Night Naval bombardment of Moa at 74,116
According to manual, maximum size of combat TF should be 15. With this amount of ships, it could be ugly, if they tried to clash with something bigger (lots of collisions, for start).
Also, I am not sure, you should mix Japanese CAs, and BBs. They work different way (Big Guns vs Speed&Torpedoes), so one type is at disadvantage in such situations.
No, as I recall the maximum size of combat TF is 25 ships. 15 ships is the maximum where all can contribute AA to defense against air attack. After that AA is less efficient in that some ships can't fire or fire less or something.
From section 6.2 in the manual:
Most TFs may contain a maximum of 25 ships (although 15 or less is most efficient for a
combat TF) except for Escort and Transport TFs, which have a maximum of 100 ships. ASW and
some other TFs are restricted to less than 25 ships.
Many experienced users have posted that there do seem to be more collisions and less efficiency in the TF even before you have over 15 ships. I have found that SCTFs with over 10 ships usually do not all engage during a combat. Some of the TF will almost always be out of position to fight. The manual hints at the size limitations and player experience expands a bit on where the game engine starts to apply penalties.
One interesting thing I've been encountering lately is that Japanese DDs are less capable as the game goes on (losing 1/3 of their 12.7cm guns), and Allied ones much more capable. As a result larger TFs may be necessary from mid-43 onward, regardless of penalties. I've recently tried 3BB 7DD and got creamed by two TFs of 7-8 Fletchers each. I came back with only 2 DDs left and a BB needing yard time. Other examples were similar.
It all depends on what you're going to run into. Mixing CAs and BBs should make each other less efficient at their main strengths, but by mid-43 the CAs aren't going to hit much with long lances unless facing old BBs. Everything else the Allies have is too nimble. So I'm thinking this mix allows a lot of flexibility and more medium sized firepower, which is what is really needed against the modern US CLs and DDs. It would work best with the 30 knot BBs obviously.
I never use a SCTF of over 10 ships. Usually 8 to 6 is my preferred. This is the optimum and has been the case since way back in UV days. One of the designers posted and explained this way back then and I have followed the rule with much success ever since. Better to engage with two smaller TF than one large one.
It is also my experience that Allied ships start to gain a distinct advantage in surface combat after 1944. I think this is due to working torpedoes, better ships with better guns, faster rate of fire, better radar, and the jump in crew quality for any ship arriving after 1944. I have said it before but I try to avoid using BBs in surface fights. The old BBs just get creamed by the Japanese and by the time you get the newer ones, you have so many modern smaller ships that you need not risk them. BBs are for supporting invasions and escorting fast carriers.
I am perfectly comfortable engaging the Japanese with Fletcher class DDs when the moonlight is low and modern CLs and CAs when the moonlight is decent. Viberpol and I just had a series of nasty surface engagements around Miri in 1/45. We both had carriers around but LBA kept them out of the picture. He threw everything at me including BBs, while I used mostly DDs and Cls with a smattering of CAs. End result was that he lost about 25 DDs and half a dozen or more CLs and CAs and my losses were about half of his. Nothing brilliant on my behalf, it just seems that my ships are better and won most all of the actions.
The Reichlieu and Duke of York did manage to catch a couple of CAs with their pants down. That was a pretty fight to watch....but basically when the light is low, BBs never shoot and when they do, they never hit. So why use them?
I am the Holy Roman Emperor and am above grammar.
Sigismund of Luxemburg