From a historical perspective, the scenario starts when US long range scouts spotted the Japanese invasion fleet South of Midway. To win I must hold Midway and sink two Jap Carriers. If I destroy all Jap carriers, sink 6+ other ships, and don’t lose a carrier I get extra resources and the Jap fleet is weaker in the future. If I sink every troop transport and the supply ship the Jap land forces at Guadalcanal are much weaker.
Starting forces are 2 Carriers, some support ships, and a line of AI controlled destroyers. Midway has a radar station. You can add up to 2 carriers and other aircraft and surface ships. If you lack the resource points to purchase extra carriers your chance to achieve the secondary victory conditions shrink. Initially Midway has a torpedo plane and a fighter.
My initial deployment puts 3 Dauntless Dive Bombers and one F4F Wildcat at Midway. The Wildcat and the Army Fighter protect Midway and the Dive Bombers will attack the Jap Invasion Fleet. Torpedo planes are most effective against large targets (aircraft carriers & battleships). Therefore, the Midway torpedo plane flies out to land on a carrier to the North.
I’ve also placed a Cruiser, a Destroyer and a PT Boat South of Midway to attack the Invasion Fleet.
Strategy: Midway Dive Bombers will sink the escort ships in the Jap Invasion Fleet. The Cruiser, Destroyer and PT Boat will sink the Jap troop and supply ships. The Dive Bombers will land at Midway to rearm and refuel to attack the Jap Carriers after they are located.
The Carriers will group closely together with predominantly Cruiser escorts to maximize AA Fire. After the Carriers and their escorts are grouped, the task force will move towards the AI controlled Destroyer line for anti-sub protection. The scout planes and a couple of destroyers are sent West to find the Jap Carriers. All Torpedo planes will stay on the Carriers until the Jap flattops are found.
Turn 2 – Jap Carrier Based Bombers Spotted – Multiple Carrier Bombers spotted and engaged by Midway Fighter Defense. Slow flying scout planes are moving West and the Dauntless Dive Bombers are vectoring on the Jap Invasion Fleet.
Turn 3 – Jap Destroyer Sunk – Four Dauntless Dive Bombers attack the Jap Invasion Escorts sinking one Destroyer and damaging a light cruiser. Three Destroyers and one damaged Light Cruiser escorts remain. There are three troop ships and a supply ship.
Midway based fighters attack the Jap Carrier Planes approaching Midway.
Turn 4 – Jap Invaders Pounded – The US Navy intercepted one Jap Destroyer Escort and came close to sinking it. Dive Bombers are attacking the other escorts. The Jap Invasion Fleet is rapidly sinking. My scout planes have discovered a lot of Jap ships on the horizon, but the few positive IDs have been destroyers. The US Fleet Carriers have achieved the desired formation and are steaming towards the destroyer line to gain anti-sub defenses. The US fleet escorts are all cruisers with one lone destroyer. The cruisers can protect against torpedo attacks and provide good AA defense.
My carrier task force has formed up and has started moving West. The cruisers are adjacent to the carriers for two reasons: providing anti-aircraft fire and blocking incoming torpedoes from Jap Submarines.
Turn 6 – Invasion Escorts Sunk! – All Invasion Escorts have been sunk. The US Cruiser and Destroyer can easily sink undefended troop and supply ships.
Dogfights over and around Midway have been brutal. Note the F4F Wildcat is down to 20% strength. Midway based fighters have been dogfighting with Zeros and Jap Bombers for many turns.
Jap Carrier Spotted! – A Jap Fleet Carrier has been spotted. Another possible carrier is on the horizon to the SW. My carriers launch torpedo planes.
Turn 6 Recap – This is the last screenshot for the upper NW third of the map since US scout planes confirmed it holds no Jap Carriers. The two scouts will move South. The US Carriers will move South towards Midway. The Dive Bombers which sank the Jap Invasion Escorts will return to Midway to refuel and rearm. Dauntless Dive Bombers move so slowly that it will be quite a few turns before they can go after carriers. They were nicknamed “Slow but Deadly” for a reason.
Turn 7 – 2nd Flattop Spotted – Scout planes spotted a 2nd Jap Fleet Carrier with a 3rd potential carrier just over the horizon. The US attacks on the carriers will take a while as seen on the screenshot. Attack planes fly much slower than fighters and it will take several turns for the first wave of attackers to reach the Jap Carriers. The dive bombers which sank most of the Invasion Fleet will take another turn or two just to reach Midway. They will have to be reinforced, launched, and make their way slowly towards the far West where the Jap carriers are located.
Turn 9 – Invasion Fleet Sunk, 4 Carriers – Four carriers are spotted in the Far West. Three carrier strike waves are slowly making their way West. The US carrier group moves South towards Midway to cut flight time to recover the planes. This may give the planes an extra turn or two over the targets. The last Midway-based Dive Bombers have been recovered.
My surface ships sent the last Jap troop transport to the bottom of the Pacific.
Midway and Carrier based Fighters started engaging Jap Zeros on Turn 8. This continues for multiple turns. If the Zeros can be heavily damaged or shot down my attack aircraft will have a field day.
Turn 11 – Japs Launch Strike Aircraft – US Scout Planes observe Jap Carriers launching strike aircraft armed with ship killing munitions. US aircraft should begin their attacks on Japanese Carriers next turn.
Turn 12 – 3 Torpedoes Hit Carriers – Three torpedo planes successfully hit Jap carriers with 2 hits on the Northernmost Carrier and one on the next one in line. Torpedo planes take 4 turns to rearm and I’m unsure if they will have the range to make a second attack. The first carrier is almost sunk while the second carrier took significant damage.
Next turn the second wave of attackers, primarily dive bombers, will strike. Dive Bombers attack every turn, but do less damage per hit on carriers and battleships compared to torpedo planes.
Jap subs located the carriers. Torpedoes hit a carrier and a cruiser escort. This is the downside of having great AA protection from the escorts (Cruisers) which sacrifices anti-submarine warfare capability from destroyers.
Turn 13 – Scratch One Carrier! – A Dauntless Dive Bomber hit caused a massive explosion on the Jap Carrier. I caught this on a screenshot! F4F Wildcats are savaging the Japanese attack aircraft. They are targeting the deadly torpedo planes. The AI US destroyers found and sank the 2 Jap subs which hit my carrier fleet last turn. The last screenshot shows the positions of US and Japanese forces.
Turn 14 – 2nd Jap Carrier Sunk
Turn 15 – 3rd Jap Carrier Explodes
Turn 16 – Two Jap Carriers Heavily Damaged – The Japs sent 5 fleet carriers to Midway. The last two have been heavily damaged and will be sunk soon.
Turn 18 – Last Jap Carrier Sunk – The final threat to Midway has been eliminated. I achieved all primary and secondary victory conditions.
Other Midway Combat –There was a running battle between US destroyers and a cruiser and a host of Japanese Destroyers and Cruisers. The US Destroyers unsuccessfully attempted to penetrate the Jap Fleet screening the carriers. Several US destroyers were sunk. The Midway Dive Bombers in the last third of the action hit Jap Destroyers and Cruisers. Several scout planes were shot down. These battles were omitted from the AAR because they ultimately had little influence the outcome of the battle. Still, the riskiest jobs in the US Navy in this campaign are flying scout planes or manning destroyers scouting the Jap fleet.
I bought War Economy with the research points. War economy provides two additional command points for land and sea and one additional point in air for all remaining scenarios.