There is a lot of knowledge floating around how to mitigate some damage vs Carriers when playing Destroyers. Beside the just dodge meme, people spread on how to use AA, how angling reduces the damage to take, when and where to smoke etc.
But for the most played class, Battleships, which might be the most threaten at the current meta, this kind of basic knowledge seems to be missing.
My intention is to show common mistakes with direct background knowledge from a Carrier player. I dont claim to be correct or right, but will try to prove points with wiki entries, gameplay and numbers. This should also make things easier to understand.
Since some people can not take any advice without knowing my stats, i ll add these at the bottom as well as a performance indicator. (I am an above average CV player)
For everyone that wants to complain about carriers, down vote CV players and berate us how broken CVs are…just down vote the obv CV player(me). Spare us the derailing and leave now. Because whatever follows from me in here, it wont change the simple outcome of a 1v1, the Carrier will win, and we know it, thank you.
I consider tier 8 as the first tier where carriers become a problem for the players or where i as a CV player can punish mistakes drastically. Which are the reasons i will explain things at this tier, from the view of an IJN Carrier Kaga. It is also my by far most played tier and Carrier. Her planes work also equally to a lot other carrier. The most damaging weapon are torps, it got HE Rockets and Bombs. (Like the US and british line, as well as the US premium Saipan. To some degree it works like the IJN line, as well as the Zeppelin and Enterprise.) The attack patterns are also fairly equal. Overall the Kaga is a decent benchmark and a troublesome opponent when you do mistakes.
Unfortunately i´ll have to start with the capabilities of a carrier, something boring. Like how much estimated damage can these throw out, how much damage can the planes take.
In terms of damage output it is quite simple.
is a playlist of 12 decently Kaga matches. Around 15+ minutes long each (dont watch these, boring for surface ship players). On avg a Carrier can take a flight, or full squadron launch. Like 14 times in 15 minutes or 18 times in 20 minutes. These 14/18 flights is the damage potential. Means surviving one more flight, causes the CV to lose 1/14 or 1/18 of potential damage. Or: It is worth staying alive, making it as tough as possible against a Carrier will reduce his output over the full game.
Also, the amount of damage highly depends on the squadron type and the target as well as the targets' situation. This is a 4.9k damage flight against a Kitakaze with rockets, ignore able for a BB, but a total of ~ 25% of health for a DD. And This is a 31.6k torpedo flight against a Lion for ~45% (with the cost of 6 torpedo planes btw) So different planes have different values for the CV player. Shredding a squad Kaga HE-bombers is ignorable for the Kaga player. A squad Torpedos is not(!) Shooting down planes is something that will have an influence on a carrier and limit its output. No matter what people tell you, when you kill enough Torpedos from a Kaga, he will use weaker planes. (like: here or here Both times i am forced to use a noticeable weaker squad) The biggest damage potential is usually in the Torpedo planes and Battleships can take huge damages numbers from these. Shooting these down matters for all the BBs on your side. That's literally everything you need to know about how CVs deal damage for now.
needed AA damage
So how much "critical" damage you have to do at least to reduce the major output of a Carrier(Kaga)? Or how much HP does her torpedo bombers on deck have? She got 36 torpedo planes on deck and each got 1.6k hp, so 57.6k? Now With this base build these planes got 1.92k hp or 69.12k. But due to potato coding it is 1.935k per plane, so 23.220 HP per squad or 69.660 HP. (The increased hp with the mod and the additional HP of the skill do stack, this is where the difference comes from. It is usually wrong on sites like fitting tool or so. The 1935 HP should be correct) This amount of HP should tell you, that you dont do this alone. If you throw into this regeneration, the other squads, fighters this should be clear for everyone. You dont come on top in a 1v1 with a carrier. You dont deal 70k damage AA damage before you get sunk.
This leads to the first mistake Battleships tend to do. They end isolated or alone in striking range of a carrier. This means when they get spotted, they might get focused by the team and struck by the Carrier at the same time, you dont survive this. Battleships underestimate the damage they take from a carrier and the needed damage to shoot down just the important planes. As a carrier player, i will almost always pick an isolated BB the moment i can. (a few examples in case you have to see it: a flank switching tier8 Amagi at the start, dead in 3 minutes and 3 flights. Tier9 Musashi that decided to stick in the back instead of pushing with his mate. Dead in 2 flights or 2 minutes. TierX Repu on cruise control at the border, gone in 4 flights and less than 4 minutes. You never ever stand a chance alone)
Another mistake is more about general knowledge but the wrong usage of the consumables kills Battleships quite often. Let's start with the repair party(heal) and the damage control party(dcp). I mentioned before how forcing an additional flight from a Carrier reduces the output of a carrier, these consumables used right are often that one more needed flight. The mistakes are: to use the heal to early and to use the dcp for something unimportant, like 1. The mistakes are done, when you get caught by a torpedo bomber squadron, without a heal or a dcp to mitigate the incoming damage, because these Torpedos can kill you. (Showcases: Monarch That uses dcp for the first set of fires, same for the Tirpitz)
How to DCP & Heal
The questions are, when do you use a dcp and when do you use a heal. To explain this we use a Bismarck with a fairly flood and fire save build and avg cool downs and active times for heals and dcps. A heal repairs 18.5% of HP. A single fire deals 18% without any reduction (source: wiki) With a few reductions like the mentioned build a single fire deals 10.4% damage. So for every 2nd fire you let burn, you can mitigate that damage by simply repairing. The worst thing that can strike you are 4 fires for literally 50% (if you consider the direct damage to the bombs). Floods deal 20% without any reduction, or 11.5%. This makes floods more dangerous. The conclusion is, never use a DCP for a single fire/flood because you can repair 2 of these. The moment you get caught with 30k or less HP from a torpedo squad, you are dead. (thx war gaming for making torpedo bombers even stronger. fucking idiots) That's how the Monarch and the Tirpitz got killed. To note: The heal parties can be very different. There are also mods to show you when it is safe to use them to gain the max out of them. In general, try to handle the incoming damage, withstand it as long as possible. There is no need to dcp every fire immediately or a heal too early.
But there is the possibility that you can use a DCP for a single fire, when you are out of the effective range of a carrier. But carriers have infinite range!? What do i mean. Your DCP (& Heal) got a cool down of 80s(77s with the build) If it takes the carrier to long to reach you a 2nd time to set another flood/fire you can just repair the 1st every time if there is nothing else to car about. As a Carrier player i estimate ~8squares (proof I take almost exactly 7 squares to strike someone in the first 80s with to many course changes. The cool down and possible angle adjustment leads to my estimated 8 squares, instead of the 7 in the video.) This means, if you feel like the carrier cant strike you again, you can press DCP. It is not to uncommon for carrier to slam the expandable first squad into someone quite early and hoping a for a fire. To note: cool downs and active times can be different from nation to nation and that 8square is less of a general thing. It of course slightly depends on the Carrier, not unless it is an Indomitable these 8squares should be fine.
Next part of consumables are AA based. Every ship got at least a Sector Reinforcement button ("O"). But first the AA and how does it work (Details can be found here. You got 3 auras around your ship. Short/mid/long. The closer a squad gets the more damage it takes per second and when ever you dealt enough damage to kill a plane, the CV loses one. The wiki got a nice picture for this An important factor: "The auras overlap and reinforce each other" This means if you do 100 Damage/s far and 200 Damage/s mid, you deal a total of 300/s to a squad in mid range. Now when you reinforce a sector the damage gets increased over 10s on one side and decreased on the other one. The reinforced side gets a boost of 135% and the off side goes down to 65%. Activating the "o" deals flat 3.5% damage to the whole squad. Last part of AA are clouds/flak/explosion. They spawn from 3.5 km to 6 km in a pattern in front of a squad. If you know the pattern you can usually evade these from a single ship. What do people usually do? The moment a squad get close they press "o" and thats it. And thats already questionable. When attacking a Carrier spends around 10s in the reinforced side and around 15s (for turning and striking again) in the offside. So you get 10s 135% Damage and 15s 65% Damage. (Since people might not trust this: i tried to stop the time so here are few examples: New Mex 4:25-4:38=13s & 4:41-4:56=15s Amagi1 6:08-6:18=10s & 6:21-6:37=16s Amagi2 7:17-7:28=11s & 7:31-7:44=13s Bismark 9:30-9:39=9s & 9:42-9:56=14s)) Before we do the math behind this, i would like to point out, that the torpedo squad never get into range of the close AA. They usually drop before and during the dropping animation, the squad doesn't take damage. This means, when getting attacked by a Torpedo squad, you dont have short range AA.
Is it worth?
The avg Battleship on tier8 has something around 125dps far and 275dps mid. So a total of 400 right? But this AA only hits with 75% so 300dps. But CVs got a skill to reduce this damage by another 10%, so 270dps is the avg damage CV deals in mid range and i will use this exact number. When a CV attacks into the reinforced side he takes 3.645 damage + 813 damage from the burst activation (for a Kaga torpedo squad). Then the CV will turn for 15s and attack again on the weaker side, and take a total of 2.632.5 damage. Which means ~ 7100 damage dealt or 3 dead planes. But what you dont see is that CVs can heal through damage and thats what they do, the first half of the reinforced damage often gets mitigated by the Carrier. How does it look like without Sector Reinforcement. It would be 25s for 6750 damage. This is highly calculated for the Sector Reinforcement, by ignoring the amount of time it takes to reach 135% (10s) and giving the space between mid and far AA full damage as well. Even without the risk of the planes heal this is a very questionable mechanic and it happens almost every time.
From a Carriers view it looks like this every time you see "more" tracers coming into your direction, this is where you activate the heal and get away with murder. You save a few planes by mitigating damage and the other side is so weakened that you can freely turn and strike again. This 135%/65%-Problem also works against the Battleship vs Bombers, because all a CV has to do is getting on the offside. Rockets tend to not turn which makes activating worth it. I suggest using the Sector Reinforcement at least carefully as a Battleship. This should also explain why the IJN Battleships have so bad AA, because they dont have a mid AA, for buffed close AA. And why sovjet Battleships still have decent AA while they dont have close AA at all.
How to use Fighters & def AA
Next consumable are Fighters. Which are less good than people think they should be, but are better than it looks like. As a Carrier/Kaga Fighters force me to do one of 2 things. Use an own consumable to counter the impact, which i would rather not do, because my consumable is worth more or i have to use something risky which doesn't always work. So i either have to heal through the fighter damage with my plane heal, unfortunately the fighter has a way lower cool down, while the enemy team has more fighters than i got heals. Or i have to put my own fighters in front of the fighters the moment they get activated so the fighters cancel each other. This can fail and backfire, i lose a valuable spotter consumable and planes on top. (In case you have to see the carriers view for this, showcases: heal1, heal2, Fighter) Fighters used early, force a Carrier to Pedro to minimize the loses. This means instead of getting struck 2-3 times, you will just get struck 1-2 times by a squad. I suggest to use fighters on cool down if you are out of the carriers effective range to either force loses (shot down planes or used consumable) or reduce the amount of strikes you have to take. As soon as you get into the carriers effective range you might want to use the fighters to counter high value squads, torpedo bombers. This is fairly controversial, because if you save your fighters for the torpedo squad, he will 100% use a heal to strike through. But thats it, nothing more you can get out of fighters against a carrier.
Last consumable is the defensive AA. It has a 80s cool down, 40s active time, increases the AA damage by 50% and flak by 400%. Unlike the fighters this is so much damage that you cant heal through this the whole, you will take loses. (i dont have a good example about the difference, this is the closes i got: Thunderer without def aa, allows me 9 torpedos and i lose 1 plane during the turn. Same Thunderer with def AA and i would have lost 2 planes for the turn. It is not a good showcase, because i usually try to bait and leave the AA bubble instead of healing of taking these loses) As a Battleship, the buffed flak clouds wont surprise a Carrier, so i wouldn't count on it (unlike Cruisers or Destroyers), so the only gain is the increased damage or higher loses for the Carrier. This means, it should be used like a Fighter consumable.
And thats basically it. The things i learned to be aware of as a Battleship player, because i also started playing Carriers. Of course i am open for discussion.
(For everyone that still needs to know how good or bad i am. I have to point out that i am currently not active for several reasons. I also consider myself inexperienced because i still do mistakes, could learn a lot from other players and my stats are still highly influenced from my early weeks or first month of carrier play. This is a screenshot of my carrier related stats of wows-numbers profile, which can be seen here. My last active performance was end of February, this is how i performed in 2 months. All played solo. Above average.)
I also have a few playlists for people that want to see the Carriers view. The most recent one, a mix of every premium tier 8 carriers and a Kaga playlist.
I hope this helps someone to stay alive one more flight or to shoot down a few more planes.
- An Analysis of the Nature of Kaga Black, With Unwitting Assistance from Flambass
- Idea for better Carrier/Player interactions (rework pt 2)
- My Predictions for the Carrier Update
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