There is no time limit on Carrier Battles. Sooner or later, one side will either be completely decimated or will choose to withdraw. The battle ends when one force has retreated beyond the effective attack range of the other. (Sinking is one way to get out of range.) If neither you nor your enemy has completely destroyed the other, which is probable, there is no obvious winner. (Obviously, if one side has been annihilated, the other wins.) In reality, judging which side won and which lost is a complex affair. Often, it’s impossible to know until well after the entire war is over who gained what advantage during which battle. Since these battles are conducted in a vacuum, so to speak, it’s much simpler to label one side “winner” and the other “loser”. 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR compares the damage done by each nation and computes the points gained and lost by both sides of the conflict. If either side completed its objective, that side gains some extra points. The side with the most points is the winner, but 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR knows the difference between a close contest and a blow-out. It is possible to fight to a draw.
Damaging and destroying enemy planes, ships, and bases adds to your chance of winning. Bases and ships will give you more points than planes, and destruction is more profitable than repairable damage. Larger ships are more valuable than smaller ones. Before you go on an all-out rampage, however, remember that losing your own planes, ships, and bases or allowing them to be damaged costs you in points (as well as long-term fighting ability). If you were assigned an objective at the beginning of the battle, successfully fulfilling that goal is worth some points. Your score is also modified by the Difficulty Level you chose at the beginning of the battle. The greater the difficulty, the higher your score will be. When the battle is finished, you will be notified of how well (or how poorly) you have commanded your nation’s forces. If you do not feel that you did well enough, your only recourse is a rematch. Good commanders learn from their mistakes, and the best learn quickly.