do you do anything for surface action, or does the program play out and show you the results? IE do we have choices?
You did have decisions to make during surface action in the old versions of CAW (albeit relatively abstract ones), so I presume you still will in the new game. My recollection of the old game is that, from round to round of surface combat, you mainly chose which groups of ships in your TF to order to close range, hold range, or attempt a withdrawal. So, for example, if a carrier TF is attacked, you would certainly attempt to have the carriers retire, while possibly pushing forward your screening forces to cover said retirement.
One problem back then was that, mere minutes after such a battle ended because all of your ships had either retired or been sunk, a new surface battle with the same groups would kick off (I suppose because they were still within the same hex on the map). So you would get this repeating series of actions, probably with your screening forces more and more damaged each time until they could no longer protect the carriers. (It sure would be nice if that didn't happen anymore in the new game.)