From: Brussels, Belgium
ORIGINAL: Randy Stead
Second run through as Allies even more spectacular, with some last second heartbreak that ruined a shutout. Hockey term.
The score this time 1587 to 657.
See ? Already improving.
I think I caught the transport task force early when it was divided, or appeared divided. I don't know if the AI sends it from two ports and merges them at sea, but the first air attack from my carriers caught 4 ships alone, damaging them. My subs scored about four successes, with hits and a couple of sinkings.
There was one carrier battle, the IJN hit me first, then I struck back at the same time. I always have a heart attack getting hit first, wondering if my counter-strike will make it. The weather gods were messing with me again. One group of 11 DBs missed the TF altogether, and I think they may have been the margin. I got 6 hits on Zuikaku, which limped off with heavy fires. Shokaku got plastered with 8 hits, heavy fires, heavy damage. CA Haguro got two hits, all from bombs. My TBs are only good for target practice, it seems. Perhaps I am doing something wrong there. More reading needed?
As Joe said, early Allied TB are flying coffins. When I can, I’d rather drop them in a safe base, use them for training, and replace them with some USMC squadron, either F or DB. At least in a full campaign, and until I can get the far better Avengers.
Beyond airframes, pilot’s skills are crucial, and the early Allied aviators severely lack them, with averages of 50 being common, so in a scenario 1, you have to train your USN/USMC/FAA. Search the forum for « pilot training » and you’ll find plenty of threads, but long story short, you need to bring the skills as close to 70 as possible, and experience too. And train the Defense skill.
As for the heart attack, I still got one every time I see one of my carriers in the combat animations...
I got Hobart nearly back and one hex out from Townsville the flooding overwhelmed her. Yorktown sank in the same hex as Townsville. I wonder did she sink because I may have forgotten to auto-disband, or if she just died within sight of shore. Lexington was hit hard but made it to port, where she now sits unable to repair due to lack of facilities. Does Brisbane have a shipyard capable of repairing a USN CV? Moot point for the scenario as that hex is off map anyway.
Managing damaged ships is a question of feeling. Sometimes, it is best to simply aim for the closest base, no matter the air cover and size. The important factors are Fire and Flood damage - as long as Fire is raging, you incur additional Flood damage.
You can also disband in a dot base. The ship won’t repair itself, but you can bring an AR (or other tenders for smaller ships) or even an ARD if needed (and confident enough you won’t risk losing it).
Brisbane can’t repair CV. If you open the scenario 1 and check the industry screen, you can sort the data to have the repair shipyard sizes. Compare with the different ship’s tonnage to see where you can repair them. And note that even if a given yard can repair a BB or CV, you don’t necessarily want it to do it - not only a repair shipyard close to the frontline is at risk of enemy strikes, but it’s often advantageous to keep it free for smaller warships (put a 35k-ton BB in a size 40 shipyard, and your repair possibilities are seriously curtailed for a long time).
That’s why capital ships are better shuttled back further, once you’re confident you can keep them afloat for the trip.
I figured it was going to be a quiet game until conclusion but the sneaky IJN sent the balance of the transport fleet to PM. They were spotted by a Catalina rounding the cape. I quickly got a heavy surface group together, since the CV escorts were now free without the CVs to protect. They got the transports in an action about dusk and finished off the lone survivor in a night action. Again, the entire transport group destroyed at sea. Nice.
Well, that is enough for today. Two scenarios. Will have to try it from the IJN viewpoint. Though I have a queasy feeling. For some psychological reason I can play Axis in other games; Germany-Italy, but I find myself reluctant to play as Japan. Can't say why, just do. But I didn't feel that way as a teenager playing Avalon Hill's Midway board game.
One question, which I am sure I can find in the manual or a supplement. I had SS S-44 in Brisbane. She would not reload the 21 inch Mark 10 torpedo. Is that due to the port size at Brisbane? Is there another port in the Coral Sea scenario where you load that size torpedo aboard? Or perhaps I did something wrong or am misunderstanding. I'll be reading the manual again at bed time.
I'm also wondering about ships that make it back to a port in a heavily damaged state. Will getting into port and "anchored" prevent it sinking? If I recall correctly, Townsville is not large enough to dock a big carrier. Must you have a berth big enough to dock it to save it from sinking, or is it merely sufficient to get it into port and anchor it?
Docking and disbanding are not the same thing. You could disband Yamato or Midway in a small atoll dot base.