From: Dontblinkyoullmissit, GA
Check your history.. TF38 or TF58 (which was really either Third Fleet or Fifth Fleet) were composed of either four or five Task Forces (which were really task groups - 58.1, 58.2, 58.3, etc.) which were composed of between 18-25 ships on average with 1 CV, 2 CVL; 2 CV, 2 CVL; or 2 CV, 3 CVL; as a rule, except for the night fighting task force which was usually 1 CV, 1 CVL. The BBs would be either allocated among the CV Task Groups, or brought out into the Battle Line, under Lee usually, with another TF designator (the infamous TF 34 at the Battle of Bull's Run). Those CV TFs mentioned would usually operate within 10 to 15 miles of each other, and easily fit into a 60 mile hex.
What is unusual is a house rule requiring the breaking up of such a TF. Concentration of force has been a standard military doctrine for a long time. What is not taken into account is the employment of 20/20 hindsight in the use of CVs by us after the fact players. What is not really working early in the war is the utter lack of air coordination on both sides, as someone in this thread mentioned, after the first strike, and sometimes not even in the first strike. The air coordination in the USN was much superior to the air coordination in the IJN after mid 1943. Before that, no one could really coordinate air actions. But time after time, the IJN strike always seem to come in as one big strike perfectly coordinated with aircraft which were, by and large, not equipped with radios at all.
After the Battle of the Coral Sea, the USN began to rethink its efforts and doctrine to improve the coordination of strikes and CAP. Not a lot was accomplished very soon because of the pressure of events, and the often need to cobble whatever could be put together to hand the problem at hand (Midway and Guadalcanal) In the lull in action between Feb and August of 1943, though, a lot of improved coordination was put into play. By that time the IJN was down to about four CVs and was suffering from decreased piloting skills on the part of those flying in the IJN because of the use of CV air groups in the South Pacific campaign earlier and a lack of a training program.
Late in the war (44 and 45) Third or Fifth fleet (Halsey or Spruance) could and did bring a 1100 - 1200 plane force into any spot in the Pacific. If they got everybody to the dance at once, it could have topped 1500. If approximate 40% of that force was fighters, you could have 300 AC in cap. Because of the game limitations in scale, though, all of that CAP is available all of the time in every part of that hex - not bloody likely in real time. But, with radar, you can have the majority of your CAP at the point of attack fairly quickly, (which this 3600 seconds per hour 24 hour 100 percent coverage evidently duplicates.)
So, is the real problem that strikes above a certain number of AC should not be coordinated with other strikes from the same CVTF? How about successive strikes in the same game turn haveing decreasing coorination benefits? The higher the operation points, the less the coordination. In very high operation point strikes, maybe the internal compenents of the strike may not be together (unescorted DB or TB, or both unescorted.) But that gets into the realm of the programming limitations. I don't think any house rule is going to allow us to say, for example "First strikes have a 75% probability of good coordination, while late afternooon strikes after a days fighting maybe utterly FUBARed." Just are well, a house rule which limits CAP available over one task force by limiting the TFs in a hex simply flies in the face of history, and good tactics. This is the conundrum.
"Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer