When playing a 1v1 and with close territories such as Africa vs Asia or USA vs Europe and you have a pretty good idea the other player is going to put his entire fleet in close proximity to yours there's something you can do that works pretty much every time. I do it occasionally but prefer to use scout ships now.
This method is very risky and requires some thinking to pull it off. If done right I can lead to a quick overall naval victory and if done really well might lead to a quick and complete naval victory leaving the other player with no hope.
Here is what can you do:
- Place BB's as close to your neighbor as possible and order them forward.
- Place subs next to your BB's and order them forward.
- Place carriers just a bit back from the BB's and order them forward.
- Get your subs under the enemy BB's.
- Get your BB's close to the enemy but not so close as to directly engage them, at least not your entire fleet of BB's. You'll want to "draw" the enemy into your trap and need at least some BB's to fend off approaching carriers (and for their radar)
- You may need to use your battleships to "block" the enemy BB's from retreating. Ships on ships get "stuck" or move very slowly until they separate.
- Keep carriers just a bit back from the BB's.
- Immediately put your subs in Active Sonar mode, pull them and your BB's back, and get a combination of fighters/bombers in the air.
- In any naval battle, remember to send a few fighters to the outskirts of the main battle to pick off any bombers that stray away from protection or are trying to flank you.
- If the enemy brings his BB's forward:
- Your subs should decimate his BB's and yours can move in on carriers in anti-sub mode while your airborne fighters/bombers are taking out the rest of his fleet.
- If the enemy retreats with his fleet:
- You can advance yours and move your BB's back in front to protect your subs while he loses ships.
The whole point is to scare him into separating his BB's far enough away from his carriers that you can wipe them out with your combined BB/carrier fleet (mainly with now better protected fighters/bombers). In some cases, you can get them to switch their subs to active mode and push them forward while retreating with the rest of their fleet leaving the subs easy prey (cut off from support).
Additionally, you can use tactical nukes to further encourage fleet separation and take advantage. Some people say that tactical nukes are a waste, especially if you never hit a ship. I say you can use tactical nukes in many other ways, such as in this case to get the enemy fleet moving where you want it.
It can be a very risky move, but against inexperienced players or those that like to group all their ships it can unnerve/scare them into making horrible moves with their navy and give you a large immediate advantage.