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[Discuss] Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide (Please Sticky if Still Useful)

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Hi everyone. &nbsposting another of the old guides that I could find.  Feel free to sticky if still valid or comment and tell everyone else why not. 







Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 15 2007 10:06PM    


The goal of this guide is to teach players how to effectively use AA guns for shipsof the United States Navy. Before continuing, please note that this is not acomprehensive view: this is simply my own perspective and advice. Different peoplewill advocate different approaches towards using AA; anyone who feels that theydisagree with me are fully in their right to do so. However, based on my experience,I believe that this is one of the most effective ways to utilize USN AA.Note: for another approach towards AA, please read Cubone85's AA guide:http://www.animemarketv2.net/AAAWhile it's different from my approach, Cubone himself is also a highly skilled AA-er,so heeding his advice in place of mine has its benefits.This guide is divided into eight parts:A. IntroductionB. Basic pointers for beginnersC. Basic TacticsD. Important factors for AAE. An evaluation of feasible AA gunsF. Which ships can best use AAG. An escort's guide to protecting their chargeH. Advanced tips and tacticsI may add an FAQ at a later point if warranted, but for the time being, this guide willconsist of only the above eight parts.

















LordKelvin


Level: 55


Server: Arizona


Fleet: Taqmata








Re : Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 15 2007 10:06PM    


============A. Introduction============So, you've decided to go the way of USN AA? Well, I don't envy you, but since you'realready here, let's make the best of it.One of the things you most often hear is, USN AA sucks. This is both true and false.While the USN's supposed national advantage is in AA and AAW, this doesn't completely workout; USN sailors do get a +2 bonus to AAW upon classing, but most players find that thisbonus only helps marginally, to the point where it might as well not exist at all. Also,currently AA gunner class sailors are pointless; as AA gunners lose Reload growth at eachclassing, using them means that you'll be able to get off fewer salvos of flak at a targetwhile it's in range, which greatly lowers your performance potential. And seeing as howthe A variant guns for the USN perform only marginally better (or inferior in some cases)to N, L, or D variant guns of the same type, there really is no point in using the AAgunner class. As such, most USN players will use the Reload gunner class instead, and usethe corresponding N, L, or D variant guns.So, what's the good part about USN AA? Well, to put it one way, it doesn't suck. Whilethey perform inferior to most KM AA guns, they are still deadly enough to clear the skiesjust as well, if put in the right hands. While a bit lacking in range depending on whichgun and which variant you use, USN AA guns have a good combination of damage and reloadtime, which allows them to effectively lay waste to anything that does come into range. Toput it simply: they may not be scout snipers, but they're excellent bomber squadronkillers.Furthermore, many USN ships are extremely well-suited to be AA ships, or have the abilityto carry very potent secondary batteries. Out of the 38 ships in the USN ship tree, only13 ships, 10 of them gunships, do not have the capability to carry effective AA. The restcan either carry a secondary battery powerful enough to fend for itself, or be convertedinto virtual floating flak fortresses.=====================B. Basic Pointers for Beginners=====================Now, to get started. The first thing I recommend that you do is to go to the following site:www.nf-guides.comIf you're a new player, that site will provide you with all the information you need tostart properly. However, the main reason that I want you to go there is because of theAA guide. Obst's beginner AA guide is clean, simple, and effective; I myself got startedwith it, so I have Obst to thank for getting me to this point. I will be referring back toObst's guide throughout the remainder of my guide, so make sure you read it for the barebasics.OK, read it yet? Good. Now, let's continue.First things first: for the USN, use Reload gunners instead of AA gunners. What willmatter more in the end is how quickly you can reload your AA guns, and Reload gunners arethe best choice for that. The faster your reload, the more salvos you can put on a target,the faster you can kill it. Putting more flak on target is a much more important factorthan being able to bring down incoming TBs with AAW.Obviously, the hardest part of AA will be leading a target; different guns will requireyou to lead at different ranges, as well as engage at different ranges. All it reallytakes is practice to do so; learn the range of your gun, the travel time to differentpoints in the air, and factor this into the plane's speed and fire accordingly. The bestway to do this is to imagine the plane on a track in the sky: you're trying to make yourflak burst pass through at a certain point at the same that the plane will; if you can dothis, then the plane will go down.If you're in an AA ship (a ship primarily dedicated to AA-ing, as opposed to being a shipwhich happens to have AA on board), expect to sometimes be targeted with priority overother ships; CVs hate having their planes brought down by AA ships, and BBs don't like toshoot blind, so sometimes you will be targeted even over a nearby allied BB. For thisreason it's important to learn how to dodge bombs, torpedoes, and heavy shells, whichrelies heavily on speed and maneuverability; if you're fast enough to outrun air-droppedtorpedoes and maneuverable enough to evade bombs, you'll make the task of sinking you muchharder for the enemy, and cause them to waste their ammo and time on you instead of yourteam's BBs, which will help your team to win. While a lot of it depends on luck, skill andjudgment can also go a long way towards ensuring your survival.Now, let's move on to the next part.============C. Basic Tactics============So, now it's time to learn some of the most basic things about how to drive an AA ship. Thissection should become second nature for most players after a while, so learning them early isnever a bad thing.1. The direction of approachIt may not seem like it at first, but the direction of approach of an enemy plane canmatter a lot. In most cases, you will be in a situation where planes are flying directlytowards your broadside:This is the simplest and easiest attack to deal with: simply fire AA once they enter rangeand continue to do so until they're out of your engagement envelope, then maneuver asnecessary to evade bombs/torpedoes or to reposition once they re-enter your engagementenvelope.There may be a time when planes will fly parallel to your course:This type of approach is both easier and harder to deal with. In most cases, you will notbe in danger of being attacked if they're bombers (otherwise they would be coming straightat you), so no need to worry about that. However, remember that the CV driver commandingthem might notice you shooting at them and change his aim towards you, so you'll need towork quickly if you don't want to become a target yourself.The reason that this type of approach is easier is because they will remain in yourengagement envelope longer, giving you more time to bring them down. However, it's alsoharder since you will actually have to lead your targets instead of just pointing andfiring (as with the first case). You will have to gauge their speed, distance, anddirection of flight, and factor that into your own shells' salvo delay and flight time tothat same spot, so that you can time when your burst will arrive on target.The most difficult direction of approach to engage, in my opinion, is when planes fly awayfrom you:In this case, it's harder to judge when they will enter your engagement envelope, sincethey do so from the opposite end, and your shells have to play catch-up with the targetsas well. Even though they'll spend roughly the same amount of time in your engagementenvelope as when they're approaching head-on, engaging them will require reversing yourtiming somewhat, which, while quite possible, can be hard to do.2. AAW torpedo shieldingA rather simple concept, but an important one nonetheless. While the USN AAW advantage isfar from decisive, it can prove very useful in many situations. For example, say thatenemy torpedo bombers are approaching an allied ship at sea level, and you are in the areabetween them and their target. In order to shoot them down with minimal effort, you couldmove your ship close to them and let your AAW do the work; however, there are smart andstupid ways to do this. The stupid way would be to completely block their path with your ship:While this would practically guarantee that they won't hit their target ship (unlessthey're AAW-immune), it also puts you in the path of their torpedoes; there is nothingstopping them from releasing their torpedoes early, pulling away before being shot down,and catching you with their torpedo salvo. Instead, take the smart way, by pullingalongside and parallel to their path:This method does two things:i. It ensures that you are never in the path of the torpedoes, even if they release earlyii. It decreases the relative velocity between you and the bombers, keeping them in yourAAW zone longer3. Shell, bomb, and torpedo dodgingOf all the skills to master, this is probably one of the most important. As I said in thebeginning, playing as an AA ship will earn you the attention of many ships on the enemyteam, meaning that unless you're careful, you'll be sunk easily and thus cease to be anasset to your team. Remember: the longer you survive, the more planes you will be able toshoot down, the more you'll help your team.In order to dodge shells, the best method to use is to zigzag: stay at high speeds, andcontinually turn one way then the other. In general, this is only to be used when you'rebeing targeted by an enemy BB at range; at the same time, you should aim to shoot down anyenemy plane that may be spotting you for said BB; if the enemy is blind, they can't shootas well, and your survival chances increase considerably.Dodging bombs is a bit trickier, since most CV players tend to use auto DB. While thismeans that they will always use a direct approach making it easier for you to shoot themdown, they may attempt to approach you from a blind angle where not all of your guns willreach. Competent CV drivers will never lock on to you from a distance, but only when theirbombers are right on top of you; they will also attempt to approach you from the rear,which limits your firing arcs and increases the chances for a hit. In order to combatthis, executing radical turns and hitting the overheat when they're on top of you can makeyou an extremely hard target to hit; dive bombers will tend to dive at a part of your shipthat's to the stern of the center, so moving your proverbial "ass" out of the way beforethe bombs hit is the key to survival.Please read this thread by btbenjo, "Guide to Divebomb Dodging", for more information onbomb dodging:http://www.navyfield.com/board/view.asp?Num=89931&Sort=D07Torpedo dodging is also tricky, and comes with two approaches: move in close to dud thetorpedoes, or move away and evade them altogether. In order to dud them, a player attemptsto make the torpedoes hit their ship before the safety disengages, making them do nodamage; this is very risky since the CV player may recognize this and release thetorpedoes early. The safer approach is to spot the torpedo bombers, then turn away fromthem; this gives them a smaller profile to hit, and keeps them in your AAW zone longer,which may score you a few lucky bombers before they can drop. Once the torpedoes are inthe water, it also reduces the relative velocity between you and the torpedoes, giving youmore time to evade. The next thing to do then is to hit the overheat and turn away fromtheir approach; for larger ships with a low speed and turning force, the most common andfastest way is as follows:The objective of this maneuver is to to move the center of the ship slightly out of lineof the torpedoes, turn parallel to the torpedoes to move the stern out of the way, waitfor them to pass, and turn away from them altogether.Note that the above method is best used for large ships that can't turn very quickly. Ifyou're small and quick enough, you can simply perform a continuous radical turn in onedirection instead of zigzagging, and completely clear the salvo. However, many factorswill come into play, such as how much overheat you have left and how close the torpedoeswere dropped. Simply use your judgment to determine the best method of evasion.===================D. Important Factors for AA===================Once you have the basic concept of AA down, the next step is, what factors make certain AAguns or ships better than others? This will vary from nation to nation, and depends onseveral factors. I will list what I believe are the most important factors, in the orderthat I believe they are important:1. Number of barrels in a broadside2. Range of the gun3. Golden angle of the gun4. Reload time of the gun5. Damage per shell of the gunNote that this list is not absolute. In some cases, reload time will take priority overrange, and in other cases the golden angle of the gun will matter less. Regardless, thesefive factors are what decide whether a certain setup is feasible or not. While no onefactor is ultimately more important than another, an effective combination is whatdetermines an effective setup.The broadside salvo is arguably the most important factor that should decide how effectivea setup is. The more barrels you can put up in the air, the higher your chance of hittingor saturating a target is, the easier it is to bring down planes. For this reason, theAtlantas are among the prime AA ships in the game: they can put up 12 barrels of AA in abroadside, which means almost certain death for any plane that strays into its range.The range of an AA gun is also a very important factor. The longer the range, the furtheraway you can engage planes, the less danger you have to put yourself in. The best exampleof this is the Yamato and Super Yamato of the IJN: these two ships are capable of mountingAA guns that have the most range in the game, allowing them to shoot down scouts beforethe scout is able to spot the ship; this is one of the biggest reasons that many veteranplayers dub the Yamato and Super Yamato as the best BB4 and BB5 in the game, respectively.This also gives less warning to bombers and fighters, which may not be able to see what isshooting at them, and thus makes it much harder to avoid the incoming fire.For more information, please read my thread "Range Report: USN AA Guns (repost)" and seehow much range each USN AA gun has for yourself:http://www.navyfield.com/board/view.asp?Num=74234&Sort=A01Note that while the D variants of certain guns will have the lowest range but shortestreload time, the L variants will have considerably more range but longer reload times. Atlow levels, using the D guns will be the best choice, since your gunners probably won'thave enough Reload ability to reduce the reload times enough. However, at high levels, thereload times of all guns will be cut in half, so using the L guns with high-level gunnerswill give you better results, since the differences in reload times will also be cut inhalf but the ranges will remain the same. Plus, the range of the L guns for the USN arequite potent, rivaling even KM guns in terms of range.The golden angle of an AA gun is also extremely important. While a lower golden angle alsocorresponds to a longer range in general, a lower golden angle also means a wider"engagement envelope"; this refers to the area around you in which you can engage planesbetween when they enter and leave your golden angle coverage. The lower the angle, thewider the area, the longer a plane stays within your attack zone. For example, compare alow golden angle:to a high golden angle:Reload time is sometimes listed as the second-most important or even the most importantfactor in choosing an AA gun. This is because a shorter reload time means that you can putmore salvos on a target, making it easier to bring down planes. This is also important ifyou have multiple targets approaching; if you can put enough flak in the air at a singlemoment, you'll be able to clear entire sectors in a few seconds.The amount of damage that an AA shell does can be an extremely deciding factor. After all,if it just takes a couple of high-damage shells to bring down a plane, then reload time isalmost a non-issue, since you could just fire a single salvo to shoot a plane down, andnot even need a second salvo. The more damage an shell does, the fewer salvos it takes tobring a plane down, the faster you can eliminate a target.Note: when looking at the damage values for an AA gun, make sure to check whether it usedto use AAA or AAC. In the past, AAC shells came in 50 rounds per bind but did less damageper shell, while AAA shells came in 35 rounds per bind but did more damage per shell. Bothhave been merged now, so that any guns that could use both AAA and AAC now only use AAA,while any guns that could only use AAC still use only AAC. However, guns that use AAA arelimited to 35 rounds per bind, while AAC guns continue to use 50 rounds per bind.There are more factors that are important in effectiveness, but which I don't feel are asdecisively important as the above five. Nonetheless, they do deserve mentioning, becausedoing otherwise would be negligible.The firing arcs of a ship can hinder your effectiveness considerably; while for most shipsthis is not an issue, it plays an important role in deciding how quickly you can turn toface a new threat. The most notorious ship to which this applies to is the Atlanta; with60 degrees overlapping in either direction, an Atlanta has to be practically parallel to athreat in order to engage it, and turning to engage a threat takes time, by which time itmay have already passed out of your range.The weight of a gun is also important. Obviously a heavier gun is less desirable asopposed to a lighter gun, since more weight means less speed or available displacement forarmor. For an AA ship, speed is very important, since it determines how quickly you canturn to face a threat, how quickly you can get to a hot-spot, and how quickly you can turnto dodge/avoid incoming bombs and airplane-dropped torpedoes; armor (or at least bulge)is important for those times when you simply can't avoid an incoming torpedo and have totake the hit.=========================E. An Evaluation of Feasible AA Guns=========================The most obvious thing I should note is, different guns will perform differently. Forexample, a 5-gun broadside of single-barrel guns with long reload times will generallyperform inferior to a 6-gun broadside of double-barrel guns with short reload times, anddifferent guns will have different ranges, which will affect your reaction and leadingtimes. While I could recommend that you try out every gun for yourself to see which oneyou like, this would be a huge waste of time, so I'll simply give you a list of the bestor most-used AA gun sets.-5"/25 Mk 10 N/DWhile common sense would tell you that this gun would normally be an inferior gun becauseit possesses only a single barrel and a very limited range, picking this gun does comewith reasons. The main reason that you should use this gun is, if you drive a USN shipthat has next to no space on its T mounts, like a New Orleans or a Nevada, then this gunis the best bang for your buck. While you could also try for a dual gun like the 3"/50 Mk27's, those have only a bit more range, a much higher space requirement, and a lot lessdamage per shell; the damage of the 5" shell for the 5"25's is the second-highest of allAA shells in the USN arsenal, which means that they pack a mean punch on whatever theyhit. However, any ship that uses this gun will have an extremely limited broadside, so ittakes considerable skill to hit anything with these guns.Note (added by TimmyC): the 5"/25 can block, to a certain degree. Because the ships youwould use them on have 4 slots equally spaced, in order to get them to fly in a solidblock, you must set the gunlines PARALLEL to each other, not crossed. If your gunners aresufficiently high, then it is possible for the shells to fly right next to each other,lending 90x4 damage against a single plane, almost certainly enough to knock it out in onehit. This, of course, is dependent on how good you are with deflection shooting and timingyour shots.-5"/38 Mk 30 Mod41 N/L/DThis gun can serve as a higher-tier replacement for the 5"25. While it's still only asingle barrel gun, it has more range, a better reload time, and still does very gooddamage per shell. The problem is, the 5"38 single requires much more space than the 5"25,and weighs almost 3 times more at each tier. The space requirement alone means that onlytwo ships can feasibly use them, the Brooklyn and the Tennessee(1941). While yourbroadside will still be somewhat limited, you'll be able to manage somewhat better than ifyou had 5"25's on.-3"/70 Mark 23 N/DThe 3"70's are one of the most-used USN AA gun sets in the game, because they haveextremely short reload times, almost half that of other AA guns. While the guns themselvesrequire a considerable amount of space, each bind of ammo requires very little space,which means that these guns will rarely ever run out of ammo on whatever platform they'reused. Combined with decent range and average damage per shell, some consider the 3"70's tobe the best USN AA gun. However, it also comes with several downsides. First and foremostamong these is its shell damage; while average, it's still somewhat lacking compared toheavier shells. You may unleash a storm of flak on a plane squadron but only manage toseverely weaken but not shoot down any planes. Second, these guns weigh a lot, more thaneven dual 5" gun sets, which will slow you down considerably in situations where you mayneed speed. Furthermore, when used to fire anti-ship rounds, these guns tend to do littledamage to anything bigger than a CL1, which means that if you use them as primary weapons,you'll be almost helpless against anything bigger than a DD.-5"/38 Mk 38 N/L/DThese guns compete with the 3"70's as the most-used USN AA guns, and are my own personalchoice of AA gun (more specifically, the L's). They have about the same range as the3"70's, but come with a longer reload time and more damage per shell. They also haveshallower golden angles, which means that your engagement envelope is wider at each tier.The higher damage per shell means that you will occasionally one-shot scouts, which givestheir owners next to no warning that their scout is under attack until the last second.What's more, these guns are quite effective in anti-ship combat, and, when combined withHigh Angle, will let you take on anything smaller than a BB1 and emerge victorious ifyou're good enough.-5"/38 Mk 29 N/L/DThe 5"38 Mk 29's perform similar to the Mk 38's in most ways. They have a bit more rangeand slightly shallower golden angles, but are considerably heavier and have longer reloadtimes. For the purposes of AA, most players use the Mk 38's instead, since the extra rangeisn't worth the cost in weight and reload time. However, when used in anti-ship combat,these guns will perform better than the Mk 38's due to their longer range.-5"/54 Mk 16 N/L/DThese guns are most often used for High Angle instead of AA, for various reasons. Theyweigh quite a bit, even more than the 5"38 Mk 29 set, have a longer reload time, and canonly carry AAC. However, they also have a lot more range, which lets you engage targetswhere they think they're safe. In terms of AA, these guns are only really good for killingscouts due to their low damage per shell, and are rarely carried on anything except anAtlanta due to the weight. However, when range and a shallow golden angle is needed, don'tdiscount these guns.-6"/47 DP Mk 16 N/L/DThe 6" DP's are what one would consider the powerhouse of the USN. They have massive rangeand HUGE damage per shell, allowing you to one-shot scouts at long range, and essentiallyblowing any plane squadron out of the sky if used correctly. However, they come at a greatcost: a very long reload time, and an incredibly huge weight. These guns should onlyreally ever be mounted on a Brooklyn or Cleveland, since their weight keeps them off ofjust about everything else.Note: some guns have the same golden angle as others of a different type, so if you'refeeling bold you can mix different guns, set them all at the same angle, and throw outasymmetrical salvos. While this will throw off your timing somewhat if you're used todelivering symmetrical, deliberately placed salvos, it can also confuse and play hell withwhoever's commanding the planes you're shooting at. Be warned, though, that anasymmetrical setup means that if you decide to switch targets and use your mixed batteryto shoot at ships, things get complicated since the guns will have different ranges.======================F. Which Ships Can Best Use AA======================While the AA guns that you choose are very important, no less important is the ship thatyou decide to mount them on. In general, there are two ways to mount AA: as a primarybattery (and thus acting as an AA ship) or as a secondary battery (which tremendouslyincreases your survival odds in almost any battle). Not all ships can mount a goodsecondary battery, and not all ships are well-suited to use AA guns as their primarybattery. I'll start by listing out which ships can wield a very effective primary battery,then do a general description for application of a secondary battery.*******AA Ships*******-SomersAs a DD, all a Somers can really do is carry low-caliber weapons, most of which happen tobe AA guns at the same time. To this end, a Somers with enough extra ammo can act as an AAship at the same time. However, because of its limited R space, most players don't botherputting on AA ammo, since it would mean running short of anti-ship ammo, even withshort-ranged guns. While the 5"38's are the most-used guns on a Somers, it can only mountthe N or D variants with enough ammo, and it doesn't really have enough usabledisplacement to mount the 3"70's effectively. The only real advantage it does have is its4 R mounts, meaning that it can put 8 barrels in the air, which can still be quite effective.-Gearing/Gearing DDR/TimmermanWhile the Gearings have more gun space, which allows them to carry more ammo, they runinto displacement problems faster than the Somerses due to having less usabledisplacement. Furthermore, the Gearing and Gearing DDR can only bring up a broadside of 6barrels, which is marginal at best and reduces its potential effectiveness. However, oncethe player reaches the Timmerman, things start turning up, since it gets a heftydisplacement boost and an extra turret, allowing it to AA fairly well.-DDX ProjectThe DDX can make a fairly good AA ship due to good displacement and gun space. While it'snot as good as it used to be before the OpenNF patch, its R mounts still have a goodlyamount of space that allows it to store a fair amount of ammo. Furthermore, it can bringup a broadside of 10 barrels and is a very small target, making it hard to hit withtorpedoes or bombs. However, it's also quite slow for a DD, which means that you may haveto pick an escort and stick by it instead of being able to zoom around the map at will.-OmahaMany people underestimate the Omaha, but in the right hands it can play hell with the CVson whatever team it opposes. The first thing that should be noted about the Omaha is thatits R mounts are very weird, and most of them are so small that they can't store muchammo. For that reason, the 3"70's are the preferred AA guns on the Omaha, since it willallow you to store enough ammo for prolonged AA operations as well as several binds ofanti-ship ammo for when the occasion calls. Furthermore, the Omaha is a very fast ship,and if used properly, can run very quickly between hot-spots and provide AA coverage whereit's needed very quickly.-Atlanta/Juneau II/OaklandThe Atlantas are among the most feared AA ships in the game. This is because they can putup a massive broadside of 12 barrels, which lets you take down just about anything thatcomes at you. The Atlantas also have pretty big R mounts and a large amount of usabledisplacement, which means that you can mount any AA gun on it short of the 6" DP set. Themost common setup is with the 5"54 L's which are used for High Angle, but Atlantas with5"38's or 3"70's are also quite common. The Atlanta may run into ammo shortages, but itsremodels incrementally add more gun space, and the ammo shortage problem all butdisappears by the Oakland stage. Be warned, however, that the Atlanta can be quite slow,and its firing arcs mean that you have to be extremely careful about allowing planes toapproach you from a blind angle where you can only bring 6 barrels to bear.-BrooklynWhile not normally used as an AA ship, the Brooklyn can be outfitted with 6" DP's on its Rmounts, with a large amount of ammo. While it can only bring 10 barrels to bear, those 10barrels have almost unrestricted firing arcs, and are carried on an extremely fastplatform (a good Brooklyn with a CL III Heavy Engine can easily break 50 knots overheat).The 6" DP's take a while to get used to due to the long reload time, but if used properlythey can bring down fighter and bomber squadrons with relative ease.-ClevelandAlso not normally used as an AA ship, the Cleveland can also use the 6" DP's as itsprimary battery, and still maintain a high speed (it can carry the same engine as aBrooklyn). While this may seem like a downgrade compared to the Brooklyn (8 barrels vs10), the Cleveland can also mount a good secondary battery, meaning that it can, withpractice, put up 16 barrels in the air, which is quite formidable. Most people tend to useonly a secondary battery though, and mount an anti-ship primary battery.-PensacolaWhile not strictly an AA ship, the Pensacola bears special mentioning because of itsunique secondary battery, which allows for quick reaction time due to them being T mounts.If used without a primary battery and run as an AA ship using only its secondary battery,the Pensacola can be fairly effective at AA. While it can only bring up 8 barrels of flakin any direction, running without a primary battery drastically increases its speed (intothe 50+ range in some cases), and it remains a highly durable ship. While it won't be aseffective in anti-ship combat, it can make a very good escort ship in the right hands.****************Secondary Batteries****************In general, secondary batteries should be mounted mainly on capital ships, but if you'rein a smaller ship that has that capability, there's no real reason that you shouldn't tryit out. Using a secondary battery can extend your survival probability considerablydepending on the situation; it's a highly useful skill to have in a capital ship, butgetting practice in a smaller ship can never hurt.Every USN BB in the BB2 tier and up has the capability to mount an effective secondarybattery; The Alaska and Guam are the only USN BB1's that can mount one as well. TheCleveland, Baltimore, and Pensacola also possess formidable T mounts that can carry highlyeffective AA guns. While the other USN BB1's and CA's can't mount the larger secondarybatteries, they have enough space to carry single-barrel AA guns, though since they canonly present a broadside of 4 barrels at most, many people consider this pointless.For more information on using secondary batteries, please read my other guide "Twin-HeadedHydra: the Secondary Battery":http://www.navyfield.com/board/view.asp?Num=91219&Sort=A01While the above guide is a bit dated and aimed more towards general secondary batteryusage, reading it may give you a better idea as to how a secondary battery should be used.=================================G. An Escort's Guide to Protecting Their Charge=================================So, now that you have a good ship with a good AA setup picked out, what now? Obviously,you should go out onto the battlefield and shoot down enemy planes when they approach, butwithout a proper strategy, you could end up on a place on the map where no enemy planesfly, or get sunk without hitting a single plane. In order to play as a good AA ship, youshould always head into battle with a plan: what types of planes will you prioritize?Which enemy CV will you focus on neutralizing? Which allied ships are you planning onprotecting?Generally, the safest way to play as an AA ship is by escorting. This means to pick aship, and protect it from planes. More often than not, the best ship to pick to escort isa BB; not only are they more likely to attract the attention of enemy bombers, but theyare also the ones that are most heavily engaged in a battle. Escorting a CV is normallypointless, since they can put up fighters to protect themselves, and they fight from therear of the battlefield, meaning that they're in a much safer position than a BB.Escorting a DD or CL is similarly pointless, since they will rarely attract the attentionthat a BB will. Escorting a CA is similarly dicey since they aren't important capitalships, but doing so may have its merits.For more information on general escorting tactics, please read my thread "The Lesser-KnownGuardians: a Guide to AA Escorts":http://www.navyfield.com/board/view.asp?Num=63704&Sort=D07While some of the terms are a bit dated, the general concept remains fairly solid. There are also a few things that I want to emphasize:1. Give the ship you're escorting some breathing room. If you're cruising side by sidewith a ship, make sure that you leave enough distance between the two of you so that ithas enough space to maneuver; while in battle, a good BB driver will always zigzag to makethe job harder for their opponent, and if you're too close you'll end up crossing them.While this doesn't mean staying half a screen away from them where your AA won't do themany good, you should use your judgment and be ready to back off when the ship you'reescorting enters combat.2. Constantly scan for targets. Don't just follow your escort around and only startlooking around when you hear "Aircraft in sight!"; keep your eyes peeled for enemy planesthat are visible but have not entered your warning zone yet. The farther out you spot anenemy plane, the more time you have to get into position to greet it, the easier it willbe shot down. Remember that half the battle is getting the enemy planes into a situationwhere the circumstances favor you; the other half is shooting them down.3. SHOOT DOWN SCOUTS! Honestly, this is the single most important thing you can do foryour team. An enemy scout hovering nearby will spot your team's BBs for the enemy, makingit far easier to hit them, as well as bomb them. Whenever the opportunity presents itself,make sure that the only enemy scouts near your position are dead ones. Obviously this hasits limits; you shouldn't go out chasing after enemy scouts, since that leaves youvulnerable to being shot at yourself, and some BBs deliberately use this tactic to lure AAships into their range, but if a player is foolish enough to let their scout into yourrange or leave it lingering behind your lines for too long, make them pay for that mistake.4. Learn to distinguish between enemy and friendly planes. This may sound obvious, butremember that shooting down planes may kill crew, and that those experts and vets costreal-life money to buy. If you can, always avoid shooting down friendly planes (fightersin particular), but remember that sometimes there will be no-win situations where you'llbe forced to fire regardless; if a single friendly fighter is chasing several bombersabout to hit a friendly BB, then sacrificing that fighter to save that BB would be a wisechoice to make. Just make sure to apologize for the fighter afterwards.=============H. Advanced Tactics=============This section is meant to teach you some of the more advanced tricks that I've learned overmy playing career; some of them may be hard to do or may require the use of betterequipment (namely, high-level gunners or really good engineers), so if you haven't quitegotten the hang of using AA yet, then this part may be too hard for you. However, ifyou've mastered the general tactics of AA-ing and would like to learn how to hone yourskills even more, by all means, read on.1. High golden angle vs. low golden angleWhile more range is usually better, it's not always the case. Take again, for example, theYamato. While it has the most range of any AA gun in the game, it also has one of theshallowest golden angles in the game to go with it. While this means that its engagementenvelope is larger than most others, it also means that the shells will have to travel alonger horizontal distance before reaching the engagement envelope. As a result, while aYamato can engage planes at a greater distance, the planes also leave its engagementenvelope at a greater distance from the ship, meaning that its interior blind area isgreater. To visualize this, take a look at the following picture:As you can see, a shallow golden angle will let you engage planes at a farther range, butthey can also break through your engagement envelope earlier, increasing yourvulnerability closer in. For this reason, spotting your targets farther away is necessaryif your AA gun has more range.2. Knowing when and when not to fireWhile common sense will tell you that tossing flak all over the place randomly will simplywaste ammo, that's not the only reason not to simply shoot randomly the moment you see aplane. While you should only engage a target when it enters your engagement envelope,since that's the only place where you'll hit it, there are a few more things that youshould take into consideration.First, as I like to put it, don't scare the "game" away. The concept is the same asfishing or hunting: if someone is flying their scout near you and they see several salvosof flak bursting in the area, they'll maneuver their scout away from there and you won'teven get a chance to shoot at it. Moreover, the moment you fire, you give away the maximumrange of your engagement envelope, since they'll easily see where the flak bursts, and canstay just outside of it. Therefore, it's usually a good idea to memorize the exact rangeof your guns, the area of your engagement envelope, and how far to lead an incomingtarget. Then when you see a target, wait for it to get close enough, then pounce and takeit down.There are different ranges at which you should usually shoot down a target. If it's ascout, taking it out quickly while it's at the very outside edge of your engagementenvelope will benefit your team more, as every second it's alive is a second where yourteam's position is revealed, but is also tricker since targets farther away are harder toguarantee a hit on. If it's a flight of bombers, letting them in a bit closer beforeopening fire will ensure good saturation and ensure maximum surprise, but risks lettingsome of them break through as they'll have been in your engagement envelope scot-free fora little while already.Second, remember that your muzzle flash will also give away your position. This is a trickthat is used by BB players all the time: even if your ship is in the fog of war and theenemy can't see you, the flash of your guns firing can be seen by everyone, and gives theenemy a place to aim at. If you're in an AA ship you can hopefully maneuver away from thearea in time before their shells drop, but remember that every shell that hits you willfurther reveal your position, so make sure that as few shells hit you as possible.3. Clouds and coverThe clouds in NF aren't just for show; they can hide planes and even sometimes ships fromeveryone else on the map, make your job considerably harder.The problem with clouds is that, obviously, any planes that fly above them will beinvisible to everybody on the opposite team, and the only way to detect them is by usingfighters to sniff them out or to follow their engine sounds. On the flip side, a planethat is in the clouds cannot spot anything visually, so they will not be able to spotships and will have a hard time bombing a target hidden in the fog of war, even if it'sright below them.As an AA ship, clouds are among your worst enemies. When planes fly into clouds, you can'tsee them or their shadows, and thus don't have a way to aim at them, so sometimes youwon't be able to shoot down bombers until it's too late. However, there are some tricksyou can use.The most basic thing to remember is, shoot at the golden angle. Any planes flying abovethe clouds will most likely be flying at the default height, otherwise you would be ableto see them under the clouds. So shooting at the golden angle will almost always result ina hit if your shells cross paths with an enemy plane.First, the easiest, is to watch their path before they enter a bank of clouds, then leadthem as normal after they're in the clouds. If you're good at estimating their course andit hasn't changed, you'll be able to catch the planes while they're blind. The best thingis that even though the planes' shadows don't appear, the shadows of your flak bursts do,so if you hit something, you'll know, which gives you a good point to lead from.Second, is to watch carefully and catch glimpses of the planes as they exit the cloudbank. Remember that the clouds aren't completely continuous; there are gaps here and therewhere a plane will be visible to everyone, and will be able to see everything within itscircle of radius as well. When a plane is moving between two banks of clouds, it willbecome visible for a second, and you can lead it as above based on its position.Finally, if you suspect or see enemy planes circling within a cloud bank, you can set yourguns to wide dispersion. The way you detect enemy planes circling above the clouds is bywatching and listening; if you hear plane engine sounds in a certain cloud bank but seenothing (all friendly planes are always visible to their team, even when in a cloud), oryou catch a glimpse of an enemy plane as it exits and re-enters a cloud bank, then youhave a target to shoot at. Wide dispersion is done by setting your gun guidelines parallelto each other, aiming at the center of their flying circle, and letting loose. While notexemplifying of finesse, it does get the job done.4. Breaking the circleThis tactic require the use of AA gunners with good accuracy, otherwise it's somewhatpointless to attempt.The point of this tactic is to "break" a circle of death (CoD for short) situation (whenplanes endlessly fly in a circle trying to engage each other until they run out of fuel orammo), without harming the friendly planes in the circle. The basic principle of thistactic is the same as leading your aim at a flight of enemy planes, but different in thatyou're using precision. Let's say that you encounter a CoD situation as follows:For simplicity, the enemy plane is colored red, while the friendly is colored green.In order to break the circle safely, you have to fire in such a way that your salvo willhit the enemy plane with the best probability of a kill, but not the friendly one. To dothis, it's best to aim at a spot where stray shells won't accidentally hit a friendly. Thebest way to do this is to combine two basic principles: direction of approach and path ofyour shells.Since the planes will be continuously flying in a circle, their direction of approach willalways change. However, you can take advantage of this by engaging the enemy when they arein an approach that is favorable to you; namely, when they are moving towards you:Remember, you have to predict when they will be at that spot, as well as time your ownsalvo to reach it at the same time; depending on how skittish you are, you may have topress the space bar at what seems like the wrong moment:Note, this is only an example. Your timing will vary based on what gun you use and how farthe target is.The best thing about this is, any stray shells that don't hit the target won't pose anythreat to any friendly planes after they pass through. For example, if you targeted thecenter of the circle instead:Any stray shells that don't connect with your target may continue on their path and hitthe friendly plane(s) on the other side of the circle.Targeting the plane as it moves away is also not recommended:Not only is this the least favorable direction of approach, but it doesn't alwaysguarantee a hit even if you time it right. As your shells have to play catch-up, thetarget may pass into the next part of the circle before your salvo gets there.5. Engaging sea-level targetsAn extremely useful tactic for engaging a scout that's flying at the lowest height, aswell as incoming torpedo bombers.While you may be tempted to simply engage a low-level scout with AAW by moving closeenough, remember that pilots give hit warnings when hit with AAW, but not with flak.Shooting a scout down with flak will ensure that the only warning its commander gets isthat it got shot down; if it gets hit with AAW, its commander will switch over to it, seethat you're approaching, and move it away, denying you your food. Furthermore, chasingafter a low-level scout, like chasing after a default-height scout, may be a ploy to getyou within firing range of a BB.As for torpedo bombers, using your AA guns will either force the CV player to drop thetorpedoes prematurely, giving whatever it's aiming at a clean escape, or at the very leastmake sure that fewer bombers survive to drop their torpedoes. This applies to whether thetarget is you or another ship.The first thing that you need to know about engaging sea-level targets is the low angle.This can be found at Trainworld, in the same section as the golden angles, listed as "TheFarthest" under the low angles. This angle, different for each gun, is simply the lowestangle at which your flak will burst right on top of the water. For engaging sea-levelplanes, you will be firing at angles lower than this.Depending on how close they are, you will need to adjust your angle accordingly. Thelowest you will need to adjust to hit any target close to you is the angle under "TheClosest", which basically means that all shells fired at that angle will travel at thesame level as the approaching planes until they hit the water. As a last-ditch resort,this is essentially the "point blank" angle for shooting down sea-level planes.Shooting down sea-level torpedo bombers can be hard to get used to, but the trick is tocross the guidelines in front of their direction of approach, but aim the angles as if youwere aiming at a ship behind them:As your shells will splash the water behind them, they will be at the height of the enemyplane(s) right before that moment. Furthermore, by crossing your lines in front of thegroup, the salvo will cross at the instant at which they meet the torpedo bombers, whichensure maximum saturation of the targets.Note: the line crossing here is exaggerated greatly. For the most part, since you'll beshooting point blank, simply touching the ends of your guidelines or firing parallel willensure that most of your flak will cross paths with the incoming planes. So simply aimingyour angles behind the planes will suffice in most cases.6. Utilizing the red guidelinesThis is widely regarded as the hardest trick to master in the AA book. However, oncemastered, you will be able to shoot down enemy planes at almost any height at almost anydistance within your range.Many USN players will tell you that the red guidelines will only get in your way and thatyou should just turn them off. However, they don't know the trick behind using themeffectively: visualization and trigonometry. If you're good at trigonometry and canvisualize the path that your shell will take based on its firing angle, you will be ableto pick off enemy planes that are flying below the default height:Or flying inside of your golden angle engagement envelope:I have consistently blinded the enemy by using the red guidelines to kill their scouts,and I've also brought down bomber squadrons as well. There is no clear and hard-cut methodfor using the red guidelines; it relies almost completely on intuition, visualization andjudgment. This is hard to accomplish and takes a lot of practice, but once you get thehang of it, no plane is safe from you.













Charlesbian


Level: 21


Server: Arizona


Fleet: fleetless








Re : Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 15 2007 10:20PM    


another great guide LK. This reminds me, I gotta put up my guide.....













LordKelvin


Level: 55


Server: Arizona


Fleet: Taqmata








Re : Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 15 2007 10:23PM    


I should also note, most of these tactics can be applied to other nations as well, justthat you need to revise your strategy based on the guns and ships that your nation uses,not having the AAW bonus (which isn't that much anyways), and the absence of the redguidelines.













Penguin0123


Level: 46


Server: Arizona


Fleet: FAWK








Re : Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 15 2007 11:22PM    


great guide LK.Just one thing, Pensa is a monster escort ship. At 53 knts, I can react to most thingsquickly and the DP keeps most things from one shotting me. As I've been using it lately,I've grown to love it as an AA boat.













pnov


Level: 30


Server: Missouri


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Re : Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 16 2007 12:15AM    


Few things:You forgot to mention Baltimore. Since GB XP is done by ship levels, Baltimore and Pcolagive most XP and most sailor slots providing enough scouts. Baltimore gives greatmaneuverability wih 40+ speeds on overheat so hitting you will be much harder.Do not use primary guns when having AA. Game is stupid enough to stack against you if youhave this many guns. It will consider you powerful (2 Baltimores with 3x8" and 2x3"AA willbe equal in power rating to any BB4).US AA secorts cannot protect frientlies. They lack the range/firepower. If you will be toguard any ship, you will have to be really close, or just try to guess where planes willcome and wait there.One tactic:If you are being fighterwhored, instead of AAing those fighters ans possibility of scaringthem away, prep a scout and as soon as you launch him, press ",". he will remain low thisway, FP come for him and are possibly eaten by AAW. Note this does not work on AAW imuneships (one of the greatest aspects of the game).













shadistic


Level: 39


Server: Arizona


Fleet: ?!








Re : Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 16 2007 8:36AM    


>and damage per shell, some consider the 3"70's to be the best USN AA gun. However, it>also comes with several downsides. First and foremost among these is its relatively low>shell damage,Good damage per shell... relatively low shell damage??!?!?Pic #2 on dodging TBs: NO!If you follow that through, you push your aft straight into those torps. Just flip the arrow.The trick to TBs is to watch your aft. Make sure you're always swinging it AWAY from theincoming torps, unless they're far enough away that you can afford to.Otherwise, splendid guide. I couldn't find any other flaws in it.
















Obst


Level: 115


Server: Arizona


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Re : Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 16 2007 8:39AM    


Nice... however, the bald blue in those images is making my eyes hurt.In addiotion, the link to the DB dodging guide is incomplete. Section is D07 for T&T.













LordKelvin


Level: 55


Server: Arizona


Fleet: Taqmata








Re : Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 16 2007 9:50AM    


"Just one thing, Pensa is a monster escort ship. At 53 knts, I can react to most thingsquickly and the DP keeps most things from one shotting me. As I've been using it lately,I've grown to love it as an AA boat."I did mention the P-cola as a good possibility as an AA ship, with most of the things thatyou pointed out. But In order to keep it short, I'm refraining from making an entire listfor each ship like in my ship guide."Do not use primary guns when having AA. Game is stupid enough to stack against you if youhave this many guns. It will consider you powerful (2 Baltimores with 3x8" and 2x3"AA willbe equal in power rating to any BB4)."The point of this guide isn't to configure your ship to best turn the autostacker to yourside, but to help you build the most efficient setup possible for your ship. And besidesthat, GB1 uses invisible power ratings that we can't see anyways."If you are being fighterwhored, instead of AAing those fighters ans possibility ofscaring them away, prep a scout and as soon as you launch him, press ",". he will remainlow this way, FP come for him and are possibly eaten by AAW. Note this does not work onAAW imune ships (one of the greatest aspects of the game)."I don't consider that a tactic so much as it is an exploit. I did make a thread in Tipsand Tactics outlining how to use that exploit about a year ago, but as my perspective haschanged since then, I don't advocate such an approach anymore; if there are fighters aboveyou, just use the red guidelines to deal with them or move somewhere where your engagementenvelope overlaps them."Good damage per shell... relatively low shell damage??!?!?"The point I was trying to reach is that while their shell damage doesn't utterly suck likewith the 5"54's, they're not much better either; you'll still need several shots to bringdown a plane, more than you would with, say, the 5"38's, which can potentially one-shotbombers."Pic #2 on dodging TBs: NO!If you follow that through, you push your aft straight into those torps. Just flip thearrow. The trick to TBs is to watch your aft. Make sure you're always swinging it AWAYfrom the incoming torps, unless they're far enough away that you can afford to."That type of dodging is normally used for larger ships that aren't fast enough tocompletely turn away in time; in my Balti or Colorado I've often had to use that type ofdodging, since if I continue to swing my ass in the same direction then the torps catchit. I'll make a note below about that though."Nice... however, the bald blue in those images is making my eyes hurt."I'll see about changing the textures at a later point if I can, but for now I'm sortabusy. Perhaps sometime next week, just for you ;)"In addiotion, the link to the DB dodging guide is incomplete. Section is D07 for T&T."Changed, thanks.
















TimmyC


Level: 32


Server: Missouri


Fleet: TNF =/








Re : Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 16 2007 10:09AM    


I'm not sure whether I should sticky this for you since Cubone already made a US AA guide.













LordKelvin


Level: 55


Server: Arizona


Fleet: Taqmata








Re : Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide11 16 2007 10:15AM    


Well, to be blunt, Cubone's guide is rather outdated, and I don't really like how headvocates the use of the AA gunner class. Plus, it's sorta short.How about I put a link to his page at the top of my guide, since that's more up to datethan his sticky? Best of both worlds.






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Post time 2011-6-28 04:21 | Show all posts

Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide (Please Sticky if Still Useful)

what USN AA gunes have good range? They seem to have low range compared to IJN/MN/KMS AA guns so if a cv tries to db you you won't have much time to shoot down the planes
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Post time 2011-10-19 06:19 | Show all posts

Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide (Please Sticky if Still Useful)

STICKY PLEASE
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Post time 2011-10-20 06:48 | Show all posts

Reapers of the Skies: USN AA Guide (Please Sticky if Still Useful)

olyBlaze]what USN AA gunes have good range? They seem to have low range compared to IJN/MN/KMS AA guns so if a cv tries to db you you won't have much time to shoot down the planes[/QUOTE]In a way. The golden angle region is a bit smaller, but more range also mean an harder time shooting the planes close range, if they sneaked.Its different, but they have the reload/damage combination to effectively take down squads of fighter an bombers that comes too close.They are far less effective in BB rooms, as their limited range is their downfall against scouts that can easily provide good visual on the USN ship and staying quite far from the AA range.I personnaly chose to do without for my USN. I kept a pair at level 75-80 so I can put it on if I wish too, but I nearly never do, and I run my nebby with an extra scout and rep (altough the scout was mainly a filler, its useful) that I find are more handy than the AA.Sometimes I do wish I could put on some HH lately tough.
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