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Des Moines

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Des Moines
Cruiser | U.S.A. | Tier X
Tech Tree Position
Research price237500 exp
Purchase price19,800,000 Credits
Hit Points50,600 
Main Battery
203 mm/55 RF Mk.16 in a turret3 х 3 pcs.
Rate of Fire10.91 shots/min.
Reload Time5.5 sec.
Rotation Speeddeg./sec.
180 Degree Turn Time30 sec.
Firing Range15.83 km.
Maximum Dispersion142 m.
HE Shell203 mm HE/HC Mk25 
Maximum HE Shell Damage2,800 
Chance of Fire on Target Caused by HE Shell14 %
Initial HE Shell Velocity823 m./s.
HE Shell Weight118 kg.
AP Shell203 mm AP Mk21 
Maximum AP Shell Damage5,000 
Initial AP Shell Velocity762 m./s.
AP Shell Weight152 kg.
Secondary Armament #1
127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount6 х 2 pcs.
Firing Range7.3 km.
Rate of Fire10 shots/min.
Reload Timesec.
HE Shell127 mm HE Mk32 
Maximum HE Shell Damage1,800 
Initial HE Shell Velocity792 m./s.
Chance of Fire on Target Caused by HE Shell%
AA Defense
127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount6 х 2 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second90.6 
. . . Firing Range5.01 km.
76.2 mm/50 Mk.22 on a Mk.33 mount10 х 2 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second208 
. . . Firing Range3.99 km.
20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.4 mount12 х 1 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second43.2 
. . . Firing Range2.01 km.
76.2 mm/50 Mk.22 on a Mk.33 mount2 х 2 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second41.6 
. . . Firing Range3.99 km.
Maximum Speed33 knot
Turning Circle Radius770 m.
Rudder Shift Time8.6 sec.
Surface Detectability Range13.44 km.
Air Detectability Range7.9 km.
Battle Levels

Des Moines — American Tier X cruiser.

The heavy cruisers designed during World War II became the epitome of their class, making them the most formidable and powerful U.S. heavy cruisers in history. After the development of a 152 mm automatic gun, the U.S. Navy High Command placed an order for a similar gun but with a caliber of 203 mm. New cruisers were to be equipped with triple-gun turrets featuring the aforementioned 203 mm guns and fitted with a thick armored deck for protection against aerial bomb attacks. USS Des Moines conducted various diplomatic and representative missions. She was also used for training cadets and in naval exercises.


Main Battery Guns Rate of Fire
180° Turn Time
Maximum Dispersion
Maximum HE Shell Damage
Chance of Fire on Target Caused by HE Shell
Maximum AP Shell Damage
Research price
Purchase price
203 mm/55 RF Mk.16 in a turret10.9301422,800145,000 02,000,000
Hull Hit Points
Main Turrets
Secondary Gun Turrets
AA Mounts
Torpedo Tubes
Hangar Capacity
Research price
Purchase price
Des Moines50,60062033612/12/6 02,900,000
Maximum Firing Range
Research price
Purchase price
Mk10 mod. 10 01,800,000
Engine Maximum Speed
Research price
Purchase price
Propulsion: 120,000 hp33 01,600,000

Compatible Upgrades

 Slot 1 
Main Armaments Modification 1
Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1
Magazine Modification 1
Spotting Aircraft Modification 1
Damage Control Party Modification 1
 Slot 2 
Damage Control System Modification 1
Defensive AA Fire Modification 1
Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1
Surveillance Radar Modification 1
Engine Room Protection
 Slot 3 
Main Battery Modification 2
Secondary Battery Modification 1
AA Guns Modification 1
Aiming Systems Modification 1
 Slot 4 
Damage Control System Modification 2
Propulsion Modification 1
Steering Gears Modification 1
Airstrike Modification 1
 Slot 5 
Torpedo Lookout System
Concealment System Modification 1
Steering Gears Modification 2
Ship Consumables Modification 1
 Slot 6 
Main Battery Modification 3
Gun Fire Control System Modification 2
Enhanced Propulsion Plant
Auxiliary Armaments Modification 2

Player Opinion


Warning. The data presented in the AA Defense sidebar section may be incorrect.
Refer to the in-game Port screens for more useful data.

Only a handful of high tier cruisers are known to have absurd firing rates: Smolensk, Neptune, Minotaur, Plymouth, Seattle, Worcester, Austin, Salem, Colbert, and this heavy cruiser. It is no surprise that due to her being the last all-gun cruiser made, she has all the lessons learned from her cruiser predecessors in the Second World War incorporated in her design. A very noticeable trait on Des Moines is her absurd rate of fire for a heavy cruiser, with each turret reloading at 5.5 seconds, making her extremely deadly to destroyers within radar range and other cruisers. She also can whittle down battleships quickly and, with her impressive AA suite, wipe out carrier strike squadrons with ease. However, she is extremely fragile: her thin armor makes her susceptible to penetration from most Tier IX and Tier X battleships at all ranges.

While Des Moines has impressive firepower and AA, her maneuverability is mediocre and her armor is okay at best. With a standard cruiser speed of 33 kts and fast base rudder shift time of 8.6 seconds, Des Moines can evade incoming shells and torpedoes relatively well. However, while she can turn well, the speed loss on turning is massive enough to make her an easy target for any other ship with their guns loaded and ready. With her 30mm midsection(same as zao and hindenburg), it makes her vulnerable to bb shells of 431mm and above, also, the bow is 27mm, which is vulnerable to 406mm guns and above. Additionally, because of how flat her stern is designed in comparison to the other Tier X heavy cruisers, this makes her extremely susceptible to enemy battleship AP shells being able to penetrate her citadel through her stern.

In contrast to her weak points, the Des Moines high shell arc and gun layout gives her a unique advantage that her cruiser colleagues at her tier lack and as such she is capable of weighing anchor behind an island and lob shells over the island at distant targets with relative safety. Should the island be too tall, one can also park the ship around the corner of an island while bow on to act as a deterrent to advancing enemy ships, while presenting a relatively small profile. Exploiting this technique allows one to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Additionally, firing AP shells at bigger targets such as battleships can deal a surprising amount of damage in such a short time. However, it is recommended to do so only when she is close enough to have the rounds deal maximum penetration or if the target is broadside. Furthermore, given her rate of fire and decent fire chance, this makes Des Moines a deadly flamethrower to battleships within reach.

Overall, unlike most other Tier X cruisers, Des Moines cannot fight as effectively on open water due to her mediocre armor, slow shell velocity, and speed loss when turning. If the player has mounted the Legendary Upgrade Enhanced Propulsion Plant (–50% time to reach full speed when accelerating / –20% rudder shift time.), then Des Moines can become a very agile ship that will prove extremely difficult to hit, provided the player can use their speed and rudder accordingly. But should they play without said upgrade, then a more safe approach for each game would be to play defensively during the initial stages of the game, while becoming more aggressive slowly towards the end. But in general, how aggressive the player should be depends upon the flow of the battle.


  • An insane rate of fire for such heavy guns.
  • High shell arcs make firing over islands easier.
  • AP SHS (super-heavy shells) can retain pen and with American Heavy Cruiser ricochet angles(60-67.5) and can tear up almost everything, especially in close.
  • A mediocre AA suite that turns solid when the Defensive AA Fire consumable is activated.
  • Contrary to the sidebar data on this page, Des Moines's long-range AA artillery reaches out to 5.8km.
  • 27mm armor protects against 15-inch guns, 30mm midsection protects against 16 inch guns; citadel is protected by a thick 152mm belt and a 127mm transverse bulkhead, allowing her to tank many battleships if sufficiently angled.
  • Medium ranged (10km) and long-lasting Surveillance RadarWhile active, detects all enemy ships within the specified radius, disregarding obstacles such as smoke and terrain..


  • Short ranged main battery with a stock reach of 15.8km.
  • High shell arcs make hitting targets at range tricky.
  • No torpedoes.
  • Citadel is above water and easy to hit when showing broadside, and all 431mm or larger guns can overmatch her armor.
  • Poor torpedo defense (7%).
  • Anti-aircraft armament easily destroyed and rendered useless against aerial attacks.
  • Mediocre agility.


As a tier X ship, Des Moines has no modules to research.

Annapolis is researched off Des Moines at a cost of 1 XP.

Optimal Configuration

Des Moines can support several build variation. The maximum AA build is detailed separately.


Gunship build

Gunship builds pose a dilemma. Increasing rate of fire with Main Battery Modification 3 : -12% main battery loading time. / -13% main battery traverse speed. in Slot 6 practically demands Main Battery Modification 2 : +15% to main battery traverse speed. in Slot 3, due to the already quite slow turret traverse. When working in close, a slow turret can more than offset the increase in firepower. For PvE play, this is the build to take.

In contrast, Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 : +16% firing range. in Slot 6 changes the equation. Due to the increasing dispersion at range and lack of a turret traverse penalty, Aiming Systems Modification 1 : -7% main battery dispersion. / +20% torpedo tubes traverse speed. / +5% secondary battery firing range. / -5% secondary battery dispersion. is called for in Slot 3. This option stretches her range out to 18.4km, on par with Moskva and Hindenburg.

Des Moines also has access to a Unique Upgrade: Enhanced Propulsion Plant (–50% time to reach full speed when accelerating / –20% rudder shift time.) for Slot 6, which decreases her rudder shift and halves the time taken to accelerate to full speed. With this upgrade and Propulsion Modification 1 Reduces time to full speed: -50% to time for reaching full power. / Increases engine power when the ship starts moving., Des Moines can accelerate from 0-27kts in about 8 seconds — most useful when exploiting terrain or open water dodging, this is by far the best modification to take.

Anti-aircraft build

Before including any AA elements in a ship build, captains should consider that facing an enemy aircraft carrier is not guaranteed in most game modes such as random battles. For this reason, AA builds should be considered less versatile than gunboat builds.

AA Guns Modification 1 for Slot 3 lowers the priority sector prep time (cooldown) from 10 seconds to 8 seconds, so another choice in this slot is justifiable.

Commander Skills


Des Moines can equip the following consumables:

For a short range gunship build, Spotting AircraftWhile active, a spotter plane circles the ship enhancing main battery firing range. can be useful, especially combined with Eye in the Sky. However, playing forward, the better alternative is Surveillance RadarWhile active, detects all enemy ships within the specified radius, disregarding obstacles such as smoke and terrain..

For a long range gunship build, radar is less important and long-duration Hydroacoustic SearchWhile active, detects all enemy ships and torpedoes within the specified radius, without regard of obstacles such as smoke and terrain. (with upgrade Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1 Increases the action time of the Hydroacoustic Search and Short-Range Hydroacoustic Search consumables.: +20% action time. may be preferable, as might Catapult Fighter.

For an Anti-aircraft build, take Defensive AA Fire. And for maximum effect, Catapult FighterWhile active, a group of fighter planes circles the ship providing protection by attacking incoming enemy aircraft..


Note: Use of the Juliet Charlie signal makes detonation impossible.


Historical Info

Historical Gallery



Ship Change Log

See here for links to Update notes.

  • Available for testing by supertesters in the game starting from Update 0.1.2 (alpha version).
  • Update 0.3.1:
    • Repair Party consumable added.
  • Update 0.5.1:
    • The number of charges of the "Catapult fighter I" / "Spotting aircraft I" consumable was increased to 4 ( "Catapult fighter II" / " Spotting aircraft II" - up to 5).
    • Armor thickness increased by 2 mm (from 25 to 27 mm).
    • 203 mm AP shells' ricochet angles improved from 45 - 60 degrees to 60 - 67.5 degrees.
  • Update 0.5.2:
    • Experience earnings increased by 9%.
  • Update
    • Radar consumable added.
  • Update 0.5.8:
    • The hull armor model was refined.
  • Update 0.6.1:
    • Main battery reload time decreased from 6 to 5.5 s.
  • Update 0.6.3:
    • Sigma increased from 2.0 to 2.05 σ.
    • Fixed minor visual bugs at low and medium settings.
  • Update 0.6.4:
    • The armor thickness of the deck was increased from 27 to 30 mm.
    • The appearance was improved.
  • Update 0.6.8:
    • The range of the secondary battery was increased from 5 to 6 km.
    • Fixed a bug with the display of the third gun on Des Moines silhouette.
  • Update 0.6.12:
    • Detectability when firing main guns in smoke changed to 8.18 km.
    • Detection range of the Curtiss SC-2 aircraft was increased from 4 km to 7 km in air, and to 8 km by sea.
  • Update 0.6.13:
    • Fire extinguishing time now 30 s instead of 60 s.
    • The survivability of air defense weapons was tested and brought to a single standard. The change affects the 76.2 mm guns.
  • Update 0.6.14:
    • The appearance of air defense installations was updated. The changes do not affect the game balance in any way.
  • Update 0.7.1:
    • Fixed geometry and textures of the ship. These changes do not affect the in-game characteristics of the ship.
  • Update 0.7.3:
    • Added a special space camouflage. Camouflage can be purchased in the game client for 8,000 doubloons until the release of update 0.7.4.
  • Update 0.7.10:
    • The range of the Hydroacoustic Search consumable was unified - 5 km for detecting ships, 3.5 km for detecting torpedoes.
  • Update 0.9.2:
    • Changed armor thickness: side armor increased from 27 mm to 30 mm.
  • Update 0.9.5:
    • Small changes to geometry and textures.
  • Update 0.9.6:
    • The value of the in-game turning circle radius was changed to 770 m to correct prior discrepancy.
  • Update 0.9.8:
    • Minor fixes to textures and geometry of the ship.
  • Update 0.9.9:
    • Fixed the artillery camera.
  • Update 0.10.0:
    • The firing range of the secondary battery was increased to 7.3 km.
  • Update 0.10.3:
    • The rearward firing angles of the bow guns were corrected - now both are 149 degrees.
  • Update 0.11.4:
    • Surveillance Radar consumable action time decreased from 40 to 35 s.
    • Surveillance Radar consumable is now the default consumable option for the slot.
    • Minor fixes to geometry and textures of the ship.

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