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Best use of Lex and big E at start

 
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Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/12/2012 3:03:29 AM   
topeverest

 

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I am curious how various players view the best use of the 2 CV TF's at the beginning of the game. for simplicity sake, lets call it Sc 1 or 2. there are the obvious pasting of Wake if the KB stays in Hawaii, and raiding the marshalls. What other actions are do AFB's think are of high value in the first 45 game days?

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/12/2012 4:31:16 AM   
rms1pa

 

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i tend to run them down to bris then up to south of NG near PM then over to pago pago then back up to PH.

this is not a time to challenge the IJN. do not try to attack anything that has CAP and stay away from betty/nell bases.

if there are any spotted SS's avoid as best you can.

rms/pa

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/12/2012 4:33:38 AM   
wdolson

 

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Mostly the first few months of the war, your primary job is to keep the CVs afloat. Mostly do hit and run raids on the edges of the empire is the best you can hope for.

Bill

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/12/2012 4:41:11 AM   
Hooper82

 

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Use them as a Fleet in Being.

If the Jap player doesn't know where your carriers are, they have to guard against them everywhere. Sure, strike un-covered invasion forces etc. But watch for bait, and IMO, don't get into any fight outside of land based fighter cover.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/12/2012 10:04:47 AM   
jmalter

 

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best use is to keep them hidden & undamaged - train up their sqns as req'd, don't go offensive until July 42 at the earliest.

you've got a lot of crack pilots in their air component, but they can't shine until their planes are upgraded - and the cruiser/destroyer ships need immediate upgrades as well.

's true, they could go out looking for trouble early on, they could take some scalps. they could also suffer an early defeat, & the Essex-class CVs won't arrive 'til mid-43.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/12/2012 3:37:37 PM   
PaxMondo


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Charge back to PH and save the day!!!  




<totally unbiased opinion here>


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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/12/2012 3:49:11 PM   
Crackaces


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quote:

best use is to keep them hidden & undamaged - train up their sqns as req'd, don't go offensive until July 42 at the earliest.


This depends on a lot of factors .. for example There are huge differences between scenario #1 and #2 as an example ..

I would also think that the time to attack would depend on the opponent. For example, in my previous game http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2874485&mpage=4&key= The IJ used CVL's for rading purposes ... On March 21, 1942, The Big E and Yorktown took down 2 CVL's and a CVE under an umbrella of Cat's ..

If an opponent were inclined to create small KB's rather than concentrate into one big KB it is quite possible to punch the IJ in the nose. In a different game on APR 10, 1942 the BigE and Yorktown are in 2 TF's seperated by 1 hex. A 3 CV IJ TF is escorting an invasion TF to Canton Island:

Morning Air attack on TF, near Canton Island at 151,139

Weather in hex: Moderate rain

Raid detected at 40 NM, estimated altitude 17,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 15 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 34

Allied aircraft
F4F-3A Wildcat x 13
F4F-3 Wildcat x 26
SBD-2 Dauntless x 33
SBD-3 Dauntless x 35
TBD-1 Devastator x 14

No Japanese losses

Allied aircraft losses
F4F-3A Wildcat: 1 destroyed
F4F-3 Wildcat: 3 destroyed
SBD-2 Dauntless: 1 destroyed, 2 damaged
SBD-2 Dauntless: 1 destroyed by flak
SBD-3 Dauntless: 1 damaged

Japanese Ships
CV Zuikaku, Bomb hits 2, on fire
CV Shokaku, Bomb hits 5, heavy fires, heavy damage
CV Akagi, Bomb hits 5, on fire

DD Inazuma
.......
Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Canton Island at 151,139

Weather in hex: Light cloud

Raid detected at 37 NM, estimated altitude 18,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 14 minutes


Allied aircraft
F4F-3A Wildcat x 10
F4F-3 Wildcat x 6
SBD-2 Dauntless x 15
SBD-3 Dauntless x 34
TBD-1 Devastator x 14


Allied aircraft losses
SBD-2 Dauntless: 1 damaged
SBD-3 Dauntless: 2 damaged
SBD-3 Dauntless: 1 destroyed by flak

Japanese Ships
CV Akagi, heavy fires, heavy damage
CV Zuikaku, Bomb hits 5, Torpedo hits 4, and is sunk
DD Inazuma
CV Shokaku, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage


vs.

Morning Air attack on TF, near Canton Island at 151,141

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid detected at 74 NM, estimated altitude 16,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 27 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 18
B5N2 Kate x 65
D3A1 Val x 59



Allied aircraft
F4F-3A Wildcat x 14
F4F-3 Wildcat x 27


Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 3 destroyed
B5N2 Kate: 4 destroyed, 6 damaged
B5N2 Kate: 1 destroyed by flak
D3A1 Val: 7 destroyed, 11 damaged
D3A1 Val: 1 destroyed by flak

Allied aircraft losses
F4F-3A Wildcat: 1 destroyed
F4F-3 Wildcat: 3 destroyed

Allied Ships
CA Indianapolis
DD Case, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
CV Enterprise, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DD Aylwin, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Worden
DD Porter, Bomb hits 1
CA Houston
CL St. Louis
DD MacDonough
DD Shaw, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DD Dale
CL Phoenix
DD Farragut


The IJ never saw the Yorktown ....

But as a newbie myself I would agree with the general advice that against an agressive IJ player that concentrates the KB is to avoid a confrontation until the Hellcats come in 1943. "Midways" are very very difficult to pull off ... and unlike real life where as politicans are breathing down the backs of flag officers--- in this game one can bide their time ..

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/12/2012 4:25:39 PM   
ny59giants


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I would send the Vindicators SBDs off to the west. If you follow what Q-Ball did vs GreyJoy, they can go to Wake and then Rabaul. Since a heavy CV can hold 5 air groups, I put a Marine fighter group (18 planes) on each of my American CVs asap. Having 45 fighters aboard helps survivability which Bill stated. I like to have at least 2 American CVs operating together this way with the possibility of operating them all together. Having at least 90 fighters and then going to over 200 helps, even if they consist of some old Buffalos till March/April.

< Message edited by ny59giants -- 8/12/2012 4:26:24 PM >


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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/12/2012 7:57:48 PM   
gmoney

 

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In my game against the AI I intercepted the Wake Invasion force (after they unloaded), then returned to Pearl and gathered the Yorktown. Then with the three carriers (with a marine fighter sqd on 2 and marine DB on the other) i raided the marshal Is, truk, and arrived just in time to launch 1 strike against the shipping gathered at Rabual immediatly after the invasion. It was risky, but it paid of in my case- i caught a BB in the marshals, a few A/C on the ground, a lot of aks/akls and some support ships/subs damaged at truk. One thing i did to help out was have 2 Bombardment TFs hit the AF in the marshals one day before my carrier strikes-helped limit the cap i had to face and grounded the bombers. The downside to these raids is that I lost a number of planes/pilots, its taken me over a month to replace enough A/C and pilots to field 2 of the 3 Carriers again, fortunently the Hornet came online so i have 3 operational CVs at sea.

Against a human player I'd be more cautious, but from reading the AAR's it seems that most Allied players are too enamored with the idea of "fleet in being" and fail to realize that, while thier oppenent respects the USN CVs, if you dont use it at all they catch on that you are afraid to use/lose them and use that against you. I dont want my oppenent to simply know that i have the carriers, i want him worried that I WILL commit them somewhere, and force him to plan accordingly. Of course I wouldn't advocate having it out with the KB, but there are always going to be opportunities to sting the Japanese player. This is all hypothetical atm though, im sure in my first PBEM game I'll end up doing something dumb and losing my CVs early, but in reality so what? You cant stop that japanese no matter what you do, and the loss of 3 carriers is rather trivial compared to the reinforcements you will gain later. And with most Japanese players choosing to make a play for either china/burma/india or Australia, you're carriers wouldn't be much use anyways in a large land war.

One more thing, while having a few extra fighters is nice, dont use the Marine Corp fighters on cap except in emergancies; thier low exp combined with not being carrier trained means they suffer alot more operational losses than normal carrier trained sqds. Instead use them to escort your strike pakages, freeing your VF sqds to do something like 80/20 cap/rest or 70/30.

Hope this helps,
Gmoney

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/12/2012 10:47:39 PM   
wdolson

 

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I usually take a page from Nimitz. He was under a lot of pressure to do something, but the carriers were too valuable to lose. He conducted a lot of raids. The most spectacular was on the Marshalls in Feb 1942. The Enterprise air group did some serious damage to installations and shipping in the Marshalls and got away with only a few aircraft lost.

Strategically it meant almost nothing, but it was a big morale boost for the US.

It also got the air crews used to combat conditions which paid off in later months.

Bill

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/13/2012 4:17:30 AM   
JeffK


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Bill makes a point about USN experience, while great at start, if you send them to off map bases they get stale.

By the time you get the cojones to bring them into play the KB pilots have been building up their exp points to a level where even the F6F-3 would struggle.

(This includes my rules that CV must have full airgroups at all times, no parking your AirGroups at a shore base unless ship sunk or VERY badly damaged.)

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/13/2012 10:47:02 AM   
castor troy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

Bill makes a point about USN experience, while great at start, if you send them to off map bases they get stale.

By the time you get the cojones to bring them into play the KB pilots have been building up their exp points to a level where even the F6F-3 would struggle.

(This includes my rules that CV must have full airgroups at all times, no parking your AirGroups at a shore base unless ship sunk or VERY badly damaged.)



KB`s airwings don't get better, they are so experienced/skilled that they only get WORSE because of the inevitable losses, even if only ops.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/13/2012 4:20:29 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: castor troy


quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

Bill makes a point about USN experience, while great at start, if you send them to off map bases they get stale.

By the time you get the cojones to bring them into play the KB pilots have been building up their exp points to a level where even the F6F-3 would struggle.

(This includes my rules that CV must have full airgroups at all times, no parking your AirGroups at a shore base unless ship sunk or VERY badly damaged.)



KB`s airwings don't get better, they are so experienced/skilled that they only get WORSE because of the inevitable losses, even if only ops.


I can attest to this. The more missions you send KB on, the more likely you are to end up with green replacements in the squads. You eventually end up losing them faster than you can replace them. JFBs have to be very careful in how they use KB.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/13/2012 4:46:32 PM   
dr.hal


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Topeverst you have a lot of good advice from the above. In total there are a number of points to consider. First and foremost don't risk you CVs UNLESS you can achieve local superiority and then know that you can GET AWAY intact; second you need to TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN.. and the best way to train pilots is in combat. So once the KB leaves the area (and that's vital) I would do what Nimitz did and have the carriers hit islands of mostly of little to no value. In game terms, combat is combat is combat. So get them into it, but on your own terms. ALWAYS know where the KB is or can not be. Until mid '42 you should avoid that bunch until you have united virtually all allied carriers. Finally, in relation to your original question; I would get back to Pearl, but with those subs, I would enter Pearl from the EAST, not the west... make the Japs work hard for any targets. Use the devastators on asw full time as you approach home. Whether or not you use some tricks of the game, such as putting extra marine fighters on, is up to you. I know that would not really have been an option for the ships in 1941/42, but hey, let's not let reality interfere with our own version of it! I hope this helps. Hal

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/13/2012 4:51:31 PM   
Shark7


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And Wake Island might be worth taking a risk on early, as you might catch the invasion fleet near their with no air support. Weigh this carefully though, as KB can be easily re-routed there on its way home.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/14/2012 4:39:20 PM   
Lokasenna


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And if you go for Wake, make sure you hang out outside of torpedo range of the 2E torpedo bombers in the Marshalls... In my very first game against the AI, I lost several escorts and Big E took a torp or two as well, because I wandered into range.

Wake almost always falls on the first combat it seems, but if it holds it might be worth reinforcing. Otherwise, I like sending my CVs to harass unprotected landings (once or twice each) in the DEI/SRA to slow the Japanese down.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/14/2012 6:14:40 PM   
dr.hal


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

And if you go for Wake, make sure you hang out outside of torpedo range of the 2E torpedo bombers in the Marshalls... In my very first game against the AI, I lost several escorts and Big E took a torp or two as well, because I wandered into range.

Wake almost always falls on the first combat it seems, but if it holds it might be worth reinforcing. Otherwise, I like sending my CVs to harass unprotected landings (once or twice each) in the DEI/SRA to slow the Japanese down.

But be very careful, if you take on Wake, your Jap opponent will know where you are and the KB is not that far away. The first rule should be stay away from the KB and in particular if you don't know exactly where it is, be safe, not sorry...

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/14/2012 10:35:33 PM   
rms1pa

 

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that's a furshure dr.hal,

at least twice i have seen KB come right back past Wake.

if i had been trying to play in that area things could be bad.

Truk to the south, Roi-Namure to the east and KB to the north. not a nice prospect.

rms/pa

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/15/2012 9:12:40 AM   
Yaab


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I use Lex to pickup the Wildcat unit from Wake Island while the SBD-1 unit from Pearl Harbour is transfered to E. Both carriers sail to the Solomons where the two airgroups are transfered to Port Moresby.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/15/2012 12:39:04 PM   
dr.hal


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I agree Yaab, I think getting the marine air unit off Wake is a valid move, but something that I don't think the real commanders would ever do! But given that both sides have "prior" knowledge as to what happened in the "real" war, I don't see this as gamey. The same could be said if the Allied player takes most of the troops out of Singapore. Again something that would not have been contemplated by the real commanders, but something that is very much in the cards for the Allied player.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/15/2012 2:15:05 PM   
AW1Steve


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To put it succinctly, I belive the best use of Lexington, Enterprise, and all of your CV's in the 1st couple of the months is to train your future fleet and it's aviators. To engage the KB , or any part of it, is in my mind the equivalent of sending a high school junior varsity football team up against a superbowl bound pro team. While not exactly murder, it's foolishness in the extreme. To lose these ships and their aviators is "eating your seed corn". They need to be as far from the action as they can, and in relative safety they can train, fill out their understrength air wings, and develop into the deadly weapon they will become (if they survive to maturity).

The Wake DET of fighters is simply that , a DET of a squadron at PH. Let it die, it will grow back if you need it. And in the mean while it will prune the "Netties" and more importantly , their pilots, till Wake falls. The DB's for Midway are still aboard Lexington . Keep them there, or fly them off, it doesn't matter. They are Vindacators, with longer range than Dauntlases, and can "self evacuate" if necessary.

Your Jappanese opponent may go "carrier hunting" after PH (if he strikes at all). So go south young man. Or any place that the KB can't. Visit Pago Pago, or Tahiti, or Panama for that matter. DOn't run to PH, SF or anywhere else that he may have a submarine picket line. Don't underestimate the danger of a well placed sub. 1/3 of the Prewar USN CV's were sunk by subs! Your own ASW is pathetically weak, and even if he only damages a CV, it will be out of action for months.

Sir Robin is definately the rule for your CV's. Raid if you think you can get away with it, (but you'd better know EXACTLY where the KB is, preferably raiding the Indian ocean!) before you risk them.

IF you preserve your CV's , IF you conserve and train your pilots , by the end of May you will have 6 CV's (same number as the KB), you will have full airgroups of experinced pilots, you will have replaced almost all of your TBD's with TBF's, most of your ships will have been upgraded with RADAR , decent ASW and a whole lot more AAA. Fast BB's and CLAA's are arriving monthly. In other words , Sir Robin will have grown teeth! By combinning good use of your PBY's (if you haven't squandered them in anti shipping strikes) and toothless SS's in scouting lines , you'll know where the KB is (or isn't) and by using the support of LBA you can engage the KB, and win!

So early in the game you really have to ask yourself, is it worth losing my CV's in a "feel good" raid that really can't accomplish much , or will I show some discipline and self restraint so that I can begin a march back accross the Pacific as EARLY as possible?

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/16/2012 7:55:51 AM   
SBD

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve

To put it succinctly, I belive the best use of Lexington, Enterprise, and all of your CV's in the 1st couple of the months is to train your future fleet and it's aviators. To engage the KB , or any part of it, is in my mind the equivalent of sending a high school junior varsity football team up against a superbowl bound pro team. While not exactly murder, it's foolishness in the extreme. To lose these ships and their aviators is "eating your seed corn". They need to be as far from the action as they can, and in relative safety they can train, fill out their understrength air wings, and develop into the deadly weapon they will become (if they survive to maturity).

The Wake DET of fighters is simply that , a DET of a squadron at PH. Let it die, it will grow back if you need it. And in the mean while it will prune the "Netties" and more importantly , their pilots, till Wake falls. The DB's for Midway are still aboard Lexington . Keep them there, or fly them off, it doesn't matter. They are Vindacators, with longer range than Dauntlases, and can "self evacuate" if necessary.

Your Jappanese opponent may go "carrier hunting" after PH (if he strikes at all). So go south young man. Or any place that the KB can't. Visit Pago Pago, or Tahiti, or Panama for that matter. DOn't run to PH, SF or anywhere else that he may have a submarine picket line. Don't underestimate the danger of a well placed sub. 1/3 of the Prewar USN CV's were sunk by subs! Your own ASW is pathetically weak, and even if he only damages a CV, it will be out of action for months.

Sir Robin is definately the rule for your CV's. Raid if you think you can get away with it, (but you'd better know EXACTLY where the KB is, preferably raiding the Indian ocean!) before you risk them.

IF you preserve your CV's , IF you conserve and train your pilots , by the end of May you will have 6 CV's (same number as the KB), you will have full airgroups of experinced pilots, you will have replaced almost all of your TBD's with TBF's, most of your ships will have been upgraded with RADAR , decent ASW and a whole lot more AAA. Fast BB's and CLAA's are arriving monthly. In other words , Sir Robin will have grown teeth! By combinning good use of your PBY's (if you haven't squandered them in anti shipping strikes) and toothless SS's in scouting lines , you'll know where the KB is (or isn't) and by using the support of LBA you can engage the KB, and win!

So early in the game you really have to ask yourself, is it worth losing my CV's in a "feel good" raid that really can't accomplish much , or will I show some discipline and self restraint so that I can begin a march back accross the Pacific as EARLY as possible?


+1

I think Steve has this nailed pretty well. This reminds me of what a guy called Jimh009 said in his AAR (Allied vs. Jap AI) just after the game came out:

quote:

The Importance of CV's

Your question brings up another point. My play style probably differs from most gamers on this site in that I'm highly conservative - damn near paranoid, in fact - in how I use CV's (whether Allied of Japanese). Unless one of "my rules" are triggered, in fact, my Carriers are generally left in port.

I've long thought that many players over-use their CV's and don't fully grasp the importance of them. To me, sending CV's off on "raids" deep into enemy territory is a high-risk/low-reward scenario in all but that rarest of circumstances (like Dec. 7th). "Nuking" some hapless merchant vessels and destroying an air base or two is small gain to the potential of loss should "something go wrong" in the raid.

In particular, I don't think many new players to the game recognize the long-term strategic disaster that happens if one-side comes out on the losing end of a big carrier battle. Similarly, I don't think many players realize how the initiative - and thus the entire game's strategy - subtly and sometimes not-so-subtly shifts through the simple loss of a few CV's.

How Losing CV's Hurt

Losing CV's is more than just lost VP's. Or the lost ability to sink enemy ships. Instead, losing CV's can completely shift the entire strategy in the Pacific. Let me give a few examples.

If the Allies come out on the losing end of a big carrier clash with the Japanese, and lose three carriers and the Japanese lose none (as is often the case as seen in other AAR's), the Allies have essentially lost the initiative to the Japanese for ALL of 1942 and at least through the middle of 1943.

What this means is that the Allies will not only lack the ability to prevent the Japanese from "laying claim" to a spot on the map and calling it their own, but also will NOT have the strength to retake and hold the lost territory except for distant bases that lie far outside of the Japanese defensive perimeter like Midway/Aleutians/etc...

Let's take Guadalcanal as a real life example. What would have happened if the Battle of Midway had the opposite results? What if the three Allied CV's were sunk instead of the four Japanese CV's? If that result had happened, the Allies would never have been able to invade Guadalcanal in August of 1942. The lack of naval airpower would have doomed the invasion. And even if the Marines managed to make it ashore, the Japanese - due to their naval superiority - would have been able to cut off all supplies to Guadalcanal as well as be able to reinforce Japanese units on Guadalcanal at their leisure and without worry of US naval interference.

I bring this point up to highlight how the loss of a few carriers can entirely shift the strategy in the Pacific. Without carriers, the US never could have embarked on the Guadalcanal invasion (and all the subsequent operations that followed in the South Pacific). With Carriers - and because the Japanese Navy had suffered such a catastrophic defeat at Midway - the US was able to do it...barely.....


Jim's Rules for Using Carriers

I only bring out my Carriers - whether Allied or Japanese - to do one of the following:

1. Where my force is numerically superior, I'll bring them out in order to prevent the enemy from conquering new territory.
2. Where my force is numerically superior, I'll bring out the CV's in order to expand my own territory.

Following these rules - boring as they are - goes a long ways towards keeping a players CV's floating.

This does NOT mean that the Allied player needs to sit around until 1943 until the US Navy is "larger" than the IJN. Instead, it means on a tactical level that the Allied player NEVER commits their carriers to a battle where the IJN has superiority in CV's and air units. Or, to put it another way, the player only commits their CV's where there is a very, very high probability of success and a very, very low probability of failure.

This also does NOT mean that the Allied player will never engage defenseless Japanese ships on occasion (and vice versa). As this AAR demonstrates, there is PLENTY of opportunities for a players CV's to pounce on defenseless ships. The difference is that this arises during the pursuit of one of the two above rules - NOT by sending the CV's out on a big raid into enemy controlled territory. Thus, in this game the Allies have sunk plenty of Japanese ships in the South/Central Pacific during the course of operations to take/hold/secure the bases at Lunga/Milne Bay/Munda/Canton Island.


His use of the phrase "high risk/low reward" in regards to some of the early Allied carrier ops is something that really stuck with me.



< Message edited by SBD -- 8/16/2012 8:04:57 AM >

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/19/2012 2:04:55 PM   
Encircled


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Surely it all depends on what opportunities offer themselves?

If you don't do anything with them for months, then your opponent is going to love that

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/19/2012 8:10:35 PM   
casmithasl

 

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My Carriers seem to be Japanese submarine torpedo magnets. Saratoga collected two on the way from the WC to Pearl. Enterprise collected two NW of Baker Island. Then Lexington ran into Kako and company North of Pago Pago, and Yorktown ran into Oi and company near Midway.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/21/2012 7:10:14 PM   
crsutton


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The best use is not to Lose them. Simple.

< Message edited by crsutton -- 8/21/2012 7:11:21 PM >


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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/22/2012 1:46:56 AM   
casmithasl

 

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I didn't lose them, Lex is back in action, Yorktown will be out in a week, Enterprise two weeks after that, but I haft to wait five months for Saratoga.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/22/2012 2:32:11 AM   
Q-Ball


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There is some good advice here. I think the US has to use the CVs early, if for no other reason than you have to prove you can use them. I think you have to follow 2 Prime Directives:

1. Do not tangle with KB, or anything approaching a straight-up fight with CVs. Only engage if you are certain of overwhelming odds
2. Do not sail them within 12 hexes of any size-2 or greater airbase, that has any chance of having an Air HQ at.

I would sail LEX right away toward Wake. Send the Vindicators to Wake/Rabaul right away, and pick-up the Wildcats on Wake for extra CAP. Hang around Wake Is., and sink any attempt to take it. If KB starts heading that way, though, flee northward.

I like to sail ENTERPRISE immediately SW toward the Solomons. You can often pick-off an invasion of Tarawa, and if ENTERPRISE appears in the Solomons, that will halt any progress toward Rabaul without KB present. This is useful. After that, you can send it toward the DEI or elsewhre.

Nygiants has good advice, enhance the fighters with Marines

Most importantly, though, always know where the Japanese CVs are, and if you don't know, then assume they could be anywhere. Be conservative.

The odds changes more in your favor in a fight with each of the following events:

1. 4/42 fleet upgrade that increases FLAK on every ship in the fleet
2. 5/42 availability of TBF; big upgrade
3. Presence of WASP. Even better, not a bad idea to merge the RN CVs with the USN ones
4. 10/42 is another flak/radar upgrade for many ships; plus, fighter groups expand

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/22/2012 3:58:30 AM   
Chickenboy


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The authors of Shattered Sword had a nice summary of the misuse of the Japanese carriers at Midway that led to their destruction. I believe that it holds true for the Allied carrier fleet in the first few months of the war.

To paraphrase-there are exactly two strategic goals for the Allies in the Pacific in the first few months of the war: those that require ALL Allied carriers and those that require NONE.

No half measures. No 1 CV raids. Concentrate your strength-wait for Saratoga (at least), Wasp and Hornet if you can and focus on a critical strategic goal. The tendency to flit here and there with light raiding forces is a strategic misuse of these critical pieces of hardware, IMO.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/23/2012 9:47:33 PM   
crsutton


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My answer may have been a little glib but the advice holds true.

I have two major rules with the Allies in the first month of the war.

1. In 1942, you can use and lose just about any asset but your carriers and be OK. So, I am willing to risk anything but my carriers when confronting the Japanese bullet. Confronting KB early on is a crap shoot and you may win but the odds are not in the Allies favor, so why wager more than you can afford to lose.

2 If I decide to commit my carriers to action, the mission is cancelled if I am not 100% sure of KBs whereabouts at the time the mission is due to go on. In my campaigns, I passed up two serious chances to inflict a nasty blow to my opponent because I did not know where KB was. Keep your six carriers intact into 1943 and there is no reason why you should not win the game.

There is a small window of opportunity when the Allies briefly have 9 fleet carriers in 1942. If given a chance to fight KB on even grounds during this phase I might do it. But it is a short window as the Brits get two carriers recalled.

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RE: Best use of Lex and big E at start - 8/24/2012 12:36:09 AM   
FatR

 

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I think that, barring highly unconventional strategies, the best use for Allied carriers very early on is to raid shipping around Sakhalin. Japanese defences are nearly nonexistent there at the start and preventing carrier raids away major fronts, is, in general, difficult, as I discovered by being successfully attacked there in both my my Japanese PBEMs and doing so myself. Marshalls after opening Jap invasions is a worse target, because you can easily lose a number of good pilots to Jap fighters and are unlikely to catch a soft convoy. Ships in port are much less vulnerable. Then it is highly situational. I used my carriers aggressively, to counter Jap advances when I knew where KB is, when playing as Allies, and had some successes, but lost one as a result.

< Message edited by FatR -- 8/24/2012 12:38:43 AM >


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