Last updated: 17-12-2017
Countless times, I've seen people use setups which makes me raise my eyebrows. When I questioned them as to why they chose such setups, they replied to me with either that they thought this was the meta, it looks cool, or they simply felt that it performed better. The people who knows me will obviously predict my endless flaming and lecturing to what they're doing wrong.
This blog is a collection of my encounters with such occurrences, and it serves as a reminder to people that they should not be fooled by false meta or meme setups that have no scientific explanation backing them up as to why they are good. The subject will be listed here and I will offer you my insight on why it's either good or bad and what you could have done better instead.
Keep in mind that this blog serves to help you further optimize your fleet. If your plan was to create a meme fleet all along, then the majority of the comments here obviously don't apply to you.
Each subject will go through several phases:
- The claim: An elaboration on a subject as to what it actually means.
- Investigation: An investigation will be carried out by me with the help of other people to find more information surrounding this, which in turn helps to provide us a conclusion and a verdict.
- Verdict: Based on the investigations, a certain score will be given depending on what I discovered during my investigation:
- FALSE: Completely false or outdated/deprecated meta.
- QUESTIONABLE: There's a merit of truth, but there's usually better alternatives or the cost is too high for what you get in return.
- OK: Might actually be useful in some scenarios, it got a bad reputation because it was applied in a bad way or the original meta changed somehow to what it is now.
- If the samples and evidence used are not strong enough to tie all loose ends, the verdict will be given an (INCONCLUSIVE) as well, to signify that this will be re-checked in the future if more info is obtained. This also means that the current verdict might not be final and that you should take the verdict with a grain of salt, until more research has been done.
- Reason: More information and explanation as to why this verdict has been given.
Keep in mind that I only know what I know. While my investigations tries to eliminate as much subjectivity as possible, there are some cases where it is unrealistic to through all the possible cases just to draw a verdict. The amount of time I'm willing to research on a topic is not infinite, hence I try to draw a general consensus here by comparing the major points. In case I'm missing something in which you find it worthy to be added to the list or if you disagree with my conclusion, feel free to message me and I will hear you out/start an investigation.
Without further ado, enjoy!
Yellow guns are better on CL(T)
are better than when used on CLT.
The origin stems from when CL fit bonuses was introduced. Since the battleships are known to have overweight penalties, rumors quickly spread around that CL(T)s suffer overweight penalties from equipping 20.3cm or anything of similar caliber.
While it is true that are now just as viable on CLTs, since CLTs lack the ability to artillery spot, it does not necessarily mean that are inferior. The same applies to CLs, it has not been proven that 20.3cm is worse than using a 15.5cm instead. There simply is no evidence at all that suggest CL(T)s suffers from overweight mechanics or which proves that are somehow stronger.
The 15.2cm secondary is arguably the worst gun of the bunch, while the SKC is the best one to use for if all of your other guns are unimproved. Keep in mind though that at later stages, the SKC will be surpassed by the other guns when they are improved.
The 15.2cm and its Kai counterpart have lower compared to the other guns, but is undefeated when it comes to giving stats. It is also one of the few guns that give fit bonuses on CL, CT and CLT, which further increases the bonuses and the to compensate the lower firepower stats of the guns.
Cannot double attack?
An interesting question was raised after this was published. "If a CLT is equipped with a Minisub, doesn't it effectively prevent them from double attacking during the night if you give them ?"
The answer is, no, because one thing that differentates a Minisub from a regular torpedo is that a Minisub does not count as a torpedo. It will in no way affect your night special attacks and people using 2x Minisub setups on CLT will soon realize as well that they never TCI.
This topic is about disproving the theory that specifically are always better than . I've never once said that the 15.5cm secondary or the OTO are shit, I've only said that they are not necessarily better than the other guns available on CL(T)s. With that said, if you have neither of them, it's perfectly fine to keep using yellow guns, as long as the reason is not "but I thought red guns were overweight".
This whole false meta started spreading because of some misconception where people who believed that the Kouhyouteki counts as a torpedo instead of a wildcard equipment. Then there are people who mistakenly thought overweight mechanics apply on ship classes other than (F)BB(V) as well, considering how similar the effects were. There's no scientific explanation as to why red guns should be inferior to yellow guns, so this is a case closed for me. People should just decide which guns to equip by stats alone, whether they are , or .
Kaga is the best carrier
Kaga is still the best carrier in the game, because of her 46 plane slot.
This ideology is so outdated that I have too good of an idea to know where to begin with. Back when the Aircraft Proficiency didn't exist yet, obtaining the necessary fighter power to obtain AS/AS+ was a hard thing to do, which is when the meta to equip fighters on the largest slot sprung to live. Obviously as Kaga has one of the biggest plane slot, she was hailed as the best carrier in the game.
Now with the inclusion of Aircraft Proficiency, fighters gain flat fighter power boosts which increases with each rank, and because we now have a better understanding as to how Aerial Combat works, fighters on smaller slot sizes are preferred nowadays. Also with the inclusion of the CVB, Kaga fell out of favor as the favorite, since being able to shell during 中破 matters a lot.
With that said, Kaga is definitely not a weak ship and she's still excellent, but she is by no means the best carrier in the game. The claim of Kaga being the best carrier is ridiculous at best, considering that she does not perform better in all reasonable scenarios in the first place. For someone who does not have the highest stats of her class and also lacks advantages which only CVB has, you can hardly call her the best, it simply doesn't work that way.
Isn't it unfair to compare a CV with a CVB?
In normal circumstances, yes. But the fact is, the branching rules in general takes no distinction between CV or CVB, unlike battleships where each category is treated differently. If the branching rules treat CV and CVB the same in 99% of the times it matters, then it also means that there is no real reason to separate them.
Also, while CVB can shell during 中破 even though a CV can't, it does not mean that their role is any different than that of a CV. This isn't the same as comparing a FBB with a BBV, or comparing a CA with a CAV after all. CVBs do have the advantages of being able to equip certain equipment CV can't use like jets, but that also doesn't change their role of helping your fleet maintain air superiority while dealing damage against your opponent through shelling. That's why I've also concluded that standard CVs shouldn't be given special treatment in this comparison.
While Kaga is by no means useless, she is not the best carrier in the game for too many reasons provided in the investigation. Once again, if Kaga does not perform better in all reasonable scenarios, then the claim that she is the best carrier does not hold. The moment the Aircraft Proficiency system was introduced, the giant slots were no longer as relevant when it comes to fighter power.
The Skilled Lookouts equipment works like any other cut-in booster
With the cut-in model now solved due to the breakthrough of having access to the vitacolle dump files, it is clear that the Skilled Lookouts does not give a luck bonus at all, but directly increases your cut-in chances similarly to how the other equipment works. The data of vitacolle has also been supplemented with actual tests from the browser version, further cementing the theory that it does adopt the same model.
The only downside is the fact that it only boosts the cut-in rate of the ship it is equipped on, unlike the other equipment which buffs the whole fleet. When used for torpedo cut-ins, the boost it gives is roughly 4.10% on top of your existing chances.
The myth in which the Skilled Lookouts would only provide a luck bonus is completely busted, its efficiency is the same whether the ship's luck is around 20s or the 50s. While it does not boost the whole fleet the same way as the other equipment does and is indeed inferior, the use of Skilled Lookouts is definitely not as useless as people initially thought.
Always put TCI ship on last slot
You should always put the ship who is performing the torpedo cut-in on the last slot of the fleet.
This is actually a known recommendation by most veterans. The theory basically is that the weaker ships could either help clean up the escorts or help deal scratch damage against a high HP target. Since scratch damage deals proportional damage to a target's current HP, having a weak ship do scratch damage is usually advantageous.
After the escorts are cleaned up or if the boss is weakened enough, the ships loaded with torpedo cut-in setups are there to finish off the boss. In case there are still escorts alive, this setup still gives the last ship the best amount of chances to hit the boss.
While there is generally no problem with this, this strategy however, assumes that your TCI ship is indeed the strongest attacker. When you are using weaker ships like Hatsushimo and Ushio, you will obviously not do more damage than other stronger DDs with TCI setup as well, like Ayanami. There's also consideration of other ship classes which deals far more damage, even with a double attack, like Kitakami and Ooi.
The real reason as to why people recommend you to put TCI ships on the last slot, is because the ship with TCI is usually your strongest attacker. The reason is not because the ship is using TCI, its because the ship deals the most potential damage. With that said, even though I gave this an OK verdict, you still shouldn't mindlessly put all TCI ships to the end without first checking out what the damage potential is of your fleet. You should also definitely consider the possibility of flagshipping your TCI ship instead, which grants a bonus to your cut-in chances.
Abyssal ships can AACI
Abyssal ships can perform AACI.
This rumor actually became rather popular, after bombers sent against Kitanda or the enemy Tsu class mysteriously all drop like flies, as if they all had been shot down from an AACI. After the string of updates that happened before the Fall 2017 Event, this is now officially confirmed.
That's right. This topic initially started as a rumor which was quickly dismissed as a meme due to people constantly claiming without evidence and the actual evidence actually disproving their claims. However, this was changed somewhere before Fall 2017 Event when noratako discovered hints of AACI in 6-4 in his tests. The fact that abyssals can now AACI is further cemented after my personal tests confirming Kitanda of causing irregular shot-downs which should not be possible without AACI.
While there were no scenarios back then in which shows that abyssals could AACI, there is now. Keep in mind that the abyssals have to follow the same rules as we do when it comes equipment requirements for an AACI to trigger, so it's not like all Tsu-classes are suddenly capable of AACI.
Echelon is the best formation for night battle
When being sent to a night battle, choose Echelon for the highest chance for survival.
People recommending Echelon during night battle are those who mainly aims to increase your evasion as much as possible, instead of actively killing everything with high accurate shots. As this is the complete opposite of Line Ahead, where you actually actively kill everyone before they kill you, it would be a moot point to approach it this way and compare those 2. Instead, we compare it with 2 other similar defensive formations: Diamond and Line Abreast.
A quick glance on the data from KC Kai tells us that Echelon provides a higher evasion modifier than Line Ahead, but still lower than Line Abreast. Both Echelon and Line Abreast suffer from the same amount of damage and accuracy penalty. Line Abreast essentially has a higher evasion modifier, for nearly the same handicap that is caused by picking Echelon instead. Diamond remains garbage no matter how you slice it for night battle uses.
This vitacolle data is further cemented by another source from the same guy who did all the other evasion modifier tests. However, the website died and the only thing I could salvage was the sheet and the image itself, which proves plenty enough that Echelon is inferior to the Line Abreast.
Echelon gives a good evasion modifier for night battles, but Line Abreast provides the best modifier. As we now know it's similar to the KC Kai data, there's not much to argue about at this point but to point out that Echelon remains as useless as it is back then.
As using torpedo equipment on CLT benefits their daytime opening torpedo as well, they should always be using torpedo cut-in setups. After all, Kitakami has above average base luck and TCI deals huge amount of damages.
The people claiming this aren't exactly wrong actually, but they miss a few too many details, which makes this a flawed option. To tackle this, you first need to know how damage calculation works.
During day, all your attacks are softcapped to 150, while shelling is capped to 180. In case your damage output goes over it, the remainder past the cap will get square rooted. There's generally no reason to go over the day cap, especially if its torpedo stats, since everything past it will come with heavily diminished returns.
One of the reasons people recommend using TCI on them, is because they claim that the torpedo equipment apparently also benefits the opening torpedo. Well, let's check it out.
Both Kitakami and Ooi have 63 + 139 . Since the Minisub is a mandatory equipment on CLTs in almost all cases, you might as well add the 12 stats on top of the 139 and suddenly it becomes 151, which is already above the day cap. Assume the Minisub/Quint/Quint setup if people insist on using TCIs anyway with this idea, that's 139 + 12 + 12 + 12 = 175. The remainder 25 that went over the softcap gets square rooted which makes the final number 155.
Considering how adding 2x Quint torpedoes only raised the damage by 4, it's obviously a blatant ripoff if you could optimize your setup in a better way. Instead, using 2x 20.3cm(3) raises your shelling power by 20 just fine, so that the torpedoes benefit your day shelling is obviously nonsense, if the guns do a better job in it. One might argue though that this helps improve your damage in case you roll a head-on or Red-T engagement, but consider either only happens 40% of the cases while it is pretty much useless on Parallel and Green-T, that is not a good reason to justify your use of TCI. There's also the reason that there is still room for improvements on shelling , which improves the ship in all engagement modifiers.
Night battle damage is basically + combined, which is further amplified by special attacks. Unlike artillery spotting, night special attack is not post-cap, so it will be nerfed by the 300 damage cap during night. The DA gives you 2 attacks with a multiplier of 1.2x, while a TCI gives you 2 attacks with a multiplier of 1.5x. While the TCI looks like it is one strong attack, it is in actual 2 separate attacks that is combined into one.
Both Kitakami and Ooi have 63 + 139 = 202 night battle firepower.
Assume Kitakami has a Minisub/20.3cm(3)/20.3cm(3) setup. This pushes her night battle firepower to 202 + 12 + 10 + 10 = 234.
Multiply it with the DA multiplier of 1.2 x 234 = 280.8
Now lets check the TCI setup, in which we assume the Minisub/Quint/Quint setup. The night battle firepower is 202 + 12 + 12 + 12 = 238.
Multiply it with the TCI multiplier of 1.5 x 238 = 357.
Since the total goes over the 300, the remainder gets square rooted, the final number being 307.5.
Now you must think be thinking: "There's a clear difference of 27 damage, obviously the TCI is better, right? and you wouldn't be wrong if that's the only thing. The difference between DA and TCI is that DA has a 99% chance to trigger, while TCI is completely luck based. Assuming Kitakami has a base luck of 30 and she's level 50, we can calculate the chance using haru's formula:
- (KTKMs level / 20) + ( x 0.85) + 14 = 42%
So assuming a base Kitakami who is not luckmodded, is not the flagship and none of the things like Star Shell or Searchlight goes off, you only have 42% to successfully fire a TCI.
Now all of a sudden, the DA setup looks a lot more attractive then a RNG based attack which has 58% chance to fail. If Kitakami with 30 already has such low chance, I probably don't need to tell you how worse it is for Ooi who only has 13 .
Then you might be thinking about just luckmodding them both, so that they could TCI properly right? The problem with luckmodding Kitakami and Ooi is that they do not benefit as much in comparison to the other combat ships like DDs and CLs. Both Kitakami and Ooi are already capable of dishing out high amount of damages through DA, and allowing them to TCI only increases their damage up by 27, while if you luckmod Yuudachi instead, the difference in power between her DA and TCI is nearly 100 damage! That's damn a lot.
Alternative scenario: Improved Equipments
While the analysis above shows perfectly how it could be a bad idea if you attempt to use TCI without the knowledge of what you're doing yourself, there is still room for discussion regarding improvements.
This is what we know about their damage potential:
- Assuming 2x 20.3cm(3).
- Assuming 2x Quint.
Now, what if all the equipment involved are improved to a decent amount? Lets assume that both equipment are improved up to ★+4:
- Assuming 2x 20.3cm(3)★+4:
- Assuming 2x Quint★+4:
Even though both equipment are improved up to ★+4, we clearly see that Quints barely did anything that improves the situation, while improving red guns is shown to greatly help you reach closer to the 300 damage cap. This is a strong case that shows how using TCI on Kitakami and Ooi looks less and less feasible, especially if it only takes a few screws of investments to narrow the damage potential.
Cases where TCI actually is mandatory
So are there any cases in which TCI is actually necessary for you to be able to effectively deal damage to a boss? There actually is one case and that is against Kitanda, who has a ridiculous value of 333 . Even with the debuff, the armor value would still be ridiculously high to the point where you have to pray that you get both a lucky armor roll and a critical hit in.
But considering how the map where Kitanda is featured doesn't actually allow the use of CLTs in the fleet, there has not been a situation where you could use either Kitakami or Ooi and are forced to use a TCI setup. But considering this, it might change in the future event maps.
Alternative scenario: Moderately damaged state
Ships in 中破 state suffers a 30% firepower penalty, but in turn, gains an increase in CI chances. Being in 中破 is obviously kind of bad, but can the risk of being in 中破 justify the use of TCI? Lets find out.
This is the damage potential in a healthy state:
- Assuming 2x 20.3cm(3).
- Assuming 2x Quint.
This is the damage in 中破 state:
- Assuming 2x 20.3cm(3).
- Assuming 2x Quint.
- Day shelling damage is 63 = 44
- Day torpedo damage is 175 = 122
- TCI damage is 357 = 249 during night.
- (KTKMs level = 50 / 20) + ( x 0.85) + 14 + 10 = 52%
For using torpedoes instead of regular main guns, you get the situation where you would do 17 damage more, but at the cost of dealing 14 damage less. Using a TCI thus doesn't really justify the day phase, considering how marginal the difference is. If anything, we would have to look at the night battle to see if there's a noticeable difference.
The average armor of a boss is generally around 170 while on harder difficulties, it's estimated around 200 . With the damage penalty in effect, a Kitakami with DA setup will obviously fail to do any reasonable amount of damage, while a TCI still can dish out a reasonable amount of damage.
However, while the TCI chance has increased because of the 中破 state, 52% isn't a surefire number that would always trigger either. If you want it to be a bit more reliable, you would still have to invest Maruyus into them for the marginal chance that your ship does end up in 中破.
A 50+ increase in night firepower isn't exactly low either, which TCI does compensate somewhat. However, you're honestly not waiting for your ships to get hit and flip 中破 state, since it also impacts all other phases. This is arguably cost inefficient if you were planning to invest Maruyus on them, just to make them more useful if they took a hit. Also consider the times where your CLT actually does end up in 中破 state and not flat out 大破 or 小破.
Don't get me wrong, being able to do 50+ more damage in 中破 is definitely an advantage, but it demands some investment and there are probably a lot more measures you can take that actually decreases the chances that they actually would end up in 中破 instead. You also have to pay the price of having a lower in favor of , so it's not surprising if you suddenly cannot take down some of the weaker enemies during the day shelling.
Just because using torpedoes and thus a TCI setup on Kitakami and Ooi would improve your day torpedo attacks, it does not necessarily mean it's better if the improvement barely adds values to your already existing damage potential. Its a rather bad idea, considering that you basically already hit day cap with only a minisub, its simply no excuse to recommend TCI over DA. A healthy DA attack deals 280 damage, and this gap to the night cap gets closer as you keep improving those guns.
On the other hand, it does improve your situation a bit if either somehow ends up in a 中破 state, but it's a rather situation specific and you much rather want to avoid being in that zone. Not to mention that you're investing into preventive measures instead of allowing some of the weaker ships to effectively hit night cap through TCI, this means it doesn't add much value if the ship doesn't actually end up in 中破 state.
The reason is simple, it's because this specific topic targets only Kitakami or Ooi, due to their abnormal high base stats. Aside from Kitakami or Ooi, we have Kiso, who is also a CLT, and Abukuma, who is actually classified as a CL, but functions exactly the same as a CLT.
A quick glance here shows us that Kiso and Abukuma have nowhere near the amount of stats as either Kitakami or Ooi. The whole basis of the argument is that using TCI also helps improve the torpedo during the other phases. The reason why it didn't work out for Kitakami and Ooi is that they already have an abnormal base stats of 139 + 12, including the minisub. Since both Kiso and Abukuma are nowhere near Kitakami when it comes to stats, it makes more sense to luckmod and give them the TCI setup instead.
With that said, nobody is stopping you from luckmodding Kitakami and Ooi anyway. I've only given you the best optimization advice, who am I to stop you from letting you play however you want? While that doesn't mean I'm telling you not to ever luckmod them, you should consider your priorities and luckmod those who benefits the most from being able to TCI. Luckmodding a ship takes a lot of investment, choose carefully on who to spend your Maruyus on.
Use Type 3 Shell on the main fleet in Combined Fleets
This rumor sprung up when some of the newer faces first got to taste the horrors of having to fight against an Installation boss. When they first learned of their weaknesses, one of them being the Type 3 Shell against Soft installations, it somehow spread to using T3 Shells on the main fleet as well.
Let's first point out the obvious issues that exists:
- Installation bosses all have high armor, at least 130 with high to boot.
- While Artillery Imp have an armor value of around 90 , they do not share the same weaknesses as soft installations.
- There exist a day damage softcap of 180. Since the main fleet do not participate in night battle, they cannot unleash the full potential by getting a 300 night battle softcap.
When it comes to battleships, you might as well optimize your fleet in a better way by equipping AP shells instead to enable post-cap bonuses. Battleships have high firepower to begin with and the use of a Type 3 Shell wouldn't change the situation much due to the damage cap that exists during the day phase.
In case of CA(V)s in the main fleet however, you might be able to get away with using Type 3 Shells now that the day firepower cap is raised to 180. This isn't a realistic option most of the time on harder difficulties, due to the enemy armor exceeding way more than the day cap allows you to reliably damage them.
Main fleet battleships in a combined fleet should never be equipped with a Type 3 Shell, they become just that many times more useful when you use AP shells instead for the postcap bonus it provides.
While it does look attractive to equip Type 3 Shells on a CA(V), you still have to remember that you're dealing with high / targets and the firepower increase might not necessarily help you that much at all, compared to letting them deal scratch damage instead. However, if the situation arises where the installation target has a low enough armor to justify the use of Type 3 Shell on a main fleet CA(V), then do it by all means. Just remember that you are to always prioritize equipping anti-installation gears on the escort fleet first, before resorting to the main fleet.
Flagship can always perform AA, even without stats
The origins of this myth actually came from multiple locations, but the most recurring ones are people complaining how the enemy subs could still shoot down their planes on a CVL in 1-5 and how a full sub fleet could shoot down enemy planes. After all, since the subs have 0 stats, its impossible to explain how the planes gets shot down, unless the flagship by chance always performs AA attacks, right?
This is basically another case of people failing to understand the Aerial Combat mechanics, which caused the rumor to appear among the community. To understand the process, you need to understand how the planes gets shot down in each phase. For that, we will only look at the 1st phase of Aerial Combat, since its the most relevant to our topic.
All Fighters/Bombers participate in this phase to establish the air control, which can either be AI/AD/AP/AS/AS+. Since you would either have a sub fleet, or you would be fighting against subs, we will assume AS+ in all scenarios for the party with aircraft. Also, during the 1st phase, all planes are immune to fire. One might wonder then how in the world the plane gets shot down during the 1st phase.
Well, if you check out this table, you will notice that even in the best possible air control, you face a proportional shot down of 7/256～15/256 that is actually caused by the air control itself. That's right, whether there is an opposing fleet or not is irrelevant, your plane will magically get shot down out of nowhere by a game mechanic that decides the air status.
This basically means that even if you face an opposing fleet who has no stats, any plane slot count that is 18 or higher is still at risk of being shot down. Of course on AS+, the loss is at most 1 or 2 planes, but it gets progressively worse on worse air states. This is also another reason why you're recommended to achieve the highest possible air state you can manage, to lessen the amount of planes lost from a proportional shot down out of nowhere.
Is there a way to prevent that from happening in 1-5?
Of course there is. Since submarines have no stats, it means that none of your planes are at risk of being wiped out from a fixed shot down fire during the 2nd phase. You also have to understand that a plane slot size is not a relevant factor as to how much damage you deal against a submarine. Only stats apply, and that is not scaled by a plane slot size.
1 or 2 plane loss is really small though, but if you insist on wanting to save , avoid using bombers on plane slots of 18 or higher in the future and instead, use either a plane that cannot be shot down like the Saiun or replace it with a non-plane equipment.
So we now know what happens during the first phase, but why does it happen during the 2nd phase as well? This is caused by a luxury we all have dubbed as the kanmusu bonus, something which only the player's fleet will enjoy.
The kanmusu bonus is a fail-safe mechanic which guarantees that your fleet will always shoot down at least 1 enemy bomber per slot, in case an AACI does not activate. The kanmusu bonus functions similarly like an AACI and will always occur, unless your fleet triggered an AACI instead.
Well, I've mentioned it before and I honestly don't blame anyone for not understanding how the Aerial Combat works, but you can see how easy it is for false rumors to appear when this is not fully understood by people.
AP shells effect applies even when in a support expedition
This rumor started to appear around the time when the received a buff, which allows it to grant a post-cap damage multiplier bonus against certain enemies, when equipped on battleships. Of course as this works during sorties, people were also speculating that it might also work on support expeditions.
The tests actually has been carried out long ago to verify whether this even works or not, this one being an example not long ago, and this one even dates back to 2015.
Regarding support expeditions, the following is known:
- Artillery Spotting does not work.
- Overweight and fit mechanics does not apply.
- Improvements do not work.
- Aircraft Proficiency does not work.
- AP Shell modifiers does not work.
- Installation modifiers does not work. (Just in case someone stupidly tells people to use Type 3 Shell in your support fleet.)
Literally almost everything that does work in regular sorties will not work when used in support expeditions, which includes AP shell modifiers.
AP shell modifiers do not work in support expeditions at all, except of the base stats it gives. It's almost as if people accepted this rumor as truth, even though it was never confirmed at all whether it works or not. The myth was already busted around 2015 or probably even earlier, and it is rather ironic that some people are still advising others to use AP shells on support expeditions to this day anyway.
When you clear B88, choose PBY-5A Catalina as the reward
Upon clearing quest B88, you are given the choice of either a Type 2 Seaplane Fighter Kai or the PBY-5A Catalina as a reward. You are recommended to pick the PBY-5A Catalina due to it being more useful.
The Vanguard formation is useful against aerial nodes
Instead of picking Diamond as most people do, you can also use Vanguard instead for the aggro effect and the evasion bonus.
Using high range ships can cancel the turn of the enemies
Through the use of ships with high range, they can attack the enemies one after another, effectively preventing the enemy fleet from getting a turn.
SoonTM, but just to prevent people from getting the wrong idea, I've already put up the verdict.