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MrBATTLEBRAWL

Saipan is the Most Unfun CV to Play Against

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The one premium, the Saipan, in my opinion is truly the bane of any carrier player who's gotten up to Tier VII on any of the lines. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Saipan is totally overpowered, I think it's incredibly strong, even captained by a mediocre player, but it definitely can be abused by someone who's seasoned.

For instance, if you division pair the Saipan with AA ships, usually Kutezovs, Kidds, Atlantas, etc you get some imbalanced matches if you queue solo. I remember one match an Atlanta parked directly next to the Saipan behind an island and prevented anyone from getting near him from sea or air. 

Division issues aside, what am I, as a Ranger, Hiryu or Kaga supposed to do against the 3-0-1? 12 Tier IX Fighters against Tier VI and Tier VII planes barely equal to that amount. It's not even the health of the plane squadrons, it's how fast they can cover a map. This is huge for scouting, as a 2-0-2 ranger you at least had a shot. Now you are stuck with 1 fighter squadron against potentially 2 that will be much faster and strafe you to oblivion. Don't bother trying to sneak bombers, they can cover the maps so unfairly fast at lower tiers it's barely worth trying. Most often I park my bombers near AA ships in the lemming train, and then try and micro my fighters into strafe matches and hopefully come out slightly better than my opponent. Even with the 2-2-0 Saipan still can be microed easily, since anything you face will have at least an even amount of slower squadrons moving around. Even if they lock your fighters up in a dogfight, no problem. Strafe out and don't lose a plane, foolproof escape. 

Compared to the Enterprise and the Kaga, Saipan has a matchmaking bonus too. Consider this, Enterprise has tier VII planes, but will almost always be downtiered against tier IX and X AA. Despite having Beefy squadrons, it gets chewed through, but it is a high skill, high reward kind of ship. Similarly with Kaga, which has a slight favor of being able to see tier V's, but can see up to tier IX's. Saipan can see tier IX's but has tier IX planes, that are balanced relative to the AA at those tiers. Not necessarily as powerful as an Essex or Taiho, but you still have a fighting chance, something any Kaga going up against Iowas or Enterprise seeing Des Moines with downtiered planes doesn't have the luxury of. 

The issue with the Air Supremacy Skill is the biggest force in my opinion that makes Saipan Overpowered. I honestly think the devs only considered the 3 fighter squadrons when testing it. That would still make it competitive with speed and scouting, but more balanced in terms of CV vs CV. I understand the AA aspect, but the speed you get far outweighs the plane reserves of the other carriers at the same tier. I think this is the main reason most people don't complain about the Saipan, as it doesn't always get a lot of damage out, it's just so annoying and laborious to play against it as a carrier. 

TL;DR Saipan is annoying to play against mostly due to the Air Supremacy skill, speed and scouting ability, ability to shut down another CV with low effort, and the strafe out mechanic is unbalanced

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30 minutes ago, MrBATTLEBRAWL said:

TL;DR Saipan is annoying to play against mostly due to the Air Supremacy skill, speed and scouting ability, ability to shut down another CV with low effort, and the strafe out mechanic is unbalanced

Agree.  The Ranger has absolutely no chance against this CV with equal skilled commanders and near peer player skill.  It is almost laughable.  That said, CV rework is coming and I believe this will be addressed in that substantive revision to CV state of play.  Keep treading the water.

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None of the premium CV's are fun to play against and its even worse if you're a USN CV.  USN's inability to defend itself or its allies at those tiers is awful.  But as Kongo said,  hopefully that's addressed in the rework.

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The mechanic that broke Saipan, IMO, was its ability to strafe out without losing a plane. This allows it to basically ping-pong between enemy squadrons, so your fighters are never able to truly lock it down while it happily strafes your planes again and again until it runs low on ammo and then run back to rearm (and you're never going to catch them) or until all your planes are dead (the far more likely scenario).

At least with Kaga, its horrendously powerful strike ability is contrasted by fighters that are mostly there as a distraction and delaying force (a properly played Ranger or Hiryu will mop the floor with them). With Saipan, not only do you have to deal with powerful fighter squadrons, but also bomber squadrons that basically shrug off all but the most powerful AA (think about it: Saipan has better torpedo bombers than MIDWAY).

Only with a truly incompetent Saipan can one outplay it in the air war: otherwise, it's only a game of distracting the fighters long enough for your bombers to attack and hoping that your team won't get hurt too badly.

What I think would fix Independence, Ranger, and Lexington would be to give them an extra fighter squadron. That way, their deficiency in strike capabilities compared to Ryujo, Hiryu, and Shoukaku would be compensated for by a superior air presence, unlike now where the IJN holds all the cards from tier 6 and up.

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Yep, Saipan's just... Bad to play against. GZ is stupidly unbalanced and I think worse for the game than Saipan, but opposing CVs seem to have a chance to deal with them. Saipan? Nope, completely outclasses all of them.

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I never took the Lexington, Ranger, Independence, or Bogue out into Random without an AS load. 

Now that they don't have that...  Co-Op only.

Back then, I did a string of 10 Random Lexington battles..  I fought Enterprise and Shokaku ... and never matched up against another Lexington.

Like I said, I had 2-0-2 loads, won most, but man..  they were real hairballs.

Came up against a couple outstanding CV ops..  I kept them busy by making them chase my planes around the map, and we clashed over center map spotting rights.  The rest of my teams picked up the slack for a win. 

I was using every dirty trick in the book...  like leaving one enemy plane alive in the strike group -- so they had to make the long trip all the way back to the CV to reload and replenish.

In all these battles, I had very low damage numbers, but like I said, I was keeping those enemy ships spotted solid so the rest of my team wasn't fighting blind.  The Enterprise and Shokaku's came in at the top of their losing teams.  I was near the bottom.

I had to ask my yolo DDs to slow down until I had the caps scouted before they jumped in at the beginning.

The new load-out has crippled the US CVs - and I haven't gone into Random with them since.

I am rather impressed with the AP bombs the Lexington has now, but those are entirely MM dependent on coming up against German BBs.  Even an auto-drop will strip down 1/3 of their health.  They will overpen CVs and most light cruisers.

...............

As for the Ranger, I was so disgusted with it before the change, I can only imagine how bad it is now.  I have the Saipan, Kaga, and Hiryu.. Ranger doesn't stand any chance at all.  I'd venture a guess that experienced CV ops won't even touch it.

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Saipan really just needs a nerf, but they will cling to the "don't nerf premiums" policy despite the ship killing any incentive to grind out T7. Guess why there aren't any CVs T8 and up.

Anyways, I would either drop the strafe out of lock penalty, since it was an unnecessary buff, or drop the squad size to 2 fighters. Since AS is a given, and the 3 plane squads are possible to deal with as a Ranger, either of these changes would be a step in the right direction.

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6 hours ago, Palladia said:

None of the premium CV's are fun to play against and its even worse if you're a USN CV.  USN's inability to defend itself or its allies at those tiers is awful.  But as Kongo said,  hopefully that's addressed in the rework.

I wouldn't say that. Saipan and GZ yes. However Kaga is really just a Hiryu with slightly bigger attack squadrons and down tiered fighters. Ranger now has difficulty due to limitation of 1 squadron and the broken strafe mechanics (entire thing is broken, not just with Saipan). But a Hiryu actually has an overall edge taking down it's planes and Ranger's fighters otherwise are vastly superior. With Enterprise when you add in DFE skill, that one plane less drops the DPS enough that if you resorted to point and click against a Shokaku - Shokaku actually has a legit chance against it because the DPS/HP ratio's bring it within 0.4% of USN's shoot down chance with stock numbers. Even with similar upgrades the gap would still be far less than old Lex AS, and Lex still has a good chance again, minus broken strafe mechanics. 

 

5 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

What I think would fix Independence

Thing is - Independence doesn't need to be fixed. Things may have changed but the last time I looked at 2 week numbers it was wrecking Ryujo and well, the 1,1,1 was the go to setup at that tier especially with Ryujo almost always using 1,2,2. if they've started using there 3,1,1 setup as the standard that is a troubling development. However if the issue is when it's in a match with tier 7 carriers that's simply the product of the fact Wargaming never balanced them properly for inter-tier CV play. At no point did they even try to math out changes to fighter DPS so that a lower tier could stand a real chance, or IJN stand one against USN. Also doesn't help and I hate to say this - neither tier 6 CV is really suited to the tier. Honestly, I think we need to move Inde and Ryujo down a tier to 5, bring Ranger and Hiryu down to 6 (or find another IJN fleet CV to fit there), Put Wasp (technically can be considered it's own class, only carried about 70 aircraft) or Yorktown with a hanger nerf at tier 7 (plane numbers aside, in truth the Yorktowns, even E, are tier 7 material, it's just E is closer to maybe 7.5+) and a new IJN tier 7 or as before Hiryu stays something else goes to T6. Would have to go do research again. And then lock tier 4 and 5 CV MM that they can see tier 6 ships max, but not CV's. Or only tiers 4 and 5. And limit tier 6 CV MM to at most +2/-1 or +2/-0 (sorry if I have it backwards, but basically, it only sees tier 5+ or can only see tier 6+). Even with Cleveland gone AA is still a bit nuts in tier 6 compared to 5, and when you get tier 7 and 8 ships and the AA they have - light/escort CV's and their numbers just have no place being there. IF AA was maybe 1/3rd as powerful as it currently is, maybe, but with current AA that don't have the reserves to really do anything. Out tiered like that still sucks at 7 and 8 but we have double the numbers of a tier 6 to try and throw at them. 

Ranger and Lex do need a fix however -

5 hours ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

give them an extra fighter squadron

The problem is a simple one that has existed since Alpha and time and time again, Wargaming has ignored  and the "USN rework" was the latest horrifically failed attempt to address the issue without actually addressing it - USN fighters are OP. Even without strafing, USN fighters could beat IJN's 2 squadrons with one. USN could just slaughter IJN's planes with AS. And the reason is simple - DPS is too high. While if you look at the tool tip it's lower, that's PER PLANE. When you multiply the DPS by the plane count, USN has a higher DPS. It also generally has more HP. It also has a higher "loadout" aka more ammo. It also, because of how it's DPS is spread out over more planes, loses DPS slower with losses. USN starts with a pretty huge gap in chance to down a plane, which is why when you see USN vs IJN, almost every time you see USN down a plane first and then it seems to just steamroll. The only disadvantage USN has, and even then, not much of one at most tiers if it even exists in them, is speed, and at tier 8 were talking 2 knots. Some tiers, like 7, USN even has speed. They are all pro, no con. USN needs it's DPS nerfed, maybe it's HP buffed a little more, and IJN needs it's DPS raised a little. IJN would then have the initial edge in the fight (but by a lower margin than USN's current edge), however, ammo and the fact it still has a higher DPS drop off from losses means in a protracted engagement, USN has the advantage (sound familiar to any history buffs out there). Which, with exit strafing, means IJN can disengage when they feel the time is right to not take chances or they've bought enough time for their bombers. But while they fall back to rearm and replenish, USN can still just kinda loiter there waiting to weather the next attack. For any familiar with the "Rocky" Films as another example - USN is Rocky Balboa, IJN is the opponent he typically wears down by taking a beating and tiring them out.

At which point we can reintroduce USN AS setups, as they were except maybe high tier unless we change IJN's fighter group counts, give USN high tiers the proper fighters back, remove Midways broken 2,2,2 setup because with the return of AS we give the DB's an HP buff - something they were never given to counteract all the AA buffs to counteract manual TB drops, and dial in the accuracy of HE DB's closer to, or seeing as these are the same planes or higher tier I just mentioned, as accurate, as Saipan's DB's and have it be 2,1,3 because with DB's buffed properly for survivability and accuracy, especially with 1000 pound bombs, DB's are more than capable of being an effective form of damage, even if not the most direct and immediate. I'm sorry but if someone like me that tries to avoid using manual drop, with DB's in their current botched state, and isn't even a top tier CV player, can deal 80-100k+ damage with just HE DB's and resulting fires from hits - the actual pro's, especially those that abuse manual drop, should be able to do as well or better. 

Both have balanced fighters, with USN DB's at all tiers properly buffed to actually have some consistency and accuracy, both have decent strike ability. But are both still different and unique in play style. 

2 hours ago, pewpewpew42 said:

Saipan really just needs a nerf, but they will cling to the "don't nerf premiums" policy despite the ship killing any incentive to grind out T7. Guess why there aren't any CVs T8 and up.

Anyways, I would either drop the strafe out of lock penalty, since it was an unnecessary buff, or drop the squad size to 2 fighters. Since AS is a given, and the 3 plane squads are possible to deal with as a Ranger, either of these changes would be a step in the right direction.

 

2 hours ago, khaenn35 said:

GZ is stupidly unbalanced and I think worse for the game than Saipan

Doing these two together - GZ really is, and it's really more for the fact that it is the same issue on why USN fighters are OP, but dialed up even higher. Even when I had an AS loadout Lex and encountered one (albeit it had an extra fighter back then as well) it dd to my USN fighters what mine usually did to IJN. The DPS and plane count combo is too high. DPS should be lower, way lower. Especially because the planes the ship has are at best tier 6 material, not the 7 and 8 they have tried to push and the ship itself is actually more tier 7 material at best. They gave it one DB group that basically not only has super accuracy but effectively has IFHE so, yeah, that goes well and has an AP option that can be even more devestating, combined with TWO TB squadrons when that really isn't what Germany was into or developed. That can deal massive damage. Especially after losing my grandfather to it and seeing the, to quote Deadpool "absolute :etc_swear: show" it is, I do not use this word lightly, it's freaking truly cancerous. It is super cancer. It is everything that non-CV players who hate CV's and want them removed with their irrational misunderstandings thinking we are gods of death that can instantly remove ships at free will with no possible counter personified. I'm gonna likely need to save money to get it because it is "pull from sale for near forever" bad. Grem, Nikolai, every other ship they have pulled for being OP ain't got :etc_swear: on the GZ's I've encountered. 

And Saipan, I bought one purely to pick it apart. And the thing is that yeah - a Saipan with only 3 fighters, it's not only possible to deal with, it's out right easy. with only 3 planes it's basically cripplingly underpowered even in it's AS setup vs a CV with AS and/or DFE. However, add AS to it, now it's stupidly OP especially with things like strafe. It's so poorly balanced that a captain skill determines what side it's on of the coin.

And Wargaming CAN AND WILL nerf premiums - however, not directly because people payed money, and now your making what they payed for worse which, gets into some serious issues. So, global nerfs to say, fighter DPS and attack plane damage, would in fact, result in changes to Saipan. Especially if it still shares planes/modules, with the USN tech tree. At which point if it's performance falls too much, they can then buff it back up to be at a reasonable level, thereby fixing the problem.

That, and I think to be honest, we do need to nerf CV alpha damage, it's honestly a bit high (though this would be DB's being made that much more accurate, increased flood/fire chance from ordnance, and nerfing AA as part of the concession) and in this scenario, would see AS skill redone again, but this time - remove the extra fighter and add an extra TB back in. As it is, the extra fighter makes the skill mandatory and has far too much influence. The extra attack planes aren't super necessary at that point, runs a risk of potentially running out faster and could say, with TB's change the drop pattern and DB's a slight increase in the drop circle that may be drawbacks enough to even out the pro's of the skill to really make it a choice. 

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