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Buffalo isn't a bad ship, it just looks bad compared to Alaska. Seriously, is there anything that Alaska doesn't to better? Still though, with a bit of effort its possible to carve out role for Buffalo. The way I look at it, Buffalo is big and sluggish and easily becomes a magnet for BB shells. You have a heavy broadside weight, however, with plenty of range and a high shell count. My advice for this ship is to play rear support for the first half of the game, let the rest of your team take the initiative, sit back and pile in the damage on any enemy targets that push up tinto range. Be generous with the AP, but don't hesitate to switch to HE from time to time to get some fires cooking. Positioned correctly, you can often fire from concealment. If not, you can usually rudder-juke long range incoming. Stay well away from your fleet so you can fire into the broadside of enemy ships turning to meet them. White it might seem that you are useless back there by yourself, you also screen your team from being flanked by enemy DDs. You have enough AA to convince CV to look elsewhere. In the last half of the game, your playstyle changes to become much more aggressive. You want to eradicate any enemy DDs threatening your BBs, and put in big volleys onto the remaining enemy cruisers. Buffalo is an excellent counter for slow-moving DDs like kitakaze than many other ships struggle against, and can do excellent service against RN light cruisers too. Although radar is not as integral a component as it is with DesMoines, I still recommend taking it over the spotter as having it can make or break late came plays. On 25 games I'm just breaking even in Buffalo, with 40k avg damage. Not great, not terrible. Certainly no expert so I'm open to advice. It seems to me though that you don't have a huge opportunity for game influence in this ship. The only skill involved is not losing too much health in the first 10 minutes. How well you do depends on whether the game isn't over before the last 10 minutes, and that's not something you have control over.