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Final Review: U.S. Tier IX Premium Cruiser Tulsa

6 min read

Ladies and Gentlemen, did you ever wish you could have Des Moines at tier IX? Well if you did, let me present you the Tulsa Mini-Moines, the new U.S. Tier IX premium cruiser.
The ship will be available for 228 000 coal or 19 300 doubloons in the Armory as well as in the Premium shop with the cheapest bundle which should be around 65€.

Is she worth it? Is she the proud little sister of our dear Des Moines? Here is my opinion on the subject!

Historical background

In May 1943, the U.S. Bureau of Ordnance proposed a new 203 mm rapid-firing gun. It was designed to be mounted in twin or triple mounts with the latter being what would become the main battery of the Des Moines-class cruisers.

At the same time, the Bureau wanted these new guns to be incorporated on existing U.S. cruiser hulls. The triple turrets would have been far too complex to mount on existing hulls because of the much larger cylindric barbette that was required. However, it would have been feasible for the twin turret version and it was considered that the barbettes and roller paths of the previous slow-firing 203 mm could be used.

In the end, the project never became a reality. However, if it ever came to be, the Tulsa, the 8th ship of the Oregon City-class of heavy cruisers, could have been a potential candidate.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Amazing rate of fire
  • Great firing angles
  • U.S. AP shells with improved ricochet angles
  • Shells allowing you to fire above islands with ease
  • 9 km Surveillance Radar
  • Good anti-air
  • Relatively tight turning radius
  • Good concealment, able to reach 9.5 km spotting range by sea
  • 27 mm bow plating on the bow and stern

The Bad

  • Only 6 guns
  • Short main battery firing range
  • Slow shells making it somewhat hard to hit targets at long ranges
  • Relatively squishy in terms of armor
  • One of the lowest HP pool of all tier IX cruisers

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of Tulsa provides the classic bonuses for tier IX ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -20% to the cost of ship’s post-battle service
  • +100% to experience earned in the battle

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery

icon_module_Hull_installed

Tulsa

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 120 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎Mk 9 mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

203 mm/55 RF Mk.16 in a turret

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Tier IX
Health 42 700 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 13 %
Displacement 17 070 tons
Dimensions
Overall length 205.78 m
Beam 21.59 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 24.0 m
Freeboard 5.36 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 14.860 km
203 mm/55 RF Mk.16 in a turret 3 x 2 203 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 6.950 km
127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount
6 x 2 127 mm
Maximum speed 33.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius 750 m
Rudder Shift Time 10.5 s
Surface Detectability 12.06 km
Air Detectability 7.25 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 6.79 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Defensive AA Fire
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Continuous Damage: +50%
Damage from shell explosions: +300%
Surveillance Radar
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 35 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Ship spotting range: 9.0 km
Repair Party
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration: 0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 30%
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 3
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km

Tulsa Mini-Moines plays very similarly to Des Moines (duh). Sadly, she lacks her God-sent Unique Upgrade and is far more fragile. As a matter of fact, Tulsa puts much more emphasis on stealth and playing around covers.
Compared to Buffalo, she only gets a 9.0 km Surveillance Radar but thanks to the low spotting range by sea, she has no problem getting in position to use it. Once a DD is caught in the radar, she is also far better at peppering it thanks to the high rate of fire.

In the end, it’s still a classic U.S. heavy cruiser. Play near the objectives, support your destroyers with the Surveillance Radar, abuse island covers, don’t be scared to abuse AP on cruisers and battleships. One thing is certain, she is making her big sister proud.

If you want to see the ship in action, here is a replay of one of my games:

Here are the screenshots of the post-battle results for those who would want to see them.

Main Battery

3 x 2 203 mm/55 RF Mk.16 in a turret
 Maximum Firing Range 14.860 km
 Reloading Time 5.8 s
180 Degree Turn Time 30.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 30°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 25°
Sigma 2.05 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 136 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 203 mm HE/HC Mk25
Alpha Damage 2 800
Penetration capacity  34 mm
Explosion size 0.86
Fire chance 14 %
Projectile Speed 823 m/s
Air Drag 0.333
Projectile Mass 118 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 203 mm AP Mk21
Alpha Damage 5 000
Projectile Speed 762 m/s
Air Drag 0.356
Projectile Mass 152 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 919
Projectile Detonator 0.033 s
Detonator threshold 34 mm
Ricochet Angles 60° – 67.5°

If you ever played Des Moines, you will feel right at home. Tulsa gets three twin turrets with auto-loading 203 mm guns and they are ready to rain shells on the enemy.

Thanks to the traditional U.S. cruiser ballistics, it’s very easy for Tulsa to exploit the terrain to her advantage. May it be to fire from a safe position behind an island or to lob shells over the island an enemy is using as cover.
With the high rate of fire and good fire chances of the HE, setting enemy ships ablaze is obviously really easy (in case the DPM alone isn’t enough). The AP is just as lethal and any cruiser or battleship not respecting you will quickly learn their mistake the hard way. Basically, all hail the auto-loader.

To add to this already great main battery, the firing angles, especially when kiting are very good, allowing you to not offer a big target to shoot at.

The only real downside is that the range is really short, especially when facing tier X matchmaking. As such, I would recommend taking Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 to reach a much more comfortable 17.24 km firing range.

Secondary Armament

6 x 2 127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount
Maximum Firing Range 6.950 km
Reloading Time 6.0 s
Sigma 1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 127 mm HE Mk32
Alpha Damage 1 800
HE penetration 21 mm
Explosion Size 0.38
Chance to Cause Fire 5 %
Projectile Speed 792 m/s
Air Drag 0.347
Projectile Mass 24.5 kg

Decoration and anti-air.

Anti-air Armament

6 x 2 127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.8 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 31
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 109
Flak clouds number 5
Flak cloud damage 1 610
12 x 4 40 mm Bofors on a Mk.2 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 4.0 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 93
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 326
23 x 1 20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.10 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.0 km
Hit chance 85 %
Sector’s damage 58
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 203

The anti-air of Tulsa is quite strong with high DPS on the medium and close-range. The long-range is meh at best but U.S. heavy cruisers were never known for having a good long-range anti-air.

The Armor

The armor on Tulsa is nothing worth praising. While she gets 27 mm bow and stern which are useful against battleships with 381 mm guns or smaller, the rest of her armor protection is average at best. The only thing somewhat worth noting is that the citadel is only exposed below the superstructure. Below the turrets, it’s fully submerged.

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Final Opinion

Tulsa Mini-Moines is simply great. She has an amazing rate of fire, she is stealthy, she has nice maneuverability, she can put to good use her 9.0 km Surveillance Radar. It’s truly an amazeballs ship.

I guess that now, I can only tell you to have fun in the coal mines to get enough resources for Kearsarge and her.

Recommended Build

For Tulsa, I recommend the following build:

  • Expert Loader
  • Priority Target
  • Superintendent
  • Concealment Expert
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Survivability Expert
  • Top Grade Gunner
  • Grease the Gears

Of course, Halsey is a perfect fit as a commander for the ship, especially since you have no problem sharing him between Tulsa and Des Moines.

This concludes my review of Tulsa. Thank you for reading this article!

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Have a good one and see you soon!

P.S.: Jesus, 2 evenings at writing articles until 1AM… That was not fun…

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