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Defeating Essex fighters

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Hey all, I could use some tips with beating essex fighters in a Taiho. I know my strike potential is high, and I do get enough games where I'm getting high damage... but those damn fighters are a [edited] to kill.

Anyone know a way around their fighters? In tier 9 aa is also really high so that hurts too. I know I'm not the best at strafing but I'm trying my best to improve it. Sucks that after 2 strafes I'm outta ammo. Anyways, hook a cv player up with advice against these yankee planes! Thanks all in advance.

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On 8/31/2018 at 8:23 AM, Meowmix_plz_deliver said:

Anybody alive in here?

As an Essex and Taiho player (finished Essex grind, currently grinding Taiho and silver for Midway):

  • Against an equally skilled or better Essex player, you simply won't win air superiority. As I've experienced before, you can get strafe after strafe into those fighters, but the simple fact is that he has more squadrons and more planes in reserve than you do, and unless you outclass him by a HUGE margin, you will lose the air war. 
  • Strafe, strafe, strafe. They're pretty much your only chance of equalling the numbers war, and you'll find that the tier difference doesn't matter as much as you think.
    • Do not assume that Essex's fighters are neutralized just because they ate a strafe. USN squadrons can be surprisingly tough, and even if you knock down 2-3 planes off of one of Essex's squadrons, a clickfight is still very much a tricky business.
    • On that note, head-on strafes against USN fighters are simply a no-no unless you have an initial numbers advantage. Not only does Essex have a more powerful strafe, but he also can afford to play the numbers game. Taiho cannot.
  • IJN fighters aren't really so much for winning air superiority as they are for mitigating enemy bomber attacks and keeping enemy fighters busy so that your own bombers can do their work unhindered. In my experience sailing Essex, the worst thing Taiho players can do is try to engage my fighters directly, and the best thing they can do is basically make me run my fighters ragged, either preventing me from intercepting strikes or forcing me to take heavy losses defending my own bombers.
  • Try to isolate one of the fighter squadrons to outnumber him or bait him into locking both fighter squadrons onto one of yours and then strafing with the other one. Ideally, you catch both squadrons in a single strafe somehow.
  • Utilize friendly AA: You'll need every advantage that you can get to win the air war.

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Basically, you don't. You can't offensively attack essex fighters. Instead, just use your fighters to spoil their strikes(which they can do easily) and use your lightning-fast TBs to strike out-of-position reds.


Either that, or run AS taiho and just play that way. Don't worry, at hakuryu you get the best of both worlds and the AS fight turns back in your favor(if very slightly).

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