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Allied carrier task force - 6/4/2020 7:00:24 AM   
Spitfire I


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Sorry, another newbie question, I know, but I've read some different opinions about allied carrier task force composition.

Most of the opinions are for 1 CV max for each Air Combat TF, otherwise you'll pay some penalty operations.
But several people argue that it is worth it.
I'm on January 1942 and I really don't know what to do.
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RE: Allied carrier task force - 6/4/2020 7:16:44 AM   


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This is a value judgement issue and as such there is no single one answer with everything else being wrong.  As in all value judgements involved in the game there is a cost associated with every decision.  What one player views as a trivial cost or one worth paying, another will consider it not worth paying.  Or the same player may consider the cost is worth paying in one situation but not in another.  You should be very wary of any responder who definitively states the answer is always xxxx.

AE is not the Cretan maze where there is only a single path to success.


(in reply to Spitfire I)
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RE: Allied carrier task force - 6/4/2020 12:44:25 PM   

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Always depend on a situation:

You have few carriers and plenty of CA/CL/DD escorts available, go for 1 CV per TF (More flexibility, lesser punch per TF)
You have plenty of carriers and few CA/CL/DD escorts available, go for 2 CVs per TF (less flexibility, larger punch per TF)


(in reply to Alfred)
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RE: Allied carrier task force - 6/4/2020 1:22:16 PM   

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In my opinion this is the best single thread on this subject:
(Note post #2) and very good advice on AA and BB’s in the thread as well.

As Alfred has stated there is not a correct answer.

For me the question about how many carriers should be in an Allied task force is not mainly about
the coordination penalty. As stated in the thread it is not really a penalty just the chance of
A penalty. I agree it is not a real big deal. The word “penalty” seems to scare some players.
The computer makes a random die roll for a percentage chance of penalty.

A configuration which might be good in one situation may not work well in another.
There are a large number number of factors involved other than coordination.

Weather, Task force leader, detection level, pilot experience, Air group set up, Search settings,
Plane types, Cap percentage, Task force total AA, Reaction settings, Air group leadership, etc…

You need to evaluate your situation, the enemy, and the year you are in.
I agree with Bullwinkle that in 1942 your main concern is defense not offense.

Don’t worry so much about offensive coordination just don’t stick your neck out unnecessarily
and reducing your cap in 1942 by using just one CV can be fatal as noted in post #11.

As the Allies if you lose your carriers in 1942 you are at the total mercy of the Japanese.

Another major factor for me is the size of the task force footprint.
The more ships you have in a task force the greater the chance of detection.
Also the chance that if the enemy gets that good detection he may get a more
accurate spotting report on your task force composition.

This can be good or bad depending on the situation because it can be a major factor
In whether he will accept combat in a PBEM game. Fog of war ever present.

In other words, if he sees multiple carriers in your task force he may decline combat and run away.
(This factor more important after you start getting the Essex class carriers in 1943)

But in 1942/early 43 he may also come after you in a big way depending on the situation.
He could win big and sink multiple Allied carriers.

1942 is a critical year for the Allies. Going with one CV per task force can be fatal.
Going with multiple CV’s in a task force can also be fatal in a large way.

Welcome to the Pacific War.

(in reply to Spitfire I)
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RE: Allied carrier task force - 6/4/2020 2:08:31 PM   

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IMO, best Allied carrier composition, on January 1942, is all carriers together, disbanded at a heavily defended (AAs, Guns, mines, Div sized LCUs) and well patrolled (nav search) base, with at least 100 army or marines fighters on CAP duty,

If you plan to use them against Japanese carriers, in Jan42, I suggest you put, as background music, Phil Collins' "Against all odds" cause there will be "just an empty space, nothing left here to remind you" of those carriers in the aftermath

If you read Allied AARs you will find lots of sad stories of Allied carrier forays ending with the KB coming by surprise and sinking them for little to no damage received. It is not impossible to destroy the KB in early war (I have done it once in PBEM!!) but you will need the Japanese opponent to make a succession of blunders and bad mistakes; it happens but not too often

if your opponent is minimally experienced, better wait until you can:
replace Devastators with Avengers
replace Buffaloes with Wildcats
have enough PP to replace some poor ship captains
have properly trained pilots
upgrade ships to better AA
get better carrier escorts (fast BBs and/or CLAAs)

< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 6/4/2020 2:09:45 PM >


(in reply to Trugrit)
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RE: Allied carrier task force - 6/4/2020 5:03:05 PM   

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I think USN CVs shouldn't just stay in port early.....I do agree you have to absolutely NOT use them anywhere that KB COULD appear. Allied players should always track KB and always consider where it COULD be. But I think it's helpful to show your opponent you are willing to use your CVs, if for no other reason than to force the IJA to cover anything important.

There are some early opportunities that are fairly "Safe", like lurking in the Indian Ocean, hitting a Tarawa landing early, stuff like that.

But yeah, don't take on KB head-on anytime in the first 6 months at a minimum.....


(in reply to Jorge_Stanbury)
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RE: Allied carrier task force - 6/7/2020 11:23:27 AM   

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Use of Allied CVs in early 1942 is to have them where KB is not. Even trying "Midway" in mid-42 is very risky. In 1943 you can be more adventurous.

As with having 1 or 2 CVs in TF, I usually have 2. Reason for that is that 1 CV rarely has enough defensive power if you happen to stumble within range of Japanese land-based torpedo bombers (Betties/Nells). They can be real surprise.

Problem can be mitigated a bit by having CVs in different TFs, one following another at range of 0 (same hex). Then usually their CAP is combined, but don't count on it happening always.

< Message edited by Sardaukar -- 6/7/2020 11:35:08 AM >


"To meaningless French Idealism, Liberty, Fraternity and Equality...we answer with German Realism, Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery" -Prince von Bülov, 1870-

(in reply to Q-Ball)
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RE: Allied carrier task force - 6/7/2020 12:13:57 PM   


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in early 42 I tend to try and keep the 3 USN CVs together, with CAs and the longer legged DDs. Making sure to avoid the KB on Dec 8. This can require some high speed runs. I then generally route them towards Tarawa to ambush any easy targets down there and continue towards Oz. Fuel is tight - pretty much draining any island supplies along the way. Training what can be trained along the way and adding aircraft when possible. Then heading towards the DEI to try and cause some mayhem there. Both against humans and the AI I have had very good results of pitting the 3 CV group against mini-KB in the DEI. Of course always make sure you don't blunder into the KB. I keep the CLs for surface combat. Ala the legendary Boise they seem to do much better than the CAs in surface combat. But I don't hide the early USN CVs in port. Got to keep the IJN honest. But I do not try to do a Midway. You would need very lucky die rolls for that to happen in 42.

I also generally don't use the Devastators on attack - they are search and ASW. Even when Avengers come along they tend to be search and ASW. torp dud rates and all.

(in reply to Sardaukar)
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RE: Allied carrier task force - 6/7/2020 3:52:36 PM   

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Early war problem is to have enough escorts.

And you don't have fast BBs to soak attacks. Thus I always try to save RN BB PoW if possible. It has speed of 28 knots, which is enough and good AAA.

Makes really good "flak ship" for CV TF.

Never put old US BBs with speed of 21 knots into CV TF. You'll regret it because of movement speed.

< Message edited by Sardaukar -- 6/7/2020 3:54:11 PM >


"To meaningless French Idealism, Liberty, Fraternity and Equality...we answer with German Realism, Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery" -Prince von Bülov, 1870-

(in reply to fcooke)
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