I can see how the developers use the 20 mile hex as an abstract thing, but it does not cut the mustard.
Its tied in closely to how OP cycles are too fast in this game.
Here in the game you order launch and in fifteen minutes -its off.
At 20 knots you wont go out of the hex true.
You are steaming east at 16 knots, with a full strike of 18 fighters, 12 Kates, and 18 Vals
A sighting is reported
This takes 5 minutes to be digested, plotted, and an attack ordered.
Wind is from the North, at 5 knots -its a lovely day.
The order to turn the entire task group has to be relayed to the entire fleet by light, and execute is given at 3 mins
The fleet turns.
Been in a large task force with lots of big ships?
Give yourself 3 minutes minimum to sort it out, if you have to turn 180 it will take ages!
Order 20 knots. A kate will need a lot more -so will many, many other planes. To be safe, we need 25 knots.
To get that CV, and most ships up to 25 will take time. To 20 buggar all, from 20 to 25 a bit, from 25 to 30 quite a bit, (if boilers have to be cut in for flank -allow at least 30mins), to flank from 16 knots at least 5-6 mins
lets be generous, 3 mins to 20, 5 to 25 knots
the strike launches, lets allow a crack crew, 15 seconds a plane? -lets calculate at 10
thats 8 minutes to clear the strike
5 minutes to form up a single carrier?add a few for multiple carriers, and its a total of 29 minutes to get a strike away.
Now looking at that thats so far only 8 plus several turning into the wind at 25 knots, so the staying in one hex is fair.
here is where we get complicated
You cannot recover CAP, launch CAP unless flying into the wind, this game does not reflect that.
Now lets recover the strike
24 planes survive the strike
allow 2 minutes to recover each one
thats 48 minutes, at 25 knots into the wind, thats certaintly multiple hexes.
I just cannot understand why the CV stays in the same hex after launch.
Doctrine was basic, if I launched from a CV steering west, I, the pilot had to depend that 3 hours later it would still be steaming west at the same speed. I left at point Y, it , I hope , will be at point Xwhen I return. If its not I go swimming.
That alone has to be reflected, as TF commander, if you launched -where will you be in 3 hours?, AND I am not staying here to be slotted by a SS, or that strike looking for me!
Im hard put trying to think of a situation where an entire TF steamed in a 20 mile square for 3 hrs waiting for a strike to return
No, you did one of 3 things.
Kept steaming hard into the wind to launch/recover CAP
Kept steaming hard to close the range to get the second strike off swinging as CAP demands it
Kept steaming hard to get out of Dodge.
Now I know this sounds critical, but this is a good tactical game -that could be fantastic!
tactically this game has too few options and decisions.
Spot the other guy -launch, mark time waiting to be hit.
I want to be able to launch, but have to consider
plane load(CV speeds)
turn into wind every time CAP has to land/ launch
make the hard decision -recover the strike -or keep it circling while I clear the CAP of the decks, ect, ect
Strike and flee -and let the strike fly on to Siapan.
Options -when the strike returns, intead of auto recovery, it has to circle until you clear it to land.
CAP gives 15 minute, 10 minute and 5 minute warning of fuel exhaustion -as do the strikes.
I have not expressed myself that well, but this good game could be so much more.
Thanks for the great efforts by the developers, I hope maybe for the next time we could look at these things.