From: Winnipeg, MB
Playing Scenario 6 Dec 8 as allied against the AI.
I am now starting to get a fair few ships and cargo TFs are no longer the problem they were. Looking at the various ships, a number are able to be converted to AG, AKE etc. I have converted a number of AKL to now carry troops as well as cargo. I have a growing number of AKs and others being converted to AGs AKEs etc.
But how many AG/AD/AVP/AKE etc should I really need? Am I being too adventurous in converting all that I can or should I just aim at say 30 AGs etc and keep the other possible conversions as straight cargo ships?
I don't want to find I have 100 AGs and 150 AVPs sitting in ports or off islands that I really don't need when I really need cargo ships.
I know this is like asking how long is a piece of string. Also how you approach the game and your strategy will obviously affect the answer. But can you really have too many AGs etc? What is the most wanted conversion?
Your need will depend on how you proceed with the game. Support ships are meant to be used forward, so your warships and patrol aircraft do not have to go back to major bases to repair minor damage or replenish ammo and fuel. If you push forward on several fronts, you will likely need more support ships at more islands than if you push in one main direction. Risking them and getting them sunk will also increase your needs ...
You need a lot of AGs because IJ subs can be everywhere and your ASW will use a lot of depth charges without necessarily getting results. But IMO, you only need to convert the smallest xAKs to AG - converting larger, longer ranged xAKs ties up too much cargo hauling capacity when the AG sits in port waiting for small escorts to call in.
You don't need a lot of AKEs early on because your old BBs will be under repair or lack the AA upgrades and air cover to operate far forward. Later on when you can safely do bombardments, you need about one AKE per two BBs in a bombardment TF. I convert all the 5250 capacity xAKs to AKE of 4200 capacity because they can reload all Allied BBs except the Iowas. If you do not convert them early and allow them to take an AA upgrade, they lose the ability to convert to AKE.
A couple of the Dutch CMs convert to an AGP (PT boat support) and especially an AR (available in December 1942 or Jan. 1943 after an initial upgrade). ARs are especially precious - find and save that little ship! You don't get a lot of AGPs early on, so saving the other one is useful too.
Don't worry about creating ADs - the US gets quite a few and AKEs can also re-provision DDs. The ADs do help with minor repairs for DDs, but so do ARs.
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth