Turn 5 – Three Jap ships of unknown tonnage were spotted West, North-West of Task Force 1. They are on the horizon and it will be another turn until my scout plane can get a clear confirmation. Unfortunately, a jap sub attempted to torpedo a battleship in Task Force 1. Fortunately, there was no damage. Last, there must be a carrier somewhere west of Task Force 2. A squadron of Wildcats have intercepted the carrier-based Jap planes but the location of the flattop is unknown.
Turn 6 – Tulagi is neutralized. The Jap engineers building a seaplane base were bombed into ineffectiveness. The Dauntless dive bombers attacking Tulagi are returning to Task Force 1, but it will take a turn or two to recover them. The three ships spotted West-Northwest of Task Force 1 were a supply ship, a light cruiser and a destroyer. Three additional unknown ships are spotted due North of the three confirmed ships. Unfortunately, a Jap Zero has intercepted my scout plane. Is there more than 1 carrier?
Further South the Wildcats splashed the last Jap Bomber threatening Task Force 2. Eureka! A small Jap Carrier is spotted NW of Task Force 2. Task Force 2 starts launching Dive Bombers to attack the carrier. The Jap Carrier has a two ship escort. The last screenshot is of the big picture. Until Task Force 1 recovers their planes, they cannot launch offensive action. It will take a couple of turns for planes from Task Force 2 to reach the Jap Carrier.
Turn 7 – Fleet Carrier Spotted! With a Zero on their tail, the scout plane pushed North to spot the ships on the horizon. Holy Cow! A Jap Fleet Carrier! The Zero closed and as the scout plane caught fire the radioman got off the message to Task Force 1.
A destroyer in the scouting screen closed to visual range on the Jap Light Carrier. Looking at the big picture, Task Force 1 with 2 fleet carriers is recovering planes from the Tulagi strike. The Jap Fleet carrier has a squadron of Zeros up for Combat Air Patrol and they shot down the scout plane. A Jap bomber unit is searching for Task Force 1.
Task Force 2 has launched all three squadrons. The Wildcats have engaged the Jap Light Carrier’s Combat Air Patrol and they are savaging each other. It will take a turn or two for the dive bombers to reach the light carrier. The light carrier has a minimal escort and a US destroyer from the scouting screen may be able to close to torpedo range.
Turn 8 – Destroyer Torpedoes Shoho – One of my destroyer scouts put a torpedo into the small Jap carrier Shoho causing moderate damage. A wing of dive bombers and a torpedo plane are vectoring in but none may reach the Shoho next turn. The Shoho has a minimal escort: a destroyer and a cruiser. I have three destroyers steaming towards the position. The Shoho and her escorts must be sunk because all are in the direct path of Task Force 2’s approach towards Port Moresby – the key to surviving this battle.
Turn 9 – Shoho Sunk, Port Moresby Invasion Force – First the good news. US Navy Destroyers firing torpedoes and dive bombers and torpedo planes from Task Force 2 sank the Jap Light Carrier Shoho. She carried two air wings. The destroyers, dive bombers and torpedo planes should be able to sink the destroyer and cruiser escorts.
I got a blocking force to oppose the Jap Invasion Flotilla. Any help is welcome, but the Japs have a ton of surface ships plus carrier support. A fleet of Jap ships are on the horizon, but I have no positive ID of ship type. I’ve sent a lone destroyer attempting to draw off the Japs. A cruiser and destroyer are moving South hoping to bypass the Jap Escort fleet and attack the troop transports.
A F4F Wildcat is dogfighting a squadron of Zeros in the vicinity of where the Jap Fleet Carrier was spotted. The exact location of the carrier was lost when the scout plane was destroyed.
Turn 9 Big Picture – Task Force 1 has recovered their planes and will start launching to search and destroy the Jap Fleet Carrier in the North next turn. Task Force 2’s air wings and destroyers will mop up the Shoho’s escorts while the main group steams NW towards Port Moresby. The blocking force will attempt to sucker the Jap Invasion screening units away from the landing craft.