From: A Lion uses all its might to catch a Rabbit
The below Bolded and Underlined are my commments 4 years ago. There is an online game called "Fighting Flattops" that does not employ the "On Station" feature. I play against human opponents, and only one as attempted "dump and run" against me. He couldn't get away fast enough, and I shredded him anyway.
It is a useless feature which prevented me from buying the game, and so I found enjoyment elsewhere. It is the sole feature that keeps me from ever buying this game, and I bought the first version back in the 1990's.
I'm new here, so I wanted to say that I love the game. Because my background is a bit more historical that gaming, I tend to see things from that persepctive. So, some things that are seen as routine I see in a different light.
So, I wanted to add my $.02 regarding a couple of items in the Wish List.
Similarly, Carriers turned into the wind all the time, to launch and recover CAP, searchplanes and ASW patrols. We see this as a routine ocuurrence which didn't affect the big picture of carrier battles. The big picture is all about how you place your forces relative to those of the enemy, and how you handle them when those relationships are established.
I don't entirely agree- I think wind not only could affect the big picture, but it did, and it did so in the most famous carrier battle of all.
At Midway TF-16 suffered terribly on the morning of 4 June from a light wind that cause them to steam AWAY from KIDO BUTAI for one full hour between 0656 and about 0750 while launching their morning attack. Not only did they have to steam away from the Japanese, but they also need to bend on more speed because the wind was light. This had a number of effects:
1. It meant the planes had to planes had to not only spend as long as 40 minutes forming up, it meant they were actually moving AWAY from their target while doing so. This is a big deal when a strike is launched at maximum range.
2. The carriers (TF-16) weren't where the pilots expected them to be when they got back. Not only was this because of the initial launch, but because TF-16 had to turn away from Point Option each time she conducted flight ops, including the rotation of CAP. When you are short on fuel, this is a big deal.
3. Lots of high-speed steaming is bad for destroyers with regard to range.
It's important to remember that as successful as the 1020 attack was, HIRYU escaped, and by doing so crippled YORKTOWN that afternoon. What if HORNET's SBDs ability to searh for KIDO BUTAI when they didn't find them initially wasn't hampered by fuel shortages that resulted, in part, from a light wind from the wrong direction? While we'll never know what happened for sure, I think it's reasonable to suppose had HORNET been able to hit a carrier, perhaps YORKTOWN might never have have never been attacked.
All 10 of the F4F-4s HORNET launched ditched for lack of fuel in part because HORNET had to steam away from the Japanese (and in part because they were stupidly launched first). What if the Japanese emerged from the 1020 attack with, say, AKAGI undamaged. The loss of 10 fighters could have been disasterous later in the battle.
Many an ENTERPRISE SBD ended up in the water in large part because ENTERPRISE wasn't where she was supposed to be when they got back. As few as 10 miles meant the difference between a safe landing and a swim. Did this affect the results of the morning attack? No! But it did effect future operations, including those against HIRYU later that afternoon.
All of those things "affect the big picture". Having 17 fighters instead of 27 is a big deal- if it wasn't, VF squadrons would have stuck with the fixed wing F4F-3s and retained 18-aircraft squadrons instead of expanding them to 27 and 36.
Having three extra SBD's is a big deal- just ask AKAGI.
I do understand the need to keep things simple, and when designing software you have to make compromises, both to keep the game playable and to keep down overhead in the software. But wind and weather (see Coral Sea) were not "routine" and they both played a huge factor in how things turned out in more than one battle.
Make the "On Station, Waiting for Strike Recovery" feature after launching a strike from a Carrier TF optional.
Although this feature is designed to prevent gaming the system by players who wish to use single pulse "dump and run" attacks, it creates 2 other issues that can also be gamed out as well.
First, it prevents sustained attacks by locking the Carrier TF in one location, and hampers pursuit for follow up attacks.
Second, it exposes a CV TF to attacks by Surface Action TF's by locking the Carrier TF in place, negating a chance to evade laterally.
Some time ago, I argued (unsuccessfully) that this "feature" could be alternately coded by imposing penalties for aircraft losses due to "failed to return" from air strikes.
I like those suggestions. It would be nice if you could set your Point Option. Once it's set, you can either steam towards it (and if you reach it, remain on station) or not, depending upon the tactical situation.
Again, I don't mean to sound like I am complaining or I think the game is terrible- I'm not. I love the game, and if these things never make it into the game, I can deal with it. But for the historian in me, those little details mean a lot, and it would take a great game and make it more historically accurate and, well, greater. :)
Thanks for listening.