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HallaSnackbar

Premium CV review... All of them.

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So I finally managed to acquire all of the premium and tech tree CV’s.  I have had the Saipan since pre rework and do fairly well in her (60%+ WR).  I have also had the Enterprise for a while too but recently acquired the rest of them.  I figured a quick review of them by an average CV captain that may give some insight into the playstyle of each ship and maybe save some people the money  for a ship that does not fit their liking. 

To start off I run the captain build recommended by TopTier on youtube.  My USN CV have a 19PT Ovechkin, Kaga runs a 19 PT captain, RN cv share an 18 PT Captain (still missing Demo expert), Graph Z has a 15pt (missing concealment expert).  All modules are upgraded for all ships and appropriate flags are in place as well.  Here goes;

Saipan – My favorite premium CV.  Not because she is OP, she is not.  Not because she is easy, she is not.  I really like the torpedo bombers and alpha strike potential of this CV. 

Skill floor – High, she requires attention to ship types, concentration, AA potential and map awareness.

Strengths - High alpha potential on larger, slower moving targets.  Relatively fast T-10 planes

Weaknesses – Small hangar size, unforgiving if you do not manage your plane reserves.  Large bombing and rocket reticle with only 4 bombs/rockets makes hitting smaller more maneuverable targets very RNG based.

Fun factor – 6 out of 10 this ship is a lot of work to do well in.

 

Enterprise – A fun but no longer available USN CV.

Skill floor – Medium, you can do OK in her with little skill but you can do amazing in her if you master the AP bombs. 

Strengths – Squadron size and hangar capacity make her very forgiving.  Large fighter groups and her endless rocket planes make her really good and killing DD’s and bullying caps.  AP bombs can wreck cruisers and some BB’s but require knowing what altitude to drop from based on the ship you are attacking.

Weaknesses – If I was to have to try and find a weakness it would be low alpha of the torpedo bombers but even that is a stretch.  The ship really does not have much in the way of weaknesses from what I have seen.

Fun factor – 7 out of 10.  Easy to play and do well in.  Big variety in options of ships to attack.  Kind of a swiss army knife of CV’s.

 

Kaga – Endless planes.. uses HE bombs as opposed to the usual AP bombs of other IJN CV’s.  I kind of see her as the yin and yang to the Saipan.  Kaga has a nearly unlimited supply of lower tier aircraft that have less alpha potential.  HE bombs are reminiscent of USN CV’s.  Saipan has limited supply of higher tier planes with higher Alpha potential and torpedo bombers that remind me of IJN CV’s.

Skill floor – Low, very forgiving.

Strengths – All types of planes are relatively easy to use.  Large hangar makes her very forgiving.

Weaknesses – Low tier aircraft can make getting drops off on T10 ships challenging.

Fun factor – 5 out of 10.  Nothing spectacular just planes, planes and more planes.

 

Graph Zepplin – A real odd bird.  Unlike any other CV.  DB reticle is round making it easy to drop form any angle but AP bombs require correct height depending on intended target.  Rocket reticle is oval requiring specific approach for maximum damage.  Torpedo spread is wonky to say the least.  Ridiculous secondaries that do insane damage but if you are using them you really screwed up somewhere along the way.

Skill floor – Med-High

Strengths -  Other than fast planes not sure yet, nothing super useful stands out.  Not a bad ship just has a lot of gimmics that make it rather odd.

Weaknesses – Nothing glaring so far.

Fun factor – If you want to go in co-op, charge into a cap and kill stuff with secondaries or if you like surprising unsuspecting would be CV sniping DD’s with endless secondary fires then it’s a 10-10.  For everyone else (like me) its about a 4 out of 10.

 

Ark Royal – I got this ship for operations and the bonus credit/XP potential.  Tried a few randoms too.  Has low tier slow planes but large squadron sizes and quick regen.  It seem like a great trainer ship for those moving up form T4 cv life to T6.

Skill floor – Low, like playing a T4 CV with T6 reserves and even larger squadron sizes.

Strengths – Slow planes, makes setting up for attack runs super easy.  If there is little to no AA present you can get multiple accurate attack runs off (3 per squadron) which makes up for the longer flight time between targets.  The ship is amazing in operations and when top tier.

Weaknesses – Slow planes get absolutely murdered by anything with even remotely useful AA.   Completely useless when Bottom tier and enemy ships stack AA.

Fun factor – 5 out of 10  easy to play but wait time while flying from target to target gets tedious.

 

Indomitable – What can I say, WG toko probably the most hated ship class in the game and paired it with the most hated damage dealing ability in the game… HE spam.  It’s like a Smolensk with wings.

Skill floor – Low, rocket planes and carpet bombers are the easiest by far to land hits on anything with.  Just fly around setting the world on fire.  Does require a certain level of communication with teammates to find ships with DCP on CD to get the most out of your fires.

Strengths – Super fast planes get to and from target quickly and fly so fast AA rarely prevents an attack.

Weaknesses – A lot of your damage is very RNG dependent, something that brings a frustration at times only rivaled by the frustration you bring to every surface ship you play against. 

Fun factor – If you like making people want to pull their hair out, curse, smash things, make voodoo dolls of you and curse your family for generations it’s a 10 out of 10.  I give it a 6.

 

Just a reminder, this is all just my opinion.  Feel free to comment on your favorite Premium CV's below.

Edited by HallaSnackbar

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Ark Royal in Ops.

Nothing else is worth bothering with any more, at least not in Randoms.

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Saipan- requires skill for precision drops.

Enterprise-same

Kaga- fun and not so fun. Depends on AA. Basically, if tier 10 ships got stacked AA, u are just a spotter until someone makes a mistake. At tier the torps are 4 and with torp acceleration is deadly..

In fact torp acceleration is a must on all CVs except those that don't have TBs.

Ark Royal- fun at tier, similar issues with Kaga.

Indomitable- probably the only CV for entry level beginners, but it pays another price. Players will be annoyed by you.

It's more a lead target drop like a shotgun.

AP bombs of CVs are dependent on the high or low angle of the drop. Just make sure reticle is closed.

Drop high with BBs and low with cruisers. Speed and ability to maneuver is why.

HE bombs depend on the drop spread. If a tight one then high and low drop so long as reticle is closed. High for BBs and low for small ships. Here it's about area of damage and the other factors stated above with AP bombs.

Rockets are lead. Depending on speed of plane you have to hit swing within AA bubble of intended target to hit again. Swing out slow turn back in immediately, start attack and adjust slowly to target.

If you wait for the reticle to come around you might overshoot the target.

Carpet bombs. They drop as a lead, but depending on ship speed you have to time the drop with a short or long lead.

You also have to anticipate a turn. Watch the bow wake. It tells you if a ship is turning.

With all bombing a certain degree of detail is required.

TBs can be dropped in a slight fade to rear, a little ahead of a ship's path, into a turn out or in.

This type of finesse can be frustrating at times.

Best targets for this are the ones not knowing you are attacking them.

Use of terrain to hide your approach is recommended.

Dropping in smoke can't hurt as most players switch their AA off in smoke as savy CV players can drop AP on a cruiser with that AA on.

 

A stationary target is always a good target, but a target that sails not knowing you dropped is priceless.

If you are uptiered, fly like a vulture. Spot, spot, spot, then hit anything that is close to dead.

Good luck

<O

 

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10-ish game updates on average performance on the various premiums.  Obviously the Saipan and the Big E have many more games than 10 as I have had both for a while and as such my performance will be a bit higher in them than what would be in the others if I had the same level of experience in them.  I still say the Saipan is the hardest by far of all of them but I enjoy the challenge.   If i put the same amount of effort into the Big E I am certain I would have better numbers in her.

I have not done my 10 random games in the GZ yet, still getting comfortable with the nuances of her ordinance before subjecting others to my skills (or lack thereof).   I chose to do more than 10 in the Indomitable as I got a string of really bad teams that the game ended very quickly and did not give a fair example of her potential.  I would also focus less on the win % of each ship and more on the average damage numbers, XP and ships killed.  Those will give you a better idea of average performance to expect.  Again I would state that I am by no means some kind of unicum CV captain nor am I really bad, I wold say I am sightly above average so my performance should be relatively repeatable to anyone willing to practice a little.

 

Ark Royal Average.png

Kaga Average.png

Indomitable Average.png

Enterprise Average.png

Saipan Average.png

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Finished the Graf this evening.  I can't help but feel this ship has more to offer than I m getting out of it.  It is the only one that does not have  a 19 pt captain (only 16 atm).  Planes are fast but it really seems to suffer when bottom tier and ships stack up closely.  

Graf Zeppelin Average.png

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I found the best way for Graf is to be opportunistic  with your drops. If things are bunched up, there isn't a lot you can do outside of slingshotting your planes until they thin out . Personally, I've not tried being aggressive in my ship movement to really use the secondaries, usually save those if a DD is hunting me but to each their own

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