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Final Review: German Tier X Freemium Aircraft Carrier Max Immelmann

12 min read

Ladies and Gentlemen, here we are. The very first aircraft carrier available for coal, Max Immelmann, is here and waiting for you in the Armory for 264 000 Coal. All I can say is that… I coaled it. I was still kinda hoping that we would get her in the Research Bureau but with Georgia and Thunderer being removed, they definitely needed something as a replacement.

Is she worth it? Are her skip bombers any… ok actually let’s get straight to the point, for random battles, she is just stupid. It’s not Franklin D. Roosevelt’s level of stupid anymore since they nerfed her at the last moment (and thank God for that) but she is still incredibly strong. They removed Thunderer from the Armory, now we have the Max Immelmann.

Historical background

The Max Immelmann is a modified version of the Manfred von Richthofen that somehow manages to be an even more cursed design. Among a lot of other things, the AA armament of the Manfred von Richthofen didn’t make any sense for something that’s supposed to be built around the end of World War II. The issue is even worse with Max Immelmann. Wargaming simply swapped the 55 mm AA guns for 30 mm ones which means that its AA is WAY worse than on the Richthofen.

For the rest, the design is a what-if hull conversion of an H-39 battleship (Friedrich der Große) into a carrier.

Her skip bombers also have a bit of history of their own in the game. Initially, they were tested with the aircraft carrier Werner Voss which was a clone of the Manfred von Richthofen.
The carrier had been implemented to test an alternative design during the creation of the German CV line but in the end, it was never used. When Wargaming decided to implement skip bombers into the game, the ship was then repurposed to test them and had her torpedo bomber squadron replaced by a skip bomber squadron.

I will be honest, at the start (teaser video for the reference), the skip bombs were just terrible. They were slow, the dispersion was awful, you had trouble visualizing where the different drop areas were compared to the ship you were targeting, etc. I absolutely hated it. Later on, still with the Werner Voss, they were heavily buffed to their current characteristics (flatter trajectory, faster travel time, better accuracy, etc.). At this point, Wargaming also announced that they were about to nerf the dispersion of the AP bombs of the Manfred von Richthofen and I was starting to believe that Werner Voss would just end up being a better Richtofen since her AP bombs remained untouched. Boy, was I wrong.
One month later, they announced the Max Immelmann and we all understood (I guess) that Werner Voss was purely a testbed for the skip bombers, just like Brennus was a clone of the Henri IV to test the Main battery reload booster.

Now, here we are, 7 months after the first announcement for the skip bombers, the Immelmann is fully released!

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Very fast planes
  • German improved Engine cooling consumable
  • Large reserves for both types of planes
  • Short plane restoration time
  • Bombs that hit like Panzers
  • Very high fire chances
  • Skip bombing that basically allows you to ignore the mid-range AA of ships when going at full speed unless you go for a second attack run
  • Skip bombs with fast travel time
  • Torpedoes with the 2nd shortest arming time at tier X, making them very easy to land
  • Fast torpedo bombers aiming time
  • Tight torpedo spread
  • Great capacity to create crossfires with your teammates
  • Very well-armored carrier allowing her to even tank battleship shots to some extends
  • German carriers secondaries with long firing range and improved accuracy

The Bad

  • Planes with low HP pool
  • No Attack Aircrafts
  • Limited capacity to hunt destroyers
  • Very reliant on having the target’s broadside
  • Low torpedo flooding chances
  • Somewhat requires good reaction time to drop the skip bombs at the right moment in certain cases
  • Underwhelming anti-air for a carrier
  • The armored flight deck is “only” 50 mm thick
  • High detectability range by air
  • Fewer Patrol Fighter consumable charges in total since there are only 2 squadron types

The camouflage

The camouflage of Max Immelmann provides the classic bonuses for tier X Premium ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -50% to the cost of ship’s post-battle service
  • +20% credits earned in the battle.
  • +100% to experience earned in the battle

Modules

Modules
Hull
Torpedo Bombers
Skip Bombers
Propulsion
icon_module_Hull_installedMax Immelmann

Fw 190G8

Ta 152C-1/R14
icon_module_Engine_installedPropulsion: 183 600 hp

 

General Characteristics and playstyle

Tier X
Health 65 300 HP
Torpedo damage reduction 22 %
Displacement 52 720 tons
Aircraft on deck
Torpedo Bombers 24
Skip Bombers 24
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 6.850 km
105 mm/65 SK C/33 on a Dop. L. C/38 mount
12 x 2 105 mm
Anti-Air Defense
105 mm/65 SK C/33 on a Dop. L. C/38 mount 12 x 2 105 mm
30 mm/45 Flak 103/38 on a quadruple mount 11 x 4 30 mm
Maximum speed 32.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius 1 200 m
Rudder Shift Time 16.4 s
Surface Detectability 14.0 km
Air Detectability 14.23 km
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Damage Control Party
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Fighter
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 600 s
Cooldown: 40 s
Patrol Radius: 3.0 km
Planes in a squadron: 4

As Spring started (even though here, we still -5°C in the Morning…), it means that it’s the season of BBQ. The Germans are experts at it and Max Immelmann is no exception. Thanks to her blitzing fast planes and reliable skip bombs with high fire chances, she will happily grill any cruiser or battleship in the enemy team. For destroyers, it’s gonna be… a bit more difficult but it’s still workable.

With the speed of her planes and the great synergy between the skip bombers and torpedo bombers, the Max Immelmann can deal large amounts of damage may it be from the bombs and torpedoes themselves or the fires and floodings. Witherers will get farmed quite nicely with her. Generally, the main source of damage will be the bombs combined with fires but it depends on the flooding you are getting as well.

The ship is also particularly good at striking blobs of ships with her skip bombers. You can drop a ship outside of its mid-range anti-air, call back the planes instantly, rinse and repeat.

Another reason why the Max Immelmann is so good in random battles is her capacity to create crossfire with your team, giving your target the choice between getting nailed for 14k + fires, floodings and everything else or possibly getting nailed by your teammates. Somehow, in general the guy prefers the first option. This is, of course even more effective when you are in a division.

Now for Ranked battles, since sometimes, you get a matchmaking with 4 or 5 destroyers per side, at this point, you will honestly struggle to have an impact unless you are really good at dropping destroyers with torpedo bombers and the opponents are kind enough to be spotted and nicely broadside for your skip bombers.
For Clan battles… I could see myself trying her in low leagues at least but in typhoon and hurricane where it will certainly be the good old Petropavlovsk spam (until the ship gets banned), properly coordinated and with AA specced, I honestly don’t see her working well compared to the others.

If you want to see the ship in action, I recorded a game with her available here:

Small disclaimer: I can’t promise that I will add a gameplay video to all my reviews now but I will try.

Torpedo Bombers

Torpedo bomber – Fw 190G8

Tier IX
Hitpoints per plane 1 640
Cruise speed 154 knots
Maximum speed 194 knots
Engine boost time 20 s
Engine boost reload time 40 s
Size of attacking flight 4
Aircraft per squadron 12
Torpedo type LT F5b (They are named BT 1000 but they are actually the same torpedoes as those of the Graf Zeppelin)
Torpedoes per plane 1
Maximum torpedo damage 4 767
Maximum torpedo range 6.0 km
Torpedo speed 35 knots
Torpedo arming distance 470 m
Flooding chance 29%
Detectability range 10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time 68 s
Aircraft on deck 24
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Engine Cooling
consumable_PCY034_ForsageBooster
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 10 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 10 s
Aircraft per squadron: 7
Patrol radius: 3.5 km
Repair
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 180 s
Repair speed: 10% HP/s

 

Minimum spread for the torpedo bombers of Max Immelmann

The torpedo bombers of the Immelmann are basically the same as on the Graf Zeppelin. Yes, I know, on paper, it doesn’t sound good. However, while the torpedo bomber squadrons of Graf Zeppelin have a 3×3 configuration, here, it’s 3×4 which compensates for the transition to tier X when it comes to their damage output. As they are technically tier VIII torpedo bombers, their torpedoes have a tier VIII arming time and with 5 seconds, it’s the second shortest arming time of all torpedo bombers at tier X outside of the stock ones. The only upgraded torpedo bombers with a shorter arming distance are those of the Manfred von Richthofen with 4 seconds.

Another thing that they retain from Graf Zeppelin is the great spread and aiming time which further enhances the capacity of her torpedo bombers to land hits.

The aerial torpedoes, sadly, still display the German downside of having low flooding chances but with 4, easy to land, torpedoes, it’s not the end of the world and you will still be able to get plenty of flooding.

Skip Bombers

Dive Bombers
Skip bomber – ‎Ta 152C-1/R14

Tier X
Hitpoints per plane 1 710
Cruise speed 174 knots
Maximum speed 214 knots
Engine boost time 20 s
Engine boost reload time 40 s
Size of attacking flight 4
Aircraft per squadron 12
Bomb type HE SC 1000
Bomb per plane 1
Maximum bomb damage 11 000
HE penetration capacity 68 mm
Explosion size 2.79
Fire chance 69%
Number of skips 2
Detectability range 10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time 64 s
Aircraft on deck 24
Consumables
Slot 1
Slot 2
Engine Cooling
consumable_PCY034_ForsageBooster
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 10 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 10 s
Aircraft per squadron: 7
Patrol radius: 3.5 km

Now, we are on to the main dish, the gimmick of the Immelmann, the skip bombs.

Overall, these skip bombers are halfway between classic dive bombers and torpedo bombers. As you can see in the picture below, the reticule is formed of 3 lines perpendicular to your squadron. These lines indicate the average distance where the bombs will hit the water and their position is influenced by the speed of your squadron. The faster the planes go, the further away the lines will be. When going at maximum speed, the bombs can be dropped on target at a bit more than 4.0 km which means that you can… basically ignore the mid-range anti-air of ships and drastically limit your plane losses as you can go with a hit and run strategy. You go for your target, drop the bombs at full speed and instantly call back the planes. This allows you to keep good reserves for the whole game.

When it comes to the ballistic of the bombs, they actually travel pretty fast to their target and with a fairly flat trajectory between the skips. This means that the lead you need to take to hit the target at max range is only a bit more than one ship length for most battleships and cruisers and for fast destroyers, 2 ship length or more, assuming that the target is going at maximum speed.

Also, due to their ballistics, even if the target isn’t perfectly on the line of your reticule, the bombs, before or after skipping, can still hit the upper part of the ship.  When skipping, they can also go above terrain but it really has to be small islands, otherwise, they won’t pass. Another thing to note is that the dispersion of the bombs decreases between each skip which gives even more reason to hit your target on the last area of drop.

Fully aimed reticule for the skip bombers going at maximum speed

Of course, the bombs don’t necessarily need to skip to hit the target. When you drop a ship on the first area, the bombs will pretty much work like classic dive bombers. However, they will directly dive and come at a slopier angle.

Finally, there is a third way to use the bombs and it’s to hit targets behind islands.

In this situation, the first line of the reticule doesn’t get catapulted 20 km away but instead, remains close to your planes. This allows you to hit a target that would be sitting close to the island. One thing to know is that if you decide to go for such a drop, the bombs will not skip because of it, indicated by the 2 other lines of the reticule being orange instead of green. If you want them to skip, you will have to wait for your planes to go down to the normal altitude. The skips will be possible once the lines are green again.

Overall, the skip bombs mostly excel at smashing the broadside of cruisers and most battleships. For German and Soviet battleships, you have to aim in a way that your bombs will hit the superstructure or the deck of your target since their sides are too heavily armored for the bombs to penetrate. Basically, that means that you want the green line slightly behind the target.

Thanks to the high speed of the planes and very high fire chance, the bombs are perfect to burn to crisps your target and, combined with the torpedo bombers, are the banes of any large ship. For destroyers, it’s not a complete struggle but you have to anticipate their movements properly. I personally advise saving the fighters of your skip bombers to keep them spotted so that you have a better time seeing where to aim. Now, if the enemy destroyer happily keeps its AA turned on and sails broadside to you… the guy is gonna have a REALLY bad surprise. Not only will the bombs slap him really hard, but they will also break multiple modules because of the size of the explosion.

Secondary Armament

Secondaries
12 x 2 105 mm/65 SK C/33 on a Dop. L. C/38 mount
Maximum Firing Range 6.850 km
Reloading Time 3.35 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 105 mm Spr.Gr. Kz.
Alpha Damage 1 200 HP
Damage 330 HP
HE penetration 26 mm
Explosion Size 0.31
Chance to Cause Fire 5 %
Projectile Speed 900 m/s
Air Drag 0.33
Projectile Mass 15.1 kg

The Immelmann has the same secondaries as the Richthofen which means that for self-defense, they are doing a fine job.

If you want, you can use the Secondary Battery Modification 1 to make them more reliable and extend their range to 8.6 km which, honestly, can always be useful if you are dealing with a destroyer going after you. It’s not like the 2 extra knots of speed on the torpedoes will do too much difference and the extra torpedo bombers attack time is pretty much useless.

Anti-Air Armament

Air Defense
12 x 2 105 mm/65 SK C/33 on a Dop. L. C/38 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.2 km
Hit chance 100 %
Sector’s damage 67
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 235
Flak clouds number 9
Flak cloud damage 1 540
11 x 4 30 mm/45 Flak 103/38 on a quadruple mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance 95 %
Sector’s damage 91
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 319

The anti-air on the Max Immelmann is almost the worst at tier X. The Audacious is still below because of her absolutely terrible long-range anti-air with low DPS and only 4 flak bursts per salvo.

The big problem with the anti-air of the Immelmann is that all the 55 mm were swapped for 30 mm AA mounts and as such, the ship has no mid-range anti-air. At least, the long-range AA has high DPS and also 9 flak bursts per salvo which somewhat compensates.

The Armor

The Max Immelmann presents the same armor scheme as the Manfred von Richthofen. This means that she can handle some serious battering before going down.

General External Armor Protection:

Turtleback protection:

Internal citadel protection:

Additional (partially hidden) internal armor platings:

Final Opinion

I think that, by now, you understood that I heavily recommend the Max Immelmann. The planes are fast, I’m honestly enjoying the playstyle of the skip bombs and the cheesing in randoms is real. Of course, as I said, she isn’t as strong as the Franklin D. Roosevelt since they nerfed her but if you know how to play carriers, the ship is just a no-brainer and offers some really unique gameplay compared to the others.

Recommended build

During the testing of the Max Immelmann, I was using the following upgrades and skills:

  • Air supremacy
  • Improved engines
  • Aircraft armor
  • Survivability expert
  • Bomber flight control
  • Proximity fuse
  • Torpedo bomber
  • Improved engine boost
  • Last gasp

I also heavily recommend using Günther Lütjens as commander because his Air Equipment Expert is such a busted talent. Resilient can also be nice in case your CV takes some damage.

This concludes my review on the Max Immelmann, the first (and most likely not last) CV carrying skip bombers.
I hope that this article was useful, thank you very much for reading it. Don’t forget to activate the notifications to not miss any upcoming articles and see you soon!

4 thoughts on “Final Review: German Tier X Freemium Aircraft Carrier Max Immelmann

  1. Just another reason to play no higher than Tier 7. The sky cancer is becoming terminal.

  2. Hi Yuzorah

    Is this ship recommended for clan battles over other CVs?

    1. Well these days for Clan battles, I recommend 2 carriers and it’s Roosevelt and Hakuryu. The Immelmann… hard to tell… Would really need to try it myself extensively to see how she works in a properly coordinated environment.

  3. Just what was needed, more CVs. Also silly that a German CV gets skip bombing, instead of American, British or Italian. You know, the nations that ACTUALLY USED skip bombing during WW2.

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