May be it isn't your opponent's intention (hmn just saw a squadron of flying pigs from my window) but the faux amphibious invasions are a clear game exploit. They are not, as JocMeister suggested in post #6779, a "creative use of the game engine". Joc used the LCIs with guns/mortars/rockets as they are intended, and suffered the logical consequences. But that is not the case here.
Firstly, the game design is most definitely not intended to be exploited in this manner. On 30 November 2009, Don Bowen, who for AE coded the bombardment actions of amphibious task forces and the shore response, specifically stated that the bombardment action of an amphibious TF:
"is not long term naval support, one would have to bring up a bombardment TF for continued support after troops are all ashore."
Secondly, I'll show you the benefits which your opponent is gaining from not using proper bombardment TFs.
1. These faux invasions have only a single non combat ship in them. Specifically they have a single APD, every other ships is at least a DD sized combat warship. APDs can be inserted into a Bombardment TF, so quite unlike what JocMeister did, your opponent is deliberately using an Amphibious TF instead of a Bombardment TF because it benefits him and disadvantages the defender, not because it is the only way to involve APDs into the action.
2. A normal Amphibious TF is comprised of many transport type ships (APs, AKs, landing craft,) often minewarfare ships to clear mines, combat ships to suppress shore guns etc. Whilst the supporting non transport ships can be targeted by the shore guns, 4 out of the 5 minimum shore gun firing cycles focus on the abstracted (see point 4 below) troops in landing craft approaching the beach. This means a BB, CA, DD in an Amphibious TF is much less often the target of shore guns than they are if they were in a proper Bombardment TF. Look carefully at the CR posted and you will see the shore guns are not even attempting to shoot back at the combat ships, they are focussed almost exclusively on the sole APD. This would not be the case if they were Bombardment TFs.
3. Because the combat ships are not being targeted by the shore guns, they are not being damaged and can therefore maintain a much higher tempo of operations than otherwise would be the case. This extremely high tempo of operations is causing both a huge drain on defender supply consumption (much higher than would otherwise be the case) and prevents defender recovery. The number of defending shore guns which participate is dependent on their supply, morale, and undisrupted states.
4. It is the "abstraction" which is the main game exploit here. In fact it is bothering on it being a "cheat". If there were no "abstraction" involved, one could not contemplate using the word "cheat".
What exactly is the "abstraction".
To quote Don Bowen from the same long post he made on this subject back on 30 November 2009
"From a purely code standpoint, remember that troops approaching the beach in landing craft is an abstraction, as are the landing craft themselves. They are not valid units and can not be referenced by code."
Remember the key point which is being exploited, viz they are not valid units.
As said in point 2 above, the shore guns are focused on these abstracted approaching troops. In a normal, dare one say properly constituted Amphibious TF, the expenditure of ammunition (aka supply) by the shore guns will inflict casualties on the landing troops. Here they continue to shoot at the abstracted landing troops but are not getting any return for their efforts because there are no real troops being landed. Again look at the CR and notice that although the CR says they are shooting at the APD (because that is a valid unit from a coding POV), what they are really shooting at are the abstracted troops on the abstracted landing craft on the water away from the APD.
5. The net result of points 2 and 4 is that the shore guns are wasting their fire on "ghost" targets which cannot be damaged in any meaningful manner but the "bombarding" ships are able to get full bang for their bucks in complete safety. And the most the Allies risk is a single APD and even then the odds are very low of any hits being achieved on the APD. The ships can shoot to suppress any shore gun which targets the abstracted landing troops. Here it means they can concentrate their fire on Japanese units which would not necessarily be the target of a Bombardment TF. It is all akin to populating a barrel with only one type of fish species and then shooting at the fish in the barrel.
< Message edited by Alfred -- 2/17/2016 2:41:26 AM >