Mesrith

It has begun.

12 posts in this topic

I bought a Langley earlier and have started tooling around in co-op in order to learn how to hit things before I burden a real team with my ineptitude.  I'm starting to get the hang of it, but I need more practice with the torpedo arming distance, and apparently need to stop leading so much with my dive bombers.

My goal is to play a solid team-support carrier in randoms.  I want to spot, kill planes, and get good enough to kill destroyers.  Any damage I deal to full-health battleships will just be a bonus once the other objectives are taken care of.  The theory is that A) doing these things is more important to winning games than straight damage padding, and B) winning more often and dealing high-percentage destroyer damage will offset the XP loss from dealing lower overall damage totals.

My question is which loadouts to use on the US carrier line.  Having no fighters at all isn't acceptable, but it looks like most of the US carriers make me choose to have either zero fighters or zero torpedo bombers.  The stock loadouts look pretty balanced, but most of them appear to have one less overall squadron.  Do any real carrier players run, for example, the 1/1/1 stock load on a Ranger instead of opting for 2/0/2 or 0/1/3?

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If you must have fighters, then the balanced loadout is your go-to until the Ranger, where the 2/0/2 is a viable choice.  Air superiority setup is a trap on Bogue and Independence, because with 2 fighters you will not be able to stop any carrier you face as everyone has setups that give them at least one more bomber than you have fighters.  For example, an AS Bogue/Indy can counter your fighters with his, and his DB gets through.  Zuiho has one fighter and three bombers, so can delay your fighters while two bombers get through.  Etc, etc.

 

My fighter usage boils down to either blocking the enemy's fighters, or to panic enemy torpedo drops so my allies have a better chance of avoiding them.

 

Honestly though I run bomber-only on the Bogue and Independence, and nuke the enemy carrier early on if he has strike loadout as well.  I use my dive bombers to spot destroyers if necessary.  If the enemy carrier has air-superiority setup, there's plenty of room to outmaneuver his fighters and his damage output on my teammates is going to be abysmal.  It's actually balanced setup carriers that I find most threatening, since his fighter can mess up my drops and he still has decent striking power with his bombers.

 

Generally in a carrier, I prioritize targets based on the situation; if a cruiser is in the vicinity of my ally destroyers, I'll hit him before a battleship.  Things like that.  Getting good at nuking destroyers can also be very useful, and US carriers do it better thanks to their tight 6-torpedo spread and higher-damage bombs.

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I pretty much agree with Seraphil. Typically Balance loadout is the way to go even if it is 1/1/1 on USN CV. I've grind all the way to a Lex on a 1/1/1. It just gives you flexibility so you aren't committed to KOing the enemy CV at the start or you leave in an end-game winnable situation that you end up losing because you are in a 2/0/2 and RNG decides to take a dump on you and not let your bombs hit. 

Leading torps are pretty simple; assuming the target is at full speed. For a BB, you want ~1 ship length from the base of the drop to the target and have the L or R edge of the drop pattern at the stem of the ship. For CA/CL, add ~1/2 ship length to the L or R edge of the drop pattern (so ~1-1/2 ship length). Make it a + ~0.5-1 ship length against DDs (so 1.5 - 2 ship length). The base to edge distance ratio can be assumed to be linear, but the further you drop the more likely your target will be able to evade. IMO, the risk/reward ratio favors dropping it as close as possible to reduce the chance of evading.  

Leading DB drop is pretty simple too if you try. For a target at full speed, for BBs you can put the center of the drop on the stem  to ~1/4 ship length aft. That should put your pattern over the entire ship when the drop happens. Similar to TB drops, add ~1/2 ship length for CA/CL and add ~1 ship length for DDs. Although I recommend doing auto drops for DDs unless it's sailing in a straight line just because DDs are that much more maneuverable and your drop area is much smaller.

I've found that aiming relative to ship lengths works because if it's a fast ship, it tends to be narrow and long, if it's a slow ship it tends to be fat and short. Thus the ship profile and speed more or less cancels each other out in terms of where to aim. 

As to theories on winning w/ a CV, I prefer the theory that if you maximize damage, you will be ahead more often than not. This is because if you maximize your damage odds are, you leave your pubbie teammates with a ship and/or hp advantage. If you maximize support you kinda leave it in the hands of the other 11 pubbies to be able to aim and shoot straight in an even fight. I rather leave my pubbies with an uneven fight in their favor. 

Thus I typically prioritize my fighters for 1) scouting, 2) deter or prevent enemy fighters from panicking my drops but commit my fighters to an AA engagement only if necessary, 3) hinder/panic enemy bomber drops, and 4) pin down enemy fighter near friendly heavy AA. My prioritization is born out of playing 1/1/1 so you typically only have fighter parity at best. Also, at early tiers you really don't have that many fighters to lose before you are out so you don't want to engage enemy fighters at all, unless you have the advantage whether it is # of planes or over friendly AA. 

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2 hours ago, ncc81701 said:

As to theories on winning w/ a CV, I prefer the theory that if you maximize damage, you will be ahead more often than not. This is because if you maximize your damage odds are, you leave your pubbie teammates with a ship and/or hp advantage. If you maximize support you kinda leave it in the hands of the other 11 pubbies to be able to aim and shoot straight in an even fight. I rather leave my pubbies with an uneven fight in their favor.

I think we probably agree here.  My point is that I see too many carrier players simply beating up on battleships at the beginning of a game.  While that can give good early damage numbers, I believe that early destroyer kills are more valuable than early battleship kills (or, much of the time, damage but no kill, with a big Repair Party).

This post is what got me thinking about trying carriers in the first place:

http://forum.worldofwarships.com/index.php?/topic/74068-primary-target-for-cvs-bbs-or-dds/page__pid__1818230#entry1818230

The pubbies on our team are going to see and shoot the battleships anyway.  They probably won't see the destroyers if we don't spot them, and they won't always be able to hit them even if we do.  However, I agree that we still need to be able to deal damage to all targets, so lacking torpedo bombers is probably just as unacceptable as not having fighters for what I'm wanting to do.  I'll try the 1/1/1 loadouts and see how it works.

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People tend to go after BBs first out of the simple fact that they are the easiest to hit. From what I've been told, the US focus on DBs actually work now to some degree after the DB buff. A main problem still tho from my understanding is IJN CV in the upper tiers just overwhelm the US counter parts. Also you'll tend to see more IJN carries higher up because they keep relatively balanced loadout while US are relegated to being specialized.

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I'm probably not doing myself any favors, but it's not so much the damage from the planes that's an issue as a destroyer captain so much as being spotted by the enemy team. Even with the changes to planes and bombs most of the time it's pretty trivial to evade being damaged. What's not trivial though is having 3-4 ships you're stalking suddenly being able to see you and the resulting barrage that forces you to use smoke defensively or speed boost to just try to get away. Also keep in mind that airplane spotted torpedoes stay detected for their duration and that prevents you from using torpedoes effectively.

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7 minutes ago, Rodrigopine said:

Even with the changes to planes and bombs most of the time it's pretty trivial to evade being damaged.

I want to disagree with you and say that good carrier players can erase destroyers at will...I'm probably having too many flashbacks to the pre-nerf Hak and Midway being captained by experienced Alpha players with hundreds of games in them.  Maybe that's not the current reality.  I certainly don't die to carriers very often in my destroyers, but I like to think I'm a bit above the standard destroyer player.

Either way, I'll get some real carrier games under my belt this weekend and see which way the wind is blowing me.

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11 minutes ago, Mesrith said:

I want to disagree with you and say that good carrier players can erase destroyers at will...I'm probably having too many flashbacks to the pre-nerf Hak and Midway being captained by experienced Alpha players with hundreds of games in them.  Maybe that's not the current reality.  I certainly don't die to carriers very often in my destroyers, but I like to think I'm a bit above the standard destroyer player.

Either way, I'll get some real carrier games under my belt this weekend and see which way the wind is blowing me.

i dont know... had 2 merican CV try to kill me for 10 minutes yesterday and fail, sure it was only T6 CV`s (me in minekaze) but other then 1 bomb hit, that was it, dont know about higher tiers.

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I've found that CV's don't really kill me as a DD (especially US DB's, I can juke those fairly reliably it seems), just them constantly attacking me means I usually wind up doing nothing but dodging fire for the game.

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1 hour ago, Mesrith said:

I want to disagree with you and say that good carrier players can erase destroyers at will...I'm probably having too many flashbacks to the pre-nerf Hak and Midway being captained by experienced Alpha players with hundreds of games in them.  Maybe that's not the current reality.  I certainly don't die to carriers very often in my destroyers, but I like to think I'm a bit above the standard destroyer player.

Either way, I'll get some real carrier games under my belt this weekend and see which way the wind is blowing me.

I can only comment on my own experiences with DDs up to tier VII and it's pretty rare for me to die from planes. But as Tedster said they can still tie you up, spoil an ambush, etc... which can be almost as good as killing you in the right circumstance. I want to stress that I'm not bashing planes at all because they can be very powerful. The original point I was trying to convey is that you might not have as much luck erasing DDs with planes but that you'll definitely have success if you keep them spotted and teammates are in range to take advantage of that.

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4 hours ago, Mesrith said:

I want to disagree with you and say that good carrier players can erase destroyers at will...I'm probably having too many flashbacks to the pre-nerf Hak and Midway being captained by experienced Alpha players with hundreds of games in them.  Maybe that's not the current reality.  I certainly don't die to carriers very often in my destroyers, but I like to think I'm a bit above the standard destroyer player.

Either way, I'll get some real carrier games under my belt this weekend and see which way the wind is blowing me.

Good luck and good hunting in your CV grind, although IMO the IJN Line is the superior of the two, at least up to Tier 8. 

Unless you have 2 TB and run hammer & anvil drops, it's pretty hard to be able to erase an actively evading DD at will. Even with a "perfect" drop, the lead time you need and the DD's maneuverability will mean that only all but the most incompetent DD driver will be able to weave between the spreads. If you are so good that you can delete a DD with 80% + certainty every time then more power to you; but in general I just find the risk/reward payout is much better attacking any other class. IMO the best way to get a DD sunk is to just hover your fighters over them so a nearby CA/CL can take them out, and focus TB/DB  on the enemy CA/CL that's trying to do the same to your DDs. 

As for opening moves, I actually find non-USN CA or lower tier CA/CL to be excellent first targets rather than any other class. The reasons are:

1) b/c of their speed you can generally find a handful that is out of position and away from the main group that you can isolate and take down. Distance to target is closer so you can recover and launch your 2nd striker faster. 

2) They are maneuverable but you still have a decent chance of landing 1 or 2 torpedos per drop , even if you don't sink them you still hurt them, vs attacking a DD where odds are you get 0 hits in. 

3) If you can sink or hurt a CA near the front badly, it gives your team a pretty good advantage in the local opening skirmish which can potential snowball into rolling a flank. 

4) In early game BBs and CV are still bunched up in a group and typically at the back end of the team so you'd have to weave your fighters through a ring of CA then try to attack overlapping layers of AA from multiple capital ships. You'll probably lose too much planes for the attack to be worth it, especially since BB can probably heal through most of it before they fully engage your team. BBs and CVs are much better targets Mid to late game, but I don't think they're the best targets in early game unless you manage to catch one completely out of position. 

I know that CA/CL are suppose to be the Anti-aircraft ships but that's really only true if it's a pack of multiple CA/CL. Individually they are actually not that deadly compared to the AAs on a BB or a CV. The only thing you really have to avoid is their AA Buff, but typically if you see them pop AA Buff, just attack a different target or wait until it's on cooldown and resume the attack. Most people pop it as soon as you get in range so just stay out and you will be fine. A corollary point, if you are in a CA, don't pop AA buff until the planes are ~3km away, still far enough that they haven't dropped, but far enough that to abort a drop they'll be under a buffed AA bubble for a long period of time. 

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