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  1. Please keep in mind that this article is a preview of an upcoming release. All of the statistics here reflect the ship as it was presented during the testing period and are subject to change. A special thanks to Wargaming (specifically NikoPower) for allowing me to play-test this vessel. -EDIT:11.04.2016 - True to the disclaimer above, the Saipan's statistics changed prior to release and after publishing this review. Changes will be reflected in a follow up post, but are listed in the spoiler at the end of the article. The following is aimed at new(ish) players looking to find a little more information about various ships from events, for premium currency or for real-world cash. The goal is to allow players to make an educated decision before parting with their time and money and to find premium vessels that suit their chosen style of play, whether that is competitive, cooperative, or simply for fun. The idea here is to elabourate on information not commonly available through reading statistics and provide some (heavily) biased anecdotal evidence to encourage or dissuade you from making your purchase. The usual disclaimers apply: everyone knows the Matchmaker clearly loves me because I spend money so that's why I occasionally get really good games, not because I have any particular skills of note. Other articles in this series: Available Ships: Atlanta, Atago, Aurora, Ishizuchi, Murmansk Pre Order Ships: Sims, Yubari, Gremyashchy Limited Release Ships: Tirpitz, Fujin, Campbeltown, Warspite, Imperator Nikolai I, Mikhail Kutuzov, Blyskawica, Anshan,Lo Yang, Saipan Gift & Reward Ships: Albany, Arkansas, Iwaki,Tachibana, Kamikaze, Diana, Emden, Marblehead Arpeggio of Blue Steel Ships: Kongo, Myoko Condensed Reading: Mouse's Quick Summary of Premium Ships Without further ado: The United States Navy Light Aircraft Carrier USS Saipan Quick Summary: Equipped with tier 9 aircraft but with only 2/3s the capacity of other Tier 7 CVs. Squadron sizes are odd, with tiny fighter and torpedo attack formations yet an enormous dive bomber squadron. Cost: Went on sale on April 12th for $42.99 including a port slot. One of the first ships in recent memory to be sold with the option of buying her without a bundle. PROs Comes with two load-out options, 3-0-1 and 2-2-0; the only USN CV with the option for two torpedo squadrons. Tier 9 Aircraft with high top speed (178 knots / 155 knots) SKYRAIDERS! Also Corsairs. But AMG, SKYRAIDERS! Massive dive bomber squadron of 8 planes and armed with 1000lb bombs Fast rearm on fighter (20s) and torpedo plane (22s) Good AA DPS. CONs Small hangar capacity of 48 aircraft. Painfully long rearm time for dive bombers (59s) Small fighter & torpedo squadrons. Fighters bleed ammo very quickly. Air Superiority load out is very poorly optimized. No secondaries at all -- completely defenseless at close range against surface ships. AA Armament is short-ranged (2.0km to 3.5km) and limited to personal defense. The long awaited USS Saipan, the first premium Aircraft Carrier in World of Warships. Our resident grumpy cat, Lert will be joining me to provide his insights on the Saipan. This will be a first for these Premium Ship Reviews, but not our first collaborative effort. Hopefully this will provide a different perspective and a bit more information for those looking for a well rounded opinion in regards to this vessel. Like with our Dmitri Donskoi Preview, Lert will have his own boxes (in italics) where he provides commentary on the individual characteristics of the ship before offering his conclusions and verdict. Would I Recommend? Short answer: If you love carriers, yes. If you don't, no. If you don't like carrier game play or if you haven't put a lot of time into carriers, the Saipan is probably not for you. She's a unique ship -- completely intended to be a departure from standard USN CV game play. The novelty alone may be worthwhile, never mind the bonus of finally having a decent ship with which to train your Carrier Captains and take advantage of the skills you've selected so far. For collectors, she's pretty much a must have. She's the first premium CV and her unique squadrons are just icing on the cake. I mean, I'm nerding out because it has one of my favourite planes. Like I said, the only people who will not enjoy this are those that don't like CV game play. And even for someone like myself, I must admit I've warmed up considerably after playing the Saipan and would probably enjoy taking her out every now and then if I acquired her. The Lert Box Do you really need an american CV premie, yeah. Saipan is the only choice. Do you want the ship for historical reasons, sure. She's certainly an interesting premium. Do you want a competitive ship to help tilt the fate of battles in your team's favor? No. Saipan isn't what you're looking for. Maybe someone with more experience in carrier play than me can make her shine, but for a CV noob like me, Saipan isn't the ship that makes me want to play flattops. My wallet will remain closed. It's disappointing, but not entirely unexpected, that the Air Superiority load-out for the Saipan should be so lackluster, performance wise. It sure looks cool though. Recommended Modules: As a tier 7 CV, the Saipan has four module upgrade slots. Air Groups Modification 1 is the best choice for the first slot. This will increase your aircraft gunnery by 10% and is pretty much a no-brainer for most CV Captains. For your second slot, you have a choice based on how you want to proceed. Air Groups Modification 2 will increase your fighter's hit points up to 2407 from 2006 (compared to 1506hp for the Hellcat and 1210 for the A6M5 Zero) and is probably the better choice. Flight Control Modification 1 is nice, but the lightning quick rearm of both fighter and torpedo plane squadrons makes it less optimal than with other USN CVs. Damage Control Modification 1 is your best choice for the third slot -- anything to help keep those fires down. Though generally speaking, if you're taking damage, you're in a lot of trouble anyway and nothing from this third slot is really going to help you much! I opted for Damage Control Modification 2 on the off chance I found myself twice-ablaze. My experience has taught me this nice but it's seldom going to save you. Steering Gears Modification 2 would probably be the nicer choice, dropping her rudder shift from 15.9s to 12.8s. It will really be up to personal preference here. Recommended Consumables: The Saipan can only mount a single consumable, a Damage Control Party. It shouldn't be necessary to upgrade this to the premium version. Her camouflage is the standard you would expect for a tier 7 premium ship, providing a 50% bonus to experience along with the disruption and concealment benefits. Recommended Captain Skills: The Saipan does not benefit much from anti-aircraft or secondary battery skills (having poor range on the former and none of the latter). So it's best to keep with a more orthodox CV build and focus on skills that will increase the performance of your planes. From tier 1, Situational Awareness is best. It will let you know when enemy planes are inbound or when you're about to die to a destroyer that's spotting you. If you intend to use the Air Superiority Build, then you may also enjoy Expert Rear Gunners which will turn your Skyraider squadron into a brutal thug of a formation if your opponents try to shoot it down normally instead of strafing. From tier 2, Torpedo Armament Expertise will reduce the service time of your torpedo bombers down to 16 seconds when combined with the tier 4 Aircraft Servicing Expert (which is insane). From tier 3, reach for Torpedo Acceleration. Yes, even if you intend to largely use the Air Superiority build. Dogfighting Expert never benefits the Saipan because her aircraft will always be same-tier or higher than any other planes she encounters. From tier 4, Aircraft Servicing Expert is your first port of call. 16s torpedo plane rearming! It's nuts. From tier 5, Air Supremacy is your best choice. It makes the Air Superiority build silly (9 bombers!) and it makes your fighter squadrons terrifying for any Hiryu opposite you.
  2. Welcome to part three of my review of Saipan, Enterprise, Kaga and Graf Zeppelin. Since patch 0.8.2, Wargaming considers these ships finalized (barring the occasional bug fix). There's a lot of redundancy in reviewing four carriers one after the other, so to mitigate this, I've decided to evaluate them all at the same time. Rather than a single monumental article, I have broken this up into sections, releasing one a new part every week or so. After an introduction, I covered the torpedo bombers from these four carriers. This week, I'll be looking at their attack aircraft. Here's the series so far. Part One: Introduction Part Two: Torpedo Bombers Part Three: Attack Aircraft (this article!) Basic Parameters So let's start by covering the essentials. Unlike with torpedo bombers, all attack aircraft are spotted at 10km by aircraft or ships. This can be modified as low as 8.1km with all bonuses stacked. Their durability is more varied, however: I'm still trying to reconcile that Seafires are considered more durable than Hellcats, Corsairs or Bearcats. On the whole, attack aircraft are much more fragile than torpedo or dive bombers. They don't benefit very much on their own from the 7.5% health bonus provided by the Attack Aircraft Modification 2 upgrade, with only Implacable and Saipan gaining more than base 120hp provided by the Survivability Expert skill. Still, the two abilities do stack for a more tidy sum, but I couldn't recommend choosing the upgrade over improving Dive Bombers or Torpedo Bombers, depending on the ship in question. Speed Initial aircraft speeds. These can be modified with the Improved Engines and Adrenaline Rush commander skills. These values are important as they form the basis of the speeds of the ship's respective fighter consumables. Summoned fighters travel at the same speed as a boosted attack aircraft. So Graf Zeppelin and Implacable's fighters move at 183kts, for example. From these values you can figure out if your aircraft can outrun pursuing planes. Attack aircraft are generally faster than their dive bomber and torpedo bomber counterparts, but there is a notable exception. Graf Zeppelin's Me-155As are appallingly slow compared to her Ta-152s which manage 181 knots base. Attack aircraft do lack a long-lasting boost. While dive bombers and torpedo bombers enjoy up to 20s worth of extra power to slow or accelerate, attack aircraft only have 5 seconds initially (this can be improved to 6.05s with the Improved Engine Boost commander skill in combination with the Aircraft Engines Modification 1 upgrade). Furthermore, the engine boost on attack aircraft isn't as efficient, providing less speed and slow effects than those on dive bombers and torpedo bombers. However, this is countered by a much faster recharge time and far more responsive acceleration and braking power when this is used. Lastly, while engaging on attack runs, an attack aircraft's boost works at full efficiency. Speed matters so much for an aircraft carrier's planes, moreso than durability. If a plane is fast enough and they have a long enough attack-run time, they can outright negate the threat of flak bursts. In addition, speed also reduces exposure to sustained damage from AA mounts. Finally, speed means there's less travel time both to and from the target, allowing a carrier player to deliver more attacks over time. A given aircraft (and squadron) needs only be "durable enough" to reduce casualties. Anything beyond that is merely wasted window dressing. Contrarily, more speed is always useful. Agility Like with torpedo bombers, a given aircraft's agility is not linked directly to their given speed and is set based upon internal, hidden parameters. Thus while Graf Zeppelin and Implacable's attack aircraft share the same speed, they have different turning radii and thus different rates of rotation. Like torpedo bombers if you want your aircraft to turn faster, slow down. This (greatly!) increases their rate of turn. Measured in degrees per second. The boosted rates of turn had to be estimated because the boost for attack aircraft doesn't last long enough for a complete 360º rotation. Estimations were made by extrapolating the ratio of Enterprise and Graf Zeppelin's attack aircraft turn time data and those of bomber and torpedo bombers. Standard turning radii for tier 8 attack aircraft. When slowed, their radii shrink down to roughly 70% of the values listed here. When boosted, they appeared to balloon up to approximately 180% of these values. Individual Plane Summary Enterprise's Hellcats are, hands down, the most agile of the tier VIII attack aircraft ,combining good speed with a tight turning radius and a ridiculously fast rate of turn. They have modest durability. Graf Zeppelin's Me-155As, while agile, are painfully slow and very fragile. Kaga's Zeroes has a modest rate of turn and turning radius but struggles where her top speed is concerned. They are also very fragile. Saipan's Bearcats have an excellent top speed, a modest rate of turn but an enormous turning radius. They are very tough. If I had to pick a "best individual plane", speed and durability wins the day here with Saipan's F8F Bearcats taking first prize. I don't think particularly high on turning radius and agility -- they're nice to have, but aircraft survivability and travel time mean so much more. Unless the aircraft handled like a there was a hole in their right wing, agility doesn't mean much. Ranking all of the attack planes on their base stats alone at tier VIII we get the following: Saipan's F8F Bearcats Lexington's F4U1 Corsairs Enterprise's F6F Hellcats Shokaku's N1K2 Shiden Kai Implacable's Seafires Kaga's A6M5 Zeroes Graf Zeppelin's Me-155As Our premium ships have some of the best and worst individual aircraft. Ordnance The rockets of the tier VIII carriers are a diverse lot. This is the first time we see larger rockets, including the infamous Tiny Tims. Rockets are effectively a form of HE shell, fired in a massed salvo over a (relatively) small area. The shape of this area and the number of rockets fired change from aircraft to aircraft. Kaga fires a small number of light rockets at a tiny, round target marker. Enterprise fires half again as many at a marker that's wider than it is tall. Graf Zeppelin flips this shape 90º with a very long, yet narrow marker. Her rockets are enormous and much harder hitting. Saipan shares the heavier damage output of Graf Zeppelin and fires fewer rockets still. Her marker is longer than it is wide, but it isn't as narrow as Graf Zeppelin's. One of the key factors dictating what attack aircraft can successfully engage is the penetration value of their rockets. To this end, it's important to keep the following structural armour thresholds in mind: 25mm or less - All superstructures, all destroyers, all light cruisers, any non-American or non-German heavy cruisers, all battleships below tier VIII+. 27mm - As above but now including German and American tier VIII+ heavy cruisers. 32mm - As above but now including all tier VIII+ battleships. 35mm to 60mm - As above but now including many reinforced areas of deck and upper hull of many ships but excluding extended belts which can be as much as 100mm or more. Note this list does not include areas such as belt armour, conning towers or turrets which are often in excess of 100mm. Aircraft carriers are also excluded because they're weird and should be looked at on a case by case basis (I'll get into this more when I cover the CV hulls in a later article). To this end we can thus separate rockets into two distinct categories: Low Penetration Rockets - These have less than 32mm of penetration and are only really effective against lightly armoured ships. They can be used to directly damage superstructures of most ships they face in a pinch, however. High Penetration Rockets - These have 32mm of penetration or greater and can safely engage almost any target they face. The penetration values of rockets largely dictates how effective they can be -- even above and beyond the number of rockets fired, their fire chance or damage per hit. If there's a range of targets they simply cannot engage, their utility drops considerably. Summary Saipan's Bearcats have excellent damage, penetration and fire settings per hit. They carry only three rockets and their aiming marker isn't especially precise and favours attacks running down the length of the ship. Enterprise's Hellcats have poor damage, penetration and abysmal fire setting per hit. Individually, they don't carry a lot of rockets Her aim marker facilitates side-on attacks. Kaga's Zeroes have the worst potential damage output per plane. Their penetration is low and so is their fire chance. They fire a very small number of rockets but their aiming marker is precise and isn't as penalized from launching at odd angles. Graf Zeppelin's Me-155As have excellent damage, penetration and fire setting per hit. She fires a small number of rockets and she needs to attack along the length of a ship to have a chance for her long aim market to land hits. The tech-tree attack aircraft share a similar variety of targeting markers. Shokaku andKaga's markers are comparable, as are Lexington's HVAR and Tiny Tims to Enterprise and Saipan respectively. Implacable's Seafires have a longer reticule than it is wide but not to the same exaggerated degree as Graf Zeppelin. Squadron & Attack Flight Details Once again, it's nomenclature time! Squadron: The group of aircraft that flies together. The player spends most of their time controlling squadrons. Attack Flight: The portion of the squadron which separates to attack an enemy target. Hangar Capacity: The maximum number of aircraft that can be stored on the carrier’s flight deck. Attack Flights Let's hop up from individual aircraft to the next largest functional unit: the Attack Flight. This varies per carrier and dictates the size of their strike package. Shokaku - 3 aircraft for 18 rockets per attack. Kaga - 2 aircraft for 8 rockets per attack. Lexington (HVAR) - 3 aircraft for 24 rockets (!) per attack. Lexington (Tiny Tim) - 3 aircraft for 6 rockets per attack. Saipan - 2 aircraft for 6 rockets per attack. Enterprise - 3 aircraft for 18 rockets per attack. Graf Zeppelin - 2 aircraft for 6 rockets per attack. Implacable - 2 aircraft for 20 rockets per attack. As you can see, this creates wildly different strike potentials between the carriers. The raw damage potential per attack run works out to the following (in order): 48,000 damage - Lexington (HVAR) 47,000 damage - Implacable 39,600 damage - Shokaku 35,600 damage - Graf Zeppelin 34,200 damage - Enterprise 32,400 damage - Saipan, Lexington (Tiny Tim) 17,600 damage - Kaga While all four premium carriers are in the bottom half of this spread, keep their penetration values also in mind. Saipan and Graf Zeppelin's rockets can damage even large targets while Implacable and Shokaku cannot. Lexington's HVARs set the bar really high, admittedly. Potential damage is curbed not only by penetration but by accuracy as well. Depending on target size, the angle at which you engage a target can change results enormously. For example, when engaging a stationary Reference Mahan™ in the Training Rooms, the Tiny Tim rockets off Saipan and Lexington generated contrasting results from one another despite launching the same ordnance with identical (or near enough) target markers. Saipan landed more parallel hits but Lexington landed more perpendicular. This is largely owing to small sample sizes (only 10 attack runs per carrier, per aspect) but it shows the kind of RNG trolling that can and will happen when firing rockets, especially against small targets. The only rockets I would call reasonably accurate are the HVAR off Lexington's Corsairs and Enterprise's own Hellcats. Both CVs can land an alarming number of hits provided they attack broadside on. However they have the worst aim time and they don't respond well to constant adjustments during aiming. The aim time of the various attack aircraft varies considerably, with the large Tiny Tim rockets ironically being easiest to lock onto a small, fast moving target. The swarms of rockets off of Enterprise, Implacable or Lexington when she uses HVAR that are oh-so devastating against destroyers are the most difficult to aim at twitchy, stealthy lolibotes.[ This brings up the issue of trying to attack agile and stealthy targets with rockets. For all of their apparent design to engage destroyers, attack aircraft are some of the least suited to sniffing them out and engaging them at close ranges. There isn't enough attack time on attack aircraft to make significant course adjustments against a destroyer that is stealthed with its AA disabled. This will necessitate making a second or even a third pass to line up on the target and it's not likely that the aim marker will be perfectly settled if the destroyer is attempting to go evasive. In this regard, dive bombers are much better. Attack Runs and Flak Generally speaking, attack aircraft are immune to flak explosions while performing their attack runs. There's no need to wiggle and dodge flak bursts while on your final approach. Now I say generally because in testing, very occasionally I would get clipped by a flak cloud but it was so rare that I could never predict why and how it was occurring without any discerned pattern. Do note you are not safe from flak when coming out of an attack run. This is why it's so often preferable to drop any excess planes from your squadron before entering high flak-volume areas. Squadrons Squadron sizes vary enormously. These are arguably more important on rocket aircraft given the attrition rate of these planes over the more durable torpedo and dive bombers. Shokaku - 9 aircraft (3 attack flights) Kaga - 8 aircraft (4 attack flights) Lexington - 9 aircraft (3 attack flights) Saipan - 6 aircraft (3 attack flights) Enterprise - 12 aircraft (!) (4 attack flights) Graf Zeppelin - 8 aircraft (4 attack flights) Implacable - 6 aircraft (3 attack flights) Enterprise really stands out here in the same way Kaga did with torpedo bombers: she simply has so many. Unlike the fragility of the Japanese planes, Enterprise's attack planes are doubling up with not only a lot of aircraft but a fair chunk of health too, having more than half again as many effective hit points within the squadron as the other premium carriers. The size of Enterprise's squadrons come with the same disadvatange it did for Kaga: it makes it harder to avoid flak bursts. For Enterprise (and indeed, for all carriers), it's advised to send unneeded portions of the squadron back to the carrier pre-emptively by having them drop ordnance just after launching. This will save on casualties later. Carrier Capacity Finally before we get to my overall feels for these aircraft, let's touch base on the "unlimited" number of planes each of these carriers can deploy. Enterprise is the hands-down winner here. Though she starts with fewer than Kaga, she regenerates aircraft almost at a 2:1 rate to her Japanese premium counterpart and almost 5:2 compared to Saipan. If you spammed nothing but attack aircraft on Enterprise (because you don't like winning), you could throw away as many as 47 Hellcats over a 20 minute game, not including her deployed fighters (which are also Hellcats). Seriously, spam the blighters -- you're going to have to try in order to lose them all. This is Enterprise's theme -- her fighters are meant to be her strength after all. Flight Control Modification 1 from the 5th upgrade slot is all but a must-have on all carriers for the increased carrier capacity. Summary Kaga's Zeroes surprisingly do not come in the same large squadrons and attack flights as her bombers and torpedo planes. They are very fragile with poor hitting power. She starts with a fair number of them but not-so many that you could confidently throw them away. Saipan's Bearcats come in small, nimble flights and squadrons, perfect for evading flak. The number of attacks per aircraft more than make up for this deficiency. Despite the lack of numbers, her flights and squadrons are comparable in durability to most of the other CVs. Furthermore, they have excellent reaction time for attacking targets suddenly, with quick aim and prep time, but properly setup, they will generate a lot of hits. Enterprise's Hellcats come in monster-sized squadrons. She has deep reserves and can recover aircraft losses quickly. Not only that, but her aircraft (and thus her squadrons) are reasonably tough too. On the downside, it takes them a long time to setup for an attack run and for their aim to settle. Their accuracy is questionable, though. Graf Zeppelin's Me-155As share Kaga's fragility but with improved striking power. The small number of rockets and elongated aim marker limits the number of hits she can land against wary targets. Overall Impressions Attack Aircraft take a back seat to Torpedo Bombers and Dive Bombers in the current meta. Among the premiums, even with "good" Attack Aircraft like those on Saipan and Enterprise, they're often idle until a preferred plane type is depleted. This is a shame in Enterprise's case as she's definitely built to specialize in her fighters, but they just don't have the punch needed to be a universal plane type. The other problem, really, is that for most carriers, dive bombers perform better in the anti-destroyer role than attack aircraft do. Individual hits are meatier. Aiming them is often easier, especially for destroyers that have their AA guns disabled which are trying to hide from the CV. The short attack window and long aim time of some of the rocket types just makes this worse. For the amount of time spent trying to repeatedly line up a rocket attack, you could have a follow up dive bomber strike already on the way. Still, when there's a proper target available, rockets can be a reasonable choice, especially for finishing off low-health targets in a hurry, or just being handy for having a reserve of fighter consumables still to deploy on your own carrier when someone's trying to snipe you. Kaga - A6M5 Zeroes Fragile individual aircraft and fragile flights and squadrons too. Her Zeroes are exceedingly squishy. She doesn't have the exhaustive reserves here either, though they are deeper than normal. Not all that impressive agility wise either with a meh top speed, turning radius and rate of turn. Her striking power is poor with a tiny number of rockets fired and unimpressive damage, penetration and fire chance. Failing marks all around. Kaga's Zeroes suck monkey-butt. They are, hands down, the worst attack aircraft tier VIII and by not a small margin either. Pick a trait and they are average at best and more often than not towards the bottom half (if not at THE bottom). You don't want to have to resort to these if you can help it. Saipan - F8F Bearcats Tough planes. They're surprisingly not operating at a tremendous deficit, durability wise, in terms of their squadrons and attack flights. She lacks reserves, though, and her regeneration is painfully slow. Great top speed and surprisingly agile despite that. Excellent prep and aim time on her rockets. Her rockets are individually excellent but she doesn't fire many of them to guarantee hits against small targets. Still, any hit you do land are going to be pretty meaty and are worth lobbing at destroyers just because. Excellent weapons to finish off low-health targets or to try and tax their Damage Control Party. The only thing that could have made Saipan's Bearcats any better would be the option to swap between Tiny Tims and HVAR rockets the way Lexington can. This lack of versatility doesn't hurt much overall, though. Saipan has arguably some of the best attack aircraft at tier VIII, combining durability, speed and striking power. The only draw back is that you don't get enough and when you start taking losses, you can find yourself quickly deplaned. Beware of fighters. Enterprise - F6F Hellcats Reasonable durability per plane for an attack aircraft. Her enormous attack flights and squadrons exaggerate their apparent durability. Large squadrons are more vulnerable to flak, however, but Enterprise has the reserves to muscle through losses like it was a non-issue. Still, the squads are ridiculously agile with a decent top speed. Shed a few aircraft with by dumping ordnance early and you can correct that squadron size issue. Side on attacks are a must to guarantee hits. You will get a lot of them if you do this. Make sure you attack from a long way out -- it takes a long time for her aim marker to settle. Unfortunately her rockets don't do a lot of damage, start many fires or have much in the way of penetration either. If you can't land a large number of hits, the attack isn't worth it. Enterprise is ostensibly the premium carrier meant to specialize with her Hellcats. They are good attack aircraft. It's just a shame attack aircraft aren't all they're cracked up to be. Their interactions versus destroyers was nerfed heavily and this feels readily apparent when sailing this CV. These should be a selling feature for Enterprise. But how can you get excited over a selling feature that's been nerfed to the point of near irrelevance? Graf Zeppelin - Me-155A Fragile planes, fragile flight, fragile squadron and not a whole lot of reserves. Her planes are painfully slow but they handle nicely at least. Their striking power is pretty good though. It's unfortunate that their aim marker and the small number of rockets they fire makes hitting destroyers so difficult. Oh well. When you do land hits, your targets are going to feel it. I'm not going to lie -- I find Graf Zeppelin's rocket aircraft to be pretty crappy, to be honest. They're not Kaga-bad, at least. For a ship that lacks HE bombs, I would have preferred to see a swarm of a small number of destroyer killers but I'll take baby Tiny Tims. At least they're not Japanese. Summary The big question is this: "Should attack aircraft form up part of my regular plane rotation?" The answer isn't simple but it largely boils down to this: How good are you with your dive bombers and torpedo planes? The better you are with these two types of aircraft, the less you'll ever need to take out attack aircraft. Attack aircraft were meant to counter destroyers but they haven't performed as well in this task since early on in the CV-rework. This task has largely been taken over by dive bombers. Still, there are some attack aircraft with some merits. Saipan has arguably the best rocket aircraft of the tier VIII carriers with Lexington coming in second and Enterprise third. I wish that was something to get excited over, but it's at the point now that a carrier could have crap attack aircraft and I wouldn't count that as much of a flaw. This simply speaks to how much better dive bombers and torpedo bombers are at the moment in the current meta Mouse's Ranking of the Tier VIII Attack Aircraft Saipan Lexington Enterprise Implacable Graf Zeppelin Shokaku Kaga Winner, winner. Conclusion I am so glad I decided to split these reviews up in parts. Now, I should be doing dive bombers next, but with the bug(?) that's affecting dive bomber accuracy still kinda being up in the air, I'm not sure when this next part will be out. I'll have to speak to the devs before I commit to publishing an article like this if everything's simply going to be changed when patch 0.8.3 rolls around. This may necessitate skipping dive bombers for now and covering the hulls of the four carriers next article instead. This article ran longer than I wanted (there was a lot of testing which slowed me down) and it's being published a few days later than promised. I'd expect the next part late next week or early the week after. Hopefully this whole project will be done by early May. Thanks for reading!
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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?