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Hosho vs Langley- considered opinion


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Rafinesque #1 Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:21 AM

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I've played the Hosho enough to have a 16 point captain (and back when a 15 point captain meant you could have a 5 point skill and all the seal-clubbing goodness that came with that), but I just recently decided to play her Tier IV counterpart, the Langley.  This play has only happened after the GREAT LOW TIER CARRIER NERF of 2017, but even with only a fully upgraded Langley having a captain of 6 points I will offer the following observations on how the two stack up against each other.

A fully upgraded Langley has little to fear from a Hosho, even one with a 10 pt+ captain.  This is ENTIRELY due to the superiority of the Langley's fighter squadron.  With the elimination of strafing (and I say 'good riddance')  the 6 plane Tier IV Langley fighters will destroy any 4 (or 5) plane Hosho fighter squadron (and its reserves) it encounters if the player avoids fighting over ENEMY AAA.  Once the Hosho's fighters are gone, the torpedo bombers can be decimated or suppressed fairly easily.  The Langley just needs to keep a minor watch on his own attack aircraft to keep them alive until enemy fighters are gone.  So long as the Langley player wisely uses his fighters to cripple/destroy the Hosho's fighters first, which I say again, he should be able to do reliably, the Hosho's torpedo planes can be decimated later. 

As a Hosho player I ALWAYS have to watch very carefully not to get into a situation where I can lose my upgraded 5 plane fighter squadron or my torpedo planes to enemy fighters.  The odds just seem to favor the Langley's squadron (and why not?  6 v 4 of similarly performing aircraft SHOULD favor the numbers).  Bottom line is that it ISN'T a fair fight between the fighter squadrons of the Hosho and Langley (and it favors the Langley), and whoever has fighters left over SHOULD be able to dominate the enemy's bombers.  A 5 plane Hosho fighter squadron, can crush a Tier III Langley squadron, but not a Tier IV Langley squadron.  The Hosho captain has to always look for chances to fight enemy fighters over friendly AAA to have a better chance to have any fighters left after the initial clash. 

It is true (and the game statistics show it I believe) that the Hosho with its two torpedo squadrons of quick flying and fast rearming planes can do substantially more damage to the enemy than can Langley's one slow TB and fast DB squadrons.  This I suspect is supposed to balance out against the stronger fighter squadron of Langley- but that simply shouldn't happen against a competent Langley captain since once the Langley's fighers have destroyed the Hosho's fighters they can savage her TBs.  Bottom line is, the Langley, one-on-one, is more than a match for the Hosho. The Langely is just less capable of dealing damage to enemy ships, but she still can contribute after she shuts down the enemy Hosho. 

The Langley's real weaknesses are her slow speed and large spotting range.  Usually when I lose a Langley early in a game it is because one flank has collapsed and the enemy's fast ships have rushed through and found the Langley all alone trying to steam at 15 knots to safety behind her remaining allies.  She quickly goes down under gunfire.  Thus, unlike Hosho who is stealthier and much faster and can often scoot to safety even after being spotted (and thus can also afford to operate closer to the front), the Langley player MUST keep close watch on the mini-map to make sure he is keeping his carrier well tucked behind friendly ships.    It does make one seriously consider taking the 4 point stealth-increase captain skill once enough that choice becomes available.  And it makes one dread the small maps where there is less time to respond to a breakthrough.

I suppose that the smart and aggressive Hosho player's best move might be to make destroying the Langley herself the top priority.  If both TB squadrons get through (and perhaps with some time delay to hopefully get the Langley captain to use his repair after initial flooding from first strike) the sacrifce of the first fighter group to hold the enemy fighters at bay while they strike may be worth it.  It may depend on how well the Hosho player can "size up" his opponent and the other players around the enemy carrier.  The reverse strategy is a poor choice for the Langley, I think.  He should use his fighters to neutralize the Hosho fighters then kill enemy TBs while using his own attack aircraft on vulnerable enemy ships on the front lines.  Once the enemy Hosho has no planes, it is no threat anyway. 
 

Estimated_Prophet #2 Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:36 AM

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Good write up expressing what I have observed as well.

 

Also; Lang is pretty much the only USN CV that's notably better than its IJN, tier counterpart. Bogue can be, but has to work harder at it than Lang should have to.

 

Your observation about flak ins the main thing; an incautious Langley driver can still lose the fighter battle if they fight over enemy AA.

 

Just recently earned my 15th point on my current Langley captain, (the original, long-since gone to higher tiers.) Occasionally play Randoms, but to avoid any guilt fro possible clubbing, (and because I love slaughtering bots with the thing,) mostly use it in co-op any more.


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BB3_Oregon_Steel #3 Posted 18 April 2017 - 02:04 AM

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I have both carriers as well and have played both of them quite a bit.  By and large, the Langley does a better job, however I think there are a few advantages and disadvantages you might have left out.

 

Other Langley Advantages 

 

1) The Langley is incredibly tough for a carrier.  It's big and bulky, loses 10 knots even if you touch the rudder but all that ponderousness comes with the ability to shrug off incoming enemy shells and torps for far longer than most carriers under T7 can.  This can keep you in a fight just that little bit longer which can sometimes make a difference. 

 

2) Lots of plane storage.  Overall probably one of the best in the mid tiers so you can lose planes and keep on flying better than most.

 

Hosho's other advantages:

 

1) The Hosho's torp bombers have one major advantage over the Langley's larger squadron.  In launching a torpedo attack, the Langley torp bombers can only lay down a single spread moving in one direction.  The Hosho, with her two smaller squadrons, can execute an Hammer and Anvil attack where one squadron launches it's torpedoes at the target's broadside and the 2nd squadron launches it's strike at the target's bow.  To avoid the attack coming in from the side the target has to turn which exposes it's broadside to the torps coming in from the front and, properly executed, such an attack can be a challenge for even a destroyer to avoid completely.  With autodrops now gone, it's the best way to deal with fast maneuverable ships and can pretty much guarantee a hit against a more ponderous battleship.  

 

This advantage alone, in the absence of auto drops, is an enormous plus for the Hosho which almost wipes out the Langley's other advantages.  Not quite, but almost.  


Edited by BB3_Oregon_Steel, 18 April 2017 - 02:07 AM.


StoneRhino #4 Posted 18 April 2017 - 04:40 AM

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Ya Langley is just overall better than Hosho even if Hosho can cross drop.  With ALT attacks it was even worse for the hosho.

Palladia #5 Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:27 AM

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Eh.  Hosho has better damage potential and better split amongst it's hangar'd planes.  The literal only advantage the Langley has is that fighter squadron and, in case you're unaware,  the Hosho actually has a buffed fighter thats on average better then the Langley's.  The problem is that numbers really,  really skew things in the Langley's favor.  The Langley used to be able to win by brunt of manual dropping but with that being gone the advantage should swing back over to the Hosho.  Then again I haven't tested the new USN auto-drop so...can't say for sure.

That being said...statistics are still swinging in the Hosho's favor.  However this is the only tier the USN can come anywhere near the IJN so...thats a thing,  right?

Mebbe I should rebuy my Lang...

BB3_Oregon_Steel #6 Posted 24 April 2017 - 07:44 PM

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Actually, I've had pretty decent luck with my Bogue against the IJN as well.  Better fighters are still an advantage for her just like they are for Langley and if she goes with an Air Superiority load out it puts any IJN carrier in a tough spot.  




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