Turn 9 & 10 – Hidden Subs – Both Task Forces are hit by torpedoes from undetected Jap Subs. Multiple things shown by the screenshots. First, my escort ships are adjacent to my carriers. This formation makes torpedo hits less likely (torpedoes have a straight line firing) and increases AA fire if Jap planes attack. My strategy against the Jap Subs is to keep moving (subs are slow). You need multiple destroyers to effectively destroy subs. Destroyers cannot move and use sonar in the same turn and sonar range is limited. With so few escort vessels – attempting to locate and sink Jap subs is a long shot.
Turn 11 – Where are the Main Targets? I lost the position of the Jap Fleet carrier in the North after my scout plane was shot down. I’m trying to reacquire it. More importantly, I’ve not spotted the Jap troop ships attempting to land at Port Moresby. Lose Port Moresby = Lose Coral Sea and Lose the War.
Turn 12 – Jap Plans Revealed – The critical two troop ships and a supply ship is spotted by my scout plane. Most of the Jap Surface Fleet has been drawn off by the first Destroyer (now sunk) and a second destroyer. I’m attempting to have the remaining cruiser and destroyer slip between the troop ships and Port Moresby.
The Jap Fleet Carrier was found again by my 2nd scout plane. A Dauntless Dive Bomber hit the carrier for minimal damage. Two more strike aircraft are moving North. Remaining strike aircraft are being launched. The Wildcat is zooming South to intercept the Zero.
Task Force 2’s strike aircraft sank the Jap Cruiser escorting the Shoho and the last escort, a destroyer is heavily damaged. Task Force 2 is steaming NW at top speed hoping to engage the Jap troop ships before they reach Port Moresby.
The huge scope and complexity of the Battle of the Coral Sea can be seen in the annotated big picture.
Turn 13 – Jap Fleet Carrier in Trouble – The dive bombers hit the Jap Fleet Carrier a second time. The dive bombers have taken more hits than the carrier due to AA fire. But the Jap Carrier is now 25% damaged and two more strike aircraft will hit it next turn. Further South, Task Force 2 sank the last element of the Shoho group. Most of the aircraft have been recovered for refueling.
The Port Moresby defense is complicated. One destroyer is moving South away from Port Moresby attempting to draw the Jap Surface fleet away from the troop ships. A cruiser and a destroyer are steaming due North hoping to intercept the Jap Transports. It “seems” like most of the Japs are chasing the destroyers and that the Cruiser and Destroyer can reach the troop ships.