From: Brussels, Belgium
Ok thanks very much for the many more useful answers, details and ideas, like eg. quick DD generally hard to hit with TB torps.
I went back to look at of the TB squads on LEX and YT in my Coral Sea game. It seems both pilot groups are quite good already with a "NavT" rating of 77 and 79. Not sure though if these pilots are preset entirely from the scenario files, or if there is a random element to it upon making a new game. In any case in my game they were fairly competent I would say? So I suspect they were (mainly) going after DD's with their attacks, and the results were all misses.
TBH I did not pay attention during battle, and from the old combat reports it's not clear which TB attacked which ship. Anyways it's something I will look out for in the future. It definitely seems very reasonable to consider size and speed of the target ships.
Don't check only the squadron's average, but also each pilot. You can never be sure which pilot flies, so if you have rookie pilots, they're at risks.
You can check in the editor, some of the squadrons have pre-set average XP, which will get somewhat randomized once the scenario starts.
Another word on the Devastator : they're awful. I'd advise you not to launch attacks with them, as they're slow (barely 200), fragile (less durability than a Val) and an anemic replacement rate. If you use them in the grand campaign in the first few months, you'll waste good pilots, as losses are inevitable, even against mere cargoes.
If you plan on using your CVs offensively during that time, 1) do it carefully, 2) drop the TB and add a fighter or DB squadron instead.
Alright, please a New chapter... Scenarios...
I feel like I have seen and learned enough for now from the Coral Sea scenario, and want to move to the next level. I definitely feel not ready to take on the full campaign, if nothing else because one should issue like 5'000 commands on Turn 1 (Kull's Allies spreadsheet)... But in some of the threads you gave me there are several interesing options with still smaller scens. I might go for the Aleutian's "1000 Miles". But I have a general question:
I'd advise the Guadalcanal scenario too. Coral Sea is ok to get the grasp on the game's basic mechanics for air missions and naval combat, but Guadalcanal will teach you to conserve your supply and your airframes, and how to do successful amphibious landings (and ground combat).
But then, don't hesitate to delve into the grand campaign. Don't try to get everything perfectly from the start, and don't try to follow Kull's spreadsheet at start. Start playing by only using ships, try to ambush the AI sometimes, see how the invasion of the SRA unfolds, but don't plan to play more than three months (or even one month at first). See what went wrong, and restart once you've learned from your initial mistakes.
And ask questions here while you do it (or do a google search beforehand). The point is : no scenario can really approach the complexity of the grand campaign.