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WizardFerret

Graf Zeppelin owners, is it worth it?

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I have all the tier 8 premium CVs besides the Graf Zeppelin, and I have found that each is fun and interesting in its own way. I considered buying GZ, but it just doesn't look worth it, not as strong as the others. The dive bombers look abysmal, missing both bombs even on well lined up drops and even if they hit it's usually a ricochet or shatter, or only one single citadel. Compare this to Enterprise and Saipan, and even Kaga, which can frequently land 10k+ drops with their bombs. You'd think either the rockets or torpedoes would make up for this, but GZ torpedoes seem to do the lowest damage at the tier besides Implacable, and the rockets seem rather inaccurate. Is the GZ a good ship or just significantly weaker than the other tier 8 CVs and in need of buffs?

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10 minutes ago, WizardFerret said:

I have all the tier 8 premium CVs besides the Graf Zeppelin, and I have found that each is fun and interesting in its own way. I considered buying GZ, but it just doesn't look worth it, not as strong as the others. The dive bombers look abysmal, missing both bombs even on well lined up drops and even if they hit it's usually a ricochet or shatter, or only one single citadel. Compare this to Enterprise and Saipan, and even Kaga, which can frequently land 10k+ drops with their bombs. You'd think either the rockets or torpedoes would make up for this, but GZ torpedoes seem to do the lowest damage at the tier besides Implacable, and the rockets seem rather inaccurate. Is the GZ a good ship or just significantly weaker than the other tier 8 CVs and in need of buffs?

Kaga and Enterprise are probably better, but GZ is really funny to play. Rockets are not bad at all (aft and bow like RN), the 3 torps aren't doing that much damage but their are easy to play, the dive bombers, well "Stuka" style, very different from others, drop them at very low altitude and you'll citadel any BB.

Torpedo and dive bombers Ta 152 are really fast... Secondaries will surprise any DD that comes close.

You'll have to train the captain as it is the only Kriegsmarine CV.

Buy, you won't regret it. 

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10 minutes ago, WizardFerret said:

I have all the tier 8 premium CVs besides the Graf Zeppelin, and I have found that each is fun and interesting in its own way. I considered buying GZ, but it just doesn't look worth it, not as strong as the others. The dive bombers look abysmal, missing both bombs even on well lined up drops and even if they hit it's usually a ricochet or shatter, or only one single citadel. Compare this to Enterprise and Saipan, and even Kaga, which can frequently land 10k+ drops with their bombs. You'd think either the rockets or torpedoes would make up for this, but GZ torpedoes seem to do the lowest damage at the tier besides Implacable, and the rockets seem rather inaccurate. Is the GZ a good ship or just significantly weaker than the other tier 8 CVs and in need of buffs?

I enjoy her, and she's turning out to be my favorite CV.

The Dive bombers, even with the unique drop pattern, are mostly useless. They don't often Ricochet or Shatter for me, they either miss completely, overpen, or on rare occasions citadel something. I don't even see normal pens with her. They're useful for dropping fighters and finishing off ships with good armor.

The attack aircraft, are "Meh", They're slow, fragile and don't have a lot of rockets. The rocket's themselves aren't bad, having good pen and damage. Killing a DD with them is a slow process.

The torpedo bombers are her number one weapon. The torps are pretty typical for non-IJN air dropped torps, dropped 3 at a time, from as close to a jet as you're going to find. They appear fragile, except that you spend so little time in AA aura's. I can usually pre-drop 3 aircraft, and dash into tier X AA to get 3 torps off all game long.

Her regen is nothing special, it's not crippling though.

Her fighters are nothing special, and her AA is passable.

Now to address the elephant in the room, her secondaries. Her secondaries are totally awesome, and you should do your best to not use them. She doesn't have the armor to get her through slugging matches that her guns will make you think you can win. They're good at ripping apart DD's that get to close, and for winning brawls with other CV's. Interestingly enough, her secondaries in addition to being very powerful, are also obscenely accurate, out-shooting many player operated main guns.

She's also a good looking carrier

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None of the post garbage rework CVs are worth having even in co op. I have mine only for amusement in co op and to complete directives that require them and count co op battles for progress. If the restriction was for random I wouldn't even bother unless goal was play one battle in a CV and the prize was at least1,000,000 doubloons.

Don't spend any money on any garbage rework CV!

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8 minutes ago, SgtBeltfed said:

I enjoy her, and she's turning out to be my favorite CV.

The Dive bombers, even with the unique drop pattern, are mostly useless. They don't often Ricochet or Shatter for me, they either miss completely, overpen, or on rare occasions citadel something. I don't even see normal pens with her. They're useful for dropping fighters and finishing off ships with good armor.

The attack aircraft, are "Meh", They're slow, fragile and don't have a lot of rockets. The rocket's themselves aren't bad, having good pen and damage. Killing a DD with them is a slow process.

The torpedo bombers are her number one weapon. The torps are pretty typical for non-IJN air dropped torps, dropped 3 at a time, from as close to a jet as you're going to find. They appear fragile, except that you spend so little time in AA aura's. I can usually pre-drop 3 aircraft, and dash into tier X AA to get 3 torps off all game long.

Her regen is nothing special, it's not crippling though.

Her fighters are nothing special, and her AA is passable.

Now to address the elephant in the room, her secondaries. Her secondaries are totally awesome, and you should do your best to not use them. She doesn't have the armor to get her through slugging matches that her guns will make you think you can win. They're good at ripping apart DD's that get to close, and for winning brawls with other CV's. Interestingly enough, her secondaries in addition to being very powerful, are also obscenely accurate, out-shooting many player operated main guns.

She's also a good looking carrier

Definitely interesting, if only the planes still had the speed they did before 0.8.4. If they could still go 260 knots I would definitely buy it, though I doubt they will ever be that fast again. Can you still get 200k or higher games with the GZ? Do you have to rely on secondaries to do that much?

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1 minute ago, WizardFerret said:

Definitely interesting, if only the planes still had the speed they did before 0.8.4. If they could still go 260 knots I would definitely buy it, though I doubt they will ever be that fast again. Can you still get 200k or higher games with the GZ? Do you have to rely on secondaries to do that much?

I try and avoid using the secondaries. Just flipping through a few screenshots I've got from some recent games, my max was 153k, with the average much lower because I spend a lot of time hunting down DD's to hopefully help the team win. I'm usually getting top 5 finishes in randoms with her, except when I'm the sacrificial tier 8 in a tier 10 match, so it's doing something right.

They'll do 226 knots these days, with a cruise of 185.

She's still a fun boat, even if I miss some of the stupid stuff she could do.

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10 minutes ago, SgtBeltfed said:

I try and avoid using the secondaries. Just flipping through a few screenshots I've got from some recent games, my max was 153k, with the average much lower because I spend a lot of time hunting down DD's to hopefully help the team win. I'm usually getting top 5 finishes in randoms with her, except when I'm the sacrificial tier 8 in a tier 10 match, so it's doing something right.

They'll do 226 knots these days, with a cruise of 185.

She's still a fun boat, even if I miss some of the stupid stuff she could do.

Most of the replays I've watched clearly don't have AR on the planes though. I'm sure GZ planes might get closer to their old speed once they've taken some AA damage. I don't think I would build it for secondaries as most do, but rather for better planes. AFT might still be the best 4 point skill to use though.

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I'm not a CV player but I scored one in a container. Tried her out once, been gathering dust ever since. Too bad we can't trade premiums.....

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It probably isn't worth it right now - but then again I don't think that any single ship is worth what WG charges for them. And I think it could use some buffs.

The Graf Zeppelin does play quite a bit differently than other CVs, and is harder to play than other CVs. 

It inverts the usual plane speed setup, your bombers are 200+ kt speedsters and the rocket planes are the slower ones. And since the planes are super fragile, you'll need to use the speed to your advantage. Part of that is knowing how to get in and out of AA range, part of that is bombing further from the CV than you would in other ships to get better matchups. Knowing AA mechanics matters a lot more for the GZ.

The rockets do good damage, but you get few of them so the RNG can swing things a bit much. Certain ships require a bow or stern attack, others require broadside depending on their armor layout and size. The rocket planes do turn well though, so it's a lot easier to repeatedly hammer a lone dd. And their attack distance is short. It's pretty easy to spot an undetected dd and fire on it without having to make a flyover first like you'd need to do with a Lexington's fighters. But they're really not great against dds compared to other CVs, but better against bigger squishy targets where more of the rockets will hit and pen. 

The AP bombs are tricky as hell. They're easy to use against KM BBs, but to get cits against almost anything else you'll need to time your drop. The bombers will dive and then level off a bit changing from a more vertical drop into a more horizontal one. US bbs for example have enough deck armor to stop the bombs, but not enough broadside armor. Most cruisers have too little deck armor, meaning you overpen them unless you increase the angle a bit either by dropping the bombs flatter. Learning how to cit each of your potential targets is a long process. And since each wave only drops two bombs, there's a lot of times the RNG will just make you whiff anyways. The attack patterns also are very different from other CVs' bombers, meaning it's not a terribly transferable skill.

The torp bombers are a little tricky to use as well. They take a while to focus and the torpedoes themselves are slow and take a while to arm. That means you need to plan your attack from 5+ km out and leads your target a shiplength or two even at the closest arming range. Again, it takes a lot of practice to get the lead right, and switching from something like the Lexington or Indomitable can throw off your feel for it. Oh, and the torps do little damage and flood infrequently. Yay.

The upside is that the very fast planes mean you get a lot of attacks (assuming you don't burn through your hangar). The RNGness of rockets and AP bombs, and the low torp damage get normalized by making lots of attacks. Like other CVs, you can help that out by moving your ship closer to the action. The GZ encourages that a bit with its decent concealment, good secondaries, and decent survivability. 

It takes a bit of practice to learn where you can go, who you can bully with secondaries and who will delete you. But used well, your secondaries (and associated fires) will chip in 10-20k in about half your matches.

200k is... I think I've gotten a few since the most recent changes, but it requires everything to go right and for a few floods and fires to go unrepaired. The Zepp uptiers better than the non-premium tier 8 cvs (fast planes avoid more AA), but downtiers worse (fragile planes still suffer worse from priority AA).

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She is a very different playstyle then all the other cv's. She may be your cup of tea or may not. You will need at least a 15 point captain to use her fully.

As far as worth it hard to say if you like the playstyle she offers yes if not then no hard for others to tell you her worth.

A ship maybe crap to some and a gold mine to others example I myself love the ark royal. But one of the top cv players I watch on YouTube Toptier hates it.

Best of luck to you.

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With a secondary build in CoOp, GZ is just about the most fun you can have with your pants on. Push up with the team and check back often enough to set priority targets for your 9km range secondaries. GZ can easily out-brawl a bot Massachusets (I know because I've done it xD). My only regret about buying GZ and playing her in CoOp is that now my Tirpitz secondaries feel underwhelming when I take her out. xD

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Yes beautiful port Queen historically significant. 

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Alright thanks everyone, I think I will get it, and build for maximum plane survivability and speed rather than just secondaries, only getting AFT for 4 point.

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Graf Zeppelin makes Co-Op mode very enjoyable. Easy mode? Absolutely, but fun all the same. Sometimes I don’t bother to launch any planes at all, I just rush the cap and gun down bots. Stupid fun.

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1 hour ago, WizardFerret said:

Most of the replays I've watched clearly don't have AR on the planes though. I'm sure GZ planes might get closer to their old speed once they've taken some AA damage. I don't think I would build it for secondaries as most do, but rather for better planes. AFT might still be the best 4 point skill to use though.

I'm not aware of anyone building for secondaries, the scary thing is, you don't have to. Don't even have BFT or AFT because those points are trying to keep the air wing alive. If I remember, AR works weird with the new AA system, you gain and lose speed as aircraft get damaged and die.

If you want to run her as a secondary boat in Co-Op, toss your Bismarck captain in her for the LOL's

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With hit-point upgrades and plane armor, Graf Zeppelin does a decent job in Random battles.  Can't stay inside AA bubbles forever, but the Captain's skills and ship upgrades to planes help.
She gets up-tiered a lot, so you'll be dealing with T-10 AA all too often.  Gotta live with it.

The secondary build is entertaining in co-op.  But, as has been pointed out, one shouldn't be using it on purpose.  :-)

She's good at bringing home the credits, if you do your part.

I paid hard cash to welcome her to my port.  I don't regret it.

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2 hours ago, WizardFerret said:

Definitely interesting, if only the planes still had the speed they did before 0.8.4. If they could still go 260 knots I would definitely buy it, though I doubt they will ever be that fast again. Can you still get 200k or higher games with the GZ? Do you have to rely on secondaries to do that much?

Literally no CV is regularly getting 200k games. Not even in the hands of the absolute best super unicums.

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Graf Zepp is a bad CV.

1.  The rocket fighters lack any "oomph" to them.  They don't have volume of fire.  They at least have decent 39mm HE Pen to them.  These aren't bad, but they're not good, either.

2.  The torpedo bombers are the best thing about Graf.

3.  The AP DBs are wholly unreliable.  Lacking in volume of bombs, prone to terrible RNG, and they get bounced.  A lot.

4.  To make matters worse, not long after the CV Rework and WG put Saipan, Enterprise, Graf Z. back on sale, aircraft speed got gutted.  One of the great things Graf had when the Rework hit were extremely fast aircraft.  Not so anymore.  It sucks.

 

The second best thing about Graf Zeppelin are her Secondaries which are actually fantastic.  AFT on them and you're set.  The 105mm secondaries got HE Pen Buffed as those same guns on Bismarck-class and FDG, they have 25mm HE Pen.  You don't even need Manual Secondaries.  For Co-op it's funny but I don't imagine this being a thing for Randoms.

 

So.  What you have in the end is a CV with the best Carrier Secondaries which is highly situational in the game, and stuck with 2/3 of her squadron types being decidedly bad or mediocre a.f.  You can't solve all your problems with Secondaries and then you're stuck with a 1-trick pony CV relying too much on her only 1 good squadron type, her TBs.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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38 minutes ago, SgtBeltfed said:

I'm not aware of anyone building for secondaries, the scary thing is, you don't have to. Don't even have BFT or AFT because those points are trying to keep the air wing alive. If I remember, AR works weird with the new AA system, you gain and lose speed as aircraft get damaged and die.

If you want to run her as a secondary boat in Co-Op, toss your Bismarck captain in her for the LOL's

Eh, armor is the only high point skill for planes.

Demolition expert doesn't make much sense since with AP bombs and few high impact rockets. Targeting speed helps torp bombers, but they already require such lead up time I'm not sure how much it makes sense. The others already target pretty quickly. And survivability expert adding another ~8% to the planes' HP isn't saving them from AA ships at the tier.

I run aircraft armor, AFT, concealment, BFT. (and air supremacy, engines, AR).

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I want to throw in it's not a good PVE Boat when there aren't any High Tier Operations to use it in.  Tier VI, VII ships, Premiums, yes, there's plenty of Ops for them.  Premium Tier VI CV Ark Royal is actually a lot more useful in PVE than Tier VIII Graf Zeppelin.  Ark can get you some good rewards in Ops.

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1 hour ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

I want to throw in it's not a good PVE Boat when there aren't any High Tier Operations to use it in.  Tier VI, VII ships, Premiums, yes, there's plenty of Ops for them.  Premium Tier VI CV Ark Royal is actually a lot more useful in PVE than Tier VIII Graf Zeppelin.  Ark can get you some good rewards in Ops.

Good point.
One might conclude that there is a need for more Tier-8 Operations, though.  :-)

It is true that Tier-6 CV's have more opportunity to play in the Operation of the Week rotation.

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