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Yorktown - Observations by your run-of-the-mill player

Northern Nightowl

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I want to share my current observations about Yorktown. 

I am a run-of-the-mill player that uses mostly BB and DD in PvP and rather scarcingly cruisers. Submarines and CV are mostly PVE exclusive for me, I seldom take out a carrier for division play.

That preface written, I still decided to try the Yorktown in the current Ranked season as I managed to reach Silver and got to play T8. And: as TL;DR summary: this ship, and by extension, Essex too, is IMHO predestined to be forever banned in competitive settings beside Ranked. Its good points make it really strong and too nasty to play against, even in somewhat potent AA platforms like an Alabama (with a 21pt Halsey, AA Defense and ASW Expert skilled and AA sector reinforcement active).

The Yorktown shines in teamplay, even more so than the classical CV. It makes an allied radar cruiser or a smokeless gun DD spontaneously have smoke. In fact, in one of my Ranked battles on "Sleeping Giant", a friendly Baltimore commented that I "supported the hell out of him". Well, yes, I made sure that he controlled A cap for several minutes from between one of the small inter-island channels around column 7 - out of smoke and with CV mediated vision.

You are well suited to bail out any friendly unit that is in a pinch by using your CV-borne smoke generators, including yourself. If needed, you may flee under your own smoke cover... Of those generators, I have 3+3 charges. That feels a bit too generous. (1)

Second point: you may want to rethink your armament choices. You have Tiny Tims on your fighter-bombers, HE bombers (both with smoke canisters) and torpedo planes. In standard CV, I got the impression that most players tend to use rockets (the 5 inch HVAR for US ship and their equivalent on IJN and Russian vessels) for anti-DD engagements. Well, on Yorktown, I think that you're better off with the bombers. These drop their load in a single pass and in a shotgun pattern which makes aiming and hitting quite easy. As they are sufficiently fast too, you can very well use them as first scouting flight in a battle.

The torpedo planes are something that I would equate to a flying pan-EU DD: lots of fishes (albeit rather slow), low damage, but tight launching pattern. I tried them to harass smoked up red DD, for this endeavour, I wiggled my attacking planes left and right to artificially widen the launch cone. It works.

While I did not rack up high damage counters nor noticeably high XP numbers, I feel like a Yorktown using his smokes for the benefit of allied radar cruisers and DD, especially for cap contesting, can easily offset a difference of 2 to 3 percent points in account winrate (looking at matchmaking monitor data for Randoms).

It is currently a fun ship - when you're not on the receiving end.

(1) 6 smoke charges, 3 per plane type, may be too much. To offset this power, a maximum of 4 charges, possibly on a single plane type, is likely enough in my opinion.

Regards, Nightowl


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Another thing is the tactical squadrons, which generate entire squadrons as an infinite consumable.

Regular CVs usually avoid AACLs because of long term plane losses. But these ones can ignore that issue, especially the bombers with inflated hp.

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Remember that there is apparently a mini-CV rework in the pipeline. I’m not getting too excited about the new CVs in one way or another because there are lots of ways things could change in the near future.

Edited by Nevermore135
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