From: St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
ORIGINAL: Ian R
The combat model in this game does not provide you with tactical control.
You are at operational (and strategic) command level.
You review the available information, and remember, what you see is yesterday's news.
You assign assets to search, or strike. They go to work. Sometimes they fail.
Often that failure is influenced by your failure, in your operational/strategic role, to organise enough supply, to have the right aviation command structures in place, to asign the right mix of ships to a TF to get the job done.
So, knowing you can't point a particular air group at a particular TF (that you detected yesterday) - what do you think you can do with your available assets to find, and then damage, that TF?
To increase the confusion, all non-Naval Attack air missions do allow the choosing of targets by the player.
The player can allow the Tactical AI to choose targets for all mission types by not selecting a target. This is the default, and unalterable, situation for all Naval Attack air missions.
The Tactical AI chooses Naval targets based on an algorithm that examines many variables. Yes, sometimes you will be pulling your hair out because your guys went after a nearby small potatoes target while ignoring another more juicy one.
CAP normally extends 3 hexes (unless the units range is manually restricted to less by the player) from the base hex it is being flown from. LRCAP can be assigned to any hex within range, but the further from the originating base hex, the smaller the percentage of planes that will appear over the hex and the greater the fatigue will be from the mission.
One can surmise that the developers thought that giving tactical control of naval target selection to the players would allow for too great a degree of tactical control.
One of the great things about Gary Grigsby games is the high degree of variability for any encounter and the inability to guarantee an outcome.