Select a Target A newly created strike force has no target. Left-click on the Select Target button to assign one. The map is displayed for you to find and choose the target for this strike. Move the mouse pointer until it is over the enemy force you want attacked. When the info box for that force appears, left-click to make that force the strike target. The target information area should now list the short description of the target, along with its last known location and its range. This is important information, but it is only as up-to-date as the last sighting of this enemy by a search plane. Keep in mind that some of your planes may have shorter ranges than those flying the search. Sending planes after an out-of-range target is a waste of time and fuel.
Assign Planes Below the target selection area is the list of available aircraft. All of your squadrons appear in the box, but not all of them will have planes free. Left-click on a squadron with available planes to add those planes to the current strike force. The aircraft information will appear to the left of the squadron list and be added to the list in the Strike Force box. You can use the arrows to the left of the aircraft information to raise or lower the number of these planes assigned to this strike. The Cancel button deletes the current squadron’s planes from the strike force. When you assign planes to a strike force, always be aware of the type of target they’ll be attacking. A strike force made up exclusively of fighters is not likely to be much good against any target, but will certainly deplete the air support around that target. Bombers flying without escort are sitting ducks for enemy CAP, and torpedoes are no good at all against bases. To accept your srtikes as listed and launch them, left-click on the Exit box in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
JUMPING INTO THE COCKPIT Air strikes, once launched, will proceed to their target automatically, while you take care of other aspects of the battle. Whenever a strike force reaches its target, you will be given the option of taking over for the lead pilot and flying the attack mission yourself. Through the magic of computers, you can step into the cockpit just as the attack is beginning. Of course, if you’d rather not do this, you can choose to let your pilots fly the mission themselves. For detailed instructions on flying an attack strike, please refer to Encountering the Enemy, in the Flying A Mission section. Whenever you choose to leave the strike, you are returned to the map and to command mode. If your plane is still functional, the original pilot will take back the stick and finish the mission for you.