Surface Action Group
Surface Action Group (SAG)
The Surface Action Group is quite different to the Carrier Task Force (CTF). The SAG relies on killing its enemy, rather than driving it from the area. A SAG is a task force of surface ships whose primary duty is to attack and sink other surface ships. It relies on Gun Ships to do direct damage to the Strength of other ships. A SAG also excels in its secondary duty of providing Shore Bombardment support to friendly land units fighting in coastal areas.
Considering a fleet composition of 18 ships, the strongest SAG is as follows. This model can be followed with less powerful SAGs, by replacing the SHBBs with BBs for a still potent force. Using BBs is more cost effective, since 3 BBs can be built for every 2 SHBBs. Finally, Heavy Cruisers (CA) can be used, for a cheap, yet still reasonably strong SAG.
Zerg fleets are considered a gamey exploit of the flawed naval combat engine. This exploit was tested and made popular by Blue Emu, and features a fleet that uses a single Combat Range as a way of ensuring as many guns as possible are brought to bear on the opposing fleet. Zerg fleets are based on the simple fact that the naval model means that the more ships in combat, the more damage can be done. The Zerg fleet is feasible only if it can close in on its preferred range. Before the Armageddon 1.3beta patch, this was possible due to the amazing strength of the light carriers which ensure closing to within range of the shortest range capital vessel in the fleet. With the Armageddon 1.3beta patch, CVLs still help in closing the range, but no longer magically do so. Having up-to-date doctrines and good leadership and positioning is now impervious for a zerg fleet. Zerg fleets have two basic forms. The original form is less gamey, while the DD zerg is widely considered an exploit.
The Original Cruizerg Fleet
- 5 (1938) Heavy Cruisers (CA)
- 2 Light Carriers (CVL)
- 11 (1938) Light Cruisers with fire control (CL-FC)
For a total of 18 Ships.
This Cruizerg is effective because the light cruiser screen vessels, when equipped with fire control, have the exact same firing range as the heavy cruisers. A typical BB SAG would have only the Battleships in firing range, while all other naval vessels would simply absorb damage but not otherwise participate in the battle. Thus, when the Cruizerg meets a BB SAG, the Cruizerg is actually more powerful, not to mention twice as efficient in IC cost.
DD Zerg Fleet
A zerg fleet based on destroyers is an example of hopelessly gamey tactics, but is certainly an effective killing machine. Usually, plain DD-fleets can close in to 5km range by the second hour of battle.
- 60 - 90 DD
Cruizerg Fleets for Doomsday
Doomsday lacks naval brigades, so one has to use obsolete vessels to make the strategy work. There are two setups, one involving either all CA-IIs and CL-IVs or a mix of CA-IIs and CA-IIIs, the second consisting of all CA-IIIs and CL-VIs. Note that at least one of the CAs needs to be of one level lower than the CLs, so that their range is identical. CVLs are necessary as well, to ensure the fleet will close with CTFs. In Doomsday, CVLs can still magically close the combat range to their preferred range. This was rectified with the Armageddon 1.3beta patch.
- 2 CA-II (Absolutely necessary for the strategy to work to allow CL-IV to be in range since the CVL will go to the lowest ranged capital ship)
- 4 CA-III (CA-II will work here as well)
- 2 CVL
- 10 CL-IV
- 6 CA-III
- 2 CVL
- 10 CL-VI
Hybrid Fleet Composition
If you want something with the shore bombardment power of the SAG and battle prowess superior to the the cruizerg, look no further. I've taken down other human players using cruizerg fleets with this, but it can still be taken down by destroyer zerg fleets.
- 4 BB-VII-FX (SHBB)
- 2 BB-III (no FX, important*)
- 2 CVL
- 10 CL-IV-FC(2)
'* BB-III and CL-IV-FC (with an upgraded FC) both have a range of 34, if you put a FX on the BB-III's, the light cruisers will not be able to fire on the enemy. This is not an issue when putting FC's on the SHBB's since they will be firing as soon as they are in range and pack a much bigger punch.
For later naval warfare:
- 4 BB-IX-FX (SHBB2)
- 2 BB)IV (no FX, same reason as above)
- 2 CVL
- 10 CL-VI-FC(2)
The engagement range here is 36 and has better firepower.