Tim’s Task Force Admiral photo album

For a while it looked like my temperamental PC and Task Force Admiral’s press demo were never going to get along. My attempts to heal the rift with driver changes and dll feng shui having come to naught, I had resigned myself to vicarious enjoyment when an email arrived urging me to try a new build. Freed by the mallet and grease gun of Drydock Dreams’ code maestro, Jean-Baptiste Griffo, the watertight door to USS Lexington’s rather splendid flagplot swung open at last!

That flagplot is essentially a fetching 3D menu through which you access the game’s various battle management and monitoring tools. Because the demo scenario, a close-range Coral Sea clash involving four carriers and their contents, is a scripted affair in which order issuing isn’t permitted, I can’t tell you anything about activities like altering taskforce formations or organising air strikes. However, judging by the design and functionality of the tactical map…

…and the strategic map, both of which are flanked by a handy clickable Order of Battle display, accessing information and navigating spacious battlefields swiftly is going to be a breeze in TFA.

Click on any unit in the OoB or on the tactical map, then dab ‘World View’ and you’re instantly transported to the unit’s location. Another key press unlocks the camera, enabling wide-eyed spectating to begin in earnest.

Exposure to numerous TFA videos and screenshots hadn’t fully prepared me for the beauty of the game’s cloud-dotted firmaments or the scale and fluidity of its sprawling scraps. Watching bobbing swarms of dive- and torpedo bombers droning to destinations canopied with sooty flak puffs and carpeted with creamy bomb splashes and curving wakes, it’s easy to forget that TFA is A) a work-in-progress, B) the creation of a tiny team, and C) in my case, running on well-past-its prime hardware.

Scrutinised closely, some of the aircraft models aren’t quite as detailed as contemporary flight sim equivalents, but as TFA flat tops can carry and launch up to 100 aircraft apiece, the barely noticeable polygon rationing makes perfect sense.

Steam tells me I’ve so far spent five hours watching saucer-eyed as Vals plummet, Wildcats harry, Kate’s wingfold, Devastators buy the fish farm, and CVs circle/combust. The screenshot folder from which the following snaps are plucked is plump and sure to get plumper in coming days.


  1. Is this going to be restricted to carrier battles? Because I was a giant fan of the original TFA, which dealt with the non-carrier stuff going on around Guadalcanal.

    • From an interview with Amiral Crapaud:
      “the base unit you command in Task Force Admiral is, well, a Task Force. That is, more often than not, one or two carriers and a screen. This can amount to 20-25 ships altogether, which you can reorganize, or even detach on small or prolonged errands (the likes of Admiral Fletcher sending Admiral Crace’s ANZAC squadron / Task Force 44 forward at Coral Sea for surface action duty). In theory, you are supposed to command these ships and their squadrons – not anything else. You
      Hopedo have friendly forces which are managed by the AI, that is other task forces, bases, or submarines.”
      Hope this answers your question.

  2. The fact that there is a press demo is good news. However take your time, there are so many other great pc games at the moment, would be a shame to release in a crowded space. This looks like it will make waves also with non grognards.

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