I played through the first 4-5 hours so far. Air fight was balanced, but I suggest balancing out the fighters onto each carrier. If you have 25 F-35s on each carrier instead of all 75 or so on the same one, then the recovery phase will be much easier. After launching all my F-35s to deal with the first wave of Su-35s and J-10s, I had to fight almost with one hand behind my back, because the Kennedy was recovering all those fighters, and couldn't launch the F/A-18s. I ended up sending about ~30 of the F-35s (and ~10 A-12s) to airbases in italy so my carriers could start launching fighters again. This wouldn't be an issue if the number of fighters on each carrier was more balanced (24 F-35, 2 E-2, 7-8 EA-18G, 24 F/A-18 per carrier), then I can launch and recover fighters more efficiently.
Lost a Cruiser, Destroyer, and Zulwalt to the ballistic missile strikes, which was annoying, because the missles easily changed targets after the original was destroyed, something that would certainly be harder to do IRL due to re-entry and all the factors associated with that.
Had some tense moments when the Backfires showed up, I had just recovered from the 2nd wave of strikes and my CAP couldn't push up fast enough to catch all the bombers. I got the last few groups, but at the expense of all my SM-6s, which meant that there were some very close calls with my ships.
Speaking of the 2nd wave, those T-50s seemed to make the biggest difference. On one hand, I think their radars were the most effective, detecting my F-35s and A-12s, and I lost several planes, compared to losing none while fighting the first wave. On the other hand, they were easily detectable because their radars were on. It could go either way if you want to keep their radars on or not.
Then Vatican City got hit, and I responded by spawning in a SSBN and hitting enemy airfields. My logic was that with a power as large and as anti-us as the Islamic Caliphate is, the US would absolutely have silos and SSBNs targeted and ready to fire, especially after they showed their willingness to use nuclear weapons with Israel. Not much else to report on, basically because hitting all the airfields left the enemy aircraft with nowhere to land, and it was GG for me. I might go back in to try my luck taking out a few SAM sites, or sinking the enemy SAG.
No points subtracted for losing planes or ships
The Mig-29As (and probably some other aircraft, but I was only able to observe it happening with the Mig-29As) all take off on their CAP mission, then try to land at the same time, and that airfield can't handle 100+ Migs trying to land at the same time, so a good number run out of fuel and crash. Best suggestion is to spread out the enemy aircraft to more airfields to prevent this issue, and also prevent aircraft from coming at the player in a steady stream, making them easily defeat-able.
If that Tu-22 strike was better coordinated, I guarantee I would have lost some more ships, maybe even a carrier. Instead, they came in small groups, allowing me to defeat the attack piecemeal.
< Message edited by Excroat3 -- 4/18/2017 2:47:24 AM >