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Playing Saipan as a CV Newb/Noob

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I'd been enjoying putting about in my Hermes, despite never doing amazingly, so I decided I'd roll the dice on some Premium Air Supply containers.

I ended up with the Saipan...


Now, I've done a bit of reading and asking, and everyone I've spoken to has said I've basically thrown myself in the deep end big time, due to her powerful 6 plane squadrons, but they are small, as is the hanger and they have a very long restoration time. I've played a few games with her by this point, and now I'm here to ask for advice.


My captain has Air Supremacy, Improved Engines, Aircraft armour, and Sight Stabilisation. In terms of modules, I followed the wiki pages advice and mounted Air Groups 1, Aircraft engines 1, Attack Aircraft 2, Torpedo Bombers 2, and Flight Control 1.


Any advice or tips? I don't have doubloons so I can't respec the captain.


And please, no 'you shouldn't play CVs at all' or such posts. I get there are people who dislike/hate/loathe the new CV changes, but don't go bothering the people who are trying to enjoy it.

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37 posts
3,527 battles

Congrats on getting the Saipan, it's a very fun ship, essentially a mini Midway. That being said, there's a massive jump from tier IV to tier VIII. The experience at tier VIII, where you'll regularly come up against tier X's, will be brutal. I'm no expert, being relatively new myself, but the best advice I can give you is do the time and work your way up the US CV line. Start out by spending some time in the training room and playing a few games in coop. CV's are already demonised by much of the community as is - Trust me, you'll save yourself (and your team mates) a lot of grief -


Once you've done that, here's a couple of my observations on the Saipan. You've probably already seen a few of these mentioned elsewhere, but here goes:


- As you've mentioned already, the squadrons are very small. They also take wayyyy longer than any other CV to regenerate so pick your battles wisely - i can't stress this enough. 

- The torp bombers are great, you get half a wing of Midway's pre-nerfed torps. The angles are different to any other CV i've tried as they spread outwards when fully aimed - not a bad thing as sometimes they can catch ships that are turning out.

- The ship itself is very weak so position her carefully. She's not as durable as other CV's in the AA and health department and she has no secondaries (for what that's worth).

- don't underestimate your rockets - Tiny Tims hit hard against cruisers and battleships, especially if you can get a parallel drop.

- There's not much choice regarding skills, but building around plane surviveability is the way to go. This is my build:



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310 posts
18,629 battles

If you hunt destroyers, use your divebombers and attack planes. 


Attack planes have tiny-tim rockets = high penetration, so you can easily do 5-7k dmg + fires on battleships.

And since they are fast, they are a good tool to follow up a fire, if the enemy repaired on your previous strike. 


Don't throw away your planes against a blob of ships, your reserves sucks. 



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