Played Wake as Allies. Result: US 360, Japan 51
Luck plays a huge role in this game -- but in a good way. No two scenarios play quite the same way twice.
My plan sent my 3 carrier TGs west towards Wake in a screen (one group north, one middle, and one south), with the cargo TG trailing a good distance behind and taking advantage of every possible cloud cover.
I had supreme luck right at the start: Spotted the Japanese CV taskgroup at first light on 22 Dec, without any of my TGs being spotted yet. Since I had all my planes already armed and fueled on deck by dawn, I was able to throw everything I had at the first sighting and had strikes in the air by 06:10. Pilots reported sinking both carriers -- a report that I took with some skepticism...until events over the next two days proved them right.
I never sighted another IJN ship again in the entire scenario after that...a few meager strikes hit Wake, but now I realize they must have come from land-based squadrons and not any surviving CVs. Once I had my three carrier TGs in position around Wake (forming a triangular security zone of air cover), I waited for night and then raced my cargo TG at flank speed so it would be at or near the Wake anchor point by dawn.
Since I hadn't sighted any IJN ships but wanted to have protection in the air over the Wake cargo docks, I created an artificial sighting at Wake and then just kept shuttling strikes to it from my different carriers -- that way, I at least had a chance that my planes might spot and attack any enemy surface ships or landing forces that showed up around Wake during the resupply.
Once the cargo was unloaded, I sent the cargo TG to Midway, pulled the carriers off toward home, and ran out the clock.
None of my ships took a single hit...the onlyJapanese points came from 18 naval aircraft destroyed and 5 land aircraft destroyed. My side got the 255 points for the sunk carriers, 6 points for other damaged ships, and the 20 cargo points, but also came out ahead in the air battle: 120 naval air destroyed (74 points) and 11 land air destroyed (5 points).
I don't expect to have Lady Luck favor me this much again in this game...but the lessons I learned are:
1. Disperse your TGs but keep them close enough to mutually support each other.
2. Always plot zig-zag courses. If spotted, change to a new zig-zag course immediately.
3. Use artificial strikes to "loiter" over areas where the enemy is likely to show up (but save some planes for real sightings).
4. If you're lucky enough to see the enemy before he sees you, be sure you have your gun loaded (armed and fueled planes, mutual supporting distance so all carriers can participate) fire immediatley and with both barrels!! History shows that in naval combat, even a small advantage often leads to very decisive results.