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SZYZWY

Strike Ranger [More Options]

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Introduction:
Ranger is widely considered to be the worse T7 CV in the game right now. I won't deny that. Being effective in it is harder than the other CV(Hiryuu/Saipan) due to the limited squadron choices and long cycles. What comes next will assume the reader knows the basics of CV gameplay at least since I won't be mentioning the usual stuff one should use on any CV. It is something one should already know from going through Langley -> Bogue -> Independence anyway. What this read will mostly be on is additional options one can utilize to make Strike Ranger gameplay a bit more impactful, not only in terms of damage, but also in terms of game influence.

 

Things I'd assume you know before reading as they are basics for good bombing plays anyway:
-DoT stacking
-Panic spread bypass(taking advantage of the delay your

bombers get panicked by either DFAA/Fighters)
-DFAA baiting
-"Proper" Manual drops
-Target Selection/Isolation
-Fighter strafes

 

If there's anything here you don't know, it's good to try and have an idea about it as it can drastically improve how much you influence the game via damage numbers. :bajan:

 

Questions I'll answer before starting as to why I even bothered writing this:
Q: Why Strike Loadout?
A: It is because it is the loadout I am experienced with and can give 'credible' advice on. I also don't have good enough

fighter gameplay to justify using stock(balanced) and fighter loadouts. By all means, you are free to use any loadout as it is none of my business as to what is good for you and I will respect that. Some of the things I will mention here can be used for any loadout, or even other CVs as long as you understand the intent so it may still be worth a read.

 

Q: If Hiryuu/Saipan is better than Ranger overall, what can it do better?
A: In the topic of strike Ranger, it has the best damage potential. Practically of course, with captains of equal and

sufficient skill, one can surmise the Hiryuu or the Saipan will come out on top. But of course, with correct course of actions with your cycles, outdamaging either of them isn't really hard. Of course, damage isn't the only way a CV wins

games and that will depend on your impact on the game. I'll go in-depth with this later.

 

A Mindset I'll recommend:

Be Optimistic
- Trust your team
         There are two reasons for this. One is of course as a strike ranger, you don't have fighters to support yourself.

So say a  Hiryuu tries to snipe you, nothing you can do about it by yourself. Luckily of course, not all enemy Hiryuu captains know how to properly snipe. The other reason is because maximizing Ranger's damage potential requires a LOT of DoT which they can stack first or after, and can help you allot your resources to more effective endeavors. :medal:

- RNG is not out to get you
         Dive bombers will be your main damage source practically as any enemy CV will try to chase your Torpedo Bomber planes first. Anyone who played USN DBs above Langley, then you know how inconsistent it can be. But that's the thing, it's inconsistent enough that you will consistently get hits as long as you drop right. It will never "consistently" miss. :great:

 

 

"I'm just saying this first since a strike ranger is powered by the salt from your enemy's tears rather than your own."

 


Disclaimer: Most of these scenarios are against Hiryuu(222) since Saipan is kind of a special case, and facing another Ranger

(even in another loadout) is fair game for you supposedly.

 

General Gameplay:

 

Due to the other CV's cycles being way faster than yours, your planes will almost always focus on one flank at a time to compensate. Limit your scope of operation to support a 'strong' flank. It can either be your ally lemming train, or just the flank where your trusted div mates are. Support them enough while doing enough damage will usually be how you will win the game. They'll almost always be able to have better damage potential with your support(scouting), while their AA will be a good platform for you to preserve your planes. Also move along with them with a distance ~5km. Since you'll be supporting the said flank, you must try to actively scout

hampering DDs that can scout you yourself or discourage enemy BBs to face off with the said flank.

 

Most of your planes' job will be "seemingly" heavily damaging enemy ships to take them out of action, albeit temporarily. Not exactly for killing but it's better of course if you do. As an example, just having a successful stick of 2 fires on a BB can be around 15-20k HP for your damage counter(includes bomb alpha). And a BB that has 2 fires will think twice of engaging which you can effectively take out of battle temporarily. So you can see why trusting your teammates has a bit of weight for your Ranger to work.

 

Gauging enemy skill is quite important when using a strike loadout. Knowing how the enemy CV plays can put a lot of variation into how you use your own planes. How to do it will be explained in a bit. There's also the case of gauging the skill of enemy DDs. You can do it just by flying your TB squadron over them. If they react fast and turn their aft or bow to it, you can guess that it's aware. You can also guess their behavior if they retreat at the detection from your TB or if they continue on to objectives. But if the DD doesn't react, you can either bomb it if you're confident, or just plainly make a mental note that the DD isn't special and that scouting is enough to neutralize it so you won't waste damage on it and let your teammates do the rest. Either way, let your allies know about the said DDs whenever you can as this is not foolproof.


Overcoming enemy Fighters:

Situation: If it was in another server like NA/EU, your worst enemy is blobbing AA bubbles since their lemming trains are way compact than in Asia. That and the meta is more towards strike setups and bombing; in contrast to ours which is clearing skies usually. So, you will more likely have the enemy CV be the worst enemy. So, avoiding such fighters is optimal for you to maximize influence and do effective damage. If you don't, that usually spells more than -50% reduction on your supposed damage. So you need to 'trick' the enemy CV to waste his fighters' potential, so you can bomb more comfortably.

 

What you can do:

Pseudo-snipe - CV players will mostly prioritize self-preservation. So if you try to threaten the enemy CV to thinking you are sniping, you can make him focus on defending himself while your important planes do the damage. Plus points if it has a div mate that's an AA cruiser as you'll most likely take it out of battle engagements. It can usually be done by using 2 DB for threatening for the pseudo-snipe which can force the enemy CV to use 2 FT for defense as long as you separate them quite properly. Your other TB and DB will be unhindered in that sense and you'll be able to maximize damage potential to the level of an Independence

without an enemy CV matchup. :look:

Of course, the enemy CV can opt NOT to defend which you can punish with a DoT stack on the CV itself. It can take off quite a lot of damage, but the main reason would be to stack a fire so you can stop his plane cycles for around 1 minute. With the Ranger's reserves, you have a chance to do this 3-5 times a match depending on how you drop with the 1 TB and 1 DB. But most of the time you only need to do it once as the enemy CV will be more concerned with its own defense rather than the fleet after the first try.

 

Permaspotting - As said, a CV will value protecting himself quite highly. If you have a plane spotting it at the edge of its air detection range, 9/10 times the enemy CV will try to intercept. You can trick them into investing into it by using a DB squadron that threw its bombs away. Now the DB squadron's speed > FT speed which you can delay the FT from defending its fleet or killing your other planes. But the true reason for doing so is that if the CV is spotted, long range ally BBs usually try to hit it. It will either damage the enemy CV if he still tries to advance with his fleet, or he will retreat, thus lengthening his plane cycles and lessening his effectiveness for his own team. This can be a double edged sword and kind of risky as it diverts the attention of your ally BBs, but when it is successful, you have one less CV to worry about and you are free to bomb and wreck havoc on their team at best. Although practically, it gets the fighters off your tail for a long time. :child:

 

Doing any of these can also help gauge the enemy CV skill. You can learn if he strafes, how he deals with bomber pressure, how he deals with being detected and how aggressive he can be. You can now plan out what to do in the next plane cycle while knowing the enemy CVs behavior. If he doesn't strafe, then you can blob planes to minimize ship AA damage. If he actually does strafe, you can go for strafe baits and whittle down on his ammo. If he succumbs to bomber pressure, you can keep the threat of snipe active, while actually focusing on the other ships. If you continue detecting him and he reacts, that's 1 or 2 plane squadrons off your important bombers. That and they'll be less focused on their own bomber drops.

 

Against Surface Ships:


What Ranger can do better than the other two CVs is that its squadrons are more robust therefore can impact a certain area much more. Its planes can pass through enemy AA way better than the other two CVs and if you drop decisively into enemy

AA, you can have a leeway of 2 seconds that even if DFAA or a Fighter squadron is panicking your plane, your drop will still be normal spread rather than the big RNG one. And even if panicked, they have a better chance of hitting more drops. They can also strike better AA defended targets better when left with no choice. It is also more suited for dropping against BBs than the other two. Of course, you can still drop on DDs, but its better to do with your TB squadron as your DB ones are RNG. You also need to have confidence in doing so, if not, just stick to BBs and DF baited Cruisers. :hmm:

 

Decisive DoT Stacking - Hiryuu usually maximizes its own damage potential by striking at the right time. With Ranger however, it needs the driver to be way more decisive on drops. Fast in, fast out, while maintaining DoT stacks. So, for example using 2 DB squadrons, after being launched from your ship will be at a 12 second interval distance. It's also for giving the enemy CV less time to react to your planes. So if you beeline the 1st DB squadron to a drop right then and there on the closest BB, you can minimize AA damage to it while having a ~12 second interval for the 2nd DB squadron. USN DBs usually get ~2 fires with a good drop without DFAA so the target BB will almost always have to use DCP. If it's an IJN BB, you can follow up quite fast with the 2nd DB in a

beeline as well. If it's not, you just have to wait +5 sec on KM and +10 sec on USN which isn't too bad but you'd still have to drop your payload ASAP to try and catch up to the other CV's bomb cycles. That, and you can afford sub-optimal DB drops(perpendicular instead of parallel) due to how your drop circle is when the plane is in danger of enemy fighter interception.

 

Ally DoT Stack - Alone, a Ranger can DoT stack 2 enemy ships (TB-DCP-DB, DB-DCP-DB). But if you scope around your ally

ships for HE spammers and Torpedo users, you can theoretically DoT stack 4 enemy ships. It's something you can do with other CVs of course, but comparatively, a Strike Ranger can do it best. Just like how enemy teamwork can severely gimp your damage, allied teamwork can ramp it up a notch. While practicing this, you can use your bombers for torp screening, passive scouting DDs in the meantime while waiting for the timing. Not always the best course of action of course, but usually a good one with semi-competent

teammates.
Vice-versa, you can stack a fire against a BB that your teammates can fire upon and force it to use DCP. When used, signal your teammates to set it on fire. Doesn't always work, but it's a good risk to take especially if the enemy CV is around as you'll be able to drop first before it has time to intercept.

 

Sacrificing your TB squadron - A USN TB squadron is quite potent, but it can also be used to just influence how enemy

ships move if you have a bit more trust with your teammates than your bombing ability. Any player that is aware of what it can do will turn its aft or bow to it. You can keep it at around 4km of the target to lead it to broadsides... unfavorable situations overall. If it(the target) doesn't follow, then you can punish since it'll show its broadside with respect to the TB squadron. You can also go for sub-optimal TB drops to lead ships(usually DDs) to overextend a bit more forward for your teammates to hit, or to ground the DD to an island to be focused down. :hiding:


Plane Conservation and Optimization:

Plane Stacking - This works well if the enemy CV is preoccupied or you already know that he doesn't strafe. Blobbing planes against AA is a more conservative way to save your planes. You can use this as a deceiving tool. For example: You can blob all 3 Dive bombers to head to a target, but you will only issue drops on 1 or 2 of them. The surface target doesn't really have time to see the number of bombs dropped, so you can trick it into thinking all 3 dive bombers already dropped and use DCP almost immediately out of confidence. That's where you use the ones still with the load to follow up and let fires stick. It especially works for those who conserve DCP until really safe, making full use of their heals since fire is 100% heal-able. Usual DoT stacking methods don't really work on them as effectively and actually causes more casualties.

 

Flank Dedication - Even if the enemy CV focuses its fighters on the flank you are in, it's better to not avoid it entirely. Avoiding such fighters will lead to a lot of time wasted and your bomb cycles are already slower than the other CVs(not to mention planes themselves are slower), it's something you should avoid. It would be actually better to charge the flank with all your bombers sufficiently spaced so the fighters can only intercept half of them. Do watch out for strafes if you didn't pseudo-snipe or permaspot

him. Of course if the flank is failing so hard, you'd have to change focus, but do your best in not letting it happen in the first place and it's mostly go right. :P

 

=END=
Well, this is pretty much it from me. This is a draft for now anyway. Hope I can refine it in the future.


And no, you don't have to follow any of these strictly. It's more of a "The more you know, the better" kind of thing. It's always better to have more options available at your disposal. Act on the situation as you see fit as always and good luck.  :honoring:

(Wish I could go more in-depth with it but most are really situational.)

 

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It's a bit generalized.

 

 

Raw numbers would do well.

 

 

For example: DB squadron speed w/ and without bombs is x and y

 

 

In comparison, enemy FT speed is only X.

 

 

Some more illustrations would make the data more lively.

 

 

I sincerely skimmed through it because I'm already familiar with the concepts, but the problem is that it's a bit too technical:

 

 

Some of them also require oodles of luck to pull off; Rather situational.

 

 

You could split your presentation up with specific scenarios

 

 

Another concern is the personal wellbeing of your mothership, as well as its position.

 

 

You seemed to have focused solely on the damage bit.

 

Edited by Stein_Grenadier

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It's a bit generalized.
 
Raw numbers would do well.
 
For example: DB squadron speed w/ and without bombs is x and y
 
In comparison, enemy FT speed is only X.
 
Some more illustrations would make the data more lively.
 
I sincerely skimmed through it because I'm already familiar with the concepts, but the problem is that it's a bit too technical:
 
Some of them also require oodles of luck to pull off; Rather situational.
 
You could split your presentation up with specific scenarios
 
Another concern is the personal wellbeing of your mothership, as well as its position.
 
You seemed to have focused solely on the damage bit.

 

I did write this up as a generalized guide. Will update on the raw numbers. (I was writing while I was DC'ed from the internet so there is a lack of raw numbers)

 

Illustrations will be done in a few days(hopefully). I'll play Ranger and maybe get some appropriate screenshots to show my point.

 

And most of this isn't really luck. Keep doing good things and it'll be consistent (enough) to make due.

It will depend on your skill, the enemy CV's behavior, and then the surface fleet's actions.

The first one is something you can hone.

The second one is something you "should" discover on the first cycle. And the worst case scenario is you'll only get 3 cycles.

The third one is something you yourself pick since you choose the flank you support, the area you scout, and the targets you bomb.

 

And yes, I can split it to scenarios. Will be done in the future :honoring:

 

There's literally nothing you can do against CV snipes other than trusting your team to support you. It's why the placement of the strike ranger is pretty dangerous to about 5km of the main fleet, so they "can" be able to support you. Whether they will is a different story. But since you have no countermeasures about that, gambling on your team is the best thing to do.

 

Damage is the only thing a strike ranger can do BETTER than Hiryuu, Saipan. Maybe plane conservation too, but it's mostly just to do damage. You have a robust squadron, tankier, lesser affected by AA. Instead of going to compensate disadvantages in air superiority and scouting(intelligence), you will have to push your damage to the best you can to compensate.

Oh, and I'm not talking about pure damage numbers. Make it effective damage. There's no use in killing a full HP BB in Cap D if your whole team is in A anyway since it poses no threat. Going for threats first is always the good choice. I guess I'll have to mention this in the main guide, will be in the next revision. Thought this was a matter of course.

Stack around 2-3 fires on a BB, you'll take it out momentarily in a battle. Threaten a cruiser or a DD with your TB, then you'll either make them retreat, or punish them heavily. Influences via damage. Threaten the enemy CV with either scouting or a minor snipe threat and you will ruin its fighter game or even bomber drops. Depends. Of course, again, it is situational since it will REALLY depend on your enemy. It will never be unsituational. :hiding:

 

So thanks~

Edited by SZYZWY

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[ATLAS]
Beta Tester
464 posts
9,858 battles

Can I add a little bit of advice? Sometimes, whenever enemy carrier tried to make a drop they will abandon the control of their fighters, even the AS loadout. The length depends on what is the target and how much the attention span of the player is. If you know this guy has their bombers at the other side of the map trying to make a drop on a DD, it is a very large gap left by the idle fighters and sometimes you can just waltz through to your target. Sure they can have the fighter set a patrol command but it is not effective at all and this update seems to broke the patrol command as the AI got dumber than the usual catapult fighter. 

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