A new question arose.
I had some kind of battle of Midway without my carriers. So I saw the Japanese coming in, "slightly crippling" a battleship with SBDs and surface forces at first (so the planes can fly).
Then came their carriers. And suddenly the SBD's pilots put on their colorful cap with the propeller on it, spun it and said "look I'm doing a flight mission".
The only planes taking to the sky were some old faithful Vindicators in night mission and a squadron of SBDs also at night mission - hitting nothing. Neither of the day mission (Naval attack, 30-40% search) SBDs rose to the skies while the Kates and Vals tried to obliterate my ships and island.
The SBD squadrons are fairly experienced as they crunched several invasion fleets inbound for Wake throughout the year. There are 3 or 4 squadrons of SBDs on the island with 16-18 planes each.
I replayed the turns on different settings with fighters, without, on night mission, on day mission, with ice cream on a spoon and doing the "here comes the plane"-move to motivate their Aggression 68 leaders....nothing worked. For a week no dive bomber would fly in daylight to get those carriers that virtually docked and replenished in my port. Their altitudes were set all the same, 14.000 feet for each and every squadron. I had several Catalinas searching the area day and night to keep the DL high. To no avail. But when they were on Wake (those same squadrons), they happily engaged every DD and AK they saw or heard of. And Wake is a place the farthest possibly away from any HQ on the whole map that could've helped with strike coordination or motivation.
I have no idea what I could have overseen. Fatigue level is also very low. I am not exactly sure but none exceeds 20%. The pilots are experienced and skilled with NavB ranging in the 70s and 80s. The weather ranged from overcast to clear sky - no flights.
Stacking of airgroups initially was 9 of five, later reduced to 5 of 5. Didn't help either so I assume overstacking isn't the case.
And as I have said the Bombardment TF was attacked successfully. In the second replay of the turn they didn't even manage to close in to the immediate island vicinity. But their carriers....as soon as they are spotted, they (the SBD pilots) seem to disperse never to be found again unless one of the squadron flies a night mission. Setting them all to night had the effect of none of them flying...but this may be a coincidence and is not important as they just don't hit anything at night.
I have read of TFs that don't send out sorties even with juicy targets next to them.
Very colourful narrative, zero real useful information. What exactly, in game mechanic terms, is a pilot with a colourful spinning propeller. Or what constitutes your provision of an ice cream with a spoon. Such language does not communicate what exactly did you do.
1. You state you have 3 or 4 SBD units on the island. Why don't you know how many you have?
2. You state a SBD squadron attacked at night. Is this one of the 3 or 4 of point 1 or a separate squadron making it a total of 4 or 5 SBD units on the island?
3. When you state that "neither of the day mission (Naval attack, 30-40% search) SBDs rose to the skies" are we to infer the "neither" means 2 squadrons? Together with the night attack of point 2, that would account for all 3 squadrons present (if the lower number of point 1 is the case). Or do you mean no attack in the am or pm phase occurred.
4. You state that the SBDs assisted in "slightly crippling" a Bombardment Task Force. Where these the same SBD units of points 1, 2 and 3? Presumably yes which immediately raises two obvious discussion issues. Firstly, did all the available SBD units attack the Bombardment Task Force? Secondly, just how many times in a turn do you think a bomber unit will launch an attack. The answer is once only except if the mission is a Naval Attack where a second attack may occur under certain conditions. Were these conditions present? If not present, then unless you had unused SBD units of course no attack would be forthcoming on the Air Combat5 Task Force.
5. Have you read s.220.127.116.11.1 of the manual? What does an enemy Air Combat Task Force have which an enemy Bombardment Task Force, or the various unspecified task forces containing DD and AK which approached Wake, do not have. Answer is fighters. Other than a brief reference to fiddling with fighter settings, you make no reference of how many friendly fighters are present, nor what their settings actually are. Have you actually considered that the situation outlined in s.18.104.22.168.1 of the manual might apply here? It would certainly explain why enemy targets without air cover are attacked during the day or why attacks against enemy targets with air cover are attacked at night.
6. It may, or may not be relevant, but no mention of morale is provided in your colourful narrative. Instead fatigue, aggressiveness, pilot experience and naval skill are mentioned, three of which have no bearing on whether a squadron will actually take off and all four are trumped by the morale state.
7. It would also be valuable to know the exact MDL and DL levels of the different enemy task forces. Just because you have spotted an enemy Air Combat Task Force inter alia, is no guarantee that it will be the prime target of your bombers.
Lack of precision rarely results in an accurate analysis and identification of the necessary remedial actions.