I'm trying to play some of the simple scenarios. This is the Battle of the Coral Sea. The Japanese have 2 CV and 3 FF at Truk. They also have 1 CVL and 9 FF at Rabaul. The scenario goal is to invade Port Moresby garrisoned by an Australian 1-2 INF. There is a 1-2 INF at Lae. There are a 1-2 INF and a 1-2 Marines, plus a 2-3 AF in Rabaul. There are 3 Austalian FF and a 2-3 AF in Cairns.
The Japanese plan is to have Task Force 1 attack Cairns and counter the Australian AF and fleet. The 1-2 from Lae will invade overland. The Marines and INF will attack the beach. Port Moresby will defend at +2 DM (3), so the 2-3 AF and 3 factors of shore bombardment will make it 2-1.
The Australian 3 FF and the US Task Force (2 CV, 6 NAF, 12 FF) intercept the patrol of Japanese Task Force 1 (2 CV, 6 Elite NAF, 3 FF) east of Port Moresby. The Japanese form a single combat group. The Allies break up into two combat groups to improve their search results. The US assigns 3 for CAP, 3 for attack. The Japs set 2 for CAP, 4 for attack.
The Allies have +4 search modifiers (2 for combat groups, 1 for AAF in Cairns, 1 for Magic). The Japanese have +1 search modifier for their one combat group. The US rolls a 5 and the Japanese roll a 4. US gets 5 on the surprise table.
1. Airstrikes by patrolling task forces are resolved before naval interception of die rolls are made. (27.3195)
2. Enemy CAP caught off guard. There is no +1 DRM for air combat between attacking units and CAP air units.
3, Anti-aircraft defenses less effective. The defender incurs a -1 DRM on his air defense dice rolls.
4. Damage control problems. The attacker receives a +1 DRM on his air attack rolls.
5. Enemy CAP out of position. Air combat between attacking waves and CAP occurs only after air attacks are resolved.
This is not looking good for the Imperial Japanese Navy.
The US attacks first with 3 NAF. Total Japanese air defense is 3. The overall the air defense die roll is 8 (-1 for surprise down to 7), the result is 1/1. So only 1 US NAF attacks the Shokaku. The Shokaku's air defense is 1. The air defense die roll is 4 (-1 for surprise down to 3), the result is 0. The 1 US NAF attacks the Shokaku and rolls a 2. No effect. The CAP die roll is 2 Elite NAF vs 1 US NAF, but the Japanese roll a 1 and the US rolls a 6, so Japan loses 2 and the US loses 1.
The IJN attacks next with 4 NAF. 3 US Cap intercept. US rolls 3, Japan rolls 4. US loses 1 NAF. Total US air defense is 3. The overall the air defense die roll is 8, the result is 1/2. So only 1 Japanese NAF attacks the Lexington. The Lady Lex's's air defense is 1. The air defense die roll is 4 (+1 for surprise up to 5), the result is 0. The 1 Japanese NAF attacks the Lexington and rolls a 3 (modified to 4 for Elite). The Lexington receives 1 point of damage and has to return to port.
Japan has four submarine factors that want to attack the Saratoga. The US has a submarine defense of 3. They get a +2 DRM for it being 1942. The dice roll is 11 for a 2/2 result. Half of the Japanese subs are sunk and the other half are damaged.
At this point the US will withdraw. The Japanese roll for surprise against Cairns. They get a 6, reduced to 4 for radar and the air forces in Cairns. 3 factors fly CAP (We need to save some to make the Port Moresby attack 1-1). The Australians are converted to 6 NAF for combat. CAP roll is +2 for the Japanese. They roll a 2 and the Aussie roll a 4. Tie. The tie roll is a 4, both side lose 3 NAF. The attack on Cairns is over.
The invasion force is 2 INF, 1 Marines, 1 shore bombardment, 2 AF, for six. The defense is 1 INF tripled plus 2 plus 1 AF in defensive air. 1-1, odds. The Japanese roll a 6 and Port Moresby falls.