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Captain_Suzuki

Help Against T8-10 AA

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So I recently upgraded from the Ryūjo to the Shokaku, and I have to say, I am struggling a little. The biggest issue I have is against AA. I learned at T6 to dodge flak, but AA at that tier isn't too scary. At T8 it's a whole new story. Flak bursts are much more numerous and I have a lot of trouble making an impact on game outcomes.

My questions are:

- How do I avoid flak bursts? I know to alter speed and direction but I often still get hit. Is there a mechanic to the way the bursts are generated?

- How do I avoid losing planes after I enter my attack run? The majority of my planes are lost in this window.

- How to best use the heal on the torpedo planes?

- How to generally conserve planes?

- How do I handle a group of strong AA ships if I must attack them?

I know there's a lot but anything would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Hands you a...

image.png.36bf9586f073b0775b9917bac8d25bec.png

Should help. (another CV will be a long shortly to explain the significance of this picture)

Happy griefing :Smile_coin:

Edited by Vekta408
  • Boring 2

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8 minutes ago, Vekta408 said:

Hands you a...

image.png.36bf9586f073b0775b9917bac8d25bec.png

Should help. (another CV will be a long shortly to explain the significance of this picture)

Happy griefing :Smile_coin:

Yea... slingshot drops getting patched out (or nerfed hard) sooner than you think, don't rely on it in the future.

I can try and give you a few pointers.

-If you aren't anticipating more than one run, such as attempting to target a heavy AA target or group, try dropping a squad or two of planes. The idea is, one does the run, the other absorbs AA fire, and you send the third back to the carrier. For example, you have 9 planes with 3 each, that's normally worth 3 runs but it's likely that you'll only have enough for one pass. You drop one set of planes, so you're down to 6, and you perform the run on the contested target, the 3 who did the run will likely Winchester in time, but even if you F out immediately, the other 3 might be chewed up. That's still more preferable than loosing 6 to AA fire attempting to do multiple passes. Experience will tell you if it's better to F out immediately and hope for the best, or attempt to get into the long range AA bubble (usually >4-4.5km) and escape there.

-Flak bursts have a "percentage" to spawn directly in front of your squad every few seconds, usually the lighter the ship the more accurate the flak is. This does make it predictable as flak will always spawn in front of your plane, meaning that you can have time to break or swerve. Planes will have an immunity period when starting an attack run, so in addition to evasive maneuvers coming in, you can also start your run to dodge a line of flak and get into the mid-range AA bubble.

-Your heal on your Torpedo planes can be used one of two ways: Recovering from skimming a flak cloud, or fighting DPM from enemy AA to try and preserve enough health to perform 2 runs. Usually, you'll do the later, but it can save single runs if you accidentally get flaked.

-Carriers should prioritize open targets, as even two mediocre AA bubbles can make multiple runs tricky. That being said, don't neglect the front line. If you anticipate that you'll be sending planes into important situations where you'll expect heavy losses, drop down to partial squads to perform single runs, minimize casualties while still providing pressure.

-Carriers, much like DDs, get stronger the longer the match goes on. Ships get more spread out, AA mounts get shot off, and second passes become more probable.

-Remember, you don't have "infinite" planes, you have "regenerative" planes, and loosing an entire squad of dive bombers means that you'll be at half strength for most of the game while they regenerate (unless you're the Kaga and you can afford to go HAM all the time).

-If you don't have any lone targets, priority targets, or are completely out-tiered, try ghosting some ships for spotting damage.

-If you're up against a target with sufficient AA, try using your explosives (especially rockets) to soften up their AA mounts and start fires. Even on battleships, superstructure hits can cause quite a bit of damage.

-Even if they don't hit, Torpedos are great at convincing ships to point in directions they normally wouldn't. Broadside to your BBs, for instance...

 

Hopefully you'll find some advice here that you need, remember, experience is the best teacher!

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22 minutes ago, Arri_Shi said:

Yea... slingshot drops getting patched out (or nerfed hard) sooner than you think, don't rely on it in the future.

I can try and give you a few pointers.

-If you aren't anticipating more than one run, such as attempting to target a heavy AA target or group, try dropping a squad or two of planes. The idea is, one does the run, the other absorbs AA fire, and you send the third back to the carrier. For example, you have 9 planes with 3 each, that's normally worth 3 runs but it's likely that you'll only have enough for one pass. You drop one set of planes, so you're down to 6, and you perform the run on the contested target, the 3 who did the run will likely Winchester in time, but even if you F out immediately, the other 3 might be chewed up. That's still more preferable than loosing 6 to AA fire attempting to do multiple passes. Experience will tell you if it's better to F out immediately and hope for the best, or attempt to get into the long range AA bubble (usually >4-4.5km) and escape there.

-Flak bursts have a "percentage" to spawn directly in front of your squad every few seconds, usually the lighter the ship the more accurate the flak is. This does make it predictable as flak will always spawn in front of your plane, meaning that you can have time to break or swerve. Planes will have an immunity period when starting an attack run, so in addition to evasive maneuvers coming in, you can also start your run to dodge a line of flak and get into the mid-range AA bubble.

-Your heal on your Torpedo planes can be used one of two ways: Recovering from skimming a flak cloud, or fighting DPM from enemy AA to try and preserve enough health to perform 2 runs. Usually, you'll do the later, but it can save single runs if you accidentally get flaked.

-Carriers should prioritize open targets, as even two mediocre AA bubbles can make multiple runs tricky. That being said, don't neglect the front line. If you anticipate that you'll be sending planes into important situations where you'll expect heavy losses, drop down to partial squads to perform single runs, minimize casualties while still providing pressure.

-Carriers, much like DDs, get stronger the longer the match goes on. Ships get more spread out, AA mounts get shot off, and second passes become more probable.

-Remember, you don't have "infinite" planes, you have "regenerative" planes, and loosing an entire squad of dive bombers means that you'll be at half strength for most of the game while they regenerate (unless you're the Kaga and you can afford to go HAM all the time).

-If you don't have any lone targets, priority targets, or are completely out-tiered, try ghosting some ships for spotting damage.

-If you're up against a target with sufficient AA, try using your explosives (especially rockets) to soften up their AA mounts and start fires. Even on battleships, superstructure hits can cause quite a bit of damage.

-Even if they don't hit, Torpedos are great at convincing ships to point in directions they normally wouldn't. Broadside to your BBs, for instance...

 

Hopefully you'll find some advice here that you need, remember, experience is the best teacher!

... And in general, the first 5 up to 10 minutes are all about spotting and repelling DDs and later others trying to cap. In case you are TX uptiered, limit your activity to spotting, don't forget the higher tier ships have a far longer range, so spotting helps a lot! If you do a good job, team should lead later and your TVIII full health squadrons will still be lethal against TX ill ships or even healthy but lonely ships. The more you are uptiered, the more you spot and save planes, this will avoid frustration when uptiered.

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4 hours ago, Captain_Suzuki said:

1 How do I avoid flak bursts? I know to alter speed and direction but I often still get hit. Is there a mechanic to the way the bursts are generated?

2 How do I avoid losing planes after I enter my attack run? The majority of my planes are lost in this window.

3 How to best use the heal on the torpedo planes?

4 How to generally conserve planes?

5 How do I handle a group of strong AA ships if I must attack them?

1: Find a good rhythm. It helps a lot. That said, always be turning when you expect flak, and try to do it fast and hard if possible. The faster you go, the less you need to dodge.

2: It all depends on how many ships are local, and how good their AA is. A good place to start is figuring out what ships to fear. T9 and 10 is "EVERYTHING" more or less, unless it's a DD. But T8 is fewer in number, where only ships like Kidd, Baltimore, Cleveland and Cheshire comes to mind. There's also Atlanta and Sims at T7, but that's not that bad by T8. Ohh, and fear Massachucets and other US BBs at T8+.

3: Are you about to smack into a flak cloud? Hammer that bad boy. Do you need your remaining planes? Poke that button.

4: Play conservative when possible rather than making big sacrifices. Hard to explain unless you know what that entails, though.

5: If you want to be a cheater, slingshot a drop bomber in. If not, leverage an island to get close, and expect to lose everything. AA can't shoot through islands, and you need your planes just to get off an attack.

Any more questions? About to sleep, but... I'll try to answer later.

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That said, Shokaku was my first T8 CV.

That said, Hakuryuu is a ship I only just unlocked, and I own almost every single CV in the game by now if you include premiums, and own every tech tree CV.

Quite frankly, I suggest going up other lines to cut your teeth, as that's what I did when I hit that brick wall that was Shoukaku. US CVs are easy all-rounders and great against DDs, for instance. RN CVs are tanky and slow, so need better planning, but also fairly good as well. It's fairly common to hear IJN CVs called the hardest CV line, as AP bombs can be hard to use.

Edit: It's worth noting that Lexington is among my favorite CVs period, and is in fact only properly beaten by Enterprise due to Enty's focus on fighters. The torps are just lovely when you can leverage them rapid-fire, throwing them exactly how your foe didn't want you to, and forcing them to turn into them. Likewise, the rockets are just potent. And the HE bombs are so dependable

Edited by Shoggoth_pinup

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4 hours ago, franz_von_goltz said:

... And in general, the first 5 up to 10 minutes are all about spotting and repelling DDs and later others trying to cap. In case you are TX uptiered, limit your activity to spotting, don't forget the higher tier ships have a far longer range, so spotting helps a lot! If you do a good job, team should lead later and your TVIII full health squadrons will still be lethal against TX ill ships or even healthy but lonely ships. The more you are uptiered, the more you spot and save planes, this will avoid frustration when uptiered.

Or even shorter; When uptiered in a carrier you spot for half the match, and pray your team isn’t a bunch of complete idiots, because you sure won’t be doing much if they are.

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The new module Squadron module level 1 will help you if your using torps and heals just make sure you have all the perks to increase your armor value and make your plane faster as they take hits.
Read up: Your a puppet master and in no way your gonna  trow away your planes on dumb targets like a DD at t-10 or even 8.
What i mean is that the ships are so over powered that even a spotted DD is usually a dead one so keep your fighters to spot the others and protect the ships you know has weak AA.
Target the cruisers with Rockets at t-10. the timer will allow you to get past them fast even before they can focus fire your planes.
Bomb the dd's on the way and sling shot to your real target, hit or miss don't worry the dd's already taking fire on the deck what you want is those juicy BB's.
Here a BB's choice at tier 8 vs torps.. Dodge you and broadside himself or take it like a champ and keep his precious angle.
at tier 8 many choose to dodge and that is usually fatal.
With the increase timer your heals will be more helpful.

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7 hours ago, Captain_Suzuki said:

- How do I avoid flak bursts? I know to alter speed and direction but I often still get hit. Is there a mechanic to the way the bursts are generated?

Flak always aims in a way that it gives you the same time until you hit it regardless of how fast you're going. So whether you go 300kn or 100kn, it's always going to take you ~3 seconds (estimated) until you run into flak. Naturally this means you can control the distance at which flak spawns with your speed.
Flak is also tuned in a way that it hits you towards the end of its "life span". This means by going fast and then slowing down you can actually fly through flak unharmed if you have the timing right. This also means that speeding up into flak is not a very good idea. In general it is therefore always advisable to go max speed the entire time which you can do by tapping your boost in intervals.
Flak does compensate for turns and altitude, but it is terrible with the latter. E.g. Yuro recently demonstrated this in his latest video. Generally speaking this means DBs while attacking are pretty much immune to flak, other squad types can abuse islands to change their altitudes, Do note however that the vertical size of flak is MUCH bigger than the explosion would suggest it is, so just skimming over/under flak is not possible, the altitude difference has to be quite substantial.
As for turns, flak only takes into account your momentary direction, meaning it checks your current course once and does not compensate continuously. You can use this to misdirect flak into an area where you don't actually want to go if you got the timing down.
Flak stops spawning within 3.5km of a ship. This does not mean however that flak that has already spawned goes inactive, they will remain dangerous for the duration of their lifespan. This likewise applies if you cut line of sight to a ship.
Also note that the flak damage and the flak animation are two completely different entities. This is important because the latter is subject to render delay which in the most extreme cases may cause it to be completely invisible.

In the end avoiding flak is all about timing and preemptive measures. Do not wait until flak spawns to react, but know where flak will spawn, how it will spawn and how you will avoid it before you actually enter AA. The AA indicator (the one that tells you that you're under fire) is invaluable here. Start taking preemptive measures immediately if you see it light up, do not wait to see flak spawn.

 

7 hours ago, Captain_Suzuki said:

- How do I avoid losing planes after I enter my attack run? The majority of my planes are lost in this window.

Well first of all, how far away do you actually start your attack run? Because generally you always want to drop as close as possible. As mentioned before, flak stops spawning within 3.5km of a ship which is within the attack distance of pretty much all squad types (except maybe IJN TBs). Starting a run outside of that is not advisable because you lose all ability to dodge flak beyond adjusting your speed which may only work against a single wall, at best two.

Otherwise there really isn't much you can do to avoid losing planes as DPS isn't exactly something you can actually avoid. It's a simple fact that you will have to deal with since the closer to a ship you get, the stronger AA becomes. What you can do however is limit the amount of losses you take by shortening your squad and/or slingshotting. By managing your reserves well and avoiding flak AA becomes a nuisance at best and you'll never be in danger of running out of viable attack wings.

 

7 hours ago, Captain_Suzuki said:

- How to best use the heal on the torpedo planes?

After your first attack just before your immunity wears out if a plane is damaged and you still have more than one attack wing left (even if it is just one extra plane). This practically guarantees that you get a second attack. If you only have one attack wing left chances of success depends on the target in question. It may be better to just accel bail it to conserve reserves (more on that below).

Do note that you cannot activate heal if a plane isn't damaged, so don't rely on heal actually activating on button press but be sure to confirm it has actually activated. Also note that the UI can lie to you after an attack, displaying damaged planes which in reality have already been shot down.

 

7 hours ago, Captain_Suzuki said:

- How to generally conserve planes?

By knowing how many attacks you can get against what targets with how many planes, then shortening your squad and using slingshot accordingly. This requires a lot of experience.

There is also accelerated bailout which can be used to save remaining planes after an attack. For that simply speed up after an attack before immediately pressing F. This in combination to the acceleration your squad will get after an attack will cause your planes to go to immunity altitude faster, limiting AA exposure.

You can also abuse islands as cover since AA cannot shoot through islands. Detection mechanics around islands can also be wonky at times. Likewise you can abuse high islands to reach immunity altitude faster when bailing since it is in fact an altitude and not based on a timer.

 

7 hours ago, Captain_Suzuki said:

- How do I handle a group of strong AA ships if I must attack them?

The general rule of thumb for a successful attack is having at least and also at most 2 attack wings, sacrificing one as a meat shield in the process (though depending on the size and concentration of the group you may need more. This is also a bit nation specific as IJN planes are more fragile and thus may need more planes as meat shield by default). Abuse slingshot and island cover. Only attack ships that are on the outer edge of the blob to minimize AA exposure.

Edited by El2aZeR

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