Hello! I'm brand new to the whole 'grognard' type war games, before this the most complex I'd played is HoI4. Please forgive any moronic remarks/questions. I would also just like to warn you that this is gonna be kind of a long post... Sorry (not sorry).
I've been lurking here for a couple weeks now absorbing as much info as possible (Holy cow was this game a fire hydrant and a half?) and have seen many helpful threads. However, I have run into a couple issues that I'd like some advice on. In my campaign as Japan (I like production management and a challenge) and the Allied AI simply does not employ the use of warships heavier than CLs at all. I tag switch over to the Allied team from time to time to try and learn more about what effects I have through certain actions and all of his CVs, BBs, and all but a handful of CAs are docked on the west coast/pearl harbor (or the British equivalencies).
It's February 23rd(ish) '42 on Scenario 2 and I'm still sieging Singapore and Bataan. Bataan should be falling within a week, but Singapore definitely needs more work. I have just captured Noumea and am working on developing it and Rabaul into forward bases. But I've been harassing allied shipping into Australia with my carriers for several weeks now with amazing results and I'm getting no response, no repercussions. There's no challenge.
So I guess my question here is, is this normal? Right now I've sank almost 200 ships with only about 40 losses, all of which are small patrol craft or merchants from Allied subs. I know historically the first CV battle was in May, so maybe I'm expecting too much in the opening stages, but I was expecting more than just sitting in harbor while I'm caught up in Singapore and Bataan. I feel safe enough to sortie all six of my large carriers through the shipping lane between Pearl and San Diego and not suffer more than a few dozen aircraft losses due to Ops. Will this change? If so, when?
Second, I wanted an opinion on what kind of scenario/mods I should get and start using. I've seen several mods in my travels here on the forums, and some of them do look interesting (Like RA), but I often find no explanation on what the mod does or what the scenario actually changes. So I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for my desires. Here is what I'm looking for. (Btw, I run Version 18.104.22.168 Not sure if there's a more recent version or not!)
-Allied AI. No PBEM for me; I'm busy with school and hopefully joining the Navy after I graduate next semester, I don't want to ditch someone as soon as '42 ends. So good AI (or at least as close to it) is high priority.
-Strengthened Japan. I like the challenge of being the underdog, but I don't like a one sided beat down once we reach '44 and I lose my few CVs. I know it's deeply ahistorical, and impossible IRL, but this is a game. I want a chance to actually stand up to the Allies and not be their plaything once they start assembly line producing the Essex class.
And that's about it. A quiet China/no soviets would be nice, but are secondary since I'm in it primarily for naval warfare.
Thanks for all your help guys, this forum has been an invaluable resource of info so far! Have a great day.