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_NLForces_

Advanced Carrier guide

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[GN0ME]
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In-depth guide for more advanced carrier players. OUTDATED, LINK TO NEW GUIDE:

 This guide will not be for those who have never played CV’s. I will not be explaining the controls, and I will only slightly touch on the consumables.

This is for the more serious players, who want to become good CV players. I hope it will be of help to you. Have fun!

LINK TO .PDF FILE

1: Introduction

To clarify; in order to become a better player, this guide can help, but it can’t do it for you. Practise makes perfect, any experience is good experience.

But most importantly: Have fun. It is almost impossible to keep something up if you’re not enjoying it. Question yourself: is this ship type for me? Or even: is this game for me?

If yes, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get you started.

 

1.2 Basic rules

To start off, let’s look at a couple basic rules that are vital in carrier gameplay:

1: Time to target is everything

Travel time is killer. In order to have the maximum impact on a game, you need to make as many attacks per minute as possible. Push for a minimum of 1 attack per minute. Once you’ve got that down, try for 1.5 attacks per minute.

Keep a notepad beside you with a pen. Make a tick every time you launch ordnance at an enemy (regardless if it hits or not—but it has to be one that you tried to hit). Then check the game duration at the end. Most people greatly over-estimate your average attacks per minute.

Make sure to ride your boost continuously to fly as quick as possible. But don’t hold down W all the time, feather your boost button. Boost, let it recover for a second, boost again. You need to have it available if there’s fighters or AA that you need to avoid.

 

Most importantly, ploink your carrier as close to the enemy ships as you dare. The shorter the time between attacks, the more attacks you will do.

It doesn’t help dying fast though. Make sure you have an exit strategy, and turn tail before its too late. Also, never-ever trust autopilot. It will mess up the most basic maneuvers. Make sure to ‘babysit’ it by adding multiple waypoints (hold shift and click to add more) or better yet, do complicated maneuvers yourself inbetween attacks.

So, don’t run to the backline instantly. Don’t hang around forever, waiting for the perfect attack run. Good enough is good enough. Attack, attack, attack. That’s the key to carrier gameplay!

 

2: There is always something else

Now, what do you do when there are only uninviting targets? Iowa’s, Worcesters, Des Moines and ships escorted by AA cruisers. Answer: You ignore ‘em, look for something else. There’s always something else, you just don’t see it yet. I will explain target selection in more detail later in this guide.

 

3: Supporting teammates

Unless there is some chad player on your side that you KNOW will shoot at what you spot, don’t waste time spotting targets for your team. Think of how many times you’ve stuck your neck out in a DD, spotted enemies that need killing but your team keeps lobbing shells at the battleship at the back. If you’re fortunate, your attack runs will coincide with spotting ships.

2: Materiel

Now for materiel, the acutal ship you’re sailing and aircraft you are flying.

First, let’s take a look at what each tier of Aircraft carriers offers.

TIER IV: This is where everyone starts with their aircraft carriers. The anti-aircraft at this tier is minimal, but since the insane buffs to tier IV carriers, these are the most OP in the game. Play this to club seals, however boring and unfair.

TIER VI: Tier VI is like its predecessor, a learning tier. This is like getting your first bike, but with sidewheels. You start learning the real deal, but you’ve got a long way to go yet.

TIER VIII: Early effectiveness. This is a path to your tier X, and I will not focus on them in detail (except for premiums). This is where your sidewheels are removed, and you are finally able to spread your wings (no pun intended) and explore the limits of the CV class. But remember, you’re still on a children’s bike.

TIER X: The pinnacle of carrier design and gameplay. Brutal AA and smart opponents make this a very tough playground. It is however, the best way to master a carrier line.

If you are thinking of getting a new carrier, here is a short overview of each line:

 United States Navy

 Imperial Japanese Navy 

 Royal Navy

Difficulty: ★★

Difficulty: ★★★

Difficulty: ★★

+ High potential

++ Extremely high potential

+/- Decent potential

+/- Decent plane health

- Low plane health

+ high plane health

- low plane speed

+ High plane speed

+/- Decent plane speed

+/- Decent plane reserves

+/- Decent plane reserves

- Low plane reserves

 

And an overview the tier VIII premiums. First the good ones:

Enterprise

Kaga

Difficulty:

Difficulty:

+ High potential

+ High potential

+/- Decent plane health

- Low plane health

- low plane speed

+/- Decent plane speed

+ Large plane reserves

++ Extremely large plane reserves

                              (Comes from the quick replenishment time)

 

Saipan

Graf Zeppelin

Difficulty: ★★★

Difficulty: ★★★★

+/- Decent potential

+/- Decent potential

+ high plane health

- Low plane health

+ High plane speed

+ High plane speed

-- Extremely low plane reserves

- Low plane reserves

 

 

 

3: Gameplay

Now for the raw gameplay. This is mainly about skill, judgement and experience. If you thought good CV gameplay is easy, think again.  

How I approach a match:

1.      Check your matchmaking, check for strong AA ships and identify your targets.

2.      First, launch rockets for scouting.

3.      Set autopilot half a square ahead of your ship.

4.      Fly in, make sure to bail immediately when you spot strong AA ships

5.      Target Destroyers if they have AA turned on. When turned off, go for a cruiser or battleship.

6.      Decide what target to go for. When unclear, go for another scouting run. Make sure to target DD’s as much as possible early on, to give your DD’s the upper hand.

7.      Scan the map for inviting targets. See the next section for Target Selection. Rince and repeat.

 

3.1: Target selection

This is probably the most important skill of a CV player. Being able to select the target that you are most effective at killing, and making sure to keep ‘winning players’ in check.

If one enemy ship is holding back an entire flank, it might be a good idea to give him some pressure. Equally, when a flank is about to fall, give fighter cover to your allies and wear down the enemies. This of course depends on the distance to target. The closer, the better.

Always make sure you use your carrier as effectively as possible. Don’t listen to your teammates here, YOU know how to use your carrier best, not your teammate.

Things to consider when selecting your target:

1: Type of target

1.      Does it have strong AA?

2.      Is it big or slow enough to ensure a hit?

3.      How much health does it have (left)?

4.      Is it susceptible to weapons I have?

2: position of target

1.      How far away is my target?

2.      Is it close to strong AA ships/under fighter cover?

3.      How much influence has the target on the game? (prioritize enemies that are doing well)

4.      Is it moving, or unable or unwilling to move?

5.      How close is my target to other points of interest? (unspotted DD’s or other juicy targets)

All this is different in every situation, so you will have to judge and learn yourself.

 

 

 

3.2 Map awareness

Another major part of carrier gameplay is carrier placement. Getting yourself in the best possible position every time, without exposing yourself to unessecary danger. This is not a simple feat.

It is heavily dependent on the map where you slam your carrier down. Make sure you anticipate falling flanks, by moving up or retreating.

At tier X, you can even reliably bowtank enemy fire. Make use of this! Distract the enemy team by letting them shoot your heavily angled flight deck. Getting down to 50% health and having a million tanked damage is as useful as doing 50k yourself.

As a final note, DO NOT TRUST AUTOPILOT! it is on the enemy team, and will try to kill you. Do complicated maneuvers yourself, and give autopilot very specific instructions on where to move if you’re in open water.

 

3.3 General tips

This is the big thing. How do you get the absolute most out of your CV? Here I wil list some tricks I’ve picked up over my time as a CV main. If you don’t recognize one of these points, I recommend looking in to and potentially learning them.

1: Pre-drop

Standard, every carrier gets between 3-4 attacks per full plane squadron (differs per carrier). However, you will usually only get one attack off. Maybe two if you are lucky. This means you will bring -and thus lose- twice as many aircraft as you need. 

To get around this, many players waste 1-2 attacks on the water, to send those back to the carrier and prevent them from getting shot down. This is called: ‘predropping’

I recommend predropping at least once. No matter the nation or tier (maybe except tier IV).

2: Flak dodging

The basic practise of flying around the black flak clouds. They hurt alot, but are relatively easy to dodge, unless there are too many ships firing at your planes. Simple WASD-hacks and some good ‘ol intuition will get you through any AA umbrella.

Once you engage your attack mode, you won’t have to worry about flak anymore, as its damage is reduced by 80%. If you are struggling with this, don’t worry. Flak dodging will become second nature with experience.

 

3: Supporting teammates

This is a touchy subject. Many people see CV’s as the one to protect them or their DD’s from enemy air attacks. The truth is that fighter gameplay is very limited, and a simple consumable is no deterrent for many CV’s. Add to that the average intelligence of teammates in WoWs…

This is why I never prioritize covering teammates with fighters. I will only help them if I don’t need to change my plans for it. There is no use flying over a DD for 2 minutes, spotting and popping fighters, just for them to rush out and die to torps. No… your planes are better used elsewhere.

This is not to say you may never spot for your team, or never prioritze DD’s, but don’t go out of your way to do it. Just do whatever the hell you want, be it helping your teammates or doing damage. Never listen to your teammate, as selfish as that may sound.

4: Consumables

I’ll go over how to use your consumable in the best way possible. Your consumables are a very powerful tool, that can decide the game if used correctly.

4.1 usage of fighters.

Use your fighters to spot enemy targets. They are basically a flying DD that appear and disappear at your command. Just be careful that it won’t be shot down. Try to let the fighters survive the full 60s.

Don’t use your fighters on targets that have already been attacked, or targets that are uninviting to the enemy carrier. It’s easy for you as a carrier player to predict what target the enemy CV will go for.

It’s also very important to not fly towards your DD to pop a fighter. You’ll just lead the enemy CV towards your DD.

4.2: Usage of engine boost

Speed is damage done in CV’s. Managing your engine boost and engine cooling consumables is key to carrier gameplay.

Make sure to ride your boost continuously to fly as quick as possible. But don’t hold down W all the time, feather your boost button. Boost, let it recover for a second, boost again. You need to have it available if there’s fighters or AA that you need to avoid.

If you boost-recover-boost correctly, you can exploit the system to get an extra 10-15 knots of ‘free’ cruising speed. This only works for aircraft with a slow accelleration and decelleration. Use the time it takes to decellerate to replenish a bit of your boost bar. Once the speed drops too low for your liking, you boost to full again.

The engine cooling consumable is extremely useful. Try to save it for when you really need it.

Torpedo heal is easy. Use when your planes reach low health. ‘nuff said. Also try to save this for when you really need it.

 

5: AA baiting

This tactic is surprisingly effective, its the practise of letting AA target the initial attack squadron.

Show a graph of attack squad, actual squad.

After a drop, if you INSTANTLY press F, all planes will head back up to the sky. The full squadron will be higher, because it started off higher (duh). Since AA targets the closest group of aircraft, they will target the attack element, not the squadron. This means you will (in theory) only lose the attacking element, and not the full squadron.

Keep in mind, if the AA is too heavy, it will have ample time to shoot down both the attacking element and the squadron before it reaches its ‘safe altitude’.

This trick works especially well with the Hakuryu torpedo bombers. Try this out for yourself, it might come in handy one day.

6: Slingshot

Slingshot! A feared word in the ears of many cruiser captain. Slingshot! A argument brought up most often during CV discussions. But what is it really?

 

I will kindly use Yuro’s video to explain this mechanic. Click here to go to his video

Yuro.thumb.png.50c4ce36eb92ac076d57465f22fd69bd.png

 

All credit goes to Yuro

 

As a USN CV main, I’m no expert at Slingshotting, but @Kytis is. This was his comment:

“All slingshot does now is that you can get to ANY ship without taking DMG (Which is still retarded, don’t get me wrong) but the second you start the attack you will just lose your planes during and after the strike. Slingshot just means you can get close to the target and THEN lose your planes.

  • Cool 2

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[PYOD]
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sorry....

Hello, very good the contribution you have made, the truth that I as a carrier player, and I attest that everything you have said is true

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[PYOD]
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But I understand that they are going to nerfear the carriers, especially the Japanese tier, as if we didn't have enough with the antiaircraft of the ships that is a little raised ... that is to say something ...

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[THESO]
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On 8/28/2019 at 5:54 PM, _NLForces_ said:

I recommend predropping at least once. No matter the nation or tier (maybe except tier IV).

Happened to read the guide, and I agree with most of it. However, this part I disagree with. 

 

If you're attacking with the typical squadron with three attacking flights, most commonly you're hoping to get two attacks in. The chances of that happening rely on the "third" attacking flight coming along as a damage sponge. From 0.8.7 flak is only outside 3.5 km, so as long as you turn around inside that distance, the damage you take between attacks is pre-determined. There are rarely any surprises.

 

Pre-dropping can make sense if you try to get one attack in, and don't really expect anybody to return. This would be the necessary attack against very heavy AA. But that's really an exception to the rule, no? In fact, these are the kind of attacks that you really want to avoid in order to stay relevant in the battle?

 

I have a 69 % solo win rate with the reworked CV's, and I very, very rarely pre-drop. I think it's a tactic that can be safely ignored.

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[GURKA]
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On 8/28/2019 at 4:54 PM, _NLForces_ said:

4.2: Usage of engine boost

Speed is damage done in CV’s. Managing your engine boost and engine cooling consumables is key to carrier gameplay.

Make sure to ride your boost continuously to fly as quick as possible. But don’t hold down W all the time, feather your boost button. Boost, let it recover for a second, boost again. You need to have it available if there’s fighters or AA that you need to avoid.

If you boost-recover-boost correctly, you can exploit the system to get an extra 10-15 knots of ‘free’ cruising speed. This only works for aircraft with a slow accelleration and decelleration. Use the time it takes to decellerate to replenish a bit of your boost bar. Once the speed drops too low for your liking, you boost to full again.

The engine cooling consumable is extremely useful. Try to save it for when you really need it.

Torpedo heal is easy. Use when your planes reach low health. ‘nuff said. Also try to save this for when you really need it.

Stil not sure, if this is really worth it. I mean you pay initinally engine just by pressing it. I mean, if you move the full way with 10-15 knots, or the half way with 30 knots and the rest with 0 extra knots will give you the result. So I'm not sure, if you gain that much of an advantage of doing this^^

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[PARAZ]
Beta Tester
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5 hours ago, Pikkozoikum said:

Stil not sure, if this is really worth it.

 

Distance traveled when boosting through:

Spoiler

6PRSO68.png

 

Not even outside CV detection range.

 

Distance traveled when using exploit:

Spoiler

9dgUjg9.png

 

Reached map border with almost half of boost capacity left.

 

  • Cool 1

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[DSOTF]
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Interesting point, I never really thought about this. But of course it is absoluty useful to have the speed boost available when making contact to the enemy. One might think (at least I did) that pressing W continuously after launching the planes cannot be that wrong. But I also made a test, inspired by the above one. In one case I continuously boosted, then let it recover completely, boosted again. In the second test I boosted alternatingly and let it recover in between. I reached the border after almost the same time, speed boosting continuously made it only by a few seconds earlier. The more interesting point in my opinion is the situation at half the map where you are close to get first sight on the enemy team.

 

Continuous speed boost, it just has started to recover a bit but not enough to get away in a critical situation:

image.thumb.jpeg.cddb1e6c4f23e5c41fda3d7d99e5c38e.jpeg

 

Alternating speed boost looks more convenient to me, much more left to get away if the wrong ship crosses your way:

image.thumb.jpeg.98a367f26e2d3b6eae2228279fa8e602.jpeg

 

Of course you can use the engine cooling consumable in an emergency case. How do you handle them? Do you use all of them early in the game or do you save at least one for mid to late game?

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[GN0ME]
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On 11/3/2019 at 12:04 PM, Grobi69 said:

Of course you can use the engine cooling consumable in an emergency case. How do you handle them? Do you use all of them early in the game or do you save at least one for mid to late game?

I try to save them early game, unless I really need them. It's better to have not need than need not have :P

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[GN0ME]
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On 11/2/2019 at 9:25 PM, asalonen said:

very, very rarely pre-drop. I think it's a tactic that can be safely ignored.

Interesting point... I like to use less aircraft for a drop that might be dangerous. But like you, I often take all aircraft along to juicy targets (single battleships or destroyers) 

 

My guide is by no means definitive. I'll start NOT predropping and see what effect it has on my results. Thanks for your input!

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[GN0ME]
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Update, since this was my first forum post (and thus had no clue as to what I was doing) I created two posts since I wasn't quite sure where to put the guide.

 

Since this post has less followers than the other one, I'll stop updating this particular one, and move over to the 

 post.

 

Sorry for the confusion xD

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