Cost: 1,411,200 Credits
Total/Support Slots: 6 Total/5 Support
Aircraft Space: 1600
Take off: 6 Planes
Leveling Distance: 7 Levels for Ryujo
Summary: Congratulations to making to the first real carrier in the Japanese line. You can now enter CV only Rooms. This is the earliest carrier in the entire game as well. The Hosho is a support CV and can be used in a number of ways and if you kept leveling your pilots with your operator, you should be able to use fighters or dive bombers. The Hosho is probably one of the fastest lower tier carriers I have ever used. If you have experience with carriers and pay attention to your surroundings, you can virtually dodge 95% of the dive bombers that come at you. A set up I used a lot while driving the Hosho is I would only put .2 Deck, .2 Belt, and add Max bulge without reducing speed; this way I could be able to keep my speed and dodge most aerial attacks. I would still recommend you use 2 Bombers and 2 Fighters. I would encourage you using bombers to take out the bigger ships in blitz. Since this ship has no guns, use a Finder FCS to maximize your sight range.
Fighters – You can set up your local fighters and intercept scouts, bombers and even some tier 3 fighters. In GB, Its best if you use Interceptors rather than Tier 1 or 2 due to the reason that lower tier fighters will not hold up against other interceptors or high tier fighters. In Blitz, having tier 1 fighters is acceptable but will be shredded by interceptors.
Bombers – Being able to launch 6 planes give you the opportunity to be able to sink any BB1-2 with dive bombers. Dive bomb bigger and slower targets such as BBs and CAs rather than CLs and DDs. Torpedo bombers, you planes will be shredded by AAW from ships due to the reason that your bombers are a low level, BBs might kill all your planes before you can drop the torpedoes so use caution. I would recommend bombing KM ships due to their low AAW unlike USN who has a higher AAW. It would be better to bomb BB4-5 even though you can’t kill them because you get more experience for bombing a higher tier ship.
Fighter only: 26 Tier 1 Fighters; 16 Interceptors
Dive Bomber only: 16 Tier 1 Bombers
Torpedo Bomber only: 20 Tier 1 Bomber; 20 Tier 2 Bombers
Cost: 2,125,620 Credits
Total/Support Slots: 9 Total/6 Support
Aircraft Space: 3,760
Take off: 7 Planes
Leveling Distance: 13 Levels for Hiryu
Summary: The Ryujo has the same tactics as the Hosho, It’s a support CV in GB. Run locals or else your fighters won’t do much against the higher tier planes. The Ryujo has space for weapons which I recommend you run HH in GBs or some sort of HE weapon in blitz. Unlike the Hosho, the Ryujo does not have enough speed to dodge dive bombers by going into overheat. Playing a bit more defensive is advised in this ship.
Fighters- 2nd Tier fighters are introduced after you reach level 60. I still recommend you run locals. Tier 2 fighters pose little to no threat to tier 3 and higher. Have your interceptors shoot down scouts, bombers and small squads of fighters but avoid Tier 5 fighters in GB. Meanwhile, in blitz you wont need as many fighters as in GB i still recommend to have a few on standby.
Bombers- In the Ryujo you get an extra plane launch. In blitz, its best to run 3/3 bombers since the 7th bomber will just be a waste of time. 6 bombers can get the job done well almost any senario. I recommend running a single fighter on standby as the 7th plane if you have one. In GB, you can launch all 7 bombers in 2 pilots (3/4) or in 3 pilots (2/2/3). if you can, try to get your bombers behind friendly fighters but change course if they are going into a dog fight. Try to dive bomb targets with fat sterns such as most BB5s. Torpedo bomb targets from the broadside and avoid bombing from the front.
Fighters only: 62 Tier 1 Fighters; 47 Tier 2 Fighters; 37 Interceptors
Dive Bomber only: 37 Tier 1 Bombers
Torpedo Bombers only: 47 Tier 1 Bombers: 47 Tier 2 Bombers
Cost: 3,263,400 Credits
Total/Support slots: 9 Total/6 Support
Aircraft Space: 5,700
Take off: 8 Planes
Leveling Distance: 9 Levels for Akagi (1927)
Summary: By the time you get the Hiryu, you will no longer be able to enter Blitz, all these tactics are for GB playstyles. The Hiryu is much slower than the Ryujo and is harder to dodge anything if it reaches you. You get an extra plane launch so you can now run 2 squads of 4 (4/4) in both fighters and bombers alike.
Fighters- Use locals as usual to protect yourself from bombers or other enemy fighters. If you haven't learned already, you need to drag your fighters in order to excel in fighter vs. fighter combat.
Bombers- Dive bombing with 8 planes can average out to about 20,000 damage, not enough to sink BB3-5s but you will still get more exprience from attacking them rather than attacking and sinking a BB1-2. No new planes are introduced at this level. Torpedo bombers will still have to use caution due to their vulnerability against AAW.
Fighters only: 71 Tier 2 Fighters; 57 Interceptors
Dive Bombers only: 57 Tier 1 Bombers
Torpedo Bombers only: 71 Tier 2 Bombers
IJN Akagi (1927)
Total/Support slots: 10 Total/7 Support
Aircraft Space: 7,320
Take off: 8 Planes
Leveling Distance: 6 level for Akagi (1938), 11 levels for Kaga (1928)
Summary: Being able to to the Akagi is a game changer in the IJN line. Durring the life time of the Akagi, you will unlock tier 3 fighters, tier 2 dive bombers and the tier 3 torpedo bombers. You get an extra support slot with the Akagi but you still have the same amount of plane take off. The Akagi is a much larger ship than the Hiryu and slow aswell. From now on, all your ships will have 8 or more gun slots (except the Akagi 1938) and i recommend using HH over AA.
Fighters- Congratz, At this stage of the game you are now eligible to use tier 3 fighters. Its a bit of power downgrade from your interceptors but you now have much more fuel and acceptable fire power. You are required to know how to drag your fighters or else they wil become food for other fighters. IJN have some very fast fighters, use that to your advantage. Make other fighters use up their ammo and shoot them down in the meantime. Take caution going up against interceptors and tier 3 fighters.
Bombers- You also unlock tier 3 dive bombers at level 75. Aside from the extra 400 damage, your dive bombers ditch the crappy biplane and now got a bit more faster and are a bit more durable against AAW. IJN dive bombers are force to be feared in large numbers. At level 77, you are also granted the access to tier 3 torpedo bombers. Your torpedoes get a large boost and your planes also get an upgrade aswell. Depending on the amount of veterans/experts your pilots you maybe be very resistant to AAW.
Fighters only: 73 Interceptors; 73 Tier 3 Fighters
Dive Bombers only: 73 Tier 1 Bombers; 61 Tier 2 Bombers
Torpedo Bombers only: 91 Tier 2 Bombers; 73 Tier 3 Bombers
IJN Akagi (1938)
Cost: 4,157,370 + 1,039,320 Remodel Price = 5,196,690
Total/Support slots: 10 Total/7 Support
Aircraft Space: 7,620
Take off: 9 Planes
Leveling Distance: 5 Levels for Kaga (1928)
Summary: Honestly, i skipped this remodel but you are able to choose it if you wish. The only major differences are that you will see are an extra plane to launch, a small increase in plane space and more durability. You lose 2 gun spaces on this ship. You do not get your remodel price back, only the original ship gets refunded.
Fighter- Same as the other Akagi, Keep working on your dragging skills, every level up improves your fighters. You can launch 2 squads for 4/4 or 3 squads for 3/3/3
Bombers- You get the extra plane on this ship. As a bomber, you always want to launch the most bombers you can to ensure maximum damage. If you haven't already, you should have the highest tier bombers unlocked by now.
Fighters only: 76 Tier 3 Fighters
Dive Bombers only: 63 Tier 2 Bombers
Torpedo Bombers only: 76 Tier 3 Bombers
IJN Kaga (1928)
Total/Support slots: 10 Total/7 Total
Aircraft Space: 8,200
Take off: 9 Planes
Leveling Distance: 11 levels for Kaga (1935), 17 levels for Shinano (CV)
Summary: If you did not take the remodel of the Akagi, this ship will feel more or an upgrade unlike if you actually got the later version of the Akagi. The Kaga is another of IJN's ships that went under a remodel to be more effective in the war. This ship have almost the exact same model as the Akagi with the exception of a few tweaks here and there. It has 1 more take off space from the original Akagi and improved plane space.
FIghters- No new planes will be introduced yet. Keep working on your dragging. Interceptors should no longer be a problem for you. You should be able to be a fair fight for other fighters. You can launch 3 squads of fighters 3/3/3 or 2 squads of 4 (4/4) although this will take about 12 seconds longer.
Bombers- Same set up as fighters, you can send in 3/3/3 or 4/4/1. With all 9 dive bombers, you will have an average damage of 26,000 if all bombs reach the target. 2 or 3 of these on the same ship will make quick work of any bb5 but beware of fighters. larger amounts of planes are high risk.
Fighters only: 82 Tier 3 Fighters
Dive Bombers only: 68 Tier 2 Bombers
Torpedo Bombers only: 82 Tier 3 Bombers
IJN Kaga (1935)
Cost: 5,400,000 + 1,017,000 = 6,417,000
Total/Support slots: 11 Total/8 Support
Aircraft Space: 9,800
Take off: 10 Planes
Leveling Distance: 6 Levels for Shinano (CV)
Summary: This remodel of the Kaga does not only look great but also performs spectacular in the right hands. This ship gives you an extra support slot, an extra plane take off and improved plane space. The ship also get some speed back and you are able to dodge torpedo attacks with more ease. For a loss of 1M credits, this ship is worth the remodel.
Fighters- In the early stages of this ship, you will still use your tier 3 plane but in about 3-4 levels you will finally unlock tier 4 fighters. These tier 4 fighters sport a green look with increased manuverablity, speed and fire power. This ship will pay for itself in no time after you unlock the tier 4 fighters. Even with the tier 4 fighters, some other nations can make quick work of you, remember your basics and continue to drag in fighter v.s. fighter combat.
Bombers- With an extra bomber, you will now be hauling a payload of about 29,000 damage, about 90,000 damage with torpedoes. The only reason why your torpedo attack is greatly reduced is because of armor.
Fighters only: 98 Tier 3 Fighters; 81 Tier 4 Fighters
Dive Bombers only: 81 Tier 2 Bombers
Torpedo Bombers only: 98 Tier 3 Bombers