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Hiryu vs Saipan

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Under normal circumstances, presently you shouldn't encounter a Saipan unless both side have it, but because the Saipan captain was in a division I was blessed with fighting him.  At first glance the Saipan seems very powerful and should actually stomp on the IJN carrier but that is not the case.


Surprisingly the Hiryu Strike Loadout (2/2/2) fairs decently against the Saipan.  The fact that the Saipan has tier 9 planes means the fighters are both very tough and very fast, but also have very little ammunition.  While fighting a single squadron of Hiryu fighters, the Saipan's fighters will run out of ammo before the whole Hiryu fighter squadron can be destroyed.  The Hiryu will lose anywhere from 1-3 fighters, most commonly 2-3 fighters while killing 1 Saipan fighter before the Saipan fighter squadron run out of ammo and are forced to recall.  The Hiryu fighters then can just attack the Saipan fighters without taking damage back and will at least kill off another fighter or destroy the squadron outright.  Essentially because of the ammo shortage in the Saipan fighters, your dogfighting is fairly equal.


Meanwhile the fighter v fighter interactions are fairly equal, the fighter v bomber interaction where a Saipan is attacking your bombers is less than equal compared to a Ranger.  The Saipan won't melt your bombers like a Ranger might, but the planes are fast enough to engage your bombers to where sniping the Saipan or attacking any ship within a fair distance of the fighters become highly recommended if not impossible.  Of course if you paired you fighters with your bombers you would most likely have the same interaction as the above paragraph or you would lose all of your fighters to the Saipan fighters and ship AA.  Against the Saipan stacking squadrons on top of each other is not a death wish.  Unlike the Ranger, the Saipan only has 3 fighters per squadron meaning that even with the higher plane dps, the strafe damage is low.  Essentially the Saipan will kill off your bombers as if it were another IJN carrier attacking your bombers, but the if RNG really does shine on you there is a very rare possibility that the Saipan fighters will run out of ammo before your entire squadron is destroyed leaving one plane.


Stopping the Saipan is attacking your ships is quite difficult.  The Torpedo Bombers are fast and have high health.  But because of game mechanics and the way damage is calculated on plane (at least to my knowledge) the tier 9 health isn't as substantial as you would think.  Ship AA, like a Tirpitz, can generally shoot down one or two torpedo bombers out of a nine bomber strike.  Against the Hiryu's fighters it is similar to attacking Ranger bombers except you kill the each individual planes roughly half as fast meaning that if it took you 18 seconds to completely destroy a Ranger's six TBs in a squadron it would also take 18 seconds to completely destroy the Saipan's three TB's in a squadron (These arent the actual average time to kill a squadron these are just for example).  The Saipan having 3 squadrons often also puts it at an advantage over the Hiryu's most common loadout the 2/2/2.  With the bombers can also drop the scariest cross drops on turning BBs and even CAs and because usually when you cross drop the squadrons are spread out meaning that at least one or two will drop unaffected by your fighters


Overall the Saipan is like a hybrid IJN and USN carrier that really doesn't out match the IJN Hiryu.  The Saipan has the advantage of good planes, but they are limited in squadron size.  In the picture provided it does show that the Saipan did receive more base xp than me meaning that he did more damage than me most likely, but do keep in mind that the Saipan does get higher base xp because his team had won the match.  My xp on the other hand was quite below average with my average torp damage doing sub 5k (it was rough).  Teamplay is very important it appears with the Saipan.  If you can effectively have your CAs escort your BBs the Saipan fighters are free to stall the Hiryu's fighters while the Saipan's TBs are free to get damage and the Hiryu's bombers are unable to attack because they would be melted by ship AA.


Pictures @that link




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Alpha Tester, Members, Beta Testers
4,351 posts
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hey look maw im on tv!!!!!  nice catch bro.

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5,454 posts
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For a minute I thought this was a match I had tonight. My team had a Saipan and we faced a Hiryu. First time seeing the new CV. It was a decent match we managed to win and I set a new personal best for planes shot down, 32. My Cleveland's 14 point captain is spec'd out for max anti air and she will chew up planes its kind of scary. 

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Beta Testers
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AhosChaos it maybe the win lose reward that has given the Saipan more exp than you but probably still had the same or close to game performance. Plus it's premium bonus too.

Edited by Noobeecon

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