Level : Expert

This is a short summary of the rules of the Carrier Battles game. The more advanced and detailed rules are directly accessible ingame from the Rules menu.

A scenario

  • takes place over 3 days,
  • is divided into 1h20 rounds (7 rounds of nights, 11 rounds of day).
  • each round is broken down into 4 phases of 20 minutes.
Japanese battleship Nagato
Japanese battleship Nagato


  • All the essence of the naval air war rests on the search for the enemy fleet. Finding and hitting the enemy aircraft carriers first is a huge advantage because they will be less able to fight back. In practice, both sides are able to locate and perform simultaneous strikes.
  • The search is done from carriers and aerodromes controlled by the player. It involves sending one or more units to patrol a grid or sector defined by a radius (60 °, 120 °, 180 ° C, 240 ° or 360 °) and a maximum distance (generally limited by the endurance of Scouts) .
  • You can also play on the search speed. Each PHASE, Scouts will advance 1 or 2 hexes from their base. The segment of the search arc where Scouts are located is displayed on the map.
  • Scouts will search, each PHASE, in the hexes located on the sides and in front of their position.
  • The weather plays a major role.
  • It is recommended to send several waves of scouts and combine the research of several bases to give more chances.
  • When an enemy squadron is located, one obtains its position (more or less precise) on the map and a summary information on its composition (small, large, surface, transport …). This information will be clarified as and when searched more precisely and frequently. It is possible that the first scouts were mistaken in their report and that a Transport Ship (TRS) has suddenly transformed into a fleet of aircraft carriers (CVs)!
  • Scouts can stay above their target (shadowing), allowing maximum location and intelligence reports on the enemy fleet. They can however be chased by the opposing CAP.
  • The map displays the last known position of a squadron for 4 hours and the last direction taken by it.
  • The player also benefits from searches carried out by seaplanes based on cruisers and seaplane bases but this one is entirely managed by the system.


  • Ships move one hex each turn.
  • Some ships are slower (Transports, damaged ships).
  • Air units move 2 hexes each PHASE, so they are 8 times faster.
  • In some scenarios, the ‘TOKYO EXPRESS’ (Japanese surface strike force) is composed of destroyers (DDs) sailing at full speed. DDs move 1 or 2 hexes per turn and are more likely to escape an air strike.

Air operations

  • Air units handled by the player represent 4 aircrafts each.
  • The player manages the missions of the air units on his aerodrome and aircraft carriers: CAP, Search and Air Raid.
  • Just move a unit or group of HANGAR units to the desired mission area. A meter indicates the time needed to take off.
  • Semi-automation regularly lands CAP, to refuel (player do not need to bother about this but will need to re-launch the landed and refueled CAP).
  • It is possible to program the CAP and the search to repeat the missions in loop.

* We can send CAP protect a friendly squadron

* We can recline on a friend base

  • You can only attack enemy squadrons that are visible on the map (you have to look for them first).
  • The optimum load is chosen by the system depending on the target and the distance.
  • The player has the choice for fighter bombers between acting as escorts or bombers.
  • Once taken off, a raid automatically moves to the last known position of the target.
  • If they cannot find it, they can search for it in the vicinity before returning or attacking another target.
  • It is possible to not be able to attack because of a lack of endurance (fuel shortage) or a bad position of the target.
  • Air radars have the ability to detect the raid several hexes in advance, which leaves a little time to react.

Air combat

  • The CAP fights the bombers and their escort. The planes can be destroyed, damaged or simply aborted.
  • The heavy anti-aircraft guns (AA) fires on the bombers. Bombers bomb or torpedo enemy ships according to a predefined pattern.
  • The ships can take damage on their structure (loss of Victory Points) or various critical hits (fire, loss propulsion, turret, elevator, radar, inclination, etc ..).
  • Some are repairable in time.
  • The light AA replicates but can not prevent the attack as heavy DCA can do.
  • The CAP is still fighting enemy planes on their way home.

Surface combat

  • A fight may occur when a squadron returns (voluntarily or not) in a hex occupied by an enemy squadron.
  • Depending on the speed, the detection, the enemy can escape. Otherwise there is a fight.
  • A camp can get the surprise, in which case, it can launch a torpedo salvo which effects will be taken into account before the next phase.
  • In gunnery exchanges, both sides fire simultaneously. Ships shoot statistically more often on ships of similar class as theirs, or on the TRS / CV escort.
  • After the battle, both squadrons receive points of disorder that may prevent them from fighting for several turns, taking the time to reorganize.

Naval bombardment

  • A surface force that spends a complete turn next to an enemy aerodrome hex bombards it.
  • Bombing causes damage to runways and air units on the ground.
  • A ship can bombard only once per game.

Naval transport

  • A surface force that spends a complete turn on an objective hex may land on it.
  • It can be an invasion. The target hex is captured if a sufficient number of cargo points is landed there,
  • or it can be a reinforcement (on friendly hexes), depending on the scenario.

Victory Points

Most of the Victory Points (VPs) sources are the following:

  • Air units destroyed.
  • Sunk enemy ships. Aircraft Carriers (CVs) brings a lot of VPs.
  • Enemy ships heavily damaged also collect many VPs.
  • Cargo landed on the objectives of the scenario.
  • Control of an objective.
  • Specific to the scenario (ex: Raid on Rabaul).