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Speedstang

Okay, what should I do with this ship (Lexington)

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Some of you may recall a post I made earlier about the Lexington which was a combination of me raging about it (sorry about that) and asking for help. Yeah, not the best combination there.... (Thanks to those who did help me despite my salt, definitely took your suggestions into account.)

 

Anyways, since then, we've had the free commander respecs and upgrade demounting, so I was able to move upgrades and commanders around and finally get my original 13 point Bogue captain set up for the Lexington. I've also accumulated a decent amount of free XP.

 

Here's what I've got at the moment. Take note of my credits, XP, upgrades, and commander:

Spoiler

btYpcme.jpg

(Note: I also have Air Groups Mod 2 and Concealment Mod in my inventory, not currently mounted.)

1

I'm really not sure what direction to take with the ship. I don't have enough XP/credits to upgrade all the modules, and I'm not sure what plane loadout to use. I also don't have enough points on the commander to take both Air Supremacy and Concealment Expert. I do have enough elite XP for it thanks to some dragon flags and the Halloween event, but I'd rather not use it unless absolutely necessary.

 

What modules should I take first, should I change any upgrades/mount the demounted ones, and what commander setup should I use?

 

Also, what are the strengths and weaknesses of each loadout? Which would you recommend for having the most impact on the outcome of the battle?

I've had people suggest all of them, but I really don't know what to use. With the balanced I just feel overwhelmed by enemy aircraft, having only a single fighter squadron and two strike squadrons, while the AS hasn't gone too well, as I'm only able to impact the game minimally and allied AA gets the majority of the plane kills. As you can see I haven't tried strike, but I can't imagine not having any fighters to guard my strike aircraft, not to mention I can't provide air support for my team. (Particularly lone DD's too far from allied AA.) However, many people have suggested using the strike loadout regardless. I'm really not sure what to do here.

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Personally i wouldn't go strike. 

I prefer the balanced load out on this ship. Strafe is your friend and using allied AA ship's for cover and the DoT.

 

Drop on a solo BB when they use repair then bring in  the second squad to hit.

 

Lastly dont throw your planes away early trying to get a kill or damage. Ship's lose AA when being hit by shots from other ship's. 

 

Finally if a game has high AA hunt/spot DDs and the chance to hit a capital ship will come

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I’m going to disagree with griefer.   Go strike.  Use two DBs to scout opposite ends of the map.   Keep enemy DDs lit so they are scared to cap.   Drop on the DDs as enemy fighters approach.   Kite the enemy fighters with your empty DBs as long as you can and if possible drag them over friendly (Non DD!!!) AAA.   Once you drag red fighters to a side or both sides send your remaining DB and TB to where the red fighters are not.   Pick on whatever you can.   If you are bottom tiered, I’d suggest focusing on any DD that is not USN AA Speced.   Eliminating or hampering red DDs goes a long way to a win.  

 

Edit: I do agree with Greifer on the last three points though.  

Edited by Rusten_De_Mont
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40 minutes ago, Speedstang said:

Some of you may recall a post I made earlier about the Lexington which was a combination of me raging about it (sorry about that) and asking for help. Yeah, not the best combination there.... (Thanks to those who did help me despite my salt, definitely took your suggestions into account.)

 

Anyways, since then, we've had the free commander respecs and upgrade demounting, so I was able to move upgrades and commanders around and finally get my original 13 point Bogue captain set up for the Lexington. I've also accumulated a decent amount of free XP.

 

Here's what I've got at the moment. Take note of my credits, XP, upgrades, and commander:

  Reveal hidden contents

btYpcme.jpg

(Note: I also have Air Groups Mod 2 and Concealment Mod in my inventory, not currently mounted.)

1

I'm really not sure what direction to take with the ship. I don't have enough XP/credits to upgrade all the modules, and I'm not sure what plane loadout to use. I also don't have enough points on the commander to take both Air Supremacy and Concealment Expert. I do have enough elite XP for it thanks to some dragon flags and the Halloween event, but I'd rather not use it unless absolutely necessary.

 

What modules should I take first, should I change any upgrades/mount the demounted ones, and what commander setup should I use?

 

Also, what are the strengths and weaknesses of each loadout? Which would you recommend for having the most impact on the outcome of the battle?

I've had people suggest all of them, but I really don't know what to use. With the balanced I just feel overwhelmed by enemy aircraft, having only a single fighter squadron and two strike squadrons, while the AS hasn't gone too well, as I'm only able to impact the game minimally and allied AA gets the majority of the plane kills. As you can see I haven't tried strike, but I can't imagine not having any fighters to guard my strike aircraft, not to mention I can't provide air support for my team. (Particularly lone DD's too far from allied AA.) However, many people have suggested using the strike loadout regardless. I'm really not sure what to do here.

Ideally, you would right click on the ship and press "SELL" because its a piece of sh*t. Then pick any premium and grind enough free XP to skip past it to the Essex.

But if you are stubborn enough to suffer through it (like I did), I recommend just playing AS and trying covering your fleet as much as you can. Its going to be a looooooooooong grind, and you will see tier X's 75-80% of the time, but thats unavoidable. At least you may learn a thing or two about air superiority when you force yourself to play this thing.

Strike Lex is useless, so dont even bother. Your dive bombers are inaccurate as sh*t, you face tier X AA most of the time, and you can't protect friendlies or spot DDs because you dont have any fighters. To add on to the problems, your concealment is huge preventing you from staying close to your fleet meaning your planes have to fly longer distances to rearm.

Edited by Ulthwey

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On the side note (troll intended)

Why not purchase the Halloween crates?

They will RNG you the perm camo for the Lex, then extras will help you over the mark - eg credits, doubloons and signals for long grind

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Here is how I would put it: Both strike and AS loadouts are too heavily focused on one area, and hence very dependent on the matchmaker. By contrast, the balanced loadout will be viable regardless of the matchmaker, but generally underpowered.

 

Unusually, the strike loadout is viable on the Lexington because of how often you end up in tier 9 and 10 matches. There is a massive inflation of AA power in these tiers in order to compensate for the tier 10 carriers never seeing higher tier AA. As such, your allies can often take care of air attacks by themselves, while you need all the extra planes you can get your hands on to act as sacrificial lambs so your torpedo bombers can get through enemy AA and still pack a punch.

EDIT: I will agree with other posters however that regardless of what tiers MM puts you with, taking strike does involve throwing the DDs on your team under a bus.

The AS loadout has the opposite problem in higher tier battles; your fighters are redundant, you have too few planes to survive the enemy AA and too little striking power to hurt them if you did.

 

By contrast, in lower tier battles, the strike loadout is effectively an instant-loss, as the enemy carrier will be able to control the skies and wipe out one ally after another. Tier 8 CVs also get defensive fire, so you won't even be able to CV snipe them.

The AS loadout though has the potential to prevent this and is very forgiving of mistakes. That said, I'm not a big fan of the AS loadout even in this situation because your main impact on the battle will be in limiting the impact of the enemy CV. If the enemy CV is good then great; you've successfully stumped a good player, but if he isn't, then you won't achieve much. I "usually" out-perform the enemy CV, so it felt like a waste.

 

The balanced loadout meanwhile is underpowered to say the least. It has the fewest number of planes, meaning that you can ONLY strike isolated targets who are either >tier 8 (8 and below) or have unusually weak AA. Spotting is difficult given how few squadrons you have and how few planes you can afford to lose, and gaining control of the skies is difficult without all the extra tricks made possible by having multiple fighter squadrons. Smart strafing, smart target selection and smart strikes are REQUIRED to do decently with this loadout. The biggest problem I had was how quickly losing a few planes made squadrons ineffective or all the strafing made your fighters run out of ammo, necessitating bringing them back to the carrier (and you know how long loading times on USN CVs are). When fighting against a lexington, it isn't actually necessary to destroy their fighter squadron, as simply taking 2-4 planes off will require them to spend the next 3 minutes refueling.

 

There is one big advantage the balanced loadout has, and that is the extremely small number of squadrons you have to micromanage. This allows for incredibly precise babysitting, so you can just skirt AA bubbles, pay perfect attention to your strafes, and not lose track of where stuff is going. The best strategy I found was to use my torpedo and dive bombers as scouts in the early game, just skirting enemy AA bubbles. I'd try to hit enemy planes with strafes when they were coming in for strikes and had the most to micromanage, and then I'd wait until the later game when ships had dispersed and the enemy had lost most of their fighters to make my own strikes (fire/flood when in lower tiers, screen with dive bombers and make torp bomber drop in the higher tiers).

 

Edited by senseNOTmade

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16 minutes ago, ObiwankzKenobi said:

On the side note (troll intended)

Why not purchase the Halloween crates?

They will RNG you the perm camo for the Lex, then extras will help you over the mark - eg credits, doubloons and signals for long grind

I don't have any money at all to purchase things, which is one of the reasons I just barely was able to get my 13 point commander respecced for the Lexington thanks to it being free. Was running a 7 point before. Completely F2P.

21 minutes ago, Ulthwey said:

Ideally, you would right click on the ship and press "SELL" because its a piece of sh*t. Then pick any premium and grind enough free XP to skip past it.

But if you are stubborn enough to suffer through it, I recommend just playing AS and trying covering your fleet as much as you can. Its going to be a looooooooooong grind, and you will see tier X's 75-80% of the time, but thats unavoidable. At least you may learn a thing or two about air superiority when you force yourself to play this thing.

For premiums, I only have the Okybrskaya Revolutsiya and Graf Spee, neither of which have netted me many credits or free XP. So I'll have to go through the Lexington the old-fashioned way.

35 minutes ago, Rusten_De_Mont said:

I’m going to disagree with griefer.   Go strike.  Use two DBs to scout opposite ends of the map.   Keep enemy DDs lit so they are scared to cap.   Drop on the DDs as enemy fighters approach.   Kite the enemy fighters with your empty DBs as long as you can and if possible drag them over friendly (Non DD!!!) AAA.   Once you drag red fighters to a side or both sides send your remaining DB and TB to where the red fighters are not.   Pick on whatever you can.   If you are bottom tiered, I’d suggest focusing on any DD that is not USN AA Speced.   Eliminating or hampering red DDs goes a long way to a win.  

 

Edit: I do agree with Greifer on the last three points though.  

Would you still recommend running Air Supremacy for the dive bombers on the strike loadout? 

43 minutes ago, _greifer said:

Personally i wouldn't go strike. 

I prefer the balanced load out on this ship. Strafe is your friend and using allied AA ship's for cover and the DoT.

 

Drop on a solo BB when they use repair then bring in  the second squad to hit.

 

Lastly dont throw your planes away early trying to get a kill or damage. Ship's lose AA when being hit by shots from other ship's. 

 

Finally if a game has high AA hunt/spot DDs and the chance to hit a capital ship will come

The problem I've really had with the balanced loadout is just getting overrun by enemy fighters, with only 3 squadrons they tend to just brute force my planes through my own fighters and allied AA. How do you deal with things like the Enterprise and AS Lexington?

 

 

Also, thanks for all the advice so far all of you.

Edited by Speedstang

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41 minutes ago, Rusten_De_Mont said:

I’m going to disagree with griefer.   Go strike.  Use two DBs to scout opposite ends of the map.   Keep enemy DDs lit so they are scared to cap.   Drop on the DDs as enemy fighters approach.   Kite the enemy fighters with your empty DBs as long as you can and if possible drag them over friendly (Non DD!!!) AAA.   Once you drag red fighters to a side or both sides send your remaining DB and TB to where the red fighters are not.   Pick on whatever you can.   If you are bottom tiered, I’d suggest focusing on any DD that is not USN AA Speced.   Eliminating or hampering red DDs goes a long way to a win.  

 

Edit: I do agree with Greifer on the last three points though.  

 

Don't go strike. Strike Lex is a loser choice, a few players can make it work, but most can't play it. Basically, if you go Strike, you're conceding all the initiative to the other CV. Your DDs will always be spotted, you can't do a thing to protect your teammates -- but it was YOU who summoned a CV to the match. When I get in a match with a Strike Lex player, I assume it is a loss, and have to suppress a strong urge to TK the SOB for throwing the match. 

Strike is pure selfishness. Go with AS. You'll get less XP but you will win more often and won't concede the match to the opposing CV. 

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ah,

then stop playing the Lex for now, just focus on playing the Oct and the Spee until you get a bit more credits ... Set up a target for playing just those 2 premium ship - get credits/free XP. If you not good, the more you play the better you get = more credit.

For example, I am in need of XP, so I set up a goal that I just going to play premiums to grind to my target. I stop playing other ships. So from 300k, I need to get to 750k, in 4 months, I am now at 740k XP. I am so over it with playing the premium ships for another 5 days 

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0.  Change propulsion to DC2.  Fire is your enemy and you need to reduce the time it burns as much as possible.

1.  Upgrade torpedo bombers, then dive bombers, then strike, then hull.

2.  If credits aren't a problem, mount the fighter buff upgrade (slot 2), then when you switch to strike, switch to the one that speeds up aircraft servicing (because you'll have no fighters).

3.  Upgrade other flight control if you want or save the xp and go straight to Essex.

 

Strike is about killing enemies as fast as possible - DDs and BBs that are near the front lines should be your primary target.  Keep your bombers near your cruisers for AA protection and strike when the opportunity appears.  I like to split my bombers into two groups, forcing the enemy CV to split his fighters (assuming Shokaku or Enterprise).  The key here is you need to kill ships.  If you're not good at torpedoing destroyers, PRACTICE THIS.  Learn to anticipate movements and force enemies to react to your planes - not your teammates.  If you can do this well, you'll help your team far more than one or two squadrons of fighters ever will.  Lexington's dive bombers have insane damage, so learn to drop on DDs with these as well.  BBs are good for Damage over Time - torp and dive bomb, then bring in the other two squadrons when the player DCP's.  Ping the minimap when you see the enemy CV's bombers so your team has the best chance possible to evade.  

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1 hour ago, Taichunger said:

 

Don't go strike. Strike Lex is a loser choice, a few players can make it work, but most can't play it. Basically, if you go Strike, you're conceding all the initiative to the other CV. Your DDs will always be spotted, you can't do a thing to protect your teammates -- but it was YOU who summoned a CV to the match. When I get in a match with a Strike Lex player, I assume it is a loss, and have to suppress a strong urge to TK the SOB for throwing the match. 

Strike is pure selfishness. Go with AS. You'll get less XP but you will win more often and won't concede the match to the opposing CV. 

If you play AS perfectly, it is the better option, because you cancel out the other CV and do a little damage on the side.   But it’s rare.  I’d rather wipe the other teams DDs.   And yes OP I do take the extra DB.  

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Regarding Lexington's fighter use, you have to be real smart with them, especially if you're sailing Stock and having only 1 fighter unit.  Make a mistake with that 1 fighter unit and it's an easy kill for the other CV.

 

USN fighters shine best defensively.  Unless you can pick off isolated bombers or the other CV is a [edited] and is bunching up all their planes, you need to be conservative.

 

CV bombers are at their most vulnerable when they're on their final approach to drop.  They are "locked in" and never, ever back out once begun.  You need to time your fighter strafe to cover that predicted bomber run and wipe them out, or at least get most of them before they drop.

 

The flip side to this is trying to engage bombers elsewhere, the enemy CV can split them, redirect them, bait you back over AA cover, bait you with fighters of their own, etc.  Not so when you're on air defense.  If they committed their bombers that far into the attack they are NEVER backing out.

 

If the enemy CV wants to engage your own fighters while you're fighting defensively like this, cool.  You're fighting in your AA and whoever is in the way of your anti-bomber strafes, they'll eat losses too.  It takes very, very good timing and execution for an enemy CV to strafe away your fighters as they're about to strafe defensively the bombers.  No matter what, they'll eat heavy losses due to fighters and AA.

 

This is how a Stock Lexington can be a PITA even with 1 fighter unit.  But Stock Lexi needs to play SMART and read where those bombers are going to be next to prepare for them, and not be stupid with needless fighter losses.  AS Lexington can be extremely good in the team air defense role if you play smart like this, but your damage output is going to be utter s--t.  AS Lexington's 2 fighters can do successive strafes, 1 after the other, or 1 massive 2 fighter unit strafe for wide coverage.  Or have a rotation of fighters for more fighter coverage over time.  Stock Lexington's 1 fighter unit cannot do that, so very efficient, smart play is demanded on Stock Lexi.  But at least she has that 1 TB + 1 DB unit to do way more damage than AS Lexington can ever hope to do.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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Ranger and Lexington are in this really bad position against IJN carriers that can equal or overcome them with ease since they have better versatility.  It really is hard to figure out which loadout to use for countering this, and still doing damage.

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I played 298 games in Lex so I can share my opinion  with you.

 

I played USN CV because of historical reason- since I was little, I was always inspired by WWII pacific theater stories where US Navy was always outgunned by much better and superior INJ forces. They managed to beat the odds with careful planning and most importantly luck. This is exactly what you will go through when you play USN CV line especially Lex. It will be rather IMPOSSIBLE to go toe to toe against an experienced IJN CV player and come out in your favor. This is simply due to IJN CV's robust loadouts (fighters/bombers/torp planes), faster rearmed speed and significantly better concealment (they can follow their fleet without being spotted) . Regardless, when my team came out as a winner despite the loss of all my planes or even my own CV, I always felt satisfied. BUT if you are simply just a player who likes to win and kick your enemy's [edited], I will recommend you get Saipan (or Enterprise) or go down IJN CV line.  

 

Here are some of my tips for you when playing Lex:

 

1) If you choose strike Lex, you are playing a lottery that your enemy CV will also be strike Lex or he is afk (or completely clueless how to play a CV).

2) I ended up playing a lot of AS because I can protect my fleet so that they will get a better chance of being alive to carry- most importantly I can scout enemy ship movement and spot DD and their torps (***) I will emphasize you do need to spot not only their DDs but also their torps so your team can dodge them. Downside is you cant do much damage and you are counting on your team.   

3) Try to div with ships with good AA ( you do need to know how to read specs- DPM and RANGE) e.g AA spec North Carolina, Kut, Hipp or Edin

4) Whenever I play CV,  I try to see where my team and enemy's AA platforms are i.e. you want to dogfight within your friendlies' AA bubbles (thats why div with aa ships are important).

5) You need to master strafing, counter strafing and cross straying with two squads- most importantly how to avoid being strafed. There are ways to bait enemy so that you can strafe their planes during their strafing run where they have no control over their planes.

6) Upgrade depends on your play style, I gave priority to fighters (supremacy, etc) and  ships AA because you will most likely to be by yourself due to USN CV's poor concealment and you will need to defend yourself against enemy's strike .

7) Always on the lookout for where enemy's strike planes are because their fighters will most likely to bait your fighters away from their attack planes.

8) Remember USN CV line's strength is fighters, they can outgun IJN planes as long as you don't let them strafe you.

   

Good luck with your Lady Lex.

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AS if you want to be really frustrated, Strike if you only want to be somewhat frustrated.

 

AS is a thankless game. Likely the worst part about it is the enemy CV will outdamage you. Your fighter will run out of ammo and a Shokaku can easily get one 40k strike in while your fighters are rearming. On the other hand, you will be hard pressed to get 40k in the whole game.

 

Strike is harder to play, but more fun. Baiting fighters with DB to protect your TB's is a lot of micromanagement, however those fighters cant be everywhere. Strike Lex should be doing 100-150k damage.

 

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I speak from dueling captains of various skills in Lex, when I was on Shokaku.

 

Balanced loadout is the most frustrating, since very limited attacks. Its one pro is with only 3 airborne groups, impossible to run out of planes. However, you'll need a viable BB target and the ability to lure away the red fighters (if any) from intended target. DoT strategy is a must to make the most of the limited DB/TB runs.

 

AS is a gamble your team is competent. Two fighters will scare off most bomber attacks, but you'll need DoT with your 2 DB to make the most of them vs. BB and cruiser, though you can also alpha strike DDs as 1000 lb. HE really hurts. The main difficulty with this loadout is predicting each of the red CV's moves so your fighters are there to greet them at every turn.

 

Strike is the only viable loadout, currently. Assign 2 DB to be DF and fighter decoys (expending their bombs is one way to ensure fighters cannot catch up) while the other two go and slam something. If face a strike lex, congrats, you can farm damage. Of the three loadouts, strike lex is the one that hits hardest, so best if trying to grind through.

 

So to best influence battle and get more base XP, go full strike loadout. If aiming to be a team player, AS works in a pinch, but nothing says "team player" like one alpha strike that punchs 60%+ off a ship so it can be finished off.

 

CE is not important on US CVs either if you find an island and it ensures your teammates keep the reds busy. Only Ocean map tends to be problematic, but even running Taiho regularly, I rarely saw it.

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I've been "forgetting" that my dive bombers even have bombs and just using them as spotters, with my two fighters hunting for enemy planes. The only time I'll dive bomb is if I see a low-health DD that I can take out in a single strike or my ship is being attacked by an enemy that's out of range of my fire support (not that it usually does any good). It's more than a mess when you have four squadrons and your IJN opponents have six. It would be nice if the Lexington had at least had one torpedo bomber in its upgraded loadout (2/1/1), which would at least give it some legitimate defensive capability.

Edited by Snargfargle

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