Glad to see that you are working on a naval mod, Hairog
I had some similar ideas - which I had posted recently in the beta forum. Here are the extracts:
There have been some concerns posted by new SC3 players in the regular SC3 WAW forum about the naval aspects of the game.
How about reducing the number of naval units by grouping the existing units into new naval groups?
• Initial Scenario forces would be based on historical ship numbers, ship combat capability and quality
• Scrap individual naval units and MTB units
• The maximum strength of each unit would vary as per historical values (eg Japanese or British Carrier Groups might have 8 maximum air strength as they had a smaller air complement)
• Less problems with stacking at existing ports
• Less problems with naval units accidentally bumping into each other in large sea hexes
• The new unit cost, movement allowance and combat ratings would need to be tweaked
• The AI would have an easier time playing its side, as it would have half or less the number of units to move
• Give certain Cruiser Groups (eg Japanese) a larger spotting range due to seaplanes
• You could give certain surface group units two strikes, so as to provide more decisive battle results (more sinkings)
Battle Group (BB/BC with some DD) – 2 BB/BC per unit
Cruiser Group (CA, CL mix with some DD) – 4 CA/CL per unit
ASW Group (DD/DE mix) – 8 DD/DE per unit
Carrier Group (CV with CL and DD mix) – 2 CV per unit
Escort Group (CVL/CVE with some DD) – 4 CVL/CVE per unit
Sub Group – 4 SS per group
This would not require a game code change - only some serious work with the editor.
Most surface naval combats in WWII happened near land or ports, not on the high seas.
I have been experimenting with the Editor to attempt to remove ZOCs from all naval units, As these hexes are so large, I am suggesting that there should not be an automatic sighting of friendly naval units by adjacent enemy naval units.
Is there any way, in the Editor, to remove the auto-surprise attack against a friendly naval unit when it moves adjacent to a previously hidden enemy naval unit?
What I would like to see is that an enemy naval unit is only revealed via friendly air recon of that hex, if it moves adjacent to a friendly port, or a friendly land unit (coast watchers), or if it attempts to enter a hex containing a friendly naval unit.
In all other cases, passage of friendly naval units would not reveal enemy units in adjacent hexes.
Or, how about the passage of an adjacent friendly naval unit having a percentage chance of discovering an enemy naval unit in a hex?
Bill had a concern that reducing the number of naval units would be result in less being available to protect unit transports.
A suggestion is that Long Range Amphib units, as they are very expensive, be given an increase in defence value, to simulate an intrinsic escort (CL, DD, DE).
I agree with most of the above, as much as I like to see named historical battleships etc, for this game scale it just does not work. Naval units need to be in Battle Groups/ Task Forces only end off!
The biggest problem with the naval game is, individual ship attacks cause far to much damage per attack!
On land, the largest unit is an Army. It attacks another Army at a combat value of 2 since they are target type HARD! Added to this the combat effects are further modified by all kinds of terrain, entrenchment etc. At sea, you only have one terrain water. So when it comes to combat Battleship v Battleship they attack each other at a strength of 6! Which means in game battleships are pointless, they are virtually the most expensive unit type in the game and the take virtually the longest time to build, and yet the can leave port and be completely destroyed in one game turn, by an ever ending swarm of units coming from 20 or more hexes away, its nuts! Naval units need to have better spotting as most Capital ships and cruisers used aircraft for reconnaissance, naval units also need to have more value applied to ZOC in order to restrict the swarm attacks seen in the game which is ridiculous, and needs to be abolished from the game completely.