Gameplay advice sought for Coral Sea

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thgmusic
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
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Gameplay advice sought for Coral Sea

Post by thgmusic » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:49 pm

Hey all,
When I tried to do a search for "Coral Sea" it kept timing out, so here I go with some questions for the Coral Sea scenario. I'm playing the campaign at the level 3 difficulty. I've played Coral Sea before, but I enjoy the replay-ability of this game. So, I've started the Pacific campaign (again) from Pearl Harbor on.

So, from playing before, I know there are some Japanese submarines around. The two that I've stumbled across have been purely by chance. There's one in the NE that I usually find as I head towards Tulagi. There's another in the South Central part that I have stumbled across before, but mostly discovered after it's attacked my ships down there, usually the carrier or cruiser. So, here's question 1:
• What's the best way to locate subs without slowing down the overall pace of movement of the fleet?
I know I can use sonar from my destroyers, but they have to stay in place. **By the way, the range of the sonar is 2 hexes out from the destroyer?

Question 2: what do you prioritize in order of attack?
• I usually send a couple of destroyers and a cruiser to take care of Tulagi
• This invariably brings quite a few Japanese fighters and bomber/torpedo planes
• Do you try to attack the planes?
• This usually results in my fighters getting pretty badly mauled because the Wildcats just can't make that great a dent in those Zeroes

Which leads to:
Question 3: should I buy a 2nd core force carrier?
• in the Gilberts scenario, I buy a carrier with 2 fighters and a bomber
• this is helpful of course in the Coral Sea scenario, but I am woefully short of fighters to deal with all the Japanese planes
• assuming I've managed my resources well in the Gilberts, I usually have enough to purchase a carrier along with a couple of fighters and a bomber/torpedo

Question 4: with my southern central fleet, I head west/northwest to first engage and destroy that small Japanese carrier fleet, then make a beeline for Port Moresby.
How do I keep the blocking force around Port Moresby alive while still trying to block 6 Japanese destroyers (or is it 8, might as well be a hundred!) and a cruiser?

Well, that's enough for now. If you know of other threads that discuss this, please link to them if you can. I appreciate it!

Happy gameplay!
Happy Gameplay!
Brad

Andy2012
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Re: Gameplay advice sought for Coral Sea

Post by Andy2012 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:04 pm

Best way to locate subs is sonar. And quicksaving. They are annoying.
The Wildcats suck against the Zeros for now. Send bigger numbers. More fighters, fewer bombers.
I remember going for an all-fighter carrier. That helps until the Corsair and Hellcat come along.
I remember retreating the Port Moresby force towards my main force and both joining in the west. That should drag the AI into your core force.
Hope this helps, it has been a while since I played that.

thgmusic
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
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Re: Gameplay advice sought for Coral Sea

Post by thgmusic » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:12 pm

Thanks for the quick reply!
I did add another carrier with just fighters (only had enough CPs for 2) and it made a *big* difference.
Happy Gameplay!
Brad

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Re: Gameplay advice sought for Coral Sea

Post by GabeKnight » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:41 am

I don't think I've ever sent any of my ships for Tulagi. Don't split your naval forces. A couple of bombers accompanied by one or two fighters can take care of the occupation force there while your fleet keeps on moving west. Nothing else to do for the bombers at this early stage of the mission anyways. Don't bother with the Zero(s) near Tulagi. Sure, your bombers will take some damage, but if you keep your dogfighters adjacent to them, they provide support fire.

There should be plenty of gameplay videos for this scen on youtube, too.

TheFilthyCasual
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Re: Gameplay advice sought for Coral Sea

Post by TheFilthyCasual » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:20 am

In question order:

1. You can't really, you have to pick. If you don't move the fleet and let the sub come to you, this allows you to SONAR ping every turn. If you move all the time, then you can't ping, but on the other hand, given that subs are quite slow, it won't be able to keep up with you anyway. I guess it depends on whether you want to keep moving your whole fleet around to avoid the subs or just stay in place and try to sink them when they show up.

2. It's better to just use bombers. Frankly, until you take out the Japanese combat air patrol with your own fighters, sending your bombers against the Japanese carriers with veteran Zeros in the way is suicide, so they might as well attack something while they wait for you to kill the enemy air groups.

3. Yes. Only in the Philippine Sea do you get veteran non-core carrier squadrons, otherwise you get green ones who usually get massacred by the Japanese. They're mostly just cannon fodder - trying to keep them from dying is often an exercise in frustration as an attack from any Zeros will usually require sending it immediately back to the carrier or it will get destroyed, meaning they never really make any headway against enemy forces. As for what you should buy, that's debatable. 3 fighters and 3 bombers is a good mix; defensively, 4 fighters is the best and is enough to annihilate any enemy attack group, but leaves you with little strike power.

4. You should probably deploy your own destroyers and cruisers around Port Moresby rather than your carriers. The Japanese only have one cruiser, so even one extra gives your force the leg up on them.

Horst
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Re: Gameplay advice sought for Coral Sea

Post by Horst » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:13 am

I can't wait for the day when game developers get help from bots to beta-test games instead of customers.

TheFilthyCasual
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Re: Gameplay advice sought for Coral Sea

Post by TheFilthyCasual » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:36 pm

I always have 6 carrier planes in my core, 3 fighters, 2 Dive Bombers and 1 Torpedo Bomber (or just 3 BTDs once they're available). That's two carriers worth of planes, but you don't usually need to actually deploy a second carrier because in any carrier battle the game will give you auxiliary carriers. These carriers usually come with planes, but as these are auxiliaries you can just use them as cannon fodder against the nearest target until they're gone, especially in the Coral Sea and at Midway where they really stand no chance against the level-1 veteran Japanese planes. Then you can deploy the rest of your planes on that carrier. Your Naval points really should be spent on more surface ships, including a battleship, because on Guadalcanal you need every ship you can get.

So for the Coral Sea, I deploy 2 bombers and 1 fighter on my carrier in the northern task force and immediately send them to take out Tulagi because Guadalcanal is hard enough as it is. To the south, I send all the planes on the Lexington against the Shoho to do whatever damage I can before they all get shot down. I then deploy the rest of my fighters. As I recall, you only get 15 air points in the Coral Sea, right? So you can only deploy 5 planes, not 6, and you definitely need three fighters; two will not be enough to stop the Japanese from sinking one of your carriers or take on the combat air patrol.

I keep my bombers on my Yorktown until either the Japanese bombers come after it or my fighters have shot down all the Zeros.

It's also important that you have the Flight School specialization and use Elite Repairs on your planes. This will ensure all your aircraft are at least as veteran as the Japanese, if not moreso from fighting in the Gilberts. Sending inexperienced planes against the veteran Japanese air units in the Midway and Coral Sea scenarios is just suicide, as you will be able to see from how easily they kill your auxiliary planes.

PoorOldSpike
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Re: Gameplay advice sought for Coral Sea

Post by PoorOldSpike » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:19 pm

thgmusic wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:49 pm
..By the way, the range of the sonar is 2 hexes out from the destroyer?..
Yes, I'm running a comprehensive series of tests on sub operations and will create a dedicated thread later.
So far I've found that a sub can only be spotted by a destroyer at 2 hexes regardless of whether its surfaced or submerged.
If the sub is submerged the destroyers sonar will detect it and the ship will launch "hedgehog" projectile type depth charges at it. and if the sub is surfaced the destroyer crews eyeballs will detect it, in which case the destroyer will use its guns.
At 3 or more hexes range the ship can't spot the sub at all.
However, surfaced subs can spot ships at up to 4 hexes range which give subs an important tactical advantage because they'll see the ship first and will be able to launch a quick stabbing attack on the surface to get in the first shot with torpedoes at 2 hexes firing range.
At the moment I'm testing whether a destroyers guns or its hedgehogs do the most damage to subs, which will influence our choice of whether to attack when surfaced or submerged.

Rose88
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Re: Gameplay advice sought for Coral Sea

Post by Rose88 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:00 am

I remember going for an all-fighter carrier. That helps until the Corsair and Hellcat come along.
I remember retreating the Port Moresby force towards my main force and both joining in the west. That should drag the AI into your core force.
Hope this helps, it has been a while since I played that.


tellpopeyes

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