World of Warships

“CVs have infinite planes”: Myths and facts, a discussion

WorldOfWarships1 - "CVs have infinite planes": Myths and facts, a discussion

In the endless debates on this sub over CVs, and their impact on the game, one argument and point of contention continues to resurface over and over.

Inevitably, someone on the anti-CV side will grouse about how CVs have infinite planes, and a pro-CV defender will pipe up and insist that they do not. This post seeks to put the issue to rest once and for all.

So, do CVs have infinite planes or not? Which side is right? Well, they're both right, in a sense.


When they say that CVs do not have infinite planes, the pro-CV side is technically correct (which, as we know, is usually the


Their argument is simple and straight-forward, and has been made many times. A CV starts with a set number of planes of each type on the deck and ready to go. As losses mount, the CV starts generating additional planes at a fixed rate per squadron. Given that a match is also finite in length, a CV can only generate so many additional planes. Total planes = planes on deck at start + (planes per minute * match length), which is, in fact, a finite number, ergo CVs do not have infinite planes.

However, the argument does not hold up to scrutiny. For one thing, the exact same logic could be applied to shells. My Kurfurst or Daring or Smolensk, or whatever, can reload its guns only so fast, and can therefore only fire so many shells in a given match, ergo it does not have infinite shells. Yet that ships have infinite shells is clearly not an issue, while planes are, for several reasons. If I want you to stop shooting at me with your shells, I can

  1. Disengage (go dark)

  2. Move out of your range

  3. Take cover, say, behind an island. Lastly,

  4. Kill you outright

None of which are options against planes. Can't go dark as a CV can just spot me. Can't move out of range as CV has no range limit. Can't take cover because a CV's planes can reposition and come at me from any angle. I can sometimes kill a CV, but since the CV is usually hiding at the back of the map, far away from my ability to shoot or spot him, it is a moot point. Shells may not be infinite, but they are, to a degree, situational. I can't always use them, or not against the target I want to use them on. Which is just not true of planes (or at least, to a much lesser extent).

A pro-CV defender might be quick to point out that you can shoot down planes but you can't shoot down shells, and again, they are technically correct, but are again missing the point, or at least, only telling half the story. Because of the way attack runs are implemented, any losses to an attack run are immediately replaced by extra planes in the squadron. Therefore, unless I can destroy enough planes to deplete the squadron reserves and then some, it is moot when it comes to damage mitigation.



However, I think this is all beside the point. The state of AA in the game is so bad right now, so slanted in favour of the CV, that only the worst of CV potatoes are in danger of effectively running out of planes, and usually then only when they're bottom tier. All it takes is basic skill in squadron management, dodging flak and target selection to ensure strike capability throughout a match. To quote CC Sea Lord Mountbatten, someone who plays the game a lot more than just about all of us, if you regularly get de-planed "You're just not a very good CV player."

Yes, there are a handful of ships with 'good AA', that all CVs have to be careful to avoid. Worcester, comes to mind. Halland, maybe. But it is just a handful. Exceptions, not the rule, and rare ones at that. When a whole class can only be countered by 2-3 specific ships, something is seriously wrong.

Also, on the rare occasion that a CV is effectively de-planed, it tends to only happen at the end of very long matches, due to the reserve of planes on deck the CV starts with. So even in this case, the CV is capable of delivering strikes for the vast majority of the match; only during the last handful of minutes do the limits on a CV's total planes typically matter.

To summarize this point: CVs may not technically have infinite planes, but does it really matter if, in practice, they never run out? For those of us who are on the receiving end of a seemingly never-ending supply of strike planes, it may as well be infinite, it makes no difference.

And before a CV defender accuses me of never playing CVs are therefore my opinion is irrelevant, I have played CVs, I have both a Ryujo and an Furious. I stopped playing CVs because I find them boring and bad for the game. And there are plenty of people who have played CVs extensively who would tell you the same thing I am telling you now. I can also tell you, from a defender's perspective, the number of times I've seen a CV lose so many planes as to be effectively de-planed is extremely small – inevitably long matches with bottom tier CVs who are not very good.


So please stop splitting this hair. No, they don't have infinite planes, but how often does a decent CV player actually run out?

Anyway, thanks for coming to my TED talk. I welcome open debate and arguments from both sides.

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