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  1. Hi everyone, I've played a lot of games in Saipan in the last year or so and before the commander skill change this month the 1 point ability (now retitled Air Supremacy) used to give +2 aircraft on deck in addition to the -5% faster plane regeneration time. On many CVs the +2 aircraft isn't too noticeable, but on the Saipan and its clone Sanzang, those extra two aircraft are sorely missed. I think if the plane regeneration time is going to stay the same, both boats ought to have those two aircraft per air wing permanent. Playing in randoms is hard enough if you're up-tiered (but almost too easy against tier VI boats) and those extra two aircraft are extremely important to being viable in the later stages of a game. Thank for listening, GB
  2. This week I realized that I've played a 250th battle in my Saipan. It is probably a large enough number to warrant a forum post which summarizes my experience with this incredibly fun boat. Below are my current stats with the ship. I don't mean to brag (well, maybe just a little bit ). Rather, I want to establish my credibility, and make it clear that what I'm going to describe in the following sections works quite well for me. And yes, my solo win rate/damage/airplane kills are pretty much same. A couple of quick disclaimers before we dive into details: (i) This is the way I play the ship. I happen to have quite a number of strong opinions on how Saipan and carriers in general should be played. However, that doesn't mean that everyone who doesn't do what I do is a n00b that should immediately uninstall; I firmly believe that you should play first and foremost in a way that will make the experience fun for you. If, for example, you find the air superiority loadout to be more fun (be it because you like shutting down enemy CVs, or because you don't have much luck with manual torpedo bomber drops) -- more power to you. However, I must point out that if you want to win more often than not, my methods are probably going to be better than whatever alternative approach you choose. (ii) As the title suggests, this is a guide for Random Battles only. Saipan in Ranked is a whole other beast that I don't really want to get into. Loadout Okay, let's begin. First, any new Saipan player will immediately ask himself/herself: which loadout should I use? One with three fighters and one dive bomber squads (hereafter refered to as 3/1), or one with two fighters and two torpedo bombers squads (2/2)? I, for one, firmly believe that 2/2 is the correct answer here, and in fact I played every single one of my battles save one with that loadout. Let me explain why. In my opinion, these are the main duties of a Saipan (or any carrier) player, from most to least important: (1) Killing enemy ships. Don't ever feel bad about expending a torpedo sortie on a ship with 1K HP, unless he was going to die within 5-10 seconds of your strike anyway. In WoWS, even if the ship has 1 hit point left, the salvos still do full damage and the torpedoes are just as deadly. You see a BB crawling back behind enemy lines at 1K health? Kill him, that way he doesn't heal up and come back to citadel the bejeezus out of your team's ship. You see an RN cruiser at 1K hiding behind terrain? Kill him, so he doesn't smoke up when the consumable is off cooldown, and wreck your teammate with impunity for a minute or two. An absolute majority of games are won by kills, always remember that. (2) Damaging enemy ships. This is a corollary to point #1. If you take off half HP from an enemy battleship, it will become that much easier for your teammates to kill that ship. Remember, absolute damage doesn't matter; the percent damage does. For example, generally cruisers should be prioritized over battleships if you're certain in your ability to hit them with minimal airplane losses, just because losing 20k health is so much more impactful for a cruiser than a battleship (not to mention that cruisers don't have good torpedo buldges and will take full torpedo damage). (3) Protecting your ships from the enemy, i.e. preventing the enemy carrier from killing and damaging your ships. Yep, this is a less important task than killing and damaging the enemy ships. If you have to choose between protecting your strike airplanes that are going to target and protecting your fleet from the enemy air, most of the time the former is a better choice. If you play air superiority game, the best you can hope for is shutting down the enemy carrier (which is not always possible). That means you simply eliminated two carriers out of the match, and now it will come down to a coin toss based on the skill level of the other 22 players. Why would you ever want that? (4) Scouting. That's right, this is the least important carrier duty. Let's not forget, we're talking about Random Battles here. Truth be told, most players won't be able to properly utilize the vision you're giving them. If I have to choose between killing and damaging enemy ships, and trying to enable my teammates to kill and damage enemy ships, I'll almost always chose the first option -- because I know that Saipan in my hands is most likely much better at killing and damaging enemy ships than my teammates. Now, don't for a second think that point 1 is always more important than point 4, for example. Use common sense. You have to call off a strike for a half a minute in order to wreck the enemy bomber clump? Do it. You have an opportunity to shadow an IJN destroyer that's harassing your advancing fleet on the strong flank, even at the cost of less efficient strike? Do it. Always do the thing that will get you closer to victory. Anyways, now that I've listed your main objectives, let's return to the loadout questions. The 2/2 loadout is better at killing and dealing damage, the 3/1 loadout is better at protecting your fleet from the air and scouting. It should be clear by now why I will whole-heartily recommend the 2/2 option. Your realistic alpha damage is much higher (i.e. you're much more likely to hit most of the torpedoes than most of the bombs). Your damage over time from flooding is much higher. You can stack damage over time much more easily. You get more flexibility with strikes, for example being able to kill a badly damaged ship with one TB squad, and going after somebody with another one. The aircraft turnaround time is a bit lower. Besides, having two fighters instead of three won't make you impotent when it comes to defending your fleet from the air or to scouting. I shoot down, on average, more than thirty aircraft every single battle with the 2/2 setup. This isn't the Ranger dilemma, when you have to pick between a fighter-less strike loadout and an air superiority loadout that does little damage; you can have your cake and eat it too. Side-note: for Ranked 3/1 is better, because vision and being able to effectively attack destroyers is a lot more important there. And that's all I'll say about Ranked. Upgrades & Signals These are the upgrades I run on my Saipan: Air Groups Modification 1 (AGM1) -- pretty obvious. You will use your two fighter squads extensively every battle, so +10% to DPS is welcome. The other upgrade is nearly useless anyways. Air Groups Modification 2 (AGM2) -- same thing. Bonus to fighter survivability and especially ammunition is nice (you get an extra strafe and a half out of it). These fighter upgrades mesh well with the air supremacy commander perk. FCM1 won't give you all that much, because you turnaround time is already very low. AAGM2 is nearly useless as well. Damage Control Systems Modification 1 (DCSM1) -- a bit better than useless. This distinguishes it nicely from the other two upgrades that are completely useless. Steering Gears Modification 2 (SGM2) -- I have this on all my boats. Torpedo dodged is HP saved. Helps quite a bit when the enemy carrier is trying to snipe you. Now, signals: Juliet Whiskey Unaone -- Saipan's areal torpedo don't have the best flooding chance, +15% is very nice. As for magazine detonation, carriers in-game don't have magazines, so we're all good Victor Lima -- same. Though the increase in flooding chance is only 4% here, so only run this flag if you have enough of them in stock. You can run whatever you want in the other two slots. I'm running flags that increase commander XP because I use my Saipan to generate free captain XP. Instead, you might run November Echo Setteseven for example, to make yourself slightly more safe against carrier snipes. Up to you. Captain skills The core eleven-point build is as follows:Aircraft Servicing Expert (ASE): bonus to aircraft HP and service time Expert Rear Gunner (ERG): because, apparently, one-seater Skyraiders can shoot backwards in this game. I just imagine a pilot spray-n-praying with a handgun over his shoulder, Annie Oakley-style Torpedo Armament Expert (TAE): better torpedo bomber turnaround time Air Supremacy (AS): increases your fighter squad power by 33%, makes Saipan borderline OP Dogfighting Expert (DE) (+10% ammunition for fighters) Now, Torpedo Acceleration (TA) isn't core, but it's still nice to have, at least in my opinion. Mind you, this won't make your torpedoes reach the aim point faster, despite an increase in speed (from 35kts to 40kts). The torpedo warhead arming distance is time-dependent, so they'll reach the target point at about the same time. However, faster torpedoes will allow you to strike at turning targets with greater ease, and also the distance between torpedoes decreases (albeit very slightly), which could mean the difference between getting three torpedoes on target, and getting two or even one. That now leaves us with six points to spend. I would recommend Concealment Expert (CE) + Adrenaline Rush (AR). CE enables you to stay a bit closer to the fleet, bringing your surface concealment from 11.9 to 10.0km, making you a tad bit harder to find when an enemy carrier is trying top snipe you. AR accelerates the reload of your aircraft by as much as 20% (however, the time for take-off remains the same). The catch to AR is, you'd have to take a large amount of damage and then survive long enough for the higher aircraft cycling rate to matter. So, it is for the most part useful if there was an unsuccessful carrier snipe attempt against you. This is our final captain build: Couple comments on other options. Firstly, you can pick Basic Fire Training (BFT) + Emergency Takeoff (EM) instead of CE+AR. BFT makes you safer against carrier snipes (+20% AA DPS is nothing to sneeze at). EM helps against DDs that have managed to sneak to your ship and are shooting it up -- you'll be set on fire, and damage control won't help because you'll just get light up again (so save it for ~3 fires!), but if you can still cycle torpedo bombers while on fire you have good chances of killing that DD and surviving. Still, I believe that CE+AR is better. Secondly, a side-note about the one-point Evasive Maneuver (EM) skill: not worth it on Saipan. You'll forget to use it properly from time to time (i.e. clicking near carrier for returning aircraft, and only hitting the F key when they're under attack or have gotten to the carrier), thus increasing the bomber cycling time. And your airplanes are fast enough to out-run enemy fighters anyway. However, this is a great skill for tech tree USN carriers, which incidentally means that Saipan requires a dedicated captain.
  3. I have started down the path to the dark side and have played my first Random battle in my Saipan. It took me 60 battles in Co-op to get the courage up to play a round in Randoms but it was a successfull #1 place win in a T10 match. As a DD main I consider this an accomplishment - especially since I trashed a Gearing in the opening minutes. It was even more hilarious because the opposing Enterprise declared he was going to sink me. I overcame his attacks by launching a new sortie and dropping off a fighter to help protect my CV with it's internal self defense fighters. I think I'll quit with a 100% win rate while I am ahead... PLUS, more importantly, for those who truly understand the significance of this glorious day, I wish you all a Happy Easter... God is great! Allahu Akbar! Dios es grande! Deus e bom! Gott ist Grosartig! Dieu est Grand! Bog Velik!
  4. landedkiller

    What should I do?

    I am looking to get USS Alaska and am dissatisfied with the current CV rework. I only have 12k in free xp, but could get 239,000 free xp back and 5,000 doubloons for trading in Shokaku. I really like that Halloween camo, but the ship is unplayable now. In addition, I was thinking about trading in Saipan for doubloons 9,700 and keeping Enterprize and Kaga. The carriers just seem vastly different from 8.0 in these new hot fixes. I am looking to make a decision by update 8.1 or soon after. The practice will continue in co-op for me, only getting 20k damage max out of the carriers since the rework. So In the end trade in Shokaku for 239,000 free xp and 5,000 doubloons and hope to grind out the rest of the free xp or trade in Shokaku and Saipan for 14,700 doubloons and 239,000 free xp? Again this is for USS Alaska Which is confirmed for 1,000,000 and I only have 12,000 in free xp.
  5. Keiki_Haniyasushin

    Hiryu (Strike) vs Saipan?

    I just don't understand how to beat a Saipan with my Hiryu. It seems impossible to win the game, since all he does is use his superior fighter HP to tank my strafes and then delete my fighters. I really want to switch to AS Hiryu for this, but I enjoy strike Hiryu. What do I do?
  6. FirstWooba

    Premium CV Refund

    Hello there. I've been playing WoWs for over 2 years now and as you can tell I rarely post. I've largely been happy with the game and overall development. I've long been one of the better CVs around (not the best but fair enough) and I've always enjoyed the gameplay. Because I enjoyed the gameplay I bought both the Saipan and the Kaga. I would like the option to exist for a refund, not in doubloons, but in the same currency people purchased their ships with. I went to work, I earned my money, and I took my time and decided what I wanted to purchase. The fact that my ship will still be named "Kaga" or "Saipan" does not mean that what I will have after the update is the same as what I initially purchased. I am hoping you choose to do the right thing here and offer a refund in cash to the card used to make the purchase. To stem the inevitable salt and [edited] comments, let me say I'm not angry about the rework. I get the need for it...I see it 20 times a day. Within the first minute of a battle I've usually already won the air struggle, which means that ~70% of the time my team also wins the match. I get why WG would seek to change it to suit their broader player base. I'm fine with that decision. What I need is for WG to "get that" once the CV rework goes live I no longer have what I paid for, and do the right thing. If I later decide I want another ship I'll buy it like I bought my previous ones, but for now a refund is in order, and it's the only moral course of action. Anything less is just greed. In the event that a refund option does not happen, I whole-heartedly promise that you'll never see another dime out of me, and I know for a fact I'm not alone. With a dwindling player base, does WG really want to risk losing loyal players just to steal a few dollars? It is theft btw. To continue to hold my funds while denying me the item I purchased under the conditions I purchased it is considered theft just about anywhere in the world, and is illegal anywhere but online apparently.
  7. ShinaMashiro

    Saipan and Balancing

    Dear Wargaming, This is an old topic, but I believe the Saipan needs rebalancing. With the near invincible planes, her bombers and torp planes can stay near ships for hours. And with the captain skill, she gets 4 tier 9 planes per squadron, like strafing doesn't even work against her planes, and you always get the bad end of a strafe. How do you counter that?
  8. anonym_Hf93Jbjm9WjT

    EU Q&A transcription CV rework&Saipan Nerf

    See post copy/past summarybelow, reddit links take to long to load!