From: Winnipeg, MB
Welcome to the dark reality of the Allies in early 1942 Marshall! As others have said, your experience so far is typical and you
must tell yourself that your expectations were too high, and things WILL get better by late fall 1942.
You don't say whether your opponent is an experienced player of not. If he/she is, the contest is doubly hard for you because
you haven't got a feel for the game yet.
The first Grand Campaign (whole war, whole map, holy Moses!) is overwhelming if you
have not done it before. It helps if you make a longer-range plan (at least six months ahead) for bases you want to keep and
develop, those you will cede to the Japanese without contest, and those you want to use as speed-bumps/meat grinders to resist
rapid advance of the Japanese. Your comment on Palmyra & Christmas Islands is telling. If you want to set up a fuelling island
or two, look first for those which have a Standard Potential Size for the port of at least 2. You can build a size two port to size 5.
A higher SPS will enable you to build up a decent port that much faster. After you pick some possible fuel stops, you must decide
if it is likely to be taken by the Japanese. No sense developing it if the enemy get the benefit. If it seems a far reach for the
enemy, check to see that you have troops to send there to defend it. Marine Defence Battalions are good for this but more AV and engineers are needed.
While you are building up your fuelling ports, haul all the supply and fuel you can to Pearl Harbour, New Zealand and Australia. You can refuel these convoys
by having tankers sitting in any port along the way, and just select "Refuel TF at Sea" to draw your fuel from them.
You mentioned a defence line for Australia - until late 1942 you do not have the troops, aircraft and ships to defend the north if he wants it. Start by
putting what you have into defending Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide (or, if you feel lucky, Perth). Australia has no fighters at game start. Send some in,
even if they are US units that are still training. They can train at inland places like Canberra and Wagga-wagga and move to danger points when they appear.
Port Moresby is worth fighting for if he sends large numbers of troops to other places and only brings a regiment or so to PM. If he really wants it, you
can make it a speed bump but do not have the air and sea control needed to get supplies and reinforcements in.
Get fuel to Cape Town. A large number of ships will be transiting there and they will suck it dry of fuel if they are going CT->on map. Note that you do not need to give fuel
to any ships going from CT to EC USA, Panama, Canada or Britain. No fuel is used moving between two off-map bases. Refuel your ships at the Atlantic ports when they get there.
Back to management of your expectations: at game start Allied ASW is not great, even for the experienced British and Canadian ships. It is even worse for
aircraft squadrons, including those on carriers. They have just not trained in ASW work. Start some pilots training in ASW right away. Use 1000 feet altitude.
Your best defence against his highly skilled sub commanders and crews is avoidance. Use the squadrons which have good Naval Search skills to seek the subs, and pay attention
to the Sigint Report where it says there was a radio transmission near your TFs. Divert around, that is what the Allies did in the North Atlantic in real life WWII.
Final suggestion - you can get a lot of step-by-step advice on this forum to help you handle your first few months of the game by posting a turn-by-turn AAR and asking for help with things
that make you feel lost. All of us remember our newbie experience and the kind advice of other players. Good Luck!
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth