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Tired of, and bothered to see ships charge blindly in combat I start this thread for discussion: Note1: classes are not definite, Light and fast CAs with short main gun range may fit better in the CL & DD category. CL & DD is a very mixed basket with different individual roles - a different thread is required for their roles in battle to be further analysed. Mogami (1944) may play the CV role, CA role or a mix of both depending on setup, battle phase and conditions. Note2: Phases are not clearly distinguished and lacking fleet communication captains should observe field and act accordingly. 1st phase: Opening Goal of 1st phase is to setup battle line CVs: Launch fighters to establish air superiority. Stay behind main fleet CAs & BBs: Group together forming a battle line, launch scouts to reveal enemy CLs & DDs: Form a loose group in front, but close to main battle group of CAs and BBs. Don't cut across bows, use superior speed to pass clearly ahead or turn around the stern. SSs: charge ahead independently towards enemy's big units. dive if needed to cross path with others. 2nd phase: First contacts Goal of second phase is to manoeuvre into an advantageous position CVs: Keep skies clear of enemy planes, If no enemy fighters in the air try to get some damage on enemy capital ships and break their line. Change positions often, keep close but behind main fleet. CAs & BBs : fire at enemy ships as they come in range. If strong ships in range gang them, if only smaller pick them of individually. Manual aim is a must in extreme ranges. Surfaced subs are a priority. CLs & DDs : avoid stronger ships, keep distance, increase speed, manoeuvre, whatever it takes to make them miss. Move to block path to enemy subs. If manual AA is available keep close to friendly main battle group and shoot down enemy planes. Gang up to kill charging enemy DDs and CLs SSs: Try to bypass enemy small ships, concentrate on the big ones. Chance kills of DDs and CLs are welcome but risky. Engage enemy subs if you feel confident, diverting them from your battle line is equally important. 3rd phase: Battle is joined Goal of third phase is to gain advantage by breaking up and overwhelming the enemy fleet. CVs: Keep skies clear of enemy planes, If no enemy fighters in the air try to get some damage on enemy capital ships and break their line (killing enemy scouts is a priority). keep an eye on enemy subs. CAs & BBs : Work as concise group, once enemy capital ships are in range pick them off one by one. Switch your target to most heavily damaged enemy in range (no absolute rule use discretion). Target is to reduce enemy numbers as fast as possible (damaged ships have exactly the same firepower as when full health). When targeted move to extreme range - make enemy miss their shots while your allies fight closer. If not targeted move closer to increase hit rate and relieve damaged allies. Keeping the enemy switching targets keeps more friendly ships alive - change positions inside your group, but don't break away. CAs out of range to enemy capital ships pick off smaller ships in range, support your CLs and DDs. CLs & DDs : 1st priority: actively chase enemy SSs, provide AA cover to BBs, if enemy CV in battle try to move round enemy battle line and chase it 2nd priority: Stay alive, harass enemy battle line, force them to manoeuvre by firing torpedoes, anything it takes to give your big gun pals the upper hand. SSs: chase the big targets, keep an eye on oxygen levels. 4th phase: Closing Goal of forth phase is to finish the battle after a side has a definite advantage. CVs: Scout out surviving enemies, kill them. Move closer to reduce planes turnaround time. Other ships: move in and sweep up scattered surviving enemies. Keep within gun range of enemy submerged subs, they'll have to surface for oxygen. Ships with sonar shall keep them always visible. TL;DR: Every ship has it's role in the fleet, act on it, work as a team, don't charge in blindly
IJN ships are general weaker in hull and thus they can hardly beat KM or RN ships one on one. However, with their fast speed and high damage output, with skills, tactical mind and synergy with others. IJN can form a strong force in field. The core naval philosophy of IJN is using suppressive speed and damage output to reduce enemy’s number in a short time, and to build a long-game advantage. Like the (infamous) surprise Attack on Pearl Harbour, or suicidal Kamikaze attack, Japanese ships never worries about being sunk or damaged, but only care about how much return can one sacrifice win back. Ship buildings follow the above mentality. Torpedo is strongest in Japs. IJN DDs have strong and long range torps that can easily sink enemy CL and CA. Some of the IJN SS has 8 bow launch that make them able to sink multiple ships in one strike. Torpedo tactics need ships to get close to opponents (and avoid getting sunk). As such, IJN has also some ships to help friends to get close. Kitakami can firework 50 torps to disperse enemy ships’ formation, making SSs can infiltrate through the sonar net. Asama brings a BB cannon to help SS to sink DD/CL with sonar. Don’t use Mogami 1944 as a knitting CV. Bring her front with fighters and cover our SS go front without spotted by scout planes. IJN SS is fasted at all and have 47 knot OH speed on surface. They can sneak in and hunt for B.B. and CV. SS is the biggest threat against IJN ships. Most IJN ships are weaker and eating torps is unaffordable for them. If you are using low level DD (or DD50), don’t hesitate to bring hedgehog and invest a bit in FCS to kill SS, and to chase bombers and torp planes (they are in group of five) with your auto AAW and high speed. The longer that both you and IJN CA survive, the longer advantage that we enjoy. Last but not the least is IJN CVs. Most of them has fast speed and high number of flights (after they vetted). These allow IJN CVs stay close with the fleet and protect the ships from air strikes. Don’t be hurry to send torp planes to hunt large ships. Let our CA to hunt some CL with AAW first. However, it’s not bad to some one squad of bombers to make quick attack on med-size ship as an early attack (and let them die to save the time of return flight...). IJN CV is very strong in late game since their fast speed (up to 47 OH speed) can help them knit against BB or SS. effectively. So never die too fast. One more thing. Do not mind doing tactical retreat if facing fiece defence in front of you (like Crossing the T formation has been set up). Don’t get trapped. Use your speed to re-organise your attack at the other side of field. Japanese has created Otsu Tactic （乙戰術）to overcome Crossing the T, split the fleet, attack the head and tail of opponent line of fleet. So, if you use IJN BBs, never forget that you have faster speed then other nations’. Manoeuvre your ship aside and face your starboard to their bow or stern. I’m not an IJN player so perhaps more sharings from you are needed. Feel free to share here and wish you enjoy the Fast and Furious of IJN ships!