Prince of Eckmühl
Starting off, I launched my CAP and search planes and then began spotting for a strike. A long period (shortened by time compression) later I got the message that my southern most scout had sighted an enemy carrier.
That's always a tense moment in the game. I have to discipline myself not to over-react. When played in real-time/1-1, there's certainly time for deliberation, not that you can dawdle, mind you!
I immediately turned in to the wind, stopped spotting the planes still in the hanger, and launched my strike of 10 F4Fs and 18 SBDs. I changed headed to W and began spotting my Buffaloes and TBDs. I intended for the Buffaloes to go first, but the TBDs went instead. I'll have to read the longer pdf to figure that out.
Someone from the developer will have to confirm this, but I believe that the TBD went first because they are first in the queue. I work around this by setting a takeoff time for the elements of the PACKAGE that's fairly distant, four hours, perhaps. Then, when I'm ready to start putting the elements up, I go in to the Packages dialogue, and activate them in the order that I wish.
Anyway, about half way to the target, my strike ran in to a Japanese inbound strike. The Wildcats peeled off and engaged the Zeroes. I lost 3 or 4 and 4 ran out of ammo and headed home. The remaining fighters rejoined the strike.
I see this all the time. Logically, it would occur most often when you maintain a constant heading relative to the point at which you were detected. The more that you deviate from the heading, the less likely your strike is to run head-long into that of your adversary. Of course, the more that you shift course and speed, the more tardy your own strike is likely to be.
I had 9 Devastators ready, so I launched them with no fighter protectionand tried to get some Buffaloes ready, but it was too late.
The Devastators rarely get a hit. They and their torpedoes are too slow, and the Hiryu and Soryu are little mongooses.
Not sure why, but my CAP didn't engage the strike automatically, so I tried to point them at the enemy, but they flew right by.
Could you have inadvertently taken control of them from the AI? If you do so, the AI is no longer directing them. If they are misbehaving you can set them to attack manually. You don't need to use the target button to do so. Click on your fighter; then click on the target. If it engages properly, the target will turn yellow.
A whole bunch of Vals dropped on Saratoga and she took 4 hits, ending her air operations for this mission.
As the designer's notes indicated, this is always a bad scene. It's really about how bad it's going to be, bad, or really, really bad.
Meanwhile, my strike finally caught up with the Japanese CV. The Wildcats engaged the Zeroes allowing the SBDs to get through with on one plane lost. There is definately tension as I watch my bombers line up and go in after the CV. Unfortunately, I got 0 for 17 hits. Not sure if I was just unlucky or if I did something wrong, but it was dissapointing. (Where is Sid Mieirs making the player feel good formula here?!?!?!)
Some time later, near the end of the scenario, my TBDs finally caught up with the Japanese, but without any fighter cover all nine were shot from the sky before ever getting close enough to drop. That seems realistic.
The vignette that you've detailed above can swing both ways. I've had two-plane VS sections score hits on carriers that crippled the ship. That said, if you had 17 VB go in unmolested and score no hits, that's pretty bad luck. I believe that the flight that crippled the Soryu at Midway was only three aircraft strong.
It was a major defeat for the US as Saratoga was at 53% and burning and all my CAP, search and strike planes had to ditch.
After the scenario is over you can see all the forces and my TF was being tracked by two Japanes search planes that I never detected.
I'll get them next time!
Apart from ANYTHING that you could have done differently, there's a powerful amount of luck built into this game. For instance, I played a game where my VS squadron NEVER found the enemy - not going out, or coming back home. Given the vector that the AI strike approached me on, I'm pretty certain that the Japanese had wandered into some clouds and were concealed for much of the game. That's just one example of the sort of thing that can make it essentially impossible to win (at times).
Should my CAP have engaged the incoming strike on their own? And, how do I tell what the range is to a target and what the range is for my planes. It says there should be a range circle for aircraft, but I didn't see it, unless the map is too small and the circle is off the map.
If they are setup properly, they ought to engage. On the circles/rings, they have to be turned on above, in the VIEW options, I believe.
Looks like a good $30 spent.
< Message edited by Prince of Eckmühl -- 3/17/2010 8:15:36 PM >
Government is the opiate of the masses.