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  1. #1
    Marshal Admiral KotoNano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Iwagawa Breakfield
    7828 Post(s)

    Basic AA guide to AA guns and how they work in Azur Lane.

    Right off as a disclaimer, after all the AA changes there is still part of how AA works not completely ironed out, but this covers just enough to make your life less a living hell for those of you who will struggle when the JP version gets it's german ship event and it's absurd carrier maps (unless they heavily edit it).
    Especially as one map has high CV count but restricts your CV usage on hard to a single light carrier at best meaning you have little to no counter planes to shoot them down.
    Fuck that map.

    Also because after discussing it.

    This guide is going to borrow heavily Outright steal from Kalins equipment guide, partly because the guns mentioned in it where picked out because of this information so technically that guide when it comes to AA guns is pretty useless without understanding why or the other basics of AA guns..
    Also most noticeably why owning at least one 105mmSKC Twin High Angle or 113mm Twin High Angle is incredibly useful.

    First off, we are going to discuss range. Why range? Because this is basics and it is the most noticeable thing you can change. AA guns are split up into three types when it comes to range:
    Range basics.
    [+] Spoiler

    1) Long range; these are guns with 30-35 range in their range stat. The above mentioned 105mmSKC Twin High Angle and 113mm Twin High Angle fall into this. Also the 76mm High Angle.
    2) Medium range; These guns are around 20~30 range, the range of these guns isn't as wide but they tend to be incredibly balanced when it comes to range/damage/rate of fire and overall Just using these type of guns isn't exactly a bad thing The most notable and best guns from this category are the Bofors 40mm Quad, QF 2-pounder Octuple Pom-Pom and the 28mm Quad AA Gun "Chicago Piano" .
    3) Short range guns;
    These guns are anything 20 range and below. They are not as numerous and are basically mounted machine guns for the most part. You'd think, "why use a machine gun? Aren't they really short range and low damage?" That is usually pretty true. However the Rate of fire is immense and just using a single one of these can up your AA DPS immensely. Obviously due to there not being many, only the 12.7mm AA Gun, The 25mm Tripleand the Twin Pipe 20mm AA Gun are worth considering.

    as a footnote: the Twin Pipe 20mmAA gun is not very good and both the 12.7mm and 25mm are vastly superior to it, However if is a good stopgap if you lack either of these.

    Now to the meat of this range discussion
    Range is important and for the obvious reason: The longer range the further out your AA guns will shoot, the further out they shoot the more time enemy planes are in range to be shot down, thus giving your ships extra shots at them.
    Range is also not the most important stat, and is infact the one you give up first if you are playing in manual and plan to min-max your AA damage. Range is more important when using autobattle.

    But first lets have an example of range!

    Obviously it will be hard to discuss range if you have no visual idea about what "range" difference is. First here is a simple picture, one which shows the two most important ranges; the absolute minimum range and absolute maximum range your ships AA field will become.

    As you can see, the minimum range and maximum are incredibly different. The maximum range of AA is more than double the minimum. While the minimum range is way too small to effectively shoot down planes, especially due to the fact lower range guns tend to be Low damage, High rate of fire.
    The maximum range is pretty impressive, in fact it is as large as your general playfield, because of this that much range is overkill. Long range AA guns tend to favour high damage and low rate of fire.
    So stacking only long range guns seems better so far? All that high damage and huge blanket area seems reasonable but I bet you're already thinking: "But what about our amazing AA high damage medium range guns like the Pompom or Bofors" why yes, these guns range, damage and rate of fire are an almost perfect balance. Well lets look at that range? Here is the range equipping only straight in the middle, 25 range pompoms.

    The first thing to note is The range given by only using the strong medium range guns is more than enough.

    To sum up range so far

    Right off the bat range so far it seems obvious, longer range is good but the longest range guns give more range than you possibly need. A healthy medium range of around 25~ is perfect for both manual and auto battles.
    This means you want your ships to keep an AA field of around 25 range give or take. But wait, here comes the first important question you might be asking:

    What happens If you mix AA guns of different ranges.

    This is a good question. This is why while slapping all your ships with the same medium gun is good but not efficient.Lets take an example. What if in that last screenshot, instead of using three 25-range pompoms you replace just one of them with a 35 range 113mm Twin High Angle?

    At first glance you might not notice it, but when you look closer the overall range has increased.

    Right so here we go, we have got the simple basics out the way lets start talking about how to use this information.

    Using a combination of guns of different ranges might make you think about how different ranged guns interact in deciding range.
    AA guns in Azur Lane are actually really easy to figure out. Here's the greatest spoiler for them.
    [+] Spoiler

    AA gun fire range is decided by adding up all the AA gun ranges on your ships that can equip AA guns.
    Thus in the example above, the range I have is 25+25+35 = 85
    Well wouldn't this give a larger range than a single 35 range gun? Well that's where the modifier comes in. After adding it all up It divides the AA guns range by the number of ships that can equip AA guns.
    In this example: 85/3 = 28.3
    This is proven by that fact the combined range of guns in a mixed 25/25/35 is longer range than 25/25/25 but shorter than 35.

    And that's it. That's all there is to range, Range is incredibly basic and most of the AA formula is, and we won't be getting into the incredibly complicated "actual damage" formula as that can be narrowed down pretty simply too in the end. However the key is knowing and balancing the three aspects of AA to get the best performance. And with that lets talk about

    Rate of Fire and why the 12.7mm is actually a useful AA gun.

    Lets start with the basics of Rate of Fire, it's importance and examples of different rate of fire on AA guns.
    [+] Spoiler

    Rate of fire is no different to range, it's stat is listed right there in .seconds it takes to fire. It varies from gun to gun but here are some examples of AA guns Rate of fire, their range and a trend to point out.
    All RoF stats are at the max +10 upgrade of the gun.
    113mm Twin High Angle T3 1.36s35
    105mmSKC Twin High Angle T31.24s32
    76mm High Angle T30.88s30
    Bofors 40mm Quad T31.04s28
    QF 2-pounder Octuple Pom-Pom1.17s25
    28mm Quad AA Gun "Chicago Piano"0.87s21
    25mm Triple T30.64s20
    Twin Pipe 20mm AA Gun T30.65s18
    12.7mm AA Gun T30.38s15

    As you can tell, the general trend is the longer the range the slower the rate of fire. The 12.7mm will shoot four rounds of AA fire before the 113mm Twin shoots two. But the 113mm keeps them in it's range longer so it's balance right?
    Well that's where we move onto the next section.

    Like Range, what happens if you combine guns of different Rate of fire?

    [+] Spoiler
    Well, the same thing with range.
    The game Averages out the rate of fire of all AA guns taken and uses an average to decide how fast your ships fire.
    Lets have some examples.

    This means using an all around gun, the Bofors will give you 28 range and 1.04s/reload.

    However, what if you mix it up. What if instead of Four bofors you use Two bofors, a 113mm Twin and a 12.7mm AA gun? This is where it gets interesting.
    Your range would be 28+28+15+35 = 106, /4 =26.5
    Your range would drop slightly even though you have the 113mm Twin boosting range, the 12.7mm incredibly short range lowers the average.
    However, what about rate of fire?
    It would be 1.04 + 1.04 + 1.36 + 0.38 = 3.82, /4 = 0.95
    The rate of fire has improved by almost 0.1s.

    A minor range decrease for a minor rate of fire increase, it doesn't sound that important but it is a slight difference in performance. What about mixing 113mm Twin and two 12.7mm?
    The range would be 35+35+15+15 = 100, /4 to 25 average. Noticably shorter than the original 4 bofors. But what about RoF?
    1.36 + 1.36 +0.38 + 0.38 = 3.48, /4 0.87s
    The rate of fire is significantly higher than the Bofors flat 1.04 while keeping a reasonable 25 range.

    So now range and RoF is out of the way, Damage is the same right? Wrong.

    Damage is calculated completely differently to Range and Rate of fire..

    Damage is the main reason mixing guns is important.
    [+] Spoiler

    Well right off the AA formula for damage is complicated. Incredibly complicated.
    Infact here is the Chinese formula
    防空炮面板*防空炮效率*(1+(防空值+属 增幅技能+阵型)/100)*等级压制(每差一级2%,25级到顶 升150%伤害)*伤害增益技能*敌人DEBUFF* 弹药BUFF*随机波动(50%~100%)
    Yes, that is a 50%~100% random damage on the end of it all.
    However there are two incredibly key points that help with deciding how to equip your AA guns.

    anti-aircraft gun damage * anti-aircraft gun efficiency and AA stat damage modifier
    Putting an AA gun on a ship with higher efficiency for AA guns gets the most use of that specific guns AA damage; for example
    Putting a high damage low RoF gun on Cleveland and putting a low damage high RoF gun on Yamashiro, will give more AA damage than the reverse.

    Along with the AA stat and other things this can be summed up along the lines of; without getting into too much detail something that should seem pretty obvious;
    Put your highest damage AA guns on ships with high AA stat and higher efficiency. Such as the 113mm Twin High Angle (130/hit) the Bofors 40mm Quad (120/hit) and especially any QF 2-pounder Octuple Pom-Pom (128/hit)
    On ships with lower AA and lower efficiency put on guns to boost the fleets overall AA effectiveness; such as the 12.7mm (15/hit) , 25mm Triple (54/hit) or 76mm High angle (54/hit). that lack damage but increase rate of fire of the heavy hitting guns.

    Thus some examples of how to perform better DPS than just using Bofors on everything.
    [+] Spoiler

    QF 2-pounder Octuple Pom-Pom on both ships in two ship fleets.. This gun has straight up the best DPS of any single AA gun, despite how any guns can interact if you only have limited AA gun slots using ONLY this gun is probably the easiest and most efficient way
    If one of those ships has a noticably lower AA mixing both this and the Bofors 40mm Quad can give slightly better DPS and range. Both are reasonable usages and there isn't much to do about it.

    Example of mixing 5 equip-able AA guns:
    2x QF 2-pounder Octuple Pom-Pom - These on your higher AA ships for the damage.
    1x 113mm Twin High Angle - Supplimentry damage while boosting range. Put this on your highest AA ship, usually Cleveland, or San Diego if you really want to murder those planes.
    2x 25mm Triple- These will boost your rate of fire but without sacrificing range. Putting these on your lower AA ships, Usually BB with bad modifiers (IJN) or destroyers.

    This combination gives: 25 range and 0.99 Rate of fire, while giving high damage from both the PomPoms and 113mm twin. The small loss in damage from the two 25mm is made up by the other three guns firing at a much faster (0.18s and 0.37s) rate which can make the difference in finishing off aircraft.
    if you are confident in your manual play to shoot down planes you can swap the 25mm Triple for 12.7mm, while they do much less damage (basically a non-contributor unlike the 25mm triples) the Range drops down to 23, but the rate of fire also decreases to 0.89/s This is where personal preference really comes in, but I feel the 25mm triple would equal more DPS due to it's own additional damage being only 1/3 instead of 1/10.

    Overall, stacking a single type of AA gun can be effective, especially the QF 2-pounder Octuple Pom-Pom which is the single best AA DPS in the game (128 at 1.17s) mixing it up with guns of different properties can boost DPS significantly by increasing both range and rate of fire while keeping the overall high damage.

    AA Damage itself is incredibly RNG as part of the formula is quite literally "do 50~100% of this damage." this is why high Rate of fire and large range is important to get as many shots as possible. and maximizing the number of shots at the cost of 1/5th of your damage is worthwhile.
    To underline this;
    If you can get three shots of 150 or five shots of 100, the five shots are flat out better.

    Also as a foot note:
    What if I don't equip an AA gun to a ship that can equip an AA gun?

    That ship is included still in the AA formula. If you can equip 3 AA guns but only equip two, the ships inbuilt AA guns are taken as part of the formula.
    These guns are usually terrible.
    Here is an example with a 35-range AA gun and an "empty" AA gun slot.
    [+] Spoiler

    As you can see the range is significantly less than if both ships equipped 35-range guns. Data on ships natural AA Guns is unknown but since they are generally poor in stats Don't leave the AA slot empty.

    2 out of 0 members found this post helpful.
    Last edited by KotoNano; 12-05-2017 at 01:18 PM. Reason: Typos and formatting.

    Will only return for Yuzuki.

  2. #2
    Head Moderator Kalinsre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    1587 Post(s)
    Thanks for writing this up. Great job.

    Going to add this to the guide index.

  3. #3
    Vice-Admiral FlamingYu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    745 Post(s)
    Great. This is helpful as I have no idea how AA even work.

    LSC Completed 2014-2015
    Taihou - 29/12, Bismarck - 12/01, Yamato - 19/01, Musashi - 16/02, Shioi - 30/03



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