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Most premium ships has equal power as their descendants with lesser hull. In US and UK, SS in level 79, Gato and A Type are not weaker than SS92. Except hull, both of them have equal stats in speed and diving time and even more in the number of launchers. Their CV79 owns over CV92 too. However, for IJN, SS79 Kai Kou Type is a very weak boat. Although she is smaller in size and has same speed and diving time as I-400, she has only six bow launcher (and zero stern launcher), making it vulnerable to SS fights. The only reason to use Kai Kou Type is to use its small size to pass through net of sonar. But the reason is not justifiable as it cannot scan dived SSs (okay it has scouts) In conclusion, Kai Kou Type is weak in SS combat (no stern launchers), is also weak in hunting big ships (only 6 launchers in total). So perhaps the only usage of it is to destroy heavy guns XD. I would discourage players to use gold to buy this premium ship if no buffs are given in future. Suggested buff on Kai Kou Type maybe: 1) increase sonar range for scouting purpose 2) shorten torpedo reload speed (if increasing number of torps is not allowed) 3) increase ship turn speed and accelerate speed for increase survivability in SS combat (it make sense in physics also if she uses same engine as I-400 but enjoys smaller in size and total weight) As such Kai Kou Type can be positioned as a compact SS for long range missions.
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!