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The following is a review of Ise, the tier VI premium Japanese hybrid battleship-carrier.  This ship was provided to me by Wargaming for review purposes at no cost to myself; I did not pay to get access to her.  To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.10.4.  Please be aware that her performance may change in the future.

Quick Summary:  An Ise-class battleship refit into a hybrid carrier.  Her stern-mounted X and Y turrets have been removed and the deck-space converted over to aircraft operations and anti-aircraft firepower.  She may launch an attack group of four torpedo planes every 2 minutes.


  • Large hit point pool of 58,700hp.
  • Excellent range on her main battery guns with a reach of 21.4km.
  • Good accuracy with 2.0 sigma.
  • Excellent anti-aircraft firepower for a tier VI battleship.
  • Access to an air wing of torpedo bombers, allowing her to scout and deal damage.


  • Same wonky citadel geometry as Hyuga.
  • Lots of shell traps thanks to her raised flight deck.
  • Horrible gun handling and fire angles.
  • Only eight 356mm guns with a 30 second reload, leading to poor damage output.
  • Her 356mm AP shells lack the ability to overmatch other battleships and higher tiered cruisers.
  • Large turning circle radius for a tier VI battleship of 750m and a slow rate of turn.

I'll get into the specifics of the PROS and CONS of her aircraft down below in the Torpedo Bombers section rather than cluttering up this initial list.


Skill Floor:  Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult
Skill Ceiling:  Low / Moderate / High / EXTREME

I'm a bit iffy on my skill floor rating, to be honest.  Battleship game play is not hard.  Aircraft carrier game play is not hard.  However, the two combined may be a bit much for some players, if only because one comes at the expense of the other and that's a bit of a trap.  I'll go into more detail about this down below, but the TL:DR is that there are right and wrong times to use Ise's aircraft.  And there are a lot of wrong times to use her aircraft.  Most of these wrong times will simply compromise the efficiency of this ship's damage output but some of them will downright handicap your involvement in the match if not effectively remove you from it entirely.  And that's not counting the times it will simply get you killed.

For veterans, there's a lot of wonderful finesse that having an air group provides, including being able to scout and spot for your team (which is all kinds of amazing).  So you get all of that nice, sniper battleship game play combined with some of the most broken CV elements?  Yeah, there's a lot of potential here, even if her damage output suffers as a result.


Ise's options are stupid simple and that's one of her drawbacks.  She has no access to aircraft carrier consumables, upgrades or skills to improve her air group.  Thus you're stuck building her the same way you would an artillery battleship, stressing survivability and main battery performance. You might be tempted to go with AA firepower, but the returns aren't as worthwhile as a survivability build.



  • Her Damage Control Party is standard for a Japanese battleship, meaning that it's only active for 10 seconds as opposed to 15 seconds for most other battleships (and 20 seconds for Americans).  It has unlimited charges and an 80 second reset timer.  It's worth knowing that this cannot be used while controlling Ise's aircraft.  I'm going to mention this a few times over the course of this review.
  • Her Repair Party is also standard.  It queues up to 10% of citadel damage, 50% of penetration damage and 100% of everything else.  From this queue, it will heal back up to 14% of the ship's starting hit points per charge over 28 seconds.  It starts with four charges and has an 80 second reset timer.  Like with her Damage Control Party, this cannot be used while controlling Ise's aircraft.  See?  I'm repeating myself already.



  • Start with Main Armaments Modification 1.
  • Damage Control Modification 1 is up next.
  • You have two choices in slot three.  You can reduce her dispersion somewhat with Aiming System Modification 1.  Alternatively, you can (and probably want to) reduce her gun traverse time by taking Main Battery Modification 2.  It's important to note that if you're going to for the second option you should also consider taking the commander skill Grease the Gears.  The upgrade alone increases Ise's traverse from 4º/s to 4.6º/s.  Both jumps it up to 5.5º/s.
  • Damage Control Modification 2 is best in your final slot.

Commander Skills

With Dead Eye dead (and buried), battleship builds are getting pretty cookie cutter.

  • Start with your choice of either Gun Feeder or Emergency Repair Specialist.
  • Next, grab Grease the Gears at tier 2.  If you want, you can swap this for Priority Target.
  • Basics of Survivability is next up at tier 3.
  • And finish things off with Fire Prevention Expert at tier 4.

For your next eleven points, take the following:  Concealment Expert (4), Emergency Repair Specialist (4) and Adrenaline Rush (3).  Easy-peasy.



Hyuga comes with Type 10 Camouflage providing the following bonuses:

  • -3% surface detection
  • +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells.
  • -10% to post-battle service costs.
  • +50% to experience gains. 

You can unlock Ise's alternative (blue) camouflage by completing the appropriate section of the Yamamoto Isoroku collection.


Main Battery:  Eight 356mm guns in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-P-Q in superfiring pairs.
Secondary Battery:  Sixteen 127mm guns in 8x2 turrets with a pair on either side of the main superstructure.

Secondary Battery

Let's start with Ise's secondaries as they're largely forgettable.  Ise takes Hyuga's layout but nixes all of the 140mm casemate mounts leaving just eight pairs of 127mm guns mounted around the superstructure.  Without any remarkable increases to range, accuracy or rate of fire and their crappy fire angles, it's safe to say Ise's secondary firepower sucks (and not in a sexy way).  Ise's secondary firepower is worse than some cruisers.  If you encounter Ise, forcing her into a brawl is a smart play.  Her secondaries are of little threat and between her wonky citadel protection and horrible fire arcs, she's highly vulnerable.  Ise belongs back on the second line, not up front.


Main Battery

When imagining Ise's firepower, think "Kongo".  Ise brings an eight, 356mm broadside, the same as the tier V Kongo-class, but with the following changes:

  • Improved sigma value (2.0 vs 1.8)
  • A slight increase in base range (21.4km vs 21.2km)
  • But no ability to increase it further (Ise lacks a Spotter Aircraft consumable that Kongo has).
  • Improved gun handling (4.0º/s vs 3.3º/s)
  • HORRIBLE, AWFUL, MISERABLE and WORSE gun fire angles.

Ise's firepower is better than Kongo's.  In theoretical engagements barring attacking targets at very long ranges, she'll generate a few more hits over time than Kongo grace of her increased accuracy.  In practice, Kongo is the easier gun platform to use even with her horrible gun traverse.   A 0.2 sigma difference is all but imperceptible to the best of players on a per-game basis.  While Ise's improved gun traverse is nice, it does not make up for her horrible gun fire angles (not even a little bit).  Don't even think about kiting. So for a tier VI battleship, Ise's main battery artillery is definitely not-great and arguably some of the worst at her tier (I personally rate P. E. Friedrich's as worse overall).  Bad as this may seem, it's not unusable.  Ise is still quite capable (and rather good at) obliterating cruisers and her 356mm AP shells have enough penetration to pose a threat to most broadsiding battleships up to about 15km.  It's only when other battleships angle or if they're too far away that these weapons start to feel a bit weak.

Overall, Ise's main battery firepower is poor for a tier VI battleship but workable.  Their 356mm calibre, the lack of an increased rate of fire and the small number of guns keeps them from being competitive.  They work, but they're not going to win you any races.  Pick your targets where your individual hits will have the most impact.

No surprises here.  With only eight 356mm guns and a 30 second reload, Ise's AP damage potential is the worst at her tier.  Thanks to Japanese HE shells doing more damage relative to their calibre, she's not quite in the doldrums for HE damage output, but spamming HE does not (and will not) make her competitive.  Japanese HE shells have no bonus penetration the way German and British battleships do and their fire setting is among the worst at their tier. As an aside: Andrea Doria is the only battleship presently that uses SAP shells (hence the different colour and pronounced DPM presence on this chart).

Though the Japanese 356mm may appear to rank closer to the bottom in this list, the difference between her penetration and that of Izmail and Arizona is so minor as to be a non-issue.  At this tier, 356mm guns are quite comfortable, though when it comes to besting battleship belt armour, engagement distance below 15km are preferred

Standard dispersion tests.  This is 180 AP shells fired at a stationary Fuso bot that lacks camo at 15km. Shots were coming in from right to left with the bot effectively bow-tanking. All ships were using Aiming Systems Modification 1.  From left to right, Fuso's 1.5 sigma vs Hyuga's 1.8 sigma vs Ise's 2.0 sigma.

Ise has TERRIBLE firing arcs.  They're almost British, they're so bad.  In kiting scenarios, it's best to pretend that Ise is a six-gun battleship.  Unmasking Q-turret guarantees that return fire will skip any ricochet-check mechanics.

VERDICT:  Individually, her main battery guns are fine.  However, they are hamstrung by poor fire angles and the ship simply not being able to throw enough shells downrange fast enough to be terribly competitive.


Hit Points: 58,700
Bow & stern/superstructure/upper-hull/deck:  26mm / 16mm / 26mm / 35mm to 44mm
Maximum Citadel Protection: 32mm anti-torpedo bulge + 299mm belt + 32mm turtleback + 32mm to 230mm citadel wall.
Torpedo Damage Reduction:  26%

Ise is a chonk.

Ise's durability is ... well, it's okay. 

She has a lot of health for a tier VI battleship, and that's nice.  There's nothing special about her heals, though.  She doesn't have improved damage queuing like Warspite and Queen Elizabeth.  She doesn't recover more health per charge the way New Mexico and Baebote does.  She just has a lot of health which, in turn, gives her a larger healing potential. 

In terms of overall armour protection, she's soft but not irredeemable.  Her positive traits include a dispersed armour scheme including a reinforced amidships deck and thicker upper hull plates scattered here and there.  Similarly, she has massive anti-torpedo bulges that act simultaneously as armour voids while also being immune to overmatching from anything within her matchmaking spread.  As if that weren't enough, immediately behind them are 199mm to 299mm thick belts which will again prompt a ricochet check, allowing Ise to double-dip this mechanic against incoming rounds.   Unfortunately any good coming from these is largely undone by the massive areas of 26mm armour on her bow and stern, the latter of which creates an awful shell trap which greatly reduces the efficacy of angling.  Similarly, because of her wonky citadel geometry, it's not only possible but quite likely for Ise to take citadel hits through her bow beneath her A turret, even when she's aggressively angled.  Battleships armed with 380mm guns are especially dangerous due to their overmatch potential through these soft areas.  Given how much broadside you need to give when unmasking her guns for any shot, Ise gives away a lot of hit points when she takes return fire. As I've already said, she's not agile enough to Just Dodge™ her way out of trouble.

The biggest issue she suffers from when it comes to her durability is consumable management.  You're often not going to be at the helm when damage comes in, so knowing when to stop playing with airplanes in order to deal with threats is an important skill to master.

Seriously, just take my word for it -- Ise's citadel geometry is wonky in the extreme, especially with how it interacts between her belt and turtleback.  It's a nightmare.  Speaking of belts, hidden behind Ise's enormous 32mm anti-torpedo bulge are her upper 199mm belt and her lower 299mm belt.  Behind the lower belt is a 32mm turtleback that's not angled steeply enough to repulse fire.  Her turret faces are 305mm thick with 299mm barbettes.

VERDICT:  Not terrible.  Those shell traps are a pain in the butt, though.


Top Speed:  24.5 knots
Turning Radius:  750m
Rudder Shift Time: 14.8 seconds
4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn:  3.8º/s at 18.5 knots

There's not a whole lot to go over in this section.  Ise handles poorly and she feels like a big ol' dumb battleship.  She isn't fast.  Her rudder shift time is on the poor side of average.  Her turning circle radius is large for a tier VI battleship.  As a consequence of all of this, she takes a long time to come about.  If you haven't upgraded her turret traverse, her lack of agility is very apparent, and doubly so if you're trying to run away from anything while shooting over her shoulder.  With her bad fire angles and small number of guns, you will be tempted to swing out to unmask as many weapons as possible to maximize firepower.  However, Ise is not nimble enough to be able to swing back in time to avoid return-fire in an exchange.  This will just get you killed, especially in head-on engagements with so many AP shell traps towards the rear of her hull. 

Ise's only saving grace is that she nearly manages 25 knots in a straight line.  At this tier, that will help control engagement distances.  That I will give her credit for.  Everything else is crappy.

Yikes.  She makes Izmail look good.

VERDICT:  Pretty damn bad.

Anti-Aircraft Defence

Flak Bursts:  5 + 1 explosions at 1,260 damage per
Long Ranged (up to 5.8km):  164.5dps at 75% accuracy (123.4 dps)
Short Ranged (up to 2.5km):  262.5dps at 85% accuracy (223.1dps)

Brace yourselves: A Japanese battleship has managed to have the best anti-aircraft firepower at her tier.  It's a close contest between Ise and Izmail for the best array of AA defences but Ise has the lead with the combination of weight of fire and flak.  Izmail edges her out in range but only in range.  For personal defence, the Japanese battleship generates bigger numbers and will cause more casualties. 

Though I don't want to take the win from Japanese battleship enthusiasts, it's important to keep in mind that "best in tier" is not the same as "good".  Ise cannot prevent tier VI carriers from making an attack run and she barely has enough to ensure that they can't make two.  Against tier VIII carriers, it's not even a contest.  They can and will make repeated drops if they're willing to soak up the casualties to do it.  Against carriers like Enterprise and Kaga, these casualties are not likely to be consequential enough from repeated waves pulling off the same stunt.    Given that you're not always going to be at the helm when aircraft are coming in, Ise makes a tempting target with her predictable movements and lack of focus fire.  

With apologies to the colour blind.

VERDICT:  Best at tier but still lacking.

Vision Control

Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 15.84km / 13.83km
Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 9.84km / 8.86km
Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 13.81km
Maximum Firing Range:  21.4km

Most of what's going on here has to do with Ise's aircraft, but I'll save that for the section below.  For the rest, all you really need to know is that Ise is a big girl.  This is bad news for a ship with some fragility issues and one that you're not always at the helm when bad stuff starts going down.  Though it's tempting to always keep Ise on the second line to help combat this, this really damages her artillery performance, especially against other battleships.  When she's top tier, you can afford to be closer (so long as no one's throwing torpedoes around) but in higher tiered games that's seldom a safe option, at least not if you want to make any good use of her planes.  This often relegates Ise to staying much further back than a battleship normally would (which is already saying something), if not camping out near islands.  This temptation to keep her out of harm's way entirely is usually a mistake.  She is still a battleship, after all, albeit one that brawls horribly.  Her guns need to be kept in the game as much as possible.

Nothing unexpected here.  How about that loot-box bait, though?

VERDICT:  Predictably not good but bad habits and practices will make things worse.

Torpedo Bombers

Aircraft Type: Aichi M6A2 Seiran
Ordnance:  Two Type 5 Torpedoes per aircraft
Group Size:  Four aircraft, forming both the squadron size and attack wing
Hit Points:  1,820hp per Aircraft
Min/Cruising/Boosted Speed:  95kts/122kts/140kts

Ise's bombers look gorgeous.

Welcome to baBBy's first aircraft carrier! 

I saved this for last for a reason.  Ise's aircraft are weird.  Their game play is generally the same as carrier-borne aircraft however their resource-management is completely different. I skipped a break down of the PROS and CONS of Ise's aircraft to keep the initial list tidy, so here they are now:


  • May launch four torpedo bombers every two minutes, regardless of air group casualties.
  • Good concealment on bombers with a 7.5km detection radius.
  • Bombers drop two torpedoes each for a massive spread of eight fish from a full attack flight.
  • Her torpedo planes have a lot of health for a tier VI plane with 1,820hp each.
  • Aircraft launch from steam catapults with rocket-assisted boosts, giving them an initial high speed (up to 210 knots) for 10 seconds after launch.


  • Only four planes per flight, meaning any casualties taken immediately reduces the size of her drop.
  • Unable to upgrade torpedo bombers short of flooding-boost signal flags.
  • Torpedo bombers have no consumables.
  • Individual torpedoes deal very little damage and have poor flooding chance.
  • The spread of her torpedoes is too wide for all hits to land against a single target.
  • Boost provides only an 18 knot increase to speed instead of the normal 35 to 40 knots.
  • Player loses control of their battleship while flying aircraft.

Dispensing BALANS™

Let's start with aircraft management.

Ise's torpedo bombers DO NOT launch the same way as aircraft carrier bombers.  She starts with no aircraft on deck.  She has no hangar space.  She does not passively regenerate aircraft one at a time.  It is easier to compare Ise's aircraft to deck-mounted torpedo launchers rather than a carrier's hangar.  Like torpedoes, Ise's aircraft have to be "reloaded" at the start of the match.  This takes two minutes exactly.  Once loaded and then launched, it takes another two minutes for them to reload again.  Like torpedo tubes, as soon as the catapults are empty, the reload timer starts -- so this means that while the aircraft are flying around, the reload timer is passively ticking down back on your battleship. If you leave your "loaded" planes on deck, the reload timer won't start again until planes are launched.

There is no way to decrease this reload time.  Adrenaline Rush has no effect upon it.  Played optimally, Ise can launch a maximum of 9 waves of aircraft over the course of a 20 minute match with the tenth coming off cooldown just as the game ends.

Ise's aircraft do not "return to carrier".  They despawn after climbing to disengagement altitude following an ordnance drop or being recalled.   Their survival or destruction has no bearing on the reload time or composition of the next wave.  It is always a flat two minutes from the last time planes were launched (not recalled, not destroyed, not after they dropped their fish -- launched) and each reload always has the full complement of four torpedo bombers.  There is no way to reduce or increase this.  Every launch is always going to be a full attack flight of four bombers.

If aircraft are not launched right away then they remain "loaded" the same way torpedoes do.  They cannot be damaged while on deck.  There's no way of temporarily or permanently disabling their catapults (short of the destruction of Ise herself). The ship may still launch while on fire.

This is very different from managing hangar capacity and aircraft restoration.

Ise's aircraft have rocket-assistance to get them aloft.  This provides a tremendous speed increase for the first 10 seconds of flight.  Your boost can add onto this.  Once the squadron is formed up, their speed can reach 210 knots, allowing them quickly cover the first 5km away from their mothership by the time they drop their boosters.

The Empty Husk

Remember how mad people were that Wargaming was taking away a lot of the ship-management details from aircraft carrier players?

Almost nothing is automated on board Ise while you're away controlling your bombers.  If you don't set your battleship some automatic way points or put the rudder hard over, she's going to wander in a straight line.  If you listen closely, you can already hear destroyers drooling. You cannot use your ship's consumables while flying around.  Furthermore, your ship isn't going to do it for you the way aircraft carriers will.  Fires and floods will burn and bubble unattended.  Heals will go unused.  Perfect shots will go to waste.  Only your secondaries and AA will fire, but otherwise Ise remains an empty husk while you're zooming around making airplane noises with your lips.  Make sure you preset your planned course changes and lock your guns appropriately when you launch planes or you can come back to unmitigated disasters.  This has gotten me killed a couple of times during play-testing.  I cannot stress this enough:  Stop using your bombers the moment your battleship comes under threat.

Aircraft Agility

Meanwhile, veteran CV players will notice some general weirdness with Ise's aircraft from the moment they're launched. 

First point of weirdness:  Her rocket-assisted launching.  Normally aircraft are slower on the takeoff but not with Ise.  With the assistance of her boost, Ise's bombers become some of the fastest aircraft in the game, albeit for a mere 10 seconds.  Second point of weirdness is the boost of her aircraft.  It only has 10 seconds of charge instead of the normal 20 for torpedo planes.  It keeps being weird with only providing +18 knots worth of speed instead of the usual 35 to 40 knots of other bombers (though if you use it when her rockets are active, you get +27kts which is better but still wrong).  Finally the last point of weirdness, her bombers have no energy retention whatsoever.  The moment your finger leaves the throttle, she bleeds all of the gained speed.  This makes her bombers overall slower than her contemporaries despite her nominal speed looking pretty average.

This will leave aircraft carrier players feeling like Ise's torpedo bombers fly more like attack aircraft.  For those of you still relatively inexperienced with carrier game play, Ise's torpedo bombers do not behave as torpedo bombers should.  Trust me.  They're weird.  They're supposed to be better than this. The rest of her aircraft performance appears normal or close enough not to matter.  Their rate of turn increases and their turning radius decreases as the aircraft slow down.  The inverse happens under boost, with slower rates of turn and greatly increased turn radius sizes. Their disengagement and recall timers all appear normal as well.

Ise's aircraft do not gain as much speed from boost as other torpedo bombers.

This is the approximate amount of time it takes for the respective tier VI torpedo bombers to bleed off their boosted speed (which is usually a bonus of 35 or 40 knots).  Deceleration is (mostly) linear.  Most torpedo bombers can hold onto their boosted speed for about 9 to 10 seconds, gradually losing it over time allowing them to maintain a higher cruising speed than their in-port values might otherwise indicate.  Some keeners like Ark Royal and Weser exceed this by a couple of seconds.  Ise not only gains less from her boost (only 18 knots), she loses it all in 2.5 seconds and her aircraft feel much slower as a result.

Upgrades & Survivability

With 1,820 hit points per aircraft, you could be forgiven for thinking that Ise's bombers have some reasonable survivability.  However, their inability to receive any kind of improvements from upgrades or commander skills greatly impairs their durability.  Flak and sustained AA DPS is more dangerous to Ise.  What's more, she does not have the extra planes in a given attack flight to soak up casualties to be able to push through against high-priority but well defended targets.  Every loss Ise's squadrons takes hurts the size of her ensuing torpedo drop.  The only upgrades that can be made to these aircraft is through the use of signals to increase the chance of flooding from individual hits.  Given the relatively low speed of these aircraft, Ise's planes are not only taking more damage from AA defences, they're also exposed to it longer.  While they are tougher than your typical Co-Op bomber, they still melt like a bot's planes would.

Ise's 1820hp per bomber doesn't look so impressive now, does it?  It pays to keep in mind that the survivability increases for carrier aircraft don't stop there.  The carrier commander skill Aircraft Armor (3pts) effectively gives the bombers the equivalent of 10% more health against sustained AA DPS while the skill Enhanced Aircraft Armor effectively gives the bombers the equivalent of 25% more health against flak explosions.  This would put Weser's fragile plane totals when fully upgraded at the equivalent of 1,880hp vs sustained DPS and 2,136 versus flak, well ahead of Ise's flat 1,820hp.

Crappy DamageYou might be thinking "Okay, Ise's guns aren't the best, but that's okay.  Surely her torpedo bombers make up the difference!"   Yeah, no...  Her torpedo bombers are amazing and are definitely a feature worth celebrating on this ship, but it's not because of their damage output.  In most cases, your main battery guns are better damage dealers.  At its most basic, it comes down to alpha strike potential.  Each one of Ise's AP shells has a chance to citadel for up to 10,200 damage.  To match that, she needs to land four torpedoes.  The same math works out for three unsaturated penetrating hits.  That's again worth about four torpedoes.  And Ise doesn't make it easy to land all of those fish.

Drop pattern of the tier VI Torpedo Bombers.  A special thanks to @Lert for making this easier to collect.  Lining up my Reference Fuso™ with the replay camera for each replay in order to get the correct scale per screenshot was a pain in the butt.

Arizona took less than 7,000 damage from this strike.

Ise's bombers drop a massive spread of eight warheads, but it's very difficult to land all eight against a single target -- even if they're sitting stationary and broadside on.  The dispersing fan-spread of her fish casts a wide net which is pretty nice for catching unsuspecting lolibotes and cruisers with individual hits, but it makes it all but impossible to smoosh more than a handful into the hulls of most targets.  For a "perfect strike" to occur, you need to attack a long ship moving at speed from it's rear quarter (just behind the midway point of the ship) and hope that it doesn't dodge.  Each torpedo hits for a maximum of 2,767 damage minus the effects of saturation and anti-torpedo defences.  While it's theoretically possible to score a jackpot in excess of 20,000 damage for a single drop, I've only pulled it off in Training Rooms on bots.  In practice, a "nice" drop will yield about four to six hits and maybe 8,000 damage if your opponent is moving predictably. More average drops typically sit in the 3,000 to 6,000 damage band once you factor in player avoidance and anti-torpedo defences.  With only a 17% flood chance per hit (before being plugged into an equation), do not expect to cause many damage over time effects.

Those are numbers easily reached by her main battery guns against most targets with single salvos, nevermind the repeated salvos that could be fired in the same time it takes for aircraft to fly to a target and setup a drop.  The net result here is that against most targets, using Ise's torpedo bombers as damage dealers to supplement her main battery guns results in a net LOSS of damage potential.  It takes Ise's torpedo planes 25 seconds to cover 10km from launch, and that's with riding the boost as efficiently as possible and taking full advantage of that brief period of her 210 knot advantage.  Realistically, most engagements occur over larger distances, further increasing flight time and taking away time she could be cycling her guns.  For her torpedo bombers to compete, she has to be dealing more damage on a strike than she could over the comparable number of salvos she could be firing.

This is before we even get into the issues with dealing with anti-aircraft firepower.  Any losses to the bombers on their way in reduces the damage potential of the strike.  So you may be wondering why they're such a big deal if their damage output is patently inferior to the potential of her guns?

Ise may miss out on the increased attack run upgrade, but her shorter aiming time means that she's actually faster at lining up her fish than most other tier VI carriers.

The potential for damage is there.  In theory, a perfect strike (however unlikely) is worth a pair of AP citadel hits which is hard to ignore.  Reaching that potential is a lot harder with Ise's bombers.  Once you factor in Just Dodging™ and anti-torpedo defences, Ise is nowhere near as far ahead.


The thing to remember is that battleship guns are not always effective.  Their potential does not equate real world performance (it seldom gets close).  There are plenty of instances where Ise's main battery guns just aren't up to the task.  Maybe a target is out of range.  Maybe it's behind island cover.  Maybe it's a bow tanking battleship.  Or maybe it's a cute whiddle destwoyer what needs a spankin' (oh yes it does! ♫) and your overpenetrating AP shells aren't a big enough paddle.  It's in these instances where Ise's torpedo bombers become the better choice for dealing damage.  But their function goes well beyond just hurting stuff.  There's different kinds of hurt it can dispense too.

  • The first difference is that while Ise's torpedo bombers may not hit particularly hard, because they're using torpedoes with a blast radius, the damage they deal is often to citadels.  This means that ships hit by Ise's torpedo bombers are less likely to be able to heal back whatever damage is done.  Against battleships, especially some of those Royal Navy battleships, she can deliver far more harm than the meagre damage totals of her fish may otherwise indicate as they can't claw back the health as readily as the penetrating hits that would likely result from AP shells. 
  • The second difference is flooding damage.  Flooding isn't the terror of terrors that it used to be once upon a time, but it is another damage over time effect which stacks with fires.  Attacking a target with an already taxed Damage Control Party can yield some nice juicy number padding so long as RNGeebus is feeling like a bro.
  • The third type of hurt is a subtle one.  Ise can force ships out of position.  Players HATE torpedo bombers and will go out of their way to steer to avoid them.  This instinct to Just Dodge™ can be used to force players to make disadvantageous moves.  Ise can use her bombers to force a ship out of a smoke screen.  She can make a battleship turn and flash their broadside to you or your friends.  She can shepherd an enemy ship on the straight and narrow by running torpedoes parallel to their course from behind.  She can even force them to turn away from an objective or vulnerable ally.  NEVER underestimate the potential of this.  Even without actually dropping fish, the mere threat can make your opponents make all kinds of zany manoeuvres.  But that's not the most potent kind of damage Ise can deal.
  • This last type of hurt is probably the most insidious.  Ise can scout and spot.

Getting destroyers killed wins games and Ise's ability to light up destroyers with her planes far outweighs any damage potential from her bombers.  This is especially potent in the late game as she can quickly shut down marauding lolibotes that have survived to this stage, hounding them and forcing them to either smoke up or suffer the hail of fire from Ise's allies.  You can even spot for your own main battery guns this way provided you've got your guns pre-trained and you're quick on the trigger after recalling.  This extends not just to destroyers, of course.  Anything with either crappy AA or an enormous aerial detection range is susceptible to being lit by Ise.  If you're willing to sacrifice your squadron, you can even go after island-hugging cruisers, providing vision for your team to punish them.  Heck, light carriers for your 20km range Fusos to snipe.  Have fun with it.

The further into a game you go, the more power Ise torpedo bombers have.  Their ability to help reset caps alone while tanking all kinds of damage has won me a game that would have been lost in any other ship (and gave our last surviving destroyer a Solo Warrior achievement, how cool is that?).

Stronger than the Sum of Its Parts

As a weapon's platform, Ise isn't impressive.  Yeah, her torpedo bombers are annoying but any ol' Bayern can (and will) rip her a new one provided they can get within 14km of her and don't flash their broadside to her guns.  She doesn't outfight opponents, she outplays them.  Ise does not have the raw firepower to win straight up trades.  Instead, her torpedo bombers are a tool that helps wins games.  They finish off low health targets.  They slow your opponents approach to given objectives.  They reset caps.  They push ships out of smoke screens.  They keep destroyers spotted.  And sometimes they even do damage.  Do not underestimate a well played Ise that knows how to make use of these planes.  Their influence far outstrips their damage potential.

VERDICT:  Meta changing.


Final Evaluation

Ise is a paradigm shift.  Now you can have carriers in your games without having carriers in your games.  Ise upsets game balance in a similar manner to asymmetrical CV matchmaking.  When one team has Ise and the other does not (and there are no other carriers present), one side has the decided advantage in vision control.  While this may not matter as much in solo-play in Random Battles, in divisions or in any kind of competitive environment, the disparity will be much more pronounced.  While I don't expect Ise to be a powerhouse in terms of damage dealing, she doesn't have to be to influence the course of a battle.  Like Haida and Asashio before her, Ise's ability to change behaviours of the enemy team is what makes her overpowered. 

This is one of the first ships in a long time where I still feel I have yet to master her full potential.  I can't say with 100% certainty what I would expect the upper damage totals for this ship to be.  My own results while play testing this ship were highly volatile, though that was in part due to the experimentation I was constantly undertaking with each and every match-up.  Ise is a ship that will grow with you.  Those who choose to play her often and specialize into getting the most out of her performance will be frightening opponents.  While I'm not too scared of encountering a random Ise on the enemy team, you can bet that I will pay close attention to how well they're performing, especially if they are coordinating with a division.

Ise is fun in the same way carrier game play is fun.  It's an entirely one-sided affair where your enjoyment comes at the expense of others.  She's a strong ship. 

Mouse out.

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