I did a little bit of testing with OASW set-ups on Gambier Bay.
1. you need a total ASW stat of 65 and more. This requirement will be easier to meet with higher levels, since she is one of the few CVLs with a non-0 ASW stat.
2. you need at least one plane with 7 ASW or more
3. the Liaison Plane and the Autogyro both enable OASW attacks even if they are the only planes with 7 or more ASW. No additional planes are needed for OASW attacks, if the basic requirement of 65 ASW is met.
I can't test yet, if she can attack with a loadout of either only Autogyros or only Liaison Aircraft. Other CVLs need an additional plane for the actual attack, but she was able to OASW with a combination of only Autogyro and Liaison Aircraft.
Please be aware, that a combination of Autogyro and Liaison (without a regular bomber) ONLY enables OASW attacks. This will NOT enable her to attack subs during the shelling phase.
A loadout of at least one regular bomber (ideally with a high ASW stat) and Autogyro/Liaison Aircraft for the high ASW stat, enabling anti-sub attacks in the shelling phase and OASW at lower levels and increasing the damage for pure subhunting.
A loadout of several bombers with high ASW, one of them at least with ASW 7 and more, for a combined anti-sub/anti-surface approach.
A loadout of one divebomber, one torpedobomber and one fighter for a regular CV-Cut-In for pure anti-surface maps. With a high enough level and at least one plane with 7 and more ASW this loadout is still capable of OASW attacks.
Note: all tests were carried out with Gambier Bay Kai. But i do not think the mechanics will differ between her Base and Kai form.
I've seen you're struggling to get to node Z6. I was stuck there for a while (hard mode) for more than 20 runs and not even passing U node wall at all. Then I tried this comp and out of 5 tries, 4 made it to Z6 (1 Taiha at sub node). U node became a joke after I used this comp.
- Make sure to use a full sparkled support shelling expedition: Sparkling really boosts its trigger rate and accuracy.
- 2CLT + Abukuma/Yura + Maya are a must: those 3 Opening torps make a huge difference at U Node, while AACI Maya is really useful to avoid getting trolled at the following enemy AA raid nodes.
- Cruising Formation at U node: This made a difference for me at U node in terms of accuracy and evasion, so I recommend using Cruising Formation (second formation) there.
- Aim for Air Superiority at U node: your BBs need Artillery spotting there.
- Praise the Spoon: Spoon Formation is a must at both Nighbattle nodes.
- Using torp CI on your DDs might be a bad idea: My Shimakaze is Luck modded, plus Torp CI wont hit Imps most of the time.
- Put AA guns on any reinforcement expansion you have: It will boost Accuracy vs Imps.
- Full Bombers at U node.
- For Z6 I used 2 Bombers 1 Figther and one Figther Bomber: I was aiming at getting some enemy planes shot down to make some of the 4 enemy CVL useless (159/187 bombers shot down with the help of Maya) but I guess full bombers might be better (they can get wiped out tho). Do not aim for Air Superiority at Z6.
THANK YOU so much for this guide! This worked for me on fifth run also (which was actually the only one which got to the Z6).
Two changes I did was:
1. Replaced Shimakaze torpedos to guns as I haven't luck modded her.
2. For LBAS I actually noticed that sending 4 bombers to U-node didn't do any damage in my two first runs so I just sent them to Z6 for the rest of the runs. This worked for me as they sank 4 ships and damaged others.