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USN CV on tier 6 plus

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okay, so just got independence. Not a bad cv, can get anywhere on the map. Good armor, planes are not bad, FOR TIER 6. And seriously, this ship can face tier 8. While sometimes I'm doing okay, it's just not consistent. What bothers me is

1. Air superiority. This is urgh. Just put 1 fighter in each sides and you rule the sky. Except if you're facing IJN swarming squadron. But USN balanced.. Didn't work. Your planes can't get away like the ijn ones. And you have limited replacement. Strike also the same. You can't deal damage, you can't shoot down a lot of planes. This.. Must change.

2. Defensive AA fire and.. AA 

i don't know, tier 6 planes is just paper for Cleveland and tier 7+ AA. When you try to make a run, you need to aim as quickly as possible. The longer you aim more you lose your planes. You need to line up planes, aim and execute in around 5 seconds. After 5 you will likely lose half of your planes already. And now bb can defend themselves. Just paired a bb alongside tier 6+ cv and they are untouchable. And this not include the fighters. My hangar simply didn't have enough replacement.

I can still do good damage. Once landed 40k salvo on a lone tirpitz. But again, just inconsistent, and since tier 7+ players mostly camp on their base. And move in a group. You can't quite find a lone bb again. And sometimes when you find one lone bb, fighters came. I need your advise, fellow usn cv captain. Any suggestions and advice will be appreciated 

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The Indy is imo the lowest point of USN CVs. One reason is that you lose the preferential matchmaking the preceding CVs enjoy and get dragged into T8 matches. Another is that almost every cruiser now has Defensive AA unless you are top tier. But the main reason is that you are faced against an Ryujo(RJ) as its a really good CV. You only have 37 units of planes max and 18 planes in the air at a time versus the RJ's 48 units of planes max and 20 planes in the air at a time for an obvious disadvantage. To balance this(somewhat), plane for plane, Indy's planes are much better if you look at the stats and are much tougher in squadrons. Usually, when picking a US loadout, it CAN achieve its purpose compared to the counterpart CV fairly easily. The exception to this rule just so happens to be the Indy. 3/1/1 vs 2/0/1 for the AS loadouts and 1/2/2 vs 0/1/2 for the Strike Loadouts are in favor of the RJ if both players are of equal skill level. So stat wise you have to bear with it.


I advise that you should just stick with the balanced setup as trading a fighter for one dive bomber against an RJ is gonna be hard. 1/1/1 is the way to go. Going to give the scenario facing against an RJ. If you face another Indy, well it should be fair game.

Against an AS loadout, you will have to practice strafing really good as it is the only way to achieve at least temporary air superiority to drop bombs. Luckily, most RJ player who use this loadout groups their fighters. A USN FT strafe usually decimates an IJN squadron even when face to face, so just time it right and it will be easy. You'll have around 2-3 strafes per squadron ammo so make it count so even if they don't group their fighters up, just eliminate by strafing. Don't let them tangle your FT. Just remove all his fighters first as his 2 bombers won't catch up to the damage output your 2 bombers can dish up. Of course you'll have the liberty to pick where to put your strikes and the enemy will be the one to follow due to his loadout. If he doesn't, then better for you actually.

Against a Strike Loadout, this is gonna be easier for you but harder on your teammates. Let your CV go in the direction of the fleet and only use your fighter for defensive purposes. Doing that increases your "Defensive Airspace" in which your lone fighter squadron can cover, preferably including your own CV ship. That also means you'll have to keep your bombers unguarded in the hope that you'll keep your fleet(and yourself) guarded. The enemy will then have a choice of using his lone fighter to defend his bombers or to attack yours. If he tries to defend his bombers, you are in luck as it usually entails a good strafing run can get rid of both his bombers and fighter. If he does attack yours then it's all a matter of dodging his strafing runs and who runs out of reserves first.

tl;dr: It's all about practicing your strafing runs to overcome your numerical deficit. Just avoid getting counter-strafed :P A USN Fighter Strafe is more potent after all.

On the subject of AA, it really is about picking your targets. Never target Clevelands for example unless it's an absolute necessity. Studying the AA stats of ships comes in handy here as you'll know which are the better targets. You can practice manual drops on DDs as it would widen a lot more target choices and also help you on bigger lone targets in the long run. You'll have to make sure that for every bombing target, you should have the least resistance(AA) encountered so lone targets are always preferable and it's usually the DDs. It takes a chunk of time to get used to since it's something not commonly encountered while in T4/T5 due to low AA ratings. Well, just think that the enemy T6 CV is gonna encounter the same problems as you with regards to the AA, and if it's IJN, you can bet he's more vulnerable to it.

Disclaimer: I am a new USN CV captain but I've played well over enough IJN CV games to know what I'm up against. When I was playing the Ryujo, these were the things that made life the hardest for me. Hope you appreciate input from the other side.

Cheers and Good Luck! :honoring:

Edited by SZYZWY

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I'm not much of CV player, but welcome to T6 were CV's actually have some countermeasures to deal with.

Some games are good others are bad, just depends on the MM.


1. Yeah Independence felt a bit underpowered, too few planes and only Balanced loadout is any decent.

You just have to play resourcefully with it, be patient and pick your targets wisely. Also it is possible for Balanced loadout to CV Strike on the first run so can't say its completely underpowered.


2. Yeah, Cleveland's AA power is ridiculous, Generally i will avoid all T6+ USN ships and focus on IJN first, they make for easier targets. Patience is key and vulnerable targets will present themselves eventually. if you can play offensively use your fighters as escorts to counter ship launched fighters and enemy CV fighters, lock them into combat and make the strike.

And if you get placed against AS loadouts, play defensively, try baiting their fighters with your dive bombers and strafe them or force them to fight you near a friendly Cleveland/AA or use Strong AA ships as safe zones to launch your strikes from.




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Yeah, Independence is a mediocre CV compared to Ryujo. The difference in number of squads (3 vs 5) AND planes (37 vs 48) is just unfair.

That said, my advice is the same as above posters: keep using balanced loadout. It makes you flexible. Strike loadout is not very good on mid tier CVs and I'd rather watch paint dry than playing AS loadout.

Use your fighters for scouting or escorting your bombers. That way you can minimize your plane losses. As for AA cruisers, well what can I say other than avoid them like a plague. If there is no other targets and you really have to sink them, bait their Defensive Fire first with your DBs then wait for it to cooldown before striking with your TBs. Be patient, you really can't afford to lose too many planes.


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Pick your targets.


I haven't played a single USN ship, mind you, but USN CV captains tend to irritate me greatly in my IJN CVs.


In a one-on-one, USN fighters eat anything.


Commanding a Hiryu using the upgrades to increase fighter survivability and fighter armament, as well as taking all the skills under the 'aircraft' category scratch the useless rear gunner and T5... I lose fighters to an Independence's upgraded fighters all the time on one-on-ones. I don't know if the guy was using the dogfighting expert skill, but it worked well in his favor. Annihilated my entire squad while losing only 2 fighters.


If you're using the balanced (1/1/1) setup, just use your fighters to scout the areas you intend to attack and guard against any fighters coming to intercept. Against a Ryujo, you'll win every time unless the guy's using the AA loadout.


The trick to countering defensive fire is actually a bit simple with a 1/1/1 loadout.


  1. Look at the match list- You can view their AA ratings.
  2. Mark potential targets during the countdown prior to pressing the 'Enter Match' button
  3. Spot potential target with fighters
  4. Scan area for possible high AA, make fighter group skirt around the area- Might encounter a DD with significantly lower AA capabilities as a target (Aobas and Budyonnies. are only 'potential' high-AA if they use their defensive fire, Clevelands most often have the AA consumable)
  5. Keep your attacker planes roughly 8km from your victim
  6. Send your dive bomber squad first. Considering the lower alpha strike of bombs, it's preferable to send them in first
  7. While your dive bombers are still flying towards their target,(With CL.A escorts, especially) hold the alt key
    1. If you see the reticule balloon up,
      1. Retreat your planes to minimize casualties. Repeat step 3 whilst remember the potential target list during the countdown or wait a minute for the AA consumable to be ineffective
      2. Send your squadron out again
    2. If reticule still remains the same, release bombs
      1. Watch if the fires are extinguished, wait a good 10 seconds before sending your torpedo squadron in. No damage control will ever save them from 2 minutes of flooding.
      2. If the enemy only uses the AA consumable for your torpedo bombers, don't fret- It actually makes the torpedo spread more deadly if there are more enemy ships nearby. Bonus points if you scored flooding hits right after the enemy used his damage-control party


Scenario 2. Uptiered against ridiculously-beefed AA


  1. Anchor your bombers to a friendly high-AA ship that advances slowly with the team(Examples include North Carolinas and/or Atlantas). Use your fighter squadron to scout
  2. Wait for an enemy ship to emerge from their AA net or if a hole in their net is exposed
  3. Assess whether or not this target is worth sacrificing your planes on
  4. Send your planes in a manner similar to scenario 1's step 5-7


When uptiered, your planes turn into one-trick-ponies. When sending them out, you have to accept that not all- if any, would come back. You can still fulfill the extremely-useful role of spotting enemy targets- Especially DDs, for your up-gunned allies. Communicate with your team and watch your map to see if they're having trouble due to torpedo grids and the like.

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Ah, Thank you so much for all the suggestions. Really helps. Totally forgot about the dive bomb first torp later strategy (I use stock bogue, 1 ft 1tb. Didn't have db) seems like managing only 2 squadrons has taken its toll. Kinda rush on making decisions. Plenty of things I need to improve. Thanks again fellow captains! Good luck out there.

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