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That One Level / Kantai Collection

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Over the long and arduous war that is waged between the fleet of shipgirls led by Admirals and the Abyssal Fleet, the memories of several of the most difficult maps is etched into Admiral's log so deeply that they could generate a mountain of salt simply from reminiscence alone.

Regular World Maps

  • Okino Island Waters, better known as 2-4. It is notoriously hard, with as much as five battles in a row (which means, if you had triggered night warfare even once, you'd run out of fuel and ammo.) as well as Battleships and Air Carriers plaguing almost every node. So much that the recommended fleet composition for this stage is 4 Battleships and 2 Aircraft Carriers. note 
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  • Kiss Island Shores, also known as 3-2, is only clearable with a fleet consisting of only Destroyers (anything else will redirect you north immediately, where reaching the boss is literally impossible), and you will encounter at least one enemy Elite Battleship along the way, which may or may not instantly send one of your ships into heavy damage, usually forcing Admirals to retreat to avoid their ships being sunk for good. To add insult to injury, it isn't even guaranteed to reach the boss node, so you can squeak past the pre-boss only for troll compass to send you to a dead end. The July 17th, 2015 update makes it slightly easier by allowing the use of a light cruiser flagship.
  • The Northern Sea Decisive Battle, otherwise known as 3-4, is by far the most luck dependent map in the game. While it has no fleet requirements, so you're free to bring whatever ships you want, there are a minimum of three battles before the boss node and two of which are guaranteed to have Elite or Flagship Ru-class battleships, and possibly elite Wo-class carriers. The last node before the boss itself commonly has two Flagship Ru-class and two Elite Ru-class, all of which are capable of inflicting critical damage to any of your ships in a single shot. Additionally, the branching is completely randomized and two routes go through fuel/ammo maelstroms, either of which can make victory at the boss nearly impossible, assuming you were lucky enough to get there in the first place.
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  • Sav Island, aka 5-3, has very strict fleet composition rules if you want to reach the boss, with any more than 2 battleships or even a single carrier or light carrier sending you to incredibly dangerous dead ends. In addition, it forces your fleet to go through at least two night battle only nodes filled with Flagship-grade heavy cruisers, battleships and submarines. And the boss itself has the Southern War Princess as back up.
  • ...and if you somehow managed to clear all of those maps, you'll definitely be in for a shock at Level 6-4, as said map pits you against an installation boss, the only non-Extra operation or time limited map to feature one as a boss thus far. Between the somewhat restrictive composition and very powerful enemies in its path, the easier path from the west keeps you from bring much of any air power at all due to the restrictive branching route mandating a light-sized fleet, making it rather difficult to secure the air superiority for artillery shelling, while the eastern path pits the heavier fleet against So-class submarines and Aircraft Carrier Princess. To top it all off, said boss was escorted by coastal defense mooks, and unlike the Fortress mooks, they have the armor and firepower that is comparable to battleships. Without WG42 or Daihatsu Landing Craft, both of which are very rare equipments pre-stocked from some of the rarest shipgirls in the game, your destroyers and light cruisers wouldn't stood much of a chance against them. The implementation of land-based airfields for both Map 6-4 and 6-5 makes this slightly easier... but constructing said air bases requires the building the construction crews from either the That One Sidequest ...or Bribing Your Way to Victory.

Seasonal Event Maps

  • The original That One Level in events, and perhaps the most prominent by far: Ironbottom Sound, Autumn 2013, E4. Three night battle nodes, a 50% chance to get offrouted at the preboss node, and when you did get to the boss node, which was a night-to day battle, if you sank too many enemies, the Airfield Princess would escape after the night battle, preventing the day battle from taking place. She also required sanshiki to sink, leaving players without sanshiki to scramble to craft them. And sinking mechanics weren't as certain at the time, so players kept retreating when a ship got to orange HP, instead of red. Finally, gauge regeneration meant that your hard work could be undone if you took a break at all. This resulted in many, many players resorting to sacrificing their ships just to attempt to clear the map. It was so difficult that E5, Ironbottom Sound Final Stage, which required passage through at least two night battle nodes, was considered a Breather Level when in any other event it would have been That One Level. At 5%, the event had the lowest clear rate in the history of the game (the next lowest, AL/MI, had 15%). This map is the reason why subsequent events did away with gauge regen (and night-to-day battles did not make an appearance again until Autumn 2017, four years later), and to this day it's still considered the hardest non-final event map in the history of the game, due to its immense real and fake difficulty; even now comparisons are still made between it and subsequent event maps thought to be difficult.
  • For the Summer 2014 event, before E6 shown below, there were E1 and E2, the two Northern AL Maps of the AL/MI event. E1 was a nightmare for players with HQ level 60+, due to an elite submarine in the first node, in either line ahead or double line, that had a high chance of severely damaging your fleet and forcing you back (keep in mind that this was before a time with opening anti-submarine attacks). After the first node, you had 3 paths: the shortest route contained a night battle node, and was thought to be the easiest; the bottom route contained a night battle node and one node with 2-3 flagship CVLs and a chance of a flagship Ru; the top route contained three Wo-class CVs (branching rules did not permit 2 CV(L)s for this map, using a CV risked sending the fleet south, and AACIs and aircraft proficiency didn't exist yet) as well as a node that always had a Ru. At least the boss node was easy enough; in fact it was probably the easiest node in the map. Still, this made for the hardest starting event map in the game's history. E2 was even worse, where you always got either a night battle node or a node that switched between an all submarine fleet and a normal fleet with a flagship CVL and an elite Ru, making you have to guess which formation to use, and the only fleet that guaranteed such a choice was 2 CA(V)s 2 DDs 2 CVLs; bringing a CV or DD made you go through both. And that was just for getting to the boss node, which contained an installation. In those pre-WG42 days, DDs couldn't sink such an enemy, which meant that two CA(V)s each with a sanshiki was the only feasible choice for the map.
  • Counter Attack to AL/MI Operation, the final stage of Summer 2014, became this for players who dared to challenge it due to its ridiculous combination of game mechanics (the map requires absurd amount of line-of-sight, with high air power requirement) and difficult enemies (with even destroyers that are capable of heavily damaging Yamato-class with night-battle cut-ins) made it a battle of sheer attrition to even get to the boss. The boss itself was the Battleship Princess again, and you have to defeat her ten times on top of the difficult enemies in her path. And to add insult to injury if the player's HQ level is Level 100 or higher, the final battle pits the player against two copies of her. And that was before taking into account the fact that ships used in any of the first 5 maps could not be used for the last one. If you used your strongest ships before E6, tough luck.
  • Summer 2015 is in the running for one of the most difficult events in the game's history, but Operation FS, also known as Summer 2015 E-7, deserves special mention as it has several factors that makes it extremely difficult. Firstly, it has random branching routes which can lead you off course on top of very powerful enemies scattered throughout the map, which includes Seaport Princess and Isolated Island Demon along the path, and the pre-boss node is guarded by either Flagship-tier carriers or battleships and Battleship Princess, even on "Easy" mode. Additionally, you have to stage several assaults against the installations through the map to reduce her armour. To top this all off, the armor reduction effect that comes from defeating the sub-bosses resets at midnight JST, meaning that you'll have to repeat the lengthy and costly process of weakening Air Defense Princess if you fail to defeat her in a single day. Oh, and you weren't allowed to bring torpedo cruisers to the boss node at all. Good thing for Abukuma.
  • To a lesser extent, Summer 2015 E-4 is also quite difficult due to a Morton's Fork at the boss final form. You can choose the north route, where the enemies have Took a Level in Badass over the initial compositions, or the south route, which makes you go through two compulsory night battle nodes (though, unlike the north route, they have been weakened). The boss herself is a rematch with Airfield Princess (see That One Boss, above), this time, escorted by two Ru-class battleships.
  • The entirety of Spring 2016 Event may count as this, as each map has their own share of nightmares. Combined with the fact that it is a large-scale event (a total of seven maps, though one of them is optional, it basically is the in-game equivalent to Welcome to Hell. When the devs said that the event will be an "all-out war", they were not kidding.
    • E1 has a Ta-class battleship as the boss. Seasoned admirals might think it easy compared to previous event maps which had an Abyssal Princess as an escort, if not a boss... except that this time around there are two nodes right after the seaplane scouting node, with a tough pre-boss battle beforehand especially in Hard Mode, since the flagship can be either the Battleship Princess or Aircraft Carrier Princess. Have fun wading through them throughout the clearing runs.
    • E2 is similar to Winter 2015 E2, if much shorter map... but that's the least of your worries, because now you have the same Artillery Imp as the one in Map 6-4 as the boss escort to deal with. And they still needs the same rare equipment to be taken down. Chances are high that you might lock out most of the Daihatsu-carrying destroyers here. All of this is before the fact that the final boss can show up before you even get to the final kill (although in a weaker form) and ruin your chances at random.
    • E3 is easier compared to the most other maps in this event, much to the relief of many Admirals, being significantly toned down from the one back in Fall 2015. The catch: there are Chi-class torpedo cruisers blocking the path to the resource landing node, which could seriously damage your fleet if they are left unscathed into torpedo phase.
    • E4 sees the return of Heavy Cruiser Princess, and is once again heavily guarded by either Battleship Princess or Aircraft Carrier Princess at pre-boss node depending on fleet type, with no way to Take a Third Option. This creates a case of Morton's Fork between sailing through hails of shells from the former or having many of your planes shot down before the latter bombs one of your shipgirls. And although the boss has much weaker flunkies this time around, she still has very high armor. If you haven't considered locking some of your more powerful destroyers, you certainly would now. Getting through all that isn't too hard for an experienced Admiral, but that's because they haven't seen what lies beyond yet...
    • E5 is basically E2 on steroids. Good news: there's no hardened installation. Bad news: while on E2 it's possible to send CVL with you on safe route to get air superiority, and not having air superiority only means no double attack for you (since none of the enemy at boss node can double attack you in daytime), you can't on E5 if you want to take the safer south route. To get at least air parity, you have to use a loadout with Akitsumaru or 2BBV and some CAV with multiple Seaplane Fighters. And said loadout means that you'll be at boss node with very little fuel and ammo, and you might really want to save Akitsumaru and BBVs for E-6. And if you don't get AP at boss node? 2 Ru-class Battleships will be there to pummel you with their double attacks! Oh, and also good luck getting through the air raid node safely! Finally, while this map is optional to reach further maps, you have to beat it if you want a third air base for easier time at E7 or more interceptors. Or Pola.
    • E6 is absolutely the worst offender of the bunch, as it combines the absurdity of both the final maps of the previous two Summer Events and takes it to even greater heights. The final boss of KanColle Kai is buffed even further-she actually has 900 HP as opposed to 800 in 'KanColle Kai''-and is guarded by even more powerful escorts, this time by three Princess-tier Abyssals and two Artillery Imps. Furthermore, you cannot bring any of the ships from previous maps or send any land-based air support here. To make things worse, the boss debuff mechanism is a serious case of Guide Dang It! that was not deciphered until a week after the beginning of the event. Even with it, the Central Princess is quite powerful, and that's before mentioning the amount of enemies that could easily survive into night battle. The only reliable way to defeat the Central Princess is by scoring a critical hit to kill the boss the boss during initial airstrike... which itself is a Luck-Based Mission; it's nearly impossible to do it by any other means. The only saving grace is that her debuff mechanics doesn't get reset everyday or on changing difficulty, so it's possible to debuff Central Princess by debuffing her on E-5 and here on easy first before tackling her on a harder difficulty.
    • At least prior to the bug fixes (especially for Land Based Aerial Support, which needed two rounds of bug fixing), E7 was almost agreed universally to be the hardest map to clear throughout any of the events released so far, and easily topped any previous ones. You have 2 paths to take, but either one of the paths taken has nodes that can easily beat you back to square one and try again. This is because, similar to Spring 2015, you can encounter previous bosses in the normal nodes. When you finally reach the last phrase of gauge chipping and ready yourself for the final battle, the map nodes change drastically, with a severe Difficulty Spike, such that if luck isn't on your side, you may be stuck for days or weeks, or begrudgingly lower the difficulty in order to get a better chance at clearing the map. Furthermore, at the hardest difficulty, the boss composition is composed entirely of boss characters. 6 of them, led by Central Princess, who despite having slightly lower max HP - 850 as opposed to 900 for E6 - makes up for it by being buffed in all other stats. Then come the bug fixes, and suddenly E7 becomes much easier due to Land Based Aerial Support getting a massive damage boost against the entire boss fleet. Even then, the highly RNG-dependent nature of the game means you need to go through a lot of trial and error in order to take her down.
  • Fall 2016 Event: Between trolling mook nodes aplenty, Abyssal Combined Fleet and Guide Dang It! requirements to debuff the powerful bosses, there was a lot of rage to go around.
    • The cake is taken by the HP Bar part of E-4 in the event. This map is basically Map 6-5 on steroids, with the same single fleet against the Abyssal Combined Fleet led by Aircraft Carrier Princess at the boss node.
    • Second, to go through the shortest route, you must sortie a light, fast fleet (FBBs are allowed).
    • Third, even with the shortest routing, EVERY NODE along the way has a chance to critically damage your ships, sending you packing. Let's elaborate, the first and the last node before the boss are aerial strike nodes. The second node is fully filled with Submarines, led by a So-Class Flagship. Not only it is notoriously hard to take down without ASW gears, it is likely to be the culprit for any critical damage in this node (Even heavily armored ships like Yamato). Thought you survived the submarine node, the next node pits you against 4 RU CLASS FLAGSHIP BATTLESHIPS! And they can possibly be in Line Ahead formation which greatly increases their daytime firepower. Thankfully it is only the case for those who attempt it at Hard.
    • And finally, if you managed to went through all those and arrived at Last Dance of E-4H, you might be shocked to know that the enemy fleet have switched both the Light Aircraft Carriers into Wo-class Kai Flagship! And the air power to achieve Air Superiority is doubled! This means to reach that level of air power, you have to stuff your Light Aircraft Carriers with Fighter planes only, rendering them useless in combat. Or you could opt to sortie with a Heavier fleet, which pits you against another node with Wo-Class flagships! You might've hoped that you had enough Seaplane Fighters in stock.
    • With all the above factors, combined with the fact that there are a lot of debuffs available on E-5, many veteran players has called this map the true Final Boss of the event. This map has discouraged a lot of players to abandon the reward of Prototype Flight Catapult in E-4H and clear it at lower difficulties.
  • Summer 2017 Event is on its way to recreate the awesomeness and saltiness from two years ago, with the operation itself being a daring rescue of Europe from the Abyssal's naval blockade (and the continuation of Spring 2015 Event), and all map except the first one features an Abyssal Combined Fleet. But of course, the grandness of the operation comes with their share of saltiness all on its own...
    • The operation itself, like the previous two large-scale operations before this, only has 7 maps. However, two of the maps have TP phase, and one of them have two bosses, thereby making this event taking much longer to clear than previous events. To top it off, this event ups the ante with one extra map lock for a total of five locks. Given that at least two of the maps requires quite a varied number of shipgirls, admirals with 100 slots are likely to see half of their fleet locked into event maps. Thankfully, the Easy difficulty ignores all locks while E7 is not locked at all, and the 2 TP maps doesn't actually force you to use Transport Combined Fleet, so you can plan to minimize ship lock by using Surface or Carrier fleet and reuse them for 2nd phase. Still, this is hardly reassuring for players who wanted to clear them at higher difficulties. And that's before disclosing the hardships to be encountered in these maps...
    • The PT Imps also got their incredible evasions that were last seen on Fall 2015 back, with destroyer's guns now working half of the time. They can be taken care of with the proper equipment (which includes dive bombers), but they certainly can tank hits from heavier ships and are likely to harass your fleet throughout this event.
    • The first map has a submarine boss while the second has a large HP gauge were relatively doable for most Admirals, but E-3 is filled with enemy planes at every node. You'll be hard-pressed for seaplane fighters (or Taiyou) to break even. It's even worse at Hard Difficulty, as the required air power is so high that you could barely reach Air Parity in a Transport escort fleet during the TP Phase, unless you decide to use Surface or Carrier task force, which will result in you taking a roundabout way into submarine nodes (that might be preferable for increased firepower and saving ship locks, however).
      • Also, since you're most likely trying to save better ships for later maps, there's a very real possibility that the boss of this map would stonewall your progress, especially on hard mode. The worse thing is that the heavier the fleet you make in order to beat the boss, the more likely you're not going to beat it, since if you got directed to node M, the chance between going to boss node and node N (aka extra battle) depends on how heavy your fleet is. The heavier ((F)BB(V) + CV(L/B) ≧ 4), and you'll most likely have to take that extra battle, so you'll have lower fuel and ammo for the boss.
    • The enemies at E4 poses a serious challenge for the player to reach the Suez Canal, since you'll have to defeat two bosses in its path: you need to intercept the Aircraft Carrier Summer Demon, escorted by two carriers for before you can cross the Red Sea. You'll need a lot of fighters to counter it, and that's before mentioning that one of the pre-boss node have four Ru-class battleships. The second boss node at the fourth map is guarded by extremely evasive PT Imps which can easily dodge and tank most of your entire Combined Fleet's shelling. And the French Battleship Princess at the boss node redefines the definition of Mighty Glacier and Stone Wall to a whole new height, as the boss has absurdly high 730 HP on top of an extremely high armor. And this is just a welcoming breakfast before marching to the Abyssal-infested Mediterrian Sea. Have fun while it lasts.
      • To further complicate matters, there is no debuff mechanism whatsoever to speak of. Instead, the firepower bonus hinges solely on two foreign shipgirls, Warspite and Prinz Eugen. The former is only available from clearing Summer 2016 Event, while the latter is a Fall 2014 reward and made available as Rare Random Drop in event maps a year later. Warspite gives party-wide buff but only lasts until nightfall, while Prinz Eugen has post-cap firepower bonus applicable only to her. For most of the Admirals aiming to clear it at Hard (and sometimes even Normal), the clearing of the event map depends almost entirely upon Prinz Eugen's torpedo cut-ins.
    • E5's boss node isn't difficult, especially if you debuff her...the problem is getting there. First, the path is long enough that you'll end up at boss node with 5% fuel, then the submarine node at A, the PT Imps at D, and the airstrike node F has very likely chance to take your ships out. And if you somehow decide to take heavy fleet without historical routing (1/2/3 non-Russian European ships per difficulty level), then you get to say hi to Harbor Summer Princess at node J, which is the same fleet that's bombing you at node F!
    • As if three-digit transport point requirement weren't long enough for an already lengthy event, the first phase at E6 requires you to score four-digit number of TP points to clear the first phase. From as little as 1050 to 2000 depending on your difficulty and your HQ Level, even the best TP team could score around 200 at S-rank. The only solace for this phase is that there are only two preboss nodes... two fairly difficult nodes guarding a tough boss node. Scoring S-rank weren't too hard at Easy difficulty, but at Hard difficulty you'll have to take compromises to reliably reach the boss node and score S-rank. The boss node second phase of the map is once again harder to reach than to neutralize if you were able to debuff her, to the point that you could get away with crippling your escort fleet with ASW equipment... if you still have some OASW-capable shipgirls to spare. But this is just a warmup for the final map...
    • And then we have the seventh and final map. The good news is, there is no shiplock restrictions, and the map is somewhat fairer compared to previous large-scale events. However, the 16-star rating is hardly for show either, for the following reasons:
      • Before you could even get to the boss, you'll need to attack two strategic points: the Harbour Summer Princess at Brest and the transport convoy fleet at southern Ireland coast. And you need to do this twice to unlock two different bonusesnote .
      • As if this was not enough, on Normal and Hard, you'll need to intercept the New Submarine Princess at three different routes as well. The northern route is especially bad offender due to the random branching.
      • Your LBAS is located at Spain near the Strait of Gibraltar while the boss is located at Strait of Dover. While the in-game LBAS range are quite arbitrary compared to the real-life distances, the Strait of Dover was unquestionably very far away from the airport at Gibraltar, and this is reflected by the enemy fleet located at absolute edge of LBAS combat range, necessitating flying boats to extend the range if the player doesn't have enough planes with the range of 9 or higher.
      • The shortest route to the boss node unlocked from earlier sorties (which is really the only recommended route to reach boss) has a Princess-tier flagship at every node, regardless of difficulty, with either New Submarine Princess or the unholy combination of Battleship Princesses and PT Imps at the pre-boss as the biggest threat to the shipgirls.
      • And finally, the final boss: aptly called the European Princess has 880 HP, second only to undamaged Central Princess, and unparalleled 300 firepower, and like nearly every map before her, she is the main fleet flagship in her own Combined Fleet. Her defense is no slouch either as it reached two-thirds of the night battle damage cap event at the easiest difficulty. Fortunately, your entire fleet gets a post-cap damage bonus if you scored air superiority at the boss node, but even that wasn't enough at Hard Mode, since she is guarded by two Battleship Summer Princesses, and during the last dance, the Nu-kai Flagship is replaced by Aircraft Carrier Summer Princess for a total of three meat shields escorting the European Princess. She also gets a midget submarine in her last dance configuration, though thankfully she didn't get to use it. That being said, if you've gone so far, you'd better have good luck and have fun clearing this map!
  • Fall 2017 is generally a bit less difficult, but there are some rough spots:
    • The main operation during Fall 2017 Event is not that particularly difficult, with even the Air Defense Princess herself being significantly degraded to the relatively doable first-phase boss at E-3. The second phase at E-3 was somewhat harder as it is a transport mission. It is nowhere as long as as the one in E-6 from previous Summer Event, and the enemies are much easier as well. That said, you'll need a Transport Escort Fleet with fairly high LoS to even reach the boss node, and the pre-boss nodes are quite dangerous for Transport Escort Fleet, especially since one of the nodes is a dangerous So-class submarine node.
    • However, the Extra Operation E-4 turns this all the way to 180 degrees, as the map itself has more nodes than the number of letters in the alphabet. And since the E-4 is based from Battle of Surigao Straits which was fought at night, the map is essentially the final map of Fall 2015 taken Up to Eleven. Now the Admirals can begin to finally took a glimpse to Shigure's trauma.
      • The route to the boss nodes are locked by two levels of unlocking requirements, putting even the Summer E-7 to shame. While there is no random branching routes in this map, the steps required to unlock the map is much longer.
      • The route to Z6 really takes the cake, due to long and difficult path to that route, with one submarine So-class node, one preboss combined fleet node, two air raid nodes, and two night battle nodes, all in this order. Thankfully the support expeditions now works in night battle nodes... but good luck even getting there. And the boss node is no slouch either since you will fight against several Nu-class Kais... with higher air power than you can bring in Surface Task Force. And you're very likely to encounter the Battleship Princess as well. Hopefully your LBAS were able to score critical hits on the Battleship Princess.
      • And if you managed to reach the boss node, the boss node itself has a Night Combined Fleet at the enemy's side. You get two rounds of shelling for a total of 14 attacks in total, and two round of daytime shelling. Except that you almost never get that many since some of your shipgirls are likely to get heavily damaged and unable to attack. It's even worse during the last dance for Night Straits Princess, as you have the next final boss tanking hits for her. And god forbid if Fusou and/or Yamashiro was heavily damaged in combat, because you are reliant on their artillery shelling to defeat the boss due to their absurdly high armor.
      • The worst thing about this map is that to unlock the boss route, you have to get to node Z9...and if you're playing medium or hard, you are required to bring minimum number of Nishimura girls (3 on medium/6 on hard). The problem is that 2 of the 7 Nishimura girls, Asagumo and Yamagumo, aren't exactly common drops like others, and generally are considered to be trophy DD and not commonly seen for admirals who are F2P players. So if you're 100 slot player who plays on hard but doesn't have Asagumo or Yamagumo, you literally cannot finish the map note  unless you either try to find them in drop, find a way to squeeze them into your limited slot, and train them up, or you drop difficulty level. Thankfully this requirement is not enforced on Easy, and the final boss wasn't in the escort fleet to defend the Night Straits Princess, significantly improving the chance of clearing the map. You still have to get to Z6 and the numerous night nodes to the boss node, though.
  • Winter 2018 has several hellish maps in one large event, making it suitable as the final event for the game's Flash Player configuration before the migration to HTML5. And since the event is largely based on the Battle of Leyte Gulf, many of the maps have very high enemy air power, with the branching rules and historical fleet requirements limiting the amount of carriers you could have in your fleet at higher difficulties. This also meant air defense ships and light aircraft carriers within the historical fleet (including Suzuya and Kumano, both of which can be converted into light aircraft carriers) are of critical importance. As recompense to the Difficulty Spike of the event as a whole, the developers introduced two new features: the Casual difficulty, allowing newer and more laid-back Admirals to speed-run through the event (or farm the event maps) more easily at the expense of missing out on certain event-only equipment and material rewards; and the NPC-controlled Friend Fleet, available during night battles on Boss Nodes right before your fleet engage them.
    • E-2 has a fairly easy boss, but getting there could be tricky. To unlock the shortcut at the northern part of the map, you'll need to sortie the Striking Force (preferably with Nishimura Fleet) with all of its members untagged, that is to say: a full fleet of untagged ships at Fleet 3. If you neglected to sortie them from Fleet 3 or ensure they're untagged, the fleet will be tagged as part of the Kurita Fleet and will be locked out of their proper routes. Thankfully it is possible to sortie another fleet in its place, though without the Nishimura Fleet members they'll have to go through extra 2 nodes.
    • E-3 has you using the Ozawa Carrier Task Force... then proceed to pepper the enemy fleet with several high-power air raid nodes and Tsu-class that will absolutely shred your planes. If you're doing harder difficulty, don't be surprised if you arrive at boss node with several empty bomber slots.
    • And the previous three maps was just a warmup for E4, as you'll encounter the following:
      • All difficulty will face an Abyssal Combined Fleet with the main fleet comprised solely of Ru-class battleships at the pre-boss node. Even if you're on casual, this will wreck your fleet unless you send in support. At least the infamous Re-class were absent from this map...
      • Harder difficulties will face the problem with node Q, with enemy fleet having massive air power. This will either force you to load all your aircraft carriers with fighters in order to try get air superiority, effectively preventing them from attacking, or press your luck against air parity and hope they don't put your ships in critical condition.
    • But even the enemy-fortified E-4 is but a warmup to the next few maps after it, especially because E-5 and E-6 have you sortieing the Striking Force Fleet straight into the enemy forces brimming with air power. Your fleet on the other hand, cannot sortie any aircraft carriers.
    • And there's the E7 is essentially the final map of Spring 2017 on steroids. Both the bosses in this map has well over 200 armor, even at the lowest difficulty.
      • Let's not get to the node W, which is just a downgraded version of the E-4 node R, but it still has a chance to heavy damage either one of your ships and you may also have the chance to encounter them in the vanguard formation i.e. the 'spoon' formation.
  • Early Fall 2018 event marks the first event after the shift from flash player to HTML5 format configuration. And boy, even the mountain of salt was carried over, IN HD!!!. The event itself has 5 maps, suiting a large mid-scale event, and players expected several phases for each map, but they weren't prepared for what the devs had in store.
    • For the event entirely, there are a total of 5 locks (6 in Hard mode), meaning if ships that were sortied in one map cannot be sortied again in other maps, which brings in mind to the Summer 2014 Counterattack to AL/MI event. For those attempting hard in E5, the map itself has 2 locks! This will be brutal for admirals who refused to buy anymore ship slots as there are historical ship damage bonuses littering throughout the late stages of the event.
    • E1 is yet, another anti-sub map. Nothing special since a lot of past events started with anti-sub map. Here's where the salt starts. The shortest route, where you can only sortie Light Cruisers, Training Cruisers, Destroyers and Escort Destroyers will have 2 surface battles against Destroyers and potentially PT Imps, which can send your fleet packing if they survived into closing torpedo phase, and a lot of times will since you pack your ships to the brim with anti-sub equipments. Second, in order to get the shortest route, 3 Escort Destroyers must be used. Any less than that might route you to another surface battle, this time against Heavy Cruisers with a lone submarine. Most new admirals that joined after the Spring 2018 Food Collection mini event will not have any Escort Destroyers in their disposal. For those who have, they are frail enough that most will be critically damaged during closing torpedo strikes. Think you can get around by sortieing a heavier fleet via a longer route? Denied as no Battleships and Carriers are allowed in this map, meaning no 2nd shelling phase and Red-T prevention, and you taking down the boss is heavily reliant on OASW strikes and anti-sub aerial support. The saltiest part comes in the form of the rewards in Hard mode (a radar that was given out as ranking reward a year ago and 3 anti-installation equipments), where the rewards are essential for newbie admirals to smoothen their progress in the game in the future, or right now.
    • E2 is a straightforward map consist of a TP phase guarded by a Heavy Cruiser Princess and a HP Phase guarded by a Supply Depot Princess, which is easily breezed through by veteran admirals. But this isn't in the case for new admirals who did not have any anti-installation equipments, especially if they do not attempt E1 on Medium or Hard. They'll just have to rely on Heavy Cruisers/Battleships with Type 3 Shells to kill the boss. To rub salt on the wound, if they did not clear it on Medium or Hard, they will miss out on a Prototype Flight Deck, which will be needed to upgrade Shinyou, the E3 reward ship, to Kai Ni.
    • E3 has a total of 3 phases. Phase 1 involves defeating Harbour Summer Princess, another installation. However this time, she is guarded by PT Imps (Two of them in Medium or higher), which can be magnets to your ship's fire if they are not taken out immediately, hindering you from sinking the boss. Luckily you can choose to sortie in a Surface Task Force, which make it a bit of an overkill. Phase 2 and 3 are at the same node, but you have to pass through a submarine node enroute, which can be the source of all your critical damages along the way. The boss of Phase 3 is the German Escort Princess escorted by 2 Nu Class Kai Flagships and one (Two in Last Dance) Battleship Princess(es), which not only can tear through your fleet but also absorb any damage meant for the boss. Luckily the boss receives historical damage bonus from a lot of ships, provided that the player does not lock them on previous maps.
    • E4 revisits the Mediterranean since Summer 2017, with 2 phases. The first phase is still a transport phase, while the TP value needed to clear is no where near 1000, but this time the boss node is guarded by Battleship Princess(es), only if you survive a node filled with PT Imps and another with Aircraft Carriers. The second phase seems like a recreation of E4 HP Part of the Fall 2016 event. While the trip through the area was a Hard Levels, Easy Bosses in Summer 2017, this time though the level is hard to navigate through, the boss is harder. First, you can only sortie in a single fleet. Then you'll have to choose between 2 routes to the boss, either you brave through a node guarded by an Aircraft Carrier Princess with Ta-class Battleships, or brave another air raid node and a node guarded by a Re-class battleship (An Elite version for those attempting Hard)! Luckily, the Vanguard formation exists to ease through both nodes. However, the boss itself is a Combined Fleet, with another PT Imp in the main fleet! In addition, the Dock Princess itself is not a pushover, and is still accompanied by a Supply Depot Princess. The fun starts when entering Last Dance, where a Nu Class Kai Flagship will appear, which forces you to turn the lone carrier in your group into as Fighter mule, just to gain air superiority, taking one ship out of the fight.
    • E5 is Kancolle's take on Operation Rheinübung, where the player has to sink an Abyssal Bismarck to clear the map. While Phase 1 and 3 of the map is easy, Phase 2 is on a whole new level, even in Casual Mode, well into Nintendo Hard level.
      • Phase 2 involves sinking the French Battleship Princess' combined fleet stationed in Brest. For those who have not cleared E4 of Summer 2017 event, she is a Mighty Glacier and Stone Wall personified. She has an armor value of 210 (On Casual) to 305 (On Hard), meaning that Cut Ins are required to effectively punch a hole in her armor. Combined with her ridiculously high HP (730-770) and firepower high enough to critically damage your ships, she is already a That One Boss on her own. However, this time she is not.
      • The core problem is that, the French BB Princess, a surface battleship, is accompanied by a Harbor Summer Princess, Airfield Princess, Coastal Defense Imps and PT Imps, all of them except PT Imps are installation bosses that require a different set of equipments to be brought down even in Casual Mode. This setup actually shook the playerbase so hard that they need to revise on how to plan the equipments on their ships and delegate ships to their roles. Even with precision planning and role delegation, it is still very hard to bring the boss down. A lot of times player will see Harbour and Airfield Princesses surviving into night battles alongside French Battleship Princess, diverting fire from your Torpedo Cut In ships, which was supposed to take out the latter towards the former two.
      • Then there's the PT Imps, God helps if they are not brought down by the start of the day battle. Yes, they, there are three of them in total. If they do survive into Shelling Phase, they'll just attract whatever shot that ought to go towards the installation bosses or the French BB Princess. Even the notion of bringing a Submarine to tank all three fires by the bosses did not make this level easy.
      • Players can opt to reach Brest via 2 routes, by using a STF route departing from Gotenhafen or a CTF route departing from mid Atlantic, both with their own set of problems. While STF route is cheaper in resources and has higher chances of your fleet reaching boss node intact, it has to go through a Submarine Princess node, and another if they did not bring enough Euro Fleet ships. While one can get through this node easily by routing an anti-sub LBAS on that node, they are essentially reducing the chances of dealing more damage to the bosses and ideally bringing down all three PT Imps before shelling starts. Even though the CTF route also have a submarine node but at least it doesn't involve a Submarine Princess, meaning one can route all three land bases to the boss. In addition, one can equip Dive Bombers to their carriers to make them attack the French Battleship Princess only note , except that the CTF route has to go through 3 surface battles, each with one Tsu class Elite Light Cruiser in their formation. This will cripple your planes and their ranks before they even reach the boss, and if bad luck strikes and all your Dive Bombers are taken out, your carriers may attack the installations too.
      • Just the fact that even with precise planning and proper equipments, it is still down to luck just to clear this phase, either with Richelieu, who has a damage bonus against French Battleship Princess sniping the boss or your ships with a Torpedo Cut In loadout during night battle, but mostly both are required. It is not surprising to find veteran admirals spending one week and still fail to bring the boss down only to find some newbie admiral bring it down on their first go due to a lucky shot at the boss. This is essentially the That One Level among all That One Levels in Kantai Collection, for now...
    • Other than the aforementioned Phase 2, E5 has another problem if one attempts to clear it at Hard. E5 Hard has two locks, a Blue Force H lock for CTF and a purple Operation Rheinübung for STF. If one wants to avoid going through another node (Air Strike node for CTF, Submarine Princess node for STF), the player has to prepare 6 ships from Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain and Russia, FOR EACH LOCK! That is 12 Euro Fleet ships in total!!! And you actually need to go through both locks to debuff the European Water Princess.
    • Phase 3, while easier than Phase 2, is no pushover too. The Combined Fleet is led by European Water Princess, an Abyssal amagalmation of Bismarck and Nelson, fought at the place where the HMS Hood was sunk. Every stat on this abyssal is already higher than French Battleship Princess, with a HP of whopping 900, same as the Central Princess at Hard Mode, except she has it on all difficulties. She also has a firepower of 300 at minimum. While she doesn't come accompanied with Installation Bosses and PT Imps, at Last Dance of Hard Mode, she is accompanied by 2 Aircraft Carrier Princesses, 2 Battleship Princesses and 1 Heavy Cruiser Princess, all of which are happy to critically damage your ships with one shot. Luckily there exists a debuff to increase your damage output against this but one must score an A Rank against this fleet, TWICE, one each using a different fleet lock!! That means you have to sink at least 2 enemies in the main fleet, assuming all the escort ships are sunk. And this is still easy compared to the aforementioned Phase 2.
  • Spring 2019 E2 forces you to go through at least four air raid nodes, and no standard carriers are allowed, limiting your air power. Still no heavy damage yet? You still have to go through a preboss node with up to four Ru-class. We've barely started.
    • E3 has accompanying the Northern Little Sister an Airfield Princess and Supply Depot Princess even on Easy.
    • Depending on which Combined Fleet type you take to E4, you will have to go through either a node with an Abyssal Water Demon or Seaplane Tender Water Princess. Both paths converge on a preboss node with multiple Ru-class again. The actual boss is Central Princess in all of her tanky glory once again, supported by an Abyssal Combined Fleet with an Airfield Princess, Supply Depot Princess and PT Imp even on Casual. Starting from Easy she gets a Battleship Water Demon in her fleet.
    • E5 starts you off with having to eliminate an Abyssal Jellyfish Princess, and even on Casual's final form she gains a submarine in her Combined Fleet that will distract any destroyers or light cruisers you have. Take it up to even as low as Easy? Now she has an Aircraft Carrier Princess and a submarine even in her normal form. Medium? Add on a Battleship Princess, and another in her final form. Hard, you masochist? Fuck you! Two Battleship Princesses, and three in the final form, and the Aircraft Carrier Princess and submarine are still there! As if in compensation, the actual Final Boss, Abyssal Pacific Princess, is actually slightly easier, even if you need to go through a Re-class in a mook node. Casual blessedly has no surprise, but even dare to try Easy and you'll have to handle among the escorts a Heavy Cruiser Princess who transforms into a Battleship Princess in the final form, and the final form also has a submarine. Medium or Hard? Battleship Princess plus Heavy Cruiser Princess plus submarine, and the final form adds a second Battleship Princess.
  • Summer 2019 is allegedly a small-scale event, but E3 has so many subphases to the second boss that it could be an event on its own.


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