el cid again
This is an issue I have partially addressed for some years in RHS.
I can confirm it seems like CD units never want to engage. But, in fact,
they DO engage on the occasions they detect enemy ships in range. Also,
they (almost) always engage if the enemy actually conducts a landing in
the same hex as the CD unit is in.
What I found that mitigates the problem is the creation of a "spotter" device.
Note that there are two kinds of "spotters" in game terms - you need to NOT
use an "aircraft spotter" for the CD unit to engage ships. A spotter is,
functionally, a surface search radar with a low detection probability and a
short range (never more than the visual horizon, or about 16,000 yards).
If you provide every battery with its own spotter - a CD unit with several
batteries has a significant chance of detection of ship targets. Since
my spotters are 10% effective, a CD unit with 5 batteries (common) has
a 50% de facto cumulative rating.
Another related invention is the "river boom" - see The Sand Pebbles to see
what one looks like. This is an extremely slow composite "naval unit" armed
with numbers of light weapons - and also with spotters. It should have a
maximum speed of 1, and a cruising speed of 0 (which means it will move 1 hex
per day at cruising speed, 2 per day at full speed). It should have durability
= to the number of hulls present. Arm it as you think weapons available warrant.
Put in the same hex as a CD unit, it greatly increases the chances an enemy
TF will be engaged. Apparently the friendly units "talk to each other" to some
degree, increasing the chances the force is detected.