...to accept what the AI can do. ****SPOILER****
In my current game, the Japanese AI loves New Zealand and Suva. It has sent a TF to easter NZ and it just sits there in a NZ port, doing nothing but fighting off a few NZ inadequate naval air attacks.
Meanwhile, there are several AI TFs roaming back and forth between Noumea and Suva, and they've been there for the better part of a month. At one side of their joy cruise, they hammer Noumea, at the other they hammer Suva with their air power (I think it's two CVEs in the TFs). Apparently, they have lots of spare sorties laying around [sic] and unlimited fuel. I'm taking a cautious apporach and have a couple of CAGs in Luganville waiting for them to leave, but they just seem to stay. Sadly, it IS good training for them.
My point is that I appreciate the more challenging game the AI gives, but it seems like it could do so without having to resort to operations that are completely unlikely and ahistorical.
Oh, well, I'll just have to wait for another underescorted invasion TF at Canton and take out my frustration there with my cruiser TFs.
I haven't seen the NZ thing, but I have seen the CV battlegroups ping-ponging between Noumea and Suva in April 1942. It sucks to have nothing there to hit with.
So . . . I finally stopped "saving" my CVs at Pearl ("One more, and I'll be ready. OK, TWO more, and I'll be ready . . .) I made a TF of Enterprise and Sara, put in New Mexico, two CAs, and a handful of DDs, and headed southwest. You have to fight sometime.
When I got to about 300 miles east of Suva, there was a 3-CV tf of Akagi, Z. and Shok. near Noumea, and a CVL and assorted skimmers near Suva. I went north to block escape and get away from the CVL, used spotters from Noumea, timed the night sprint, and struck the heavies at dawn. Got one torpedo into Akaki (says she sank, but I disbelieve it), lost 40% of both my air groups, Enterprise took 24 floatation damage, Sara took 34, but the heavy CV tf ran for it. Both of my CVs went to Escort tf status and began limping for Sydney.
But . . . that left New Mexico and the CAs and most of the DDs with nothing to play with. I still had the CVL tf nailed, heading due west south of Noumea. I knew its air group was attrited from flak over Suva and Noumea, so I rolled the dice, went to flank, and started an end chase. Caught them the next day in the AM phase. My big guns against Shoho and three modern DDs . . .
It is very satisfying to see an air-launched torpedo strike home in a Japanese birdfarm, but, oh, how much sweeter to see a 16-in shell plow into the magazines and have that "Massive damage from ammunition explosion" message flash up. She went down like a stone, followed by two highly irreplacable, modern DDs. The third ran with engine damage, and I knifed it in the back later that day. Scratch one Japanese tf.
As my XO used to say, "Sailors belong on ships, and ships belong at sea." My lesson--stop "saving" the fleet. Fight. Like that old Doritos slogan: "Lose all you want. We'll make more." (Or something like that.)
< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 10/12/2009 8:04:32 PM >