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Mid Tier USN CV's

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Beta Tester
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7,354 battles


So I've just upgraded back to the Indy which was what I was at back in CBT before the wipe. Admittedly the Bogue was kinda meh in that it lacked aircraft capacity and speed to get away from anything, but its dive bombers were very accurate which was nice, and the fighters were quite decent for their tier so I didn't actually find it all too bad. (I decided to run the air superiority flight control)


But I kinda don't like the current state of the Independence for 2 reasons


Her fighters are slower than those of the Bogue and will never catch IJN CV's planes unless you vector them for interception just right, yes slower speed means more firepower, but whats the point in more firepower if they can't catch anything? - Hopefully the barrage fire ability in the upcoming update will make them more useful?


The flight control choice is interesting for the Indy, 3 squadrons  is nice, but again as with the Bogue, hanger space is rather limited (37 planes), so I find that no matter how cautious I try to be with my planes, I always end up running "dry" when playing the balanced loadout (lots of clevelands atm I accidentally run into or worse). The air superiority loadout would be nice if the fighters could catch anything or the bombers could hit their targets better (even with manual aim on slow BB's) and I'm still not sure on the strike loadout, but at least the Independance can run and catch up with the fleet now which is nice


Any tips on improving the Independance gameplay? And what is the Ranger at tier 7 like?


Edited by Blitzkreig95

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Beta Tester
2,718 posts
1,988 battles

Ranger is Completely outclassed by the Hiryu ATM in 4.0. Not sure how the "Strafe Run" thing helps 4.1.

It's loadout is still the same old 2/0/2 - but you are slower, a Tier higher and had more AA to deal with.


Indi is a decent ship. If you can't even handle it Don't go up the Ranger. Long Long way to grind to the heaven Tier 8 Lexington and the ships above it.

Edited by Alvin1020

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Beta Tester
1,043 posts
4,300 battles

before anything else, please be informed that USN CVs are thoroughly outclassed at all tiers by their IJN counterparts(except lexington). So playing USN CV is like taking the hard mode and IJN the easy mode.

from tier IV to tier VIII, your only choice for a decent game on  a USN CV is to get the balanced mod.1 flight control. at low and mid tier, a single USN fighter squadron can still handle two IJN figther squadron so take advantage of this (this changes at tier 9 - 10). also. remember to click on the enemy figthers even if they seem to be fighting, if you don't click on them, your figthers won't attack no matter what.

Independence is a good upgrade from the terribad bogue, you now have more planes and with all new dive bombers on mod 1 flight control and some speed. what I did in independence was to retain the stock fighters from bogue b/c the upgrade loses a lot, only upgrade on ranger. If you can't catch the enemy's planes, just use your figthers to patrol the area or use it as escorts for your bombers. Also, protect your torpedo bombers at all cost, prioritize their safety, always. If the enemy or area seems to have a strong AA, don't bet on it. Just go look for stragglers and pick them up 1 by 1. Or let your dive bombers, or even your fighters, to go in first so they take the brunt of AA damage.

Ranger is also a good upgrade from independence. Now with a big hangar, incredible AA and greatly increased mobility. Your balanced mod.1 flight control will not receive any upgrade though(USN flight controls gets upgrade every 2 tier) -- so it's quite a drawback. Again, I don't recommend using any other flight controls/loadout so make do with 1 torpedo bomber till Essex.

Lexington is probably the best upgrade in USN CV. Very fast, tight turning and a monstrous AA at top hull with an even bigger hangar. I can say that lexi is the least outclassed CV in USN. You now have 2-1-1 for the balanced mod.1 flight control and with your fighter upgrade, you can easily own the sky while retaining your torpedo bombers (avoid mod.3).


Essex is where things get messy. You now have a very powerful strike loadout of 1-2-2, but at the same time, your counterparts receives a big hefty upgrade on their figthers and figther loadouts. Their fighters can now keep up with yours or even own you depending on RNG-sama(basically, you lose the sky from this point). Taiho's trend right now is the OP 3-2-2 setup, which gives them the skies for free while retaining their torpedo bombers so they own both the skies and seas.
Essex losses some mobility and AA from lexington and you lose even more concealment, all for more hangar space. Your fighter upgrade is also mediocre as it gains more speed but loses bullets and if your enemy has dogfighting skill, you put it in a disadvantage. Bomber upgrade is not worth the credit and exp, so don't bother. Torpedo upgrade is a must.

Edited by Deicide

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