Operation Cherry Blossom
Operation Cherry Blossom is a PVE Scenario which has the friendly task force tasked with reaching and defending a marine regiment that is embarking on a shore assault. The friendly force will then need to find and destroy enemy aerodromes. The allied force consists of 7 player ships.
The battle will unfold near the shores of Bougainville Island in Oceania. If you want to see the first rays of the rising sun again, you'll have to give it everything you've got in this encounter. Square off against Japanese forces, fighting under the cloak of night to repel their attack and provide cover for allied landings. At night, the detectability of your and enemy ships is significantly reduced, while dispersion is slightly increased. The Japanese forces rely on illumination shells and bombs that increase the detectability of a ship. Be careful and avoid the bombs’ areas of effect, otherwise, the enemy forces will easily detect your ship and open fire on you.
Your mission in the nighttime battle is to repel the Japanese attack, cover the departure of the allied ships from the shore, and defend the landings against seaborne strikes. Morning will arrive soon, and allied aircraft carriers will join your squadron at dawn. Get ready to repel enemy airstrikes, progress with your offensive against the Japanese forces, and destroy enemy aerodromes.
|“Destroy enemies and defend at least a single Marine Corps position.”
|Enemy units destroyed with one USMC position defended.
|“Destroy enemy aerodromes.”
|Enemy aerodromes destroyed.
|“Defend both military transports.”
|Both transport ships survive the engagement.
|“Ensure that at least 4 allied ships survive.”
|4 allied ships survive the operation.
|"Defend both allied regiment positions.”
|Both allied positions are successfully defended.
|“Destroy 50 aircraft”
|50 aircraft destroyed.
|“Destroy flagship Atago.”
|Players find and destroy Atago.
At nighttime, the view range and detectability of ships change:
- The maximum visability range of ships is limited to 17.5 km
- Ship detectability is reduced by 40%
- The dispersion of primary and secondary armament fire is increased by 20%
- The time of a ship's increased detectability after firing primary armament at nighttime is reduced from 20 to 7 seconds.
- Ships within an "illumination bomb" flare's circle of illumination have their detection range increased to 17.5km
When players spawn in, there will be 2 x transports several kilometers ahead of them the players' first task is to defend these ships from the incoming destroyers. There will be 2 x Hatsuharu and 2 x Shiratsuyu approaching from the north. Due to the night mechanics, the concealment range for the destroyers is about 3km meaning players either need to be very close to spot the destroyers. Players should preferably use Surveillance Radar or Hydroacoustic Search to spot the destroyers from further away. A ship with radar can usually use it to spot the 4 destroyers starting from 5-20 seconds into the game depending on the range of the radar, so the ship with the longest range radar or Hydroacoustic Search should use their consumable first if available.
Once these 4 destroyers are sunk, the next wave spawns in about 5-10 seconds later. The first ships you will see are 2 x Myōkōs that focus on shelling the allied shore positions. They do not move, use consumables or activate AA until they take damage. Using this, it is best to allow the ships with bigger guns to fire first and possibly delete the first Myōkō while it is sitting still and easier to hit. The second Myōkō will be sitting with its stern to the players and all 10 guns facing the allied shore position. Once hit, it will make a 180°left turn towards the players so it is best to shoot at this ship as early as possible to get it to turn around so that the slow turret traverse will keep it from shelling the shore position for a while. In addition 1 x Hatsuharu 1 x Fubuki 2 x Shiratsuyus 1 x Yahagi and 1 x Aoba will spawn in the north and travel south towards the allied shore position to assist the 2 x Myōkō with shore bombardment. To successfully defend the shore positions, at least 5 of these 8 ships need to be sunk before the HP of both shore positions reach 0. In order to save both regiments, 1-2 players, preferably with Hydroacoustic Search to spot torpedoes, should aggressively dive into the bay to get the attention of and sink the enemy destroyers.
Once successfully defended, the remaining enemy ships will try to return to the harbor in the north while attacking the players. In addition 2 x Fletcher-class destroyers, and 1 x Lexington-class aircraft carrier Saratoga and 1 x Midway-class aircraft carrier Bunker Hill spawn where the players first spawned, and head towards the center. To the right of the island at B6, 1 x Hatsuharu and 1 x Shiratsuyu spawn in and head to attack the 2 aircraft carriers or any player between them and the aircraft carriers.
In the Bay, there will be 1 x Atago that tries to leave the bay and flee south, but it will turn around near the edge of the map to attack the rear flank of the allies. Sinking this ship is a secondary objective so it should be the first ship focused when attacking the ships in the harbor. In addition, 1 x Akizuki 1 x Shiratsuyu 2 x Myōkōs and 1 x Mogami will be in the bay to defend the aerodromes. During the assault on the base at irregular intervals, starting from when the Atago first starts to leave, one of the following ships will spawn at random at A3 with 8 ships total available to spawn: Yahagi, Furutaka, Aoba, Shiratsuyu, Kagerō. Some of these ships can spawn multiple times. The main objective here is to destroy the aerodromes, so destroying enemy ships should only be done to make it easier to destroy the aerodromes, and not at the cost of the battle.
- Avoid flares and illumination shells to remain undetected as much as possible.
- Ships with decent AA capabilities will prove useful in accomplishing the secondary task of shooting down 50 planes.
- A ship with poor AA can block one of the Fletchers to borrow its AA bubble until the second wave of planes are shot down if they are in the center before the Fletchers break off to charge the bay.
- When shelling aerodromes, SAP and HE are recommended as they do not have much "armor" so most AP shells will only do over penetration damage.
- The Midway provides a repair zone until 5 minutes remain in the battle. Use it if your ship gets badly damaged, but do not stay in it with full HP as it is a bit far from the enemy ships.
- The Aerodromes are invulnerable until the regiment positions are successfully defended, and take reduced damage until the Atago spawns in, so there is no point in going to the harbor until the first primary objective has been completed.
The operation is based on the real battle at Empress Augusta Bay on November 2, 1943, where the Japanese squadron of Admiral Ōmori and the American task force of Rear Admiral Merrill clashed with each other. No enemy battleships or aircraft carriers spawn on the map so the torpedoes on Asashio, Ship Smasha and Fenyang are useless on this map.
- The two allied bot destroyers have active AA, but do not use any primary armaments.
- The in game model used for the Lexington is actually the Saratoga making this name very fitting.
- This ship is named Bunker Hill which is actually an Essex-class aircraft carrier. When this operation was first implemented, and Essex-class was used, but with the Update 0.8.0 carrier rework, the Essex was removed from the game, hence it was replaced with a Midway when the operation was returned in Update 0.11.8