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I'm actually part of the Graf Zeppelin balancing test. Thus i have two test ships in my harbour : GZ Test 1 and GZ Test 2 Here my experience : The original ship: i made about 50 missions with it Fighters : two squads who are not able to succeed against enemy fighters. Primary role : Cannon fodder Bombers : three squads of dive bombers with the option to equip HE or AP Bombs HE Bombs : These ones are very accurate. Attackting with all squads a - destroyer gives a guaranteed hit, typically causing 5000 to 7000 dmg. This doesn't sink the ship, but hits it hard. If i damage something (e.g. rudder), it often is finished by the rest of the team. For me a really nice feature plus the one and only "goodie" of this ship - cruiser normally gives one or two hits, causing 5000 to 12.000 dmg. not great, but also not bad - Battleship / Carrier up to three hits, normally causing 7000- 20000 dmg. That's really week. Here torpedo bombers are missing if the target burns afterwards, extra damage can be added AP bombs : is wasn't able to hit anything with it, no matter which ship i attacked -> useless feature Then i took part of the test, receiving the two Test versions Fighters : GZ Test 1 has it's fighters on tier 7 with unchanged stats. Here wargaming recommended to combine this with spending one point to the captains' ability adding +10% dmg per tier difference. GZ Test 2 has the same fighters as the original version. Thus the GZ 1 variant is about approximately equal to a Shokaku with 2 fighter squads. For GZ 2 see original version Bombers : the test versions only carry AP Bombs with different stats and accuracy. Here i tested several attacks against various ships without finding real differences between this two versions : - Destroyers : i wasn't able to hit one of them, now and then a nearby hit with < 1000 dmg was possible, which doesn't harm a destroyer captain, before he vanishes out of sight - cruisers : here it depends on the type. Maneuverable ones are like destroyers, the slower ones receive a hit with a similar damage than the HE bombs of the original version - Battleships : here fun begins. Hits of 30000 to 40000 dmg are normal. With these bombs, i don't miss torpedo bombers any more. now a comparision of original and test ship abilities targer original test Destroyer ++ -- Cruiser + - Battleship - ++ Since Graf Zeppelin forces you to decide which bombs the Stukas should carry BEFORE you enter the battle, the decision is easy, regarding two points : - destroyers are the carriers biggest thread. If your carrier spots an enemy ship, it is usually a destroyer, who managed it to sneak to you unseen from the rest of your team - eliminating the enemy destroyers early in the game gives my team an advantage, which an experienced team often can use to win the battle Thus i moved from a big ship hunter (which i formerly was with my mostly japanese carriers ) to a destroyer huntsman. HE Bombs are my favorite choice, even if AP bombs are improved from useless to sub optimal choice. Now a look at the typical enemies : - Shokaku normally has a (2/2/2) setup ( means 2 fighters, two torpedo and 2 dive bomber squads). Fighters :The GZ 1 Fighters are somehow equal to the japanese. GZ 2 is no option for me Bombers : having torpedo AND dive bombers gives the option to attack all kinds of ships. Shokaku's dive bombers are not as accurate as Graf Zeppelins, but are a thread to Destroyers. Torpedo bombers like battleships more. Thus the initial decision with Graf Zeppelin (HE or AP to attack small or big ships) is not necessary. Result : Point goes to Shokaku (3/1/2) Version i didn't see it very often, but if Graf Zeppelins fighters will be improved, this could be a good option to achieve air superiority. Thus Shokaku can also compete to lexington in (2/0/2) setup Here Graf Zeppelin should be inferior. Shokaku pays with a smaller attack punch against ships Result : Point goes to Shokaku - Lexington since GZ is out, Lexington's normally have a (2/0/2) setup. Lexington has better fighters, GZ better dive bombers Tactics for Lexington are easy : shoot down GZ's planes and have fun with the dive bombers afterwards Result : Point goes to Lexington Lexington in (0/1/3) setup When Lexington captain decides to go without fighters, he knows that he is inferior in the air to his opponent and acts accordingly. With his larger hangar ( 83 vs 72 planes) he can loose some of his planes more easily. Hence GZ has an advance which is not bigger than any other carrier would have Result : draw - Enterprise a premium ship, thus it is not seen very often. (2/2/2) setup with tier 7 planes and squads of 5. Fighters are a not as strong as improved GZ Test 1, but squad size is bigger as compensation. Torpedo AND dive bombers also give the option to attack all kinds of ships. Result : Point goes to Enterprise Management summary : GZ Test versions don't score much points in this test. My wish is, that it's fighters get an real improvement e.g. increasing squad size from 4 to 5. AP bombs are for my a nice gimmick ( e.g. if a mission says : sink battleships ) not no real reason to like this ship. I won't miss them if they a no longer available. Thus : if this test is Wargamings last word, refunding the ship would be the master option
Air Craft Carriers are the seriously ignored class of Ships in the game. These are the reasons Why 1- In lower tiers its playable, but as one advances , the insane AA makes it impossible for CV players to maintain interest in the game. 2- Every now and then Buffs are coming for different ships except for CVs 3- New ships/lines being introduced are having such insane AA. Others have Defensive AA. 4- Every Player has the ability to increase his captain skills to Be able to increase his AA DPM by basic , advance and Manual skills, yet CV doesnt get any Captain skills for improvement of Squaderent health and endurance. 5- BBs and cruisers who are AA specked are already untouchable, add to that new DDs like KIDD and Grozovoi and US DDs Defensive AA, so CV can actually have no impact in the start of the game. 6- CV does spotting, Defends allies and also at times harldy manages to strike on enemy despite all defensive AA and enemy CV AA planes and at the end the Reward for CV is the worst in all the ship types. 7- New changes to DDs AA is further Humiliation to CVs. Either CVs need to be buffed or AA needs to be nerfed with good rewards at the end If wargaming keeps the same trend , one day people will say, remember when there used to be CVs in the game??