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Starting to play CV's

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[-5D3-] Rusty_9
44 posts
262 battles

Hi All

 

So, I'm just about to research my first CV (going USN, so the Langley) and was wanting to sense-check my understanding of carrier play! Be grateful of any and all feedback on the below thoughts. 

 

Research:

 

Spoiler

1) Free-XP upgrades as early as possible; as in order of wiki, fighters then DB and TB. Leave hull till last

2) Capt skills (3pt capt); DE and TA.

3) Upgrade slots - also as per wiki; Air Groups Mod 1 and Dam Control Mod 1


My understanding of gameplay:

 

Spoiler

1) Forget CV sniping - that's a noob trap

2) Spotting is number 1 priority - try and perma-spot DD's

3) USN is good at air-superiority, so this is second priority

4) Strike when the opportunity presents itself. DB on DD's, TB's on anything else and DD's if you think you will hit.

5) Try to engage fighters over friendly AA, and likewise avoid engaging over enemy ships

6) Make sure you keep your ship close enough (3-5km behind?) to main fleet to provide faster turnaround.

7) Have a few sessions in the training room before you go into battle for the first time

 

 

Anything else I have missed or should consider? Or have I got my priorities mixed up?

 

Also, I notice there is discussion re AP and HE bombs on DB's - is this a higher tier thing (like alt attacks) or will I get a choice at low tiers? If so, which should I prioritise?

 

edit: don't forget to stave off enemy strikes and keep our DD's un-spotted  - that is joint priority 1 with spotting their DD's I guess!

 

Many Thanks!

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a) No DE. No point taking DE just to have a higher fire chance when you probably can use it for other skills. My basic standard CV build would be dogfighting expert, aircraft servicing expert, that torp reload skill, TA and CE.

 

b) Tbh 2,3 and 4 for gameplay should happen at the same time lol. For me i start by launching fighters first (even though the fastest to load is your TB) to scout and provide air cover. 

 

c) You should try to kill DDs at the start  if possible cause they are a pretty important as cappers. If you can't then at the very least disrupt them and keep them spotted. 

 

d) Know how to use damage over time. Say you torp a BB and he repairs, wait a couple of secs for his repair to go onto cool down before bombing him with your DB so that any fire created will stick for the duration. Applies to all ships although you should know DDs and CAs burn for max 30s now only.

 

e) For 6) not to close. While its good to be close it really depends on the situation. Moreover when you reach higher tiers, in particular the tier 8 and 10 USN CVs both have very high detection radius. Use the minimap to guage how close you should go. If its a flank covered with islands and very little enemy ships pushing then use the islands as cover while moving closer.

 

Just so you know Langley and Bogue the tier 4 and 5 USN CVs are both extremely slow so you better be moving right at the start of the game cause you'll never outrun enemy ships in them.

 

f) AP vs HE  bombs are a tier 8 and above thing so you don't have to worry about it now. HE is obviously better but some people will disagree with me :Smile_coin:. Btw the tier 8 and above HE bomb is different from the tier 7 and below one. Tier 8 and above have the 1000pd bombs which can do alot of damage while tier 7 and below only have the 500pd bombs which do lesser damage.

 

e) When you reach tier 6, practice a few games on how to strafe and use manual attacks in the training room first. Then play random and learn while you get wrecked. Its an experience thing anyway so just learn from it. As USN CVs below tier 9 only have 1 fighter squad, strafing is very important both as an offensive and defensive move. Don't be afraid to lose a plane and strafe out if say some IJN CV player tries to gang up on your lone fighter squad with his 2. Losing 1 plane but keeping 6 for later is always better. 

 

There are alot more stuff but i guess this will be enough for a start. Go look at Fara's thread in this sub section. It explains alot on CV gameplay.

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[YARRR] El2aZeR
4,027 posts
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35 minutes ago, Rusty_9 said:

1) Free-XP upgrades as early as possible; as in order of wiki, fighters then DB and TB. Leave hull till last

2) Capt skills (3pt capt); DE and TA.

3) Upgrade slots - also as per wiki; Air Groups Mod 1 and Dam Control Mod 1

 

1) Depends on the ship, actually. There are a few CVs that get more reserves when you research the hull, so using free exp on those should also be a priority. Generally speaking in IJN CVs you want to get fighters and TBs first, you can neglect DBs for the grind. In USN CVs you want them all upgraded as DBs can actually do good damage.

 

2) Dogfighting Expert gets useful only later on, you want Aircraft Servicing Expert first as this will not only cut down your service times but also give your planes a HP boost.

 

3) Yeah, pretty much. If you advance further, though:

Slot 1: AGM1

Slot 2: DCSM1

Slot 3: AGM2

Slot 4: Personally I use PM2 as it is handy in repositioning, most others prefer DCSM2

Slot 5: CSM1

Slot 6: AGM3 (HP is better than speed)

 

44 minutes ago, Rusty_9 said:

1) Forget CV sniping - that's a noob trap

2) Spotting is number 1 priority - try and perma-spot DD's

3) USN is good at air-superiority, so this is second priority

4) Strike when the opportunity presents itself. DB on DD's, TB's on anything else and DD's if you think you will hit.

5) Try to engage fighters over friendly AA, and likewise avoid engaging over enemy ships

6) Make sure you keep your ship close enough (3-5km behind?) to main fleet to provide faster turnaround.

7) Have a few sessions in the training room before you go into battle for the first time

 

1) Yep.

 

2) Eh, kinda? The thing about spotting is that you're sacrificing a squad to do it. Learn how to prioritize when your team absolutely needs spotting and when they can do without it. Spotting a DD that's at the other end of the map e.g. simply isn't useful.

 

3) At T4 to T6, yes. T7 and T8 you're on the back foot as you only get one fighter squad against the two of IJN. T9 and T10 on the other hand once again get an edge but your fighters are also a tier lower, so an IJN CV has quite a bit of room to outplay you if he puts some effort into it.

 

4) Generally speaking you want to throw everything at an exposed DD if possible, BUT since low tiers do not have manual drop that'll usually result in failure. Instead, force cruisers/BBs (preferably BBs as they're not as maneuverable) to use their DCP with your DBs, wait until it goes on cd then hit them with torps to get a perma flood which will usually kill them. Still difficult because auto drop can be easily spoofed, but should be possible with the even lower skill level of low tiers.

 

5) If you're USN fighting against IJN you can just engage them anywhere but inside enemy AA so you're not as reliant on friendly AA cover. For anything else, yeah.

 

6) With low tier IJN CVs you can kinda try, but USN ones aren't fast enough. You have a pitiful top speed with Langley and Bogue, if your team retreats you'll be left for dead. Even with IJN CVs however I'd recommend to find a position with plenty of cover to hide behind and only abandon it if your teammates have pushed far ahead or your enemy is getting uncomfortably close. If there is no such position, it's often better to play it a bit safe.

 

7) Eh, sure, why not. Although the basic controls really aren't that hard to learn, especially if you've ever played an RTS game in your life.

 

 

As for HE and AP bombs, they'll be available to USN CVs T8+. I'd recommend using them with Lexington as she has many ships vulnerable to them in her MM spread. Essex is much better off with HE bombs, but Midway CAN technically speaking use them to bomb T10 cruisers into oblivion if they're not running DFAA or wasted it. Generally speaking though I'd recommend using HE bombs with Midway as well.

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[TSUN] Fubucky
99 posts
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Protect your team from enemy planes.

 

Learn which ships have high AA and avoid striking them when there are weaker ones. Also avoid very crowded areas since your planes won't survive that many ships targeting them.

 

It's usually harder to snipe enemy CV with US carriers. Not impossible, but its not worth it most of the time. But if you end up getting another CV in your team, you can try agreeing to snipe enemy CVs early in the game.

 

Learn ALT attacks as soon as you make it to T6. They take time to learn, but the difference between ALT attacks and regular ones is TREMMENDOUS.

 

Don't let the enemy carrier outplay you.

 

 

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[-5D3-] Rusty_9
44 posts
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@El2aZeR @pra3y @Fubucky Thank you for your feedback - much appreciated!

 

Is there a rule of thumb as to what I should prioritise my fighters for? e.g. I have a DB squadron on it's way to finish off (hopefully) a DD but it is about to be intercepted by another fighter squadron. The enemy CV is about to launch a TB strike at the other side of the map to my DB's. Should I protect my DB's or should I intercept the torp bombers? Every situation would be different I know, but...?

 

15 hours ago, pra3y said:

No DE. No point taking DE just to have a higher fire chance when you probably can use it for other skills.

Not sure what this 'DE' is - i was meaning Dogfighting Expert! But based on feedback I think my 3pt build will be ASE and TA, my 4th point would be DE and then get TAE at 7pts :Smile_teethhappy:

 

15 hours ago, pra3y said:

start by launching fighters first

Thanks - was going to ask about this

 

15 hours ago, pra3y said:

Go look at Fara's thread in this sub section

I have read through this... and it is v. useful. This was me trying to make sure my interpretation was correct:fish_book:

 

15 hours ago, El2aZeR said:

more reserves when you research the hull

Like the langley... so I'll do that.

 

15 hours ago, El2aZeR said:

prioritize when your team absolutely needs spotting and when they can do without it

Hadn't thought about that, thanks!

 

12 hours ago, Fubucky said:

Protect your team from enemy planes.

Yeah, I need to keep reminding myself of that one :Smile_teethhappy:

 

12 hours ago, Fubucky said:

Learn ALT attacks as soon as you make it to T6

TBH, as a noob player, I'd be more than happy to be learning Alt attacks at T4. No such luck *sigh*. Definitely looking forward to it at T6

 

Thanks again all!

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[SB] MadGunna
31 posts
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One thing that caught me out before; 1 v 1 US planes are actually weaker than IJN ones. Only numerical superiority is what wins you click fights. Once you get manual attacks you do get a better strafe though.

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[BWOLF] Sargento_YO
453 posts
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Point 6: Langley it's the slowest ship in the entire game, and Bogue it's the second one. So don't follow the fleet too close.

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[TSUN] Fubucky
99 posts
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@MadGunna Exactly. If you have 4 planes in your USN squadron, and enemy has 4 in their IJN squadron, your enemy has a higher chance to win the engagement. If its 4 IJN vs 5 USN, the USN CV has a "slight" advantage.

 

@Rusty_9 As for what would happen in that situation, let me elaborate a bit:

 

1st of all, if you see enemy planes appear somewhere FAR on the map, and you know that your planes won't be able to reach there in time, there is no point sending the fighter there. But the main question is what were you doing with your fighters during the time which the enemy was rearming and sending his planes to the said target. If you know that there are particular ships which are main prey for the enemy aircraft (I mean those ships with weak AA, this is another reason why you should remember how strong each ship's AA is.), you should definitely send your fighter there beforehand.

 

2nd is that, well, sometimes YOU have to make the choice, for your team. This will happen many times. You can do one of these:

  • You can send your fighter to spot a ship/assist your bombers and successfully sink a ship. But by doing this, you're actually letting the enemy carrier do the exact same thing to your team at the other side of the map.
  • You can send your fighter back to protect your team, preventing the enemy carrier to sink him. So you deny his strike, but he might deny yours too if he has positioned his fighters near the ship that you're gonna attack.
  • There are also "confusion tactics" where you send some planes to irrelevant places and expect enemy fighters to take the "bait" while you strike their ships. But i don't recommend you to try this for now.

It is up to YOU to either delete a ship from *both* teams, or keep them alive for a bit longer. That depends on "the value" of those particular ships. Let's say that, you decide to strike a full health enemy and manage to sink him, while enemy CV striked one of your ships with his half HP left and sunk him, this should give your team a slight advantage because they wasted too much effort on a single ship. Another example; lets say that you hit an enemy ship with full HP and took away half of his HP,  whereas enemy CV attacked one of your allies with half HP and managed to sink him. In this case, they're the ones with the advantage. Go for the kills, more than damage. And sometimes, the value of a ship is determined by it's position, your teams position etc.. but you'll need time to figure it out so i won't bother confusing you with those.

 

This is for the beginners, especially in those low tiers. When you go up tiers, and have 2 independent fighter squadrons (either until USN T9 Essex or IJN T7 Hiryu), you can send one to each flank, so that 1 of them can support your bombers, and the other can defend your team at the other side of the map. This move ruins the enemy carrier's day, as you'll get in the way of his strike, while you can send your bombers more freely if he chose not to send any fighters there. Only a few selected players can deal with this, the rest just panics and pitifully tries to strike whatever they can.

 

And oh, one more tip : Don't waste your planes. Every time you lose a plane, it's your fault. Don't make their sacrifice be in vain. Death of every single plane should have a valid reason, such as : lost 2-3 torp bombers but i killed this ship, lost 3-4 fighters but i wiped out all 5 of enemy fighters, lost 3 planes trying to spot a DD but it's worth it because my team managed to sink it, etc....

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[HSL] Torped1ne
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If you want to add dot damage to a bb or cruiser send first your db w8 for him to repair then add some seconds 20 for usn then hit him with tb to add flooding instead of fire is always better a flood do the damage of two fires for 2 minutes leaving also the bb with half speed most of the times that lead to a devastating strike 

 

 what to do in the game spotting ,defend ,strike , there is not a recipe that can lead you to victory ,it's situational and it's up to you to chose what is better for your team 

 

Be ready to be insulted a lot even if you do good there will be often someone that pour his anger in chat towards you 

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On 2/14/2018 at 4:59 PM, Rusty_9 said:

@El2aZeR @pra3y @Fubucky Thank you for your feedback - much appreciated!

 

c)Is there a rule of thumb as to what I should prioritise my fighters for? e.g. I have a DB squadron on it's way to finish off (hopefully) a DD but it is about to be intercepted by another fighter squadron. The enemy CV is about to launch a TB strike at the other side of the map to my DB's. Should I protect my DB's or should I intercept the torp bombers? Every situation would be different I know, but...?

 

a) Not sure what this 'DE' is - i was meaning Dogfighting Expert! But based on feedback I think my 3pt build will be ASE and TA, my 4th point would be DE and then get TAE at 7pts :Smile_teethhappy:

 

b) TBH, as a noob player, I'd be more than happy to be learning Alt attacks at T4. No such luck *sigh*. Definitely looking forward to it at T6

 

Thanks again all!

 

Apologies for the late reply.

 

a) I was referring to dog fighting expert as well hahahaha. Thought you were talking about demolition expert. It's also worth considering getting concealment expert btw because the Lexington and Midway have extremely poor concealment and at those tiers almost every other ship can hit you from range.

 

b) The PTS is up now so you can go have a feel how manual attacks are like and practice abit.

 

c) I would say covering your team is more important. Of course if your multitasking skill is very good then you can do both at the same time but if you can't I'll go for team first. With your DB you can either hold back your attack or move away whereas your teammate will have a harder time dealing with the enemy planes. Ultimately you have to learn how to balance it out or be practical. Say for example the enemy TB is too close to your friendly ship that you can't do anything about it anymore, what you can do alternatively is to still head in that direction but rather then going towards the enemy TB, go towards the enemy TB's return path and strafe them. So from an immediate protection mode you can into a preventative one. Taking out those TB would mean the enemy will have lesser TBs for future strikes, which will benefit your team and yourself as the game progresses. 

                                                                                                                                        --------------------------------------------------

 

The thing about USN CV is dependent on you performing manual strafe/attack. There are some USN CV players who think 1 fighter squad is not enough between tier 6 to 8 for USN CV. However when you consider the fact that US fighter squads have more ammo and also more plane in a squad, a good strafe can wreck the enemy CV planes at those tiers. Remember also at those tiers plane reserves are limited. As for US TBs, while you only have 1 squad, they can usually 1 hit ko anything not a BB or CV if you get off a good manual drop (tier dependent though, any DD and CA tier 7 and below go kaboom).

 

Also, this:

On 2/14/2018 at 4:22 AM, Fubucky said:

It's usually harder to snipe enemy CV with US carriers. Not impossible, but its not worth it most of the time. But if you end up getting another CV in your team, you can try agreeing to snipe enemy CVs early in the game.

 

Is something you should never do :cap_old:. Unless the enemy CV presents itself to you on a silver platter by just rushing forward, never attempt to snipe an enemy CV because it waste time and resources. Especially early game where your planes are better off doing other stuff like supporting your team. These CV snipes are part of the reason I feel why people dislike CVs. Instead of helping your teammates by say spotting and sinking that enemy Mutsuki, you waste time going around the map in order to snipe the enemy CV. The thing is can you pull it off on the enemy CV? More often then not I'm the one sinking the enemy CV after they try to snipe me and fail just to teach them a lesson on why they shouldn't snipe. Experienced CV players can tell within the first few minutes if a snipe is incoming and prep for it as well when they don't see your planes sooooooooooooo just don't do it.

 

Also, a quick lesson ton dealing with cv sniping. Your ship itself is a warship. It has AA guns and a rudder. If you see the enemy CV planes coming to snipe you, don't just sail straight and make it easy. 1st, immediately do a hard left or right to make it harder for them to torp/bomb you. 2nd, at the same time you're doing that, click on the enemy planes to get your AA guns to focus on them and give yourself a slight AA bonus. Go for the more dangerous target first like TB then DB if both types are present. You don't even have to wait for the entire squad to be wiped out. As soon as the enemy squad is left with 1 or 2 planes, pick the next enemy squad to target and just rinse and repeat.

 

Finally I'm bragging here :cap_haloween: cause CV captains usually get flamed or reported but I'll say most of my 215 karma comes from playing CV (Can't beat a certain someone though :cap_viking:). Shocking right? Just support your team as much as possible and all will usually be fine. Not every teammate is an a$$. Plenty of them appreciate the support or help you provide to them. But don't let them dictate how you play as well. Just remember as a CV player, your role is to create opportunity for your team to win, be it spotting or killing the enemy dds so that they can't cap to sinking off all the low health targets to get more points so that your team can win. It is not to farm damage. That is secondary :fish_haloween:. I can guarantee you that if you do the former, you will definitely not get flamed or reported that much :fish_aqua:

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[-5D3-] Rusty_9
44 posts
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Thanks @pra3y - lots to digest!

 

I've just played 3 co-op battles in the langley... each one was better than the previous but still will need a couple more before going PvP :). I have a few questions about controls and 'default' behaviour etc but I'll try and find out the answers before posting the questions here :fish_book:

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43 minutes ago, Rusty_9 said:

Thanks @pra3y - lots to digest!

 

I've just played 3 co-op battles in the langley... each one was better than the previous but still will need a couple more before going PvP :). I have a few questions about controls and 'default' behaviour etc but I'll try and find out the answers before posting the questions here :fish_book:

 

No problem. Take it slow man. I played hundreds of CV games to reach where I am now. I do recommend going to the public test server (PTS) which is live now and  have a feel of how manual attack and the USN CV is like since you can have access to the entire USN CV line there.

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1 hour ago, Rusty_9 said:

Thanks @pra3y - lots to digest!

 

I've just played 3 co-op battles in the langley... each one was better than the previous but still will need a couple more before going PvP :). I have a few questions about controls and 'default' behaviour etc but I'll try and find out the answers before posting the questions here :fish_book:

Co-op is the way to go to practice. I played tons of CV co-op battles before I dared to enter a random battle. Simply because a CV can make such a huge difference in the game. And with that power comes the responsibility. If you are bad and the enemy CV player is good, you put a huge burden on your team. Furthermore, you can collect XP to upgrade your CV fully before entering a random battle.

 

My point of view for tier4/5 battles: The fighters are so important on these two tiers because you (a) have very few and (b) you can lock up an enemy fighter squad and there is no way out anymore. If your fighters kill all enemy ones (let's say 3-0), your enemy will only be able to send up another 2 plane fighter squad (in case of Langley vs. Langley). He can't do a lot against you anymore. Once you completely delete enemy fighters you can basically go anywhere anytime for striking. Of course always watch out for and avoid nasty AA ships. I use a mod for player's side panels, which shows me the AA rating of all ships in the game. This way I don't need to remember all the numbers.

As soon as you can get commander skill "Air Supremacy" get it, even before Concealment Expert. Use your commander points 7 thru 10 on that skill. Don't waste them on another 2 or 3 point skill.

 

Once you reach tier6 the fighter duels will become rather different as manual strafing is introduced.

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[-5D3-] Rusty_9
44 posts
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So, I've just (yesterday) played my first two PvP games! Both were victories - thanks to RNG!

 

I have uploaded a replay if any of you are willing and able (and isn't easily shocked!) to review and provide feedback. It felt a bit chaotic - in trying to balance everything I could/should do I basically ended up not doing anything very well - apart from feeding AA!

 

https://replayswows.com/replay/17542

 

Spoiler

 

17542_254_1519203142.png

 

17542_835_1519203142.png

 

17542_634_1519203142.png

 

17542_670_1519203142.png

 

 

 

Many thanks again all :cap_like:

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@Rusty_9

 

a) Target selection

It's good that you're going after the DDs but you have to be abit more flexible in picking targets. Prioritizing DDs doesn't mean you should focus solely only on DDs. Like at the A cap where you had to choose between 2 BBs and a DD, I would have gone after one of the BBs instead of the DD. That is also one of the reason why you lost all your planes in that run. You spent too long trying to target that DD that you exposed  your TBs to the AA fire from the 2 BBs, thereby having them all die. Given that tier 4 and 5 have no manual drop, just go in, drop on the BB, resupply and repeat. Let one of your many DDs around A deal with that enemy DD. Same for the point in time at B where you dropped torps at that Jianwei. Given that i) its on very low health b) friendly ships are shooting at it already, skip that DD and go after a target with more health. I mean you can start off the game by trying to torp a DD, but after that go after the CAs or BBs and whittle down their health so that its easier for friendly ships to kill. If along the way you have the opportunity to kill an enemy DD then do so but don't go crazy over it.

 

b) Fighter coverage

You tried to scout abit at the start but then just wondered about aimlessly with your fighter. Don't waste time and planes on those float plane fighters unless you intend to torp/bomb a ship near them. Provide more coverage for your team. Tbh if the Zuiho haven't been keeping the enemy CVs busy you probably would lost planes even faster or lose the game.  You know where the enemy planes are coming from so position your fighters along the route they'll travel. Remember I said above that even if you can't stop an attack in time, you can still kill their planes as they return. Then the enemy would have lesser planes for the next attack or none at all left.  CV game play is part attrition as well. Remember that.

 

c) Positioning

Halfway through the game or actually in the first 5 min it is already pretty obvious the enemy were lemming train A. Would have been good if you move forward towards either B behind one of the island or between BC. Don't be stationary at the back of spawn because i) You put yourself in danger if the enemy lemming train rushed all the way to your spawn ii) Your planes take a longer time to return and to attack an enemy target. Try to minimize flight time if possible because the lesser time spent on an attack the more time you have for another attack. That's the other thing about CV that most people don't realize is that it takes time to carry out an attack. You're not a DD, CA or BB who have a 5s,10s or 30s reload. You not only have a reload time but also a plane travel time to factor in as well. Therefore a position that is safe and close to the enemy is the best for a CV player. Also as mentioned before above the Langley and Bouge both are super slow, in fact calling them the slowest ship in game is probably true. So don't make yourself a sitting duck. Gauge a safe spot and position yourself there.

 

 

Hope it helps. Not much you can do at tier 4 and 5 though. Show us another vid when you're at tier 6 :Smile-_tongue: Easier to see if you've learnt well since you have faster planes and manual attacks so it's more fluid along with more AA ships about.

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[-5D3-] Rusty_9
44 posts
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Thanks @pra3y that feedback is much appreciated - I find that about 60% of what you point out I did see for myself when I analysed the replay, but it helps to have confirmation that I am noticing the 'right' things! The other 40% - I'll try and remember these too!

 

Good day and happy sailing :Smile_honoring:

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