From: Toronto Canada
...this is not really the behavior I see.
My SCTFs do not always retire after an engagement when sent somewhere with Remain On Station orders - it depends on the engagement. Basically - how much ammo they used, damage sustained, and so on. I wouldn't be surprised to see a SCTF retire in the example given, but I also wouldn't be surprised to see it stay at the target. Examples of cases where I would expect them to stay on target would be where the enemy TF escapes the combat early, or just a few enemy ships were present and were promptly sunk.
Lokasenna, do you recall if your TF was at the target hex or proceeded there after the engagements?
Either/both. Almost certainly both. I keep copious notes of pertinent actions, but I've never noted when a SCTF has retired after a minor engagement (that would have gotten my attention).
Also of note - in recent turns, I've had a single IJN DD contacting my actual SCTFs and those TFs haven't been retiring. Literally 10+ engagements/contacts last turn, with SCTFs and amphib TFs, and none of my TFs retired whatsoever. They remained on station as ordered.
When playing patch 1124 I frequently (perhaps always) had non-SCTFs RTB after the slightest contact with the enemy, even when it was my carrier TF bumping into some xAKs at night. By the end of the turn the TF was well on its way back to home base. Good TF commanders, good ship captains.
Setting waypoints just before target hex seemed to keep the ships going even after contact with the enemy.
Not to directly contradict many here - but I think it is situational.
Alfred is of course correct in terms of working as designed.
But to Loka's point it depends.
I think there are other factors involved as suggested. The Leadership aggressiveness role, ammunition level, threat level (air), threat level (sea) for example.
I have "never seen a SCTF with BB CA" hang around where a bunch of MTBs are nearby - and/or air threat - with remain on station. They always retire. Further the big guns use up ammo quickly so this may be part of the issue.
However I have seen a SCTF with pure DD - stay on station - further 'react' one hex to finish the job and hang around with remain on station. However they destroyed only a small squadron landing force, had lots of ammo available, and had no air or sea threats nearby.
A People that values its privileges above it's principles will soon loose both. Dwight D Eisenhower.