Boiling placement down:
- Generally speaking, a scout battleship or two (sometimes more) is a good idea. After Defcon 4, you can then decide a 'better' placement area for your main fleet with whatever intelligence your scouts have obtained. Six player default is an exception because that mode is all about 'grab the most points first and disregard regular fighting'.
- Generally speaking, your fleets should swim together. That is, have one or two very large groups with maybe one small ninja fleet for a surprise sneak attack/flank.
- Almost everyone has learned to keep fleets broadside to the enemy. Think of your fleet (no matter the number of ships) as one giant galleon. You must turn the whole beast parallel in order to make the most of it's firepower. Defcon is the same way; a disorganized or inefficient formation can cost you the battle. Of course, you must keep it that way the entire battle, moving in response to or actively forcing your opponent to move.
- Never allow lone carriers in unsafe waters. For example, if it's Russia vs Asia, lone carrier/s in the Pacific is bad for both territories. However, Russia can use it's safe zone in the Arctic Ocean while Asia has the entire Indian. A lone carrier is one that has zero naval support within a reasonable range.
There is also the matter of moving ships around. I noticed that your bot will give ships orders that are too far. For example, I set the bot as EU and the AI as Russia. Your bot placed ships in the North Atlantic and proceeded to order all of them to the Arctic over Moscow. Now, the destination is fine, but giving ships one 'long' order is far worse than several smaller ones. I.e., that trip should have been made in four or five steps.
Breaking up the fleet orders into smaller steps will help eliminate odd behaviors and unnecessary turning. In the example above, the ships made a complete circle before heading north to pass Iceland. This is because of where the travel nodes are (and I believe because there are so few of them).
In other words, don't tell them to go straight from New York to Moscow and then leave it up to game mechanics to plan the best route, else you'll get a completely disorganized bunch of ships going in all directions at first. Instead. tell them to go from New York to just west of London, then from there to due east of Iceland, then to Norway, and from there to the Barents Sea (or Finland).
Lastly, it appeared that at least one game the bot placed all the ships as one or two fleets, even though they were not together. You may want to make sure your ship placement code isn't placing single fleets when you really want multple ones. You can use the debug mode to check the fleetID's.
If your code is too fast, single ships placed on opposite sides of the map will be counted as one fleet, and therefore both ships must recieve the same orders (they can not be ordered individually). In short, the best method for bot fleets is single ships, single fleets, and then have some sort of code that pulls single ships together in groups. This allows the most flexibility and gives the bot a great advantage as it can micromanage like no human.
My code, however crappy/buggy/worthless, placed single fleets and then looked at each ship and it's proximity to enemy ships, or last known location. Failing that, the first BB it came to. If that ship had other ships around it (certain distance), it became the leader and all others followed. The leader then got orders and followers mirrored the orders with an offeset to keep them from piling on top of each other. Two offsets actually, one for the leader and one for any enemy ships (to keep the whole formation tight). You can see this in action in the video. If there were no BB's, then a carrier was assigned leadership and the rest followed.
I was going to use the same method for bombers so I could make epic bombing runs as well as have them 'chat'. You know, "All wings report in...", "Red Ten standing by", "Red Seven standing by" (bomber gets taken out) "We've lost Dutch!", (3/6 destroyed) "[Gold Leader] We're too close!", "[Gold Five] Stay on target!".