[Single Player] Beat the US Campaign on Veteran. See the mission walkthrough below.
Mission 1 – Stationed at Pearl:
See the "Distinguished Flying Cross" achievement for a walkthrough of Mission 1.
Mission 2 – Defense of the Philippines:
In the harbor, shoot planes until you have power, then get out of the harbor at full speed. At that point, your job is to prevent landing craft from entering the harbor. If five get in, you lose. They are small and slow, so this alone isn’t a huge issue. The problem lies in that you can’t repair your vessel, so you have to minimize your damage taken to win, especially on Veteran. First priority, down any planes you see. Second, stay away from the destroyer. Take the out first wave of landing craft (white triangles on your map) and then put two torpedoes in the AK (large grey boat) on the far right, spin to the left and take out the second one. Kennedy will likely take out the one on the left before you reload, but if he doesn’t, do it yourself. Focus on taking down planes first, and then sinking the little boats. Once all three AKs are down, sink the two smaller transports and you are good. There is no need to attack the DD at all, so stay away from him.
Mission 3 – Running the Palawan Passage:
There are two ways to do this mission. The first is to kill everything methodically and hope you don’t get picked to pieces. This approach works fine on Rookie and is possible on Regular. On Veteran, however, go to full power immediately and set your damage control to weapons. Let the AI handle guns while you concentrate on dodging torpedoes. As you take damage, throw all three damage control parties on the necessary areas and then put them back on weapons when you are done. Head through the passage directly in front of you and stay at full power until you get to the Japanese DD. Don’t stop for anything! If you get hit with a torpedo, you are likely better off restarting. When you reach the spot where the DD spawns, you should have 25%-50% of your health. Fire four torpedoes to your front, generally more to the right than the left, with the idea of getting the DD to dodge toward the shore. Then set your orders to everything on, make sure the DD is set as your target, and take control of the artillery. If the DD dodged toward the shore, you should be able to target his nose and hit him square amidships and sink him quickly. The total mission time shouldn’t be more than seven minutes with this approach.
Mission 4 – Vengeance at Luzon:
The first four victory conditions you can meet purely from the tactical screen, directing your planes to the various points. When you are placed in charge of the flight deck, launch 3 fighters and 3 sets of 3 torpedo bombers. Send the 3 fighters to dogfight the CAP over the battleship, then split the bombers to the left and right. Manually fly them in let the torpedoes go at 0.2 range square in the middle of the battleship, aimed slightly forward. You can crash your planes afterward as this is much quicker than landing and reloading and you have plenty to spare. It only takes 6 or so torpedoes to sink the BB.
Mission 5 – Raid on Balikpapan:
The key to this is speed as it is very difficult to defeat the CL and third DD that show up if you take too long. Set damage crews and disband the formation. The John D Ford needs to go due east at top speed and get in range of the eastern most target ship (AK). The torpedoes are effective about 1.5 miles out, so hit it with four and then turn north to shake any pursuit. When your torpedoes have reloaded, come back south and hit the northeastern most AK. In the meantime, spend most of your time with the Parrot, full speed, set the first DD as the target, hit the AK that is outside the barrier islands with four torpedoes immediately (you should be in range as soon as the mission starts) and head for the southwestern ship. Manually target the DD with your artillery when you can as you have better aim and longer range than the AI gunner, but don’t let killing him slow you down. Dodge any incoming torpedoes but try to not kill the PT boat (if you do three more spawn almost immediately, which is a pain). Take the Parrot at about half speed northeast between the barrier islands and the main island, trashing all the AKs with artillery and torpedoes. The way to do this is to fire torpedoes at the targets furthest away while using the artillery to hammer the ones near you. Assuming you don’t take engine damage, this mission on Veteran should take about 6 minutes.
Mission 6 – Holding the Lombok Strait:
This is one of the easiest Veteran missions and can be played entirely from the tactical map except when launching planes (or crashing them). Defend your air base by throwing all your fighters to the southwest where the enemy planes enter the map. Move the John D. Ford to the western side of the bay to assist with AA fire (on automatic, you don’t have to worry about shooting it yourself) and launch the two Catalina flying boats out to the southeast and due east to serve as early strike vehicles for when the fleet shows up. As soon as you see the incoming flight with 5 dive bombers and 5 Zeros, that is the last set of planes. You want to concentrate on killing the dive bombers first, then launch your two level bombers and all the dive bombers you can sending them east while you shoot down the Zeros. Any fighters you have left up once the ships show up, crash so that you can launch dive bombers. When the ships show up, ignore the DD and CL, zoom your tactical map in and target the AKs and LSTs with your planes. Order dive bombers to crash rather than land (or suicide them into the AKs if you wish) but you will want the level bombers to land and re-arm. Once the transports all sink, you win.
Mission 7 – Rendezvous in the Java Sea:
The first phase is incoming air strikes, both dive bombers and torpedo bombers. Send the cruiser at top speed to the east and use the destroyers as a screen to the north. Actively switch between ships to ensure provide target selection. Aim for incoming planes only as once they have dropped their ordnance they are no longer a threat. If a flight of torpedo bombers gets through, manually steer the Houston to avoid the torpedoes. Ideally, you want them dropping torpedoes behind you and it is pretty easy to avoid them.
The second phase is a submarine hunting down the Houston. Send your destroyers at the sub on full auto as soon as it is detected. However, if both of your destroyers are destroyed by the planes, you have to go rendezvous with the British and you will be unable to harm the sub (on Veteran, it may be best to restart). The way to do this is to steer from the tactical map with the zoom all the way in (right trigger). This lets you see torpedoes in the water so you can avoid them. The reload for torpedoes is very slow, so you should only have to dodge one wave of them and then go straight for the rendezvous point.
The third phase is a cruiser and three DD’s, which are pretty straight forward to destroy. Target your DD’s on the enemy DD’s with full auto, send the Houston to the edge of the map so she doesn’t take any damage, and manually run the Exeter. Make sure you turn torpedoes to auto fire on all DD’s and the Exeter.
Once those ships are down, the final phase kicks off. All ships are expendable except for the Houston, so target them all at the BB and send the Houston on a great circle around the map so that she stays away from the BB as long as possible. Then hop into the sub and drop it to crush depth and get in front of the BB. This is the only realistic weapon you have for sinking the BB. Close to within 0.2 miles, raise depth to level 1 and shoot 4 torpedoes broadside. Drop one depth level and cross to the other side while your torpedoes reload, and hit her again to finish the level.
Mission 8 – Strike on Tulagi:
This one is pretty simple and can be done almost entirely from the tactical map. Start by launching 2 flights of fighters and 2 flights of dive bombers. Send the carrier to the bottom left corner of the map and separate the DD’s to attack the incoming light cruiser. Set the 2 flights of dive bombers to attack the CL and the fighters to hit the incoming enemy planes. Send your B-17’s to the far side of the island looping south and then north. When you see 4 flights of enemy air heading south, then send the B-17’s in to hit the airfield. In the meantime, send dive bombers at the two DD’s and keep hitting all incoming air and PT boats. As soon as the B-17’s have dropped their bombs, send a flight of dive bombers in to finish off the airfield if needed. After that, focus on sinking every ship and destroying the fortress on the lower left side of the island (in the bay where your landing craft will eventually land. If your DD’s are still afloat, send them about two miles west of the northern tip of Tulagi to await the next set of ships. Once everything is destroyed except for the shipyard and any AA emplacements, send two flights of torpedo bombers to the same place as the DD’s and then hit the shipyard with dive bombers. As soon as the shipyard is destroyed you will go to a cut scene and the enemy reinforcements show up, along with your LST’s. Target your DD on the enemy DD and manually steer the torpedo bombers in strike the cruiser. Any planes on the map that do not have ordnance should be crashed and immediately launch more. Send dive bombers at the DD and torpedoes at the cruiser. As soon as both are sunk, you win.
Mission 9 – Battle of the Coral Sea:
Break formation and place the two DDs and the cruiser as a screen in the middle of the map, directly under the path of the incoming fighters. If you spread them out a little bit it tends to be more effective. Place Donald as CAP at the one furthest from the carrier, and launch another three fighters as cap on the middle ship. Then launch three flights of dive bombers and send them straight down to the bottom of the map. The Japanese carrier group should be traversing from west to east and you want to hit them from behind. Target all of your dive bombers on one carrier and you should win. If for some reason you don’t do enough damage with your first wave, just send another (crash all remaining bombers rather than land and refuel). The one thing to pay attention to is if the mid-screen CAP gets down to one plane, crash it and launch three more. Easy battle, even on Veteran.
Mission 10 – Turning Point at Midway:
Launch all fighters with bombs loaded and all bombers ASAP, as well as two PT boats. Set the PT boats to automove in the middle of the bay, and set the bombers to CAP on the PT boats. Target the fighters on the incoming bombers, ignoring the Zeros for now. There are three flights of bombers that come in, targeting in order your bomber runway, your shipyard, and your fighter runway. Losing the shipyard is no big deal, but if you lose either runway it is best to restart. Once the third wave has been dealt with, order all remaining bombers to land for repairs, send the PT boats with auto everything turned on (including torpedoes) at the incoming landing fleet, and order two flights of fighters to land while your remaining fighters target the DD escort. As soon as they drop their bombs have them strafe the AKs until they get shot down. In the meantime, launch more fighters with bombs to take out any remaining ships. You may need to manually pilot the PT boats to sink all the landing craft. When all the bombers have landed, you need to launch all 9 and send them to the middle of the bay.
As soon as the fleet is destroyed, launch 6 fresh fighters to protect your airbases and set the PT boats back in the bay as well. Launch 6 torpedo bombers and send them to the west side of the map. As soon as you survive the first wave of incoming fighters from the Japanese carriers, you will get carrier support. Launch one flight of 5 fighters to protect the carrier (turn on CAP) and place both destroyers forward for additional air defense. Then launch 3 flights of 2 torpedo bombers each.
Send all surviving bombers at the fleet targeting escorts, then send your 5 flights of torpedo bombers at the carrier. If you set them so they arrive spaced slightly apart you can steer them in manually and can easily sink the carrier. If you get shot down and need to launch a second wave, do so, but torpedoes kill the carrier very quickly.
Mission 11 – Endgame at Midway:
The key to success for this mission is to win early so you don’t run out of planes. You will be attacked by a sub right at the start, so that is the first priority. Launch one flight of dive bombers with depth charges while you target the two recon planes onto the sub. If the sub is still moving after the recon planes hit it, sink it with the dive bombers, then send them to shoot down the two Japanese recon planes. These dive bombers will need to reload their depth charges and then fly CAP on the carriers. The second sub is not worth hunting down because you can often win before it gets close to your carrier group, but if you do run across it these guys can sink it in a heartbeat.
Launch all dive bombers from your carriers and sink the cruiser coming in from the north, reload and sink the one from the east, and reload again. Move your carrier group north, staying on the edge of the map, with the screening ships on the east side. The next step is to find where the carriers are, which you can probably derive by watching the direction Japanese planes are coming in from. You want to split your bombers into two forces and send the majority ahead of the enemy fleet and a distraction force to the side or rear. It is very important that the distraction force be a mile or so closer to the enemy fleet than the main force or the Japanese CAP will attack the main force.
When you can see the fleet, zoom in and target all of the main force on the lead carrier and it should sink no problem. If any planes have ordnance left, have them drop it on the other carrier and then you need to make a decision. If the majority of your planes are still in good shape, feel free to fly them back to the carriers to reload. On the other hand, if half of them are lost or severely damaged, you can kamikaze them into the other carrier to save some time and cause a little bit of extra damage.
Then launch 21 (or 24 if you have sunk the other sub) torpedo bombers and split them the same as before and do the same thing. With torpedo bombers, you will often get better results if you steer in manually and drop some of the ordnance yourself. As soon as the second carrier sinks, you win.