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Final Review: U.S. Tier VIII Premium Cruiser Rochester

6 min read

Historical background

USS Rochester was an Oregon City-class heavy cruiser from the U.S. Navy. The ship was laid down in May 1944, launched in August 1945 and commissioned in December 1946.

While her early career was very quiet, the ship would play an active role in the Korean War, supporting ground units by blazing her 203 mm and 127 mm guns on Korean forces.

She came very close to being heavily damaged when, on the 17th of September 1950, North Korean aircrafts targeted the ship. While the Yak-9 and Il-2 were initially identified as friendlies by the anchored cruiser, it quickly turned out that they very much weren’t when they dropped 4 bombs on the ship. Thankfully, all of them but one missed and the one that managed to hit the ship failed to detonate when it smashed the crane of the ship.

In April 1953, the ship steamed back home and during her refit, all of her 20 mm and 40 mm AA guns were replaced by twin 76.2 mm AA guns. She then spent the rest of the 50s and early 60s participating in training and operations in the Pacific. While it was planned to convert her into an Albany-class guided-missile cruiser, a lack of funds led to the project being abandoned and she was put in reserves in 1961 until being sold for scrap in 1974.

In World of Warships, we are getting Rochester as she was after her refit from 1953.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Good AP penetration
  • Improved AP ricochet angles
  • Lazy ballistics allowing you to fire safely from behind islands
  • Very good firing angles
  • Good concealment
  • Strong anti-air
  • Defensive AA Fire and Hydroacoustic Search in separated slots
  • U.S. Smoke Generator

The Bad

  • Long main battery reload time
  • Lazy ballistics can make it annoying to hit enemy ships at range
  • flat stern that can lead to unwanted AP shells penetrating your ship when kiting

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of the Rochester provides the classic bonuses for tier VIII ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -10% to the cost of ship’s post-battle service
  • +50% to experience earned in the battle

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery

icon_module_Hull_installed

Rochester

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 120 000 hp

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎Mk8 mod. 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

203 mm/55 Mk.15 on a triple mount

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Tier VIII
Health 41 900 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 15.860 km
203 mm/55 Mk.15 on a triple mount 3 x 3 203 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 6.600 km
127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount
6 x 2 127 mm
Maximum speed 33 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
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: 4
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Continuous Damage: +50%
Damage from shell explosions: +300%
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 2
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km
Smoke Generator

Number of charges: 2
Work time: 30 s
Cooldown: 160 s
Smoke radius: 450 m
Smoke duration: 104 s

The ship itself is, for all intents and purposes a weaker Baltimore with less HP and slower reload but at least, it’s slightly faster and more stealthy.

When taking into account her consumables, she turns into a… sidegrade-ish of the Anchorage. I would actually go as far as saying that it’s worse because of the lower DPM and lack of torpedoes. The Rochester is indeed equipped with a Smoke Generator instead of the classic radar that you might expect on a U.S. heavy cruiser. Instead of being able to deal with destroyers thanks to a surveillance radar and support on the objectives, you are stuck with damage farming as your only real source of impact.

In terms of gameplay, it’s not too different from your average U.S. heavy cruiser but the smoke generator gives you more freedom in terms of positioning. The problem is that it turns into what I consider to be the most boring gameplay ever AKA camping in a smoke and farming damage with a slow-firing ship. That stuff is more effective than a sleeping pill for me. That’s actually why I just couldn’t be bothered to get a replay in addition to this review.

The only real advantages Rochester has compared to Baltimore or Anchorage is her concealment (can reach 9.5 km spotting range by sea) and having both Hydroacoustic Search and Defensive AA at the same time.

Main Battery

3 x 3 203 mm/55 Mk.15 on a triple mount
 Maximum Firing Range 15.860 km
 Reloading Time 12.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time 30.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 30°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 27°
Sigma 2.00 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 142 m
Shells
Type of Projectile  HE – 203 mm HE/HC Mk25
Alpha Damage 2 800 HP
Damage 1 220 HP
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 HP
Projectile Speed 762 m/s
Air Drag 0.356
Projectile Mass 152 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 919
Projectile Detonator 0.033 s
Detonator threshold 51 mm
Ricochet Angles 60° – 67.5°

If you already played U.S. cruisers, you will feel right at home in terms of gun handling. These are the same guns as on Baltimore and Buffalo with lazy ballistics and of course, the AP that rarely disappoints with the good penetration capacity and improved ricochet angles.

The problem is that in terms of DPM, Rochester is behind both Baltimore and Anchorage. She doesn’t have the reload of the Baltimore or the alpha damage of the Anchorage (which also has the spotter plane to have an easier time farming stuff and torpedoes that allow her to make aggressive plays).
In terms of firepower, Rochester is definitely a letdown.

Secondary Armament

6 x 2 127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount
Maximum Firing Range 6.600 km
Reloading Time 6.0 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 127 mm HE Mk32
Alpha Damage 1 800 HP
Damage 380 HP
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 1 540
10 x 2 76.2 mm/50 Mk.22 on a Mk.33 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 4.0 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 101
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 354

Overall, the AA of the Rochester is better than on the Baltimore but… that’s just because Rochester will always have Defensive AA Fire while Baltimore will generally have Hydroacoustic Search. If we are talking about raw DPS, Baltimore is better in that department.

The Armor

Rochester presents a very similar armor scheme to the Baltimore with the 27 mm bow, stern and casemate as well as a fairly small citadel.

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Final Opinion

Overall, I really can’t recommend the Rochester. It’s definitely not a bad ship but… she just doesn’t bring anything interesting.

It’s just a boring and forgettable sidegrade of the Anchorage which already is nothing great. I could have considered it a decent choice if it had better damage output but as it stands, it’s nothing else than a good-looking port queen.

Recommended Build

For the Rochester, I recommend the following commander build:

  • Incoming Fire Alert
  • Priority Target
  • Superintendent
  • Concealment Expert
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Expert Loader
  • Grease the Gears
  • Consumables Enhancements
  • Top Grade Gunner

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

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Have a good one and see you soon!

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