaur: 77,900
  • Sigfried: 73,980
  • Albemarle: 70,880
  • Edinburgh: 65,480
  • Des Moines: 64,712
  • Amalfi: 60,692
  • P. Eugen: 60,120
  • Hipper: 58,472
  • Worcester: 58,056
  • Mainz: 56,780
  • Baltimore: 56,644
  • AL Balti: 56,644
  • Bagration: 56,112
  • Riga: 56,112
  • Atago: 54,440
  • Kutuzov: 54,364
  • Mogami: 52,204
  • Chapayev: 51,504
  • Suzuya: 50,768
  • Wichita: 50,612
  • Martel: 48,584
  • Cleveland: 47,204
  • Montpelier: 47,204
  • Ochakov: 46,378

And more thoroughly so, Des Moines barely scrapes past some CA's a tier lower in terms of EHP.

Armor Scheme

  • Alaska: 32 plating, 28 freeboard, 36 deck, 229 belt. Below Water Cit.
  • Stalingrad: 50 icebreaker, 32 plating, 50 freeboard, 50 deck, 180 belt. Above Water Cit
  • Worcester: 32 plating, 25 freeboard, 30 deck, 127 belt. Above Water Cit.
  • Des Moines 27 plating, 27 freeboard, 30 deck, 152 belt. Above Water Cit.
  • Minotaur: 16 plating, 16 freeboard, 16 deck, 101 belt. Above Water Cit.
  • Colbert: --

Now this is a very broad sense of armor in comparison. Des Moines walks away with just slightly thicker armor at the belt, for an over-matchable nose. Stalingrad has an overmatch-proof nose but is otherwise quite vulnerable from the side. Alaska features arguably the most reliable armor scheme for any current LT Cruiser.

Every ship on that list is capable of striking the citadel on any other ship on the list, some with greater ease than others. The point of this comparison is to paint how unreliable Des Moines armor can be, she's undoubtedly a step up from Minotaur but without the factory reset button, and less so reliable than Worcester with better HP/EHP.

This is why many captains will feel quite comfortable playing the island HE spammer game, as mastering her armor and exploiting vulnerabilities can take some practice. Akin to her predecessor, Des Moines ranks with a solid GOOD defensive rating, owing primarily to excellent offensive figures and strong vision control capabilities. It's not just enough to have radar but being able to capitalize on it is another huge bonus.

Anti-Air Suite

GREAT

Des Moines has excellent an excellent AA suite and as a result she's currently a solid 3rd on the podium. She's quite strong here but does not have much of a horse in the race featuring Minotaur v Worcester. Minotaur has a lower figure, but her values are effective further out than Worcester, thus she takes the cake.

Anti-Air Damage per Second

  • Minotaur: 494
  • Worcester: 495
  • Des Moines 469
  • Alaska: 436
  • Stalingrad: 375
  • Colbert R

Anti-Air Damage per Second

  • Worcester: 495
  • Minotaur: 494
  • Des Moines: 469
  • Alaska: 436
  • Stalingrad: 375
  • Baltimore: 365
  • AL Balti: 365
  • Cleveland: 363
  • Montpelier: 363
  • Mainz: 357
  • Sigfried: 354
  • Azuma: 342
  • Hipper: 288
  • Bagration: 280
  • P. Eugen: 279
  • Kutuzov: 264
  • Edinburgh: 263
  • Riga: 262
  • Amalfi: 240
  • Wichita: 217
  • Albemarle: 211
  • Chapayev: 207
  • Martel: 204
  • Ochakov: 196
  • Mogami: 127
  • Atago: 90
  • Suzuya: 67

Anti-Air Range

  • Minotaur: 6
  • Worcester: 6
  • Stalingrad 5.7
  • Des Moines 5
  • Alaska: 5
  • Colbert: --

Like most USN Cruisers, Des Moines is considerably well protected from flying threats.

Concealment

GOOD

Depending on your build, this could shift from good to great. While Scott's dispersion build leaves a rather wanting concealment values, where Shelly sports rather fantastic concealment values.

Stock Concealment

  • Minotaur: 12.1
  • Worcester: 12.8
  • Des Moines 13.0
  • Alaska: 13.3
  • Stalingrad: 14.4
  • Colbert: --

By the numbers, Des Moines concealment is rather predictably placed being smack between Worcester and Alaska.

Kit Surface Concealment Radius [Km] (Camo + Concealment Mod)

  • Riga: 13.1
  • Stalingrad: 13
  • Chapayev: 12.9
  • Kutuzov: 12
  • Sigfried: 11.8
  • P. Eugen: 11.7
  • Mainz: 11.8
  • Hipper: 11.6
  • Martel: 11.6
  • Ochakov: 11.4
  • Alaska: 11.4
  • Cleveland: 11.3
  • Des Moines: 11.2
  • Mogami: 11.1
  • Worcester: 11
  • Azuma: 10.9
  • Albemarle: 10.9
  • Bagration: 10.8
  • Edinburgh: 10.8
  • Montpelier: 10.8
  • Atago: 10.6
  • Baltimore: 10.5
  • AL Balti: 10.5
  • Minotaur: 10.4
  • Wichita: 10.4
  • Suzuya: 10.2
  • Amalfi: 9.2

11.2km kit isn't atrocious, primarily considering Des Moines will readily outgun anything below her, aside from perhaps a Minotaur. And thus, we tie back into how important that functional Radar is, it erases the concealment argument, almost entirely.

Max Air Concealment

  • Minotaur: 6.2
  • Worcester: 6.2
  • Des Moines 6.2
  • Alaska: 6.4
  • Stalingrad:
  • Colbert: --

Unlike Worcester and Minotaur, the CV will spot Des Moines before flying into her Air Suite. This may be narrow and less than 1 full kilometer, but it's still there.

Max Concealment

  • Minotaur: 9.4
  • Worcester: 9.4
  • Des Moines 9.5
  • Alaska: 9.8
  • Stalingrad: 11.7
  • Colbert: --

This is why Shelly is so important. 9.9km radar, 9.5km concealment. Captains, this means if you find yourself spotted and unsure of whom is detecting you, activating your radar will give you 40s of vision, of which you can fire off 8+ salvos.

Maneuverability

AVERAGE

This column may rank average, but it's not the kind of average that will greatly hamper Des Moines playstyle.

Turn Radius (m)

  • Minotaur: 660
  • Worcester: 740
  • Des Moines 770
  • Alaska: 850
  • Stalingrad: 1130
  • Colbert R

770m isn't that horrid and with all things considered; Des Moines handles rather nicely.

Turn Radius (m)

  • Stalingrad: 1130
  • Azuma: 920
  • Riga: 920
  • Bagration: 890
  • Chapayev: 890
  • Sigfried: 880
  • Alaska: 850
  • Atago: 790
  • P. Eugen: 770
  • Des Moines: 770
  • Kutuzov: 760
  • Mogami: 750
  • Suzuya: 750
  • Ochakov: 750
  • Worcester: 740
  • Hipper: 740
  • Baltimore: 730
  • AL Balti: 730
  • Mainz: 720
  • Albemarle: 720
  • Martel: 690
  • Edinburgh: 680
  • Amalfi: 680
  • Wichita: 680
  • Cleveland: 660
  • Montpelier: 660
  • Minotaur: 660

However, 770m is certainly average.

Rudder Shift (s)

  • Worcester: 8.1
  • Des Moines 8.6
  • Minotaur: 10.4
  • Stalingrad: 12.5
  • Alaska: 13
  • Colbert: --

Des Moines does feature a rather quick rudder shift in comparison to her LT compatriots but will be blissfully outshined by specific builds that feature maneuverability, such as Suzuya or Atago.

Stock Top Speed

  • Stalingrad: 35
  • Minotaur: 33.5
  • Worcester: 33
  • Alaska: 33
  • Des Moines 33
  • Colbert: --

With a top speed of 33 knots, Des Moines is generally quick enough to get out of her own way. However, since speed is not her forte, captains will want to anticipate their moves accordingly, and plan their strategies about how they want to move about the map. Competitively, is not uncommon to find this ship dug into an island as the very last hold out on a flank or a cap, knowing that an attempt to flee will certainly insure her demise.

Consumables

GOOD

I almost feel like Des Moines is deserving of a GREAT Rating here, but that's not what the numbers reflect. Her consumable loadout is inarguably strong, however subpar repair party values greatly handcuff Des Moines rating here.

Smoke Generator

  • Minotaur: 15s-113s. 240sr x2
  • Worcester: —
  • Alaska: —
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Colbert: —
  • Des Moines: —

Like most high tier cruisers, Des Moines cannot equip a smoke generator.

Stock Repair Party

  • Alaska: 437/s-28s. 50sr x3 (36,708)
  • Minotaur: 865/s-20s. 80sr x2 (34,600)
  • Stalingrad: 324/s-28s. 80sr x2 (18,144)
  • Des Moines: 252/s-28s. 80sr x2 (14,112)
  • Worcester: 226/s-28s. 80sr x2 (12,656)
  • Colbert: --

14k max heal-ability is rather weak. This narrowly escapes Worcester and is weaker than predecessor's AL Baltimore and TT Baltimore.

Stock Repair Party Effective Values

  • Alaska: 437/s-28s. 50sr x3 (36,708)
  • Albemarle: (35,000)
  • Minotaur: 865/s-20s. 80sr x2 (34,600)
  • Azuma: (33,684)
  • Edinburgh: (29,080)
  • Sigfried: (18,480)
  • Stalingrad: 324/s-28s. 80sr x2 (18,144)
  • P. Eugen: (15,120)
  • Hipper: (14,672)
  • Chapayev: (14,504)
  • Mainz: (14,280)
  • Baltimore: (14,224)
  • AL Balti: (14,224)
  • Des Moines: 252/s-28s. 80sr x2 (14,112)
  • Riga: (14,112)
  • Bagration: (14,112)
  • Kutuzov: (13,664)
  • Atago: (13,440)
  • Mogami: (13,104)
  • Suzuya: (12,768)
  • Wichita: (12,712)
  • Worcester: 226/s-28s. 80sr x2 (12,656)
  • Amalfi: (11,928)
  • Ochakov: (11,648)
  • Cleveland: (10,304)
  • Montpelier: (10,304)
  • Martel: (10,080)

Pairing with Minotaur, Des Moines features the same slightly improved sonar.

Hydro-Acoustic Search

  • Minotaur: 3.4/4.9-100s. 180sr x2
  • Des Moines: 3.4/4.9-100s. 180sr x2
  • Worcester: 3.1/4.4-96s. 180sr x2
  • Alaska: 3.1/4.4-96s. 180sr x2
  • Stalingrad: —
  • Colbert: --

In another pair with Minotaur, Des Moines sports the identical 9.9km radar.

Surveillance Radar

  • Minotaur: 9.9km 40s. 180sr x2
  • Des Moines 9.9km 40s. 180sr x2
  • Worcester: 9km 30s. 180sr x2
  • Alaska: 9km 30s. 180sr x2
  • Stalingrad: 11.7km 20s. 180sr x2
  • Colbert: --

The tools Des Moines are equipped with are rather functional and excellent, and she has the opportunity to effectively cash in on them. However, this weaker heal holds her back from what would otherwise be stellar ratings in this category.

Commanders

GOOD

This is going to be a bit more polarized here in the sense that either you have it or you don't. Seasoned veterans will likely rejoice, while newer players may have a bit harder time trying to acclimate. While there are some commanders that can partially replicate either one build or the other, I focused on specifically the best build of each type rather than listing every single build from every single USN CA/CL commander.

Commanders tend to be either feast or famine, with some trees and lines featuring a plethora of commanders, and others, just the base two. That being said USN Cruisers are most certainly not hurting in the commander department. Sometimes, commander builds can be quite grey and blurred between the lines with plausibility, however, this race is very clearly defined with an outright winner.

Shelly Beapley:

Shelly continues her elegant reign as THE Queen of the USN Cruisers Commander slot. Her skill slots are very hard to argue against which allows the wonderfully adaptable USN Cruisers (both CA's and CL's) to master their more complete potential of cap control and area denial. This reign is courtesy of the dynastic combination of incredible concealment, radio detection, surveillance radar and blissful DPM values. Shelly's specialized fourth row skill allows for the chemistry of the above ingredients to create among the scariest anti-destroyer, cap possessive nightmares, further improved by hostile damage per minute values, (4.8s reload on 203s!!) and a formidable anti-air suite homogenize to one of the most territorial creatures found in the game.

Des Moines takes it a step further here. Like Minotaur, Des Moines can be kit to stealth radar. However, Des Moines actually has armor, and with arguably more impressive firepower, can forgo the need for smoke or concealment.

Shelly presents a near perfect fit for Des Moines and taking the slight step up in skill floor unlocks an extreme skill ceiling. If you don't have her, you're missing out.

Inspirations Jerzy Swirski (Hide n Seek -4% Concealment), Gunichi Mikawa (Clandestine -6% Cruiser Concealment)

  • Refractory: -8% Chance of Catching Fire
  • Ingenious: +1.6o/s Turret Traverse, -7% Incoming Damage, Number of Ships Targeting You.
  • Full Speed Ahead: +5% Speed, -10% Rudder Shift
  • Velocious: +5% Speed
  • Private Zone: -8% Detectability
  • Fully Packed: +1 Consumables, -5% Consumable Reload

Norman Scott:

Norman would be my second choice here undisputedly. It's not that he pairs poorly with Des Moines, but rather, Norman tends to play more from range and leans more into making his shots count than counting a lot of shots. This is a ship that lives on the cusp of almost absurd DPM values for 203's and with a downright nasty reload. While 18.5km+ of reach is useful, this is a ship with ballistics that would result in dreary...and a somewhat dreadful 11.2km concealment. The key point here is to add the main battery range mod in place of the reload mod.

Don't get me wrong, this is a build that is almost haunting for its penchant to hide behind an island and burn the entire map to ash, but to me, there's a lot more to Des Moines than just that and she will gladly reward you for mastering said challenge. One serious consideration, he's free and readily available.

Inspirations Nikolay Kuznetsov (Follow the Sun +6% Gun Range), AL Scharnhorst (Sniper -4% Dispersion) or Gunichi Mikawa (Clandestine -6% Cruiser Concealment)

  • Directed Impact: +5% Sigma
  • Beyond Range: +10% Gun Range
  • Igniter: +3% Fire Chance
  • Punch Through: +10% AP Alpha, +6% AP Penetration
  • Fixated: +5% Sigma, -5% Dispersion
  • Fully Packed: +1 Consumables, -5% Consumable Reload

Modifications

  1. Aiming Systems Mod. 1: The standard piece for just about every ship in the first slot. 7% to dispersion is the winner here.
  2. Propulsion Mod. 2: Propulsion Mod is the way. DM has a manageable stock rudder shift, which improves with specific commander skills. Take this mod to enable short speed jukes, which are fantastic for dodging both incoming CV strikes, and salvos alike.
  3. Concealment Mod. 1: This is the only correct choice here, take this to enable the ability to get close to islands and contestable positions.
  4. Main Battery Mod. 3: DPM over gun range all day, even with the atrocious gun traverse. <5s reload is the smartest option here, but the range mod will also work with longer range dispersion focused builds like Scott.

Upgrades

  • Des Moines is a Legendary Tier Ship and does not have any researchable upgrades.

Research

  • Des Moines is new and is not currently featured in any Bureau Projects. She is available through her own Bureau Project.

Summary

GREAT

What becomes my first ship reviewed as a part of the Community Contributor Program, Des Moines was an unexpected and special treat. My time with her was brief, but I managed to get a comfortable feel for her nonetheless and look forward to completing her bureau project to bring her to my port to stay.

This is a ship which champions all the native traits of her predecessors while improving on them in such a way that increases her efficacy. Des Moines may not be as overly resilient as some cruisers, but she is more than capable of dishing out the punishment to those who don't respect her boundaries. Though Des Moines' EHP may be on the frailer side, this is considerably balanced by her fierce DPM. She is quite well-rounded, and able to adapt to the many situations she will encounter, especially if she is working as part of a functional team; Des Moines becomes the quintessential support cruiser with a panache for area control.

There are a couple ways of playing this ship, each with varying levels of skill floor and skill ceilings. Captains who practice and learn the strengths and nuances of the Des Moines will be well rewarded with a ship that is as fundamentally and strategically sound as she is effective and consistent. The numbers leaned more on the GOOD side but considering her influence she more than warranted the kick up to GREAT. I will make the stand here and argue, that being fundamentally good is a great strength.

Captn_Thatch
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