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This article will serve as a primer to help you decide the order of your girls in the fleet. Fleet formation plays an important part in how well your fleets will perform in more difficult maps.
The primary factor that determines your fleet organisation is the shelling order. This only matters for the 2nd shelling phase and night battles where your girls attack in position order. You'll generally want your more powerful girls at the top of the order.
The typical priority for a single fleet and the main fleet of a combined fleet is:
- Carriers/Light Carriers
- Heavy Cruisers
- Light Cruisers
There are some exceptions where auxiliaries or destroyers have more attack power than light cruisers or even heavy cruisers. The reason why battleships are above carriers is because of night battle capability.
The escort fleet of a combined fleet is slightly different because it does all it's heavy lifting in night battles and it will be facing much tougher enemy fleets. Therefore, it is generally advised to arrange your girls in ascending attack power order as opposed to the usual descending order.
A typical setup would have one high attack power girl in the top slot and arrange the rest in ascending order. The reason for this is to help pick off the boss' escorts and allow your heavy hitters a better chance of targeting the boss.
Formation only comes into play when using Vanguard because the bonuses are dependent on position in the fleet. Where you expect to use Vanguard often, you'll want your powerful girls in the bottom 3 slots. An alternative setup would have a destroyer in the 4th slot to aid with evasion tanking.
Do keep in mind that this means your shelling order will be less than ideal for line ahead at the boss node.