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I finally broke down and purchased the downloadable version of Midway from HPS last night. I have been messing around with the getting started scenario, which is a hypothetical battle at Wake. As the US you control a group centered on the Saratoga. Last night when I played I managed to lightly damage the Japanese CV, while avoiding their strike due to time running out. I played again tonight to try and understand the aircraft handling better. Here is a picture of what the screen looks like:
My planes that were out searching found the enemy task force again, but this time I decided to wait until my TBDs were ready to go as well instead of sending off what was ready on deck at the moment of detection. They must have spotted me as well, even though my CAP didn't spot their search plane, because they had a strike package in the air right away and killed my plane that was spotting them. Since I had lost visual contact and I knew they had a strike in bound, I changed course and put the rest of my F4Fs in the air. Unfortunately when the planes arrived, all of my fighters went after the escorting fighters instead of anyone trying to stop the bombers. The end result was multiple hits from bombs and 1 torpedo hit on the Saratoga. An uncontrollable fire broke out along with flooding from the torpedo hit and the remaining F4Fs circled overhead watching their home burn and sink into the ocean.
I am still working on figuring out how to retask flights to different missions while in the air. I didn't see an easy way to vector my other search planes onto the Japanese task force to help maintain contact. Next time I will have to manually assign some of my CAP to go after the bombers instead of their escorts since they didn't do it on their own until after they had killed all the A6M2s. I should probably have just sent to planes that were ready off after the carrier even if the most likely result was again light damage. It would have at least got them off the deck which most likely contributed to the raging fire. This looks like it should be a fun game though once I get the interface down.