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Subject: Ship limits of Task Forces, why? rss

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Andrew Kluck
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The Americans are limited to 15 ships, and the Japanese 10. I understand why you need to keep the carriers separate, but since the hexes don't have a limit and any Task Force can be made up of any number of other Task Forces what difference does it make to limit them?

I've only read the Basic Rules so far so perhaps it's explained later.
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Mike Hoyt

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IIRC it's that AA fire can only be used to help ships within your own Task Force.
 
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Andrew Kluck
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blockhead wrote:
IIRC it's that AA fire can only be used to help ships within your own Task Force.

Thanks for the quick reply.

So, to be clear, if TF 10 is made up of TF 11, TF 12 and TF 13 my attacking planes choose their targets and the AA fire they receive only comes from the accumulated AA fire of the TF the planes hit?
 
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Mike Hoyt

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I'd want to reread the rules to be sure, but yes, I think that's how I remember it.

The whole Task Forces comprised of other task forces is really an artificial aspect forced on them by the mechanics. The plane handling boxes are on the task force card, so if you put four carriers in one task force, then you get just ridiculous amounts of plane handling points and you never feel any constraint on moving planes from Just Landed to Ready. The way they dealt with it was the TF within a TF, so you can put each carrier in it's own TF, and thus track each carrier's plane handling capacity separately.

An inelegant solution IMO. If you don't then limit the number of ships in each TF, or say that ships can only use AA against attacks in their own TF, you get this massive blob of ships that can use AA against attacks occurring clear across the fleet.

My solution, which you can find in the file section, was to create a "deck card" for each carrier showing it's capacity. You can then put four carriers in one TF, but still track the plane handling capacity of each separately, and then also observe the ship limitation on that one TF so that AA fire is better represented.

And you then have some interesting choices. The Japanese at Midway had the 4 carriers in one TF, which facilitates a coordinated strike and lets them share CAP. Alternatively they could have traded away some of that by splitting into multiple TF's, which would let them maximize AA and possibly enhance searching while making it harder for the Americans to find all the carriers, which is essentially what they Americans did when they split their carriers among two TF.

It's those choices that make the game fun, don't let the mechanics hide them from you. You can read my thoughts on that matter in CV and FT Explained and then all of the files necessary to adopt that method are in the file section.
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Andrew Kluck
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Thank you. I guess it makes sense in that doctrinally the carrier formed the backbone of a Task Force of both nations and the Americans spaced their ships 1000 yards apart and the Japanese 2000. Those hexes are 20 miles across and flak can only go so far.
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Paolo Desalvo
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I'm a feder-allergic and I blame the Klingon for not having smashed the Federation in time to save us from Star Trek serials.
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Sitnam wrote:
The Americans are limited to 15 ships, and the Japanese 10. I understand why you need to keep the carriers separate, but since the hexes don't have a limit and any Task Force can be made up of any number of other Task Forces what difference does it make to limit them?

I've only read the Basic Rules so far so perhaps it's explained later.

The TF limits are due to how much ships could support each other with the anti-aircraft fire. US Navy was able to coordinate more ships, so it has a higher limit. The Imperial Japanese Navy was able to coordinate for AA fire less ships, so it has less ships per TF.
I thing that for me is missing in Flat Top rules is the fact that the Japanese were able to coordinate the launch of aircraft from more carriers while the American were not.
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Lars W
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A TF could be made up of sub units - Task Groups. But even a TF has ships spread out in circles a bit out from each escorted CV/ Capital Ship and AAA were mostly small caliber (MG to 20-30mm, sometimes larger guns) and thus had a short range. The actual range then shrunk more that the theoretical range as AAA is targeting fast moving objects and thus ineffective if a projectile had to travel for several seconds before reaching the target. Aiming systems were not made for lead-aiming at a target (at 250km/h +) some 4-6km away...

Thus all ships in several TF's in a hex cannot combine to target aircraft coming in form one direction.
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