Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

World in Flames» Forums » General

Subject: Japanese Carrier Balance? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Alberto Natta
Italy
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmb
This is just a question that comes out of my pure curiosity.

I am struggling to understand on which basis the Japanese in '41 have 4*4 CV and 2*3 CV (Speaking of their Air Factor); whereas the USA can field 7*4 CV.

I thought of game balence at first, but seeing that in the '41 and technically up to Midway the USA should be in naval inferiority in terms of numbers I do not see why the Japanese (albeit having slightly better CVPlanes) are so weak in terms of Carriers whereas they should be stronger if not at least on par.

Meanwhile it is true Japan can field other, smaller carriers, which could make an initial difference, to see 2 of the six "large" carriers of the Japanese underrated looks very odd to me.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Henning Afzelius
Denmark
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi

The US carriers Lexington class (2) had 63 planes and the Yorketown class (3) had 96 planes.

The Ja carriers Kaga and Akagi had 90 and 91 planes, the Shokaku class (2) had 72 planes. Soryu and Hiryu had 63 and 64 planes.

By numbers alone you got a point, I belive the CVP size got the trick build in to fix why some of the US carriers are dark blue where the Ja carriers with the same planes carried are green.

There could also be some hidden build in thing about the way the 2 nations equipt and manned the ships. One of the reason why the Ja Capital ships had so bad damage controll (in the real World) was the lack of replacement personnal on board the ships. Without knowing if it is the case, I would guess that also had a negative effect on the number of planes (in reality) a carrier could throw into the air.

BTW Shinano only got 70 planes and the Essex class 91 planes. Again I think the trick is that the size of the CVP fix the problem.

I am sure that the size of the US Midway class is a joke, the CV class could field a massive 137 planes and with wastly faster launch and weapon systems. In the game it is no problem as the Midway class is comming in so late that it is never build.

In game tearm the power of the Ja CV's is build in the factors of the CVP not the CV (IMHO)

Cheers

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Jurin
United States
Great Neck
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not exactly sure I'm answering the question you are asking here .....

The game of course represents the carriers that were available historically, and the plane sizes or the carriers seem to be in line.

Japan had the 6 famous fleet carriers at the time of the start of the war and some light carriers. The US had rough carrier equality which set-up the carrier battles. For most purposes the US had 5 'fleet carriers', the Ranger couldn't keep up with the other carriers and given its construction operated in the Atlantic; the Wasp also was relegated to Atlantic duty.

In mid 1942 2 more Japanese carriers entered service along with CVLs, and Japan would have had slight carrier superiority roughly through 1942 if Midway hadn't occurred; that is about 8 carriers to the 4 for the US (since the Ranger and Wasp don't really count)and the Lexington was sunk at Coral seas. Moreover, the Doolittle raid, although considered a great victory in many ways, took the Hornet out for some time to retrain crews, etc.

It was the Essex class that ended any type of competitiveness.

I think the game pretty much gets this right.

What the game does not incorporate was that Japan's initial carrier pilots were super elite. Japan had a restrictive policy and got the best of the best- it was too restrictive, they didn't train enough pilots to keep up their quality. Many also got training in China. Once these eventually wore down, the US pilots probably got the upper hand.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alberto Natta
Italy
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmb
Well the Wasp and the Ranger are still at 5 of "Movement" which means they can operate smoothly -in game terms- in the Pacific. (Especially as some of the Japanese Carriers as well have 5 Movement too)

And the Japanese pilot quality is another detail which is sort of amiss.
I've noticed that the CVP for 1941 give a slight edge to Japan, and in 1942 it's evening out already.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Jurin
United States
Great Neck
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think using the Ranger and Wasp in the Pacific are exactly the kinds of decisions that WiFFE as a game tries to emulate - these carriers can of course be brought to the Pacific. As the US player, this is exactly the kind of strategic decision you have to make. In the actual war the Wasp was transferred to the Pacific after the loss of the Lexington (and of course was sunk during the naval action off of Guadalcanal). Should the US have put all of their carriers immediately in the Pacific? For the actual war, that is a matter for historians. But for the game, I do have an opinion! :-)

Air complement ratings:


I don't think we can say that the Wasp should have a lower air factor, it could hold a lot of planes, potentially as many as 100; it however required to be under 15000 long tons by the Washington Naval Treaty. It sacrificed speed and defense, especially on side boilers which would protect against torpedoes. And indeed it was sunk potentially because of this weaker protection from a torpedo salvo. So I don't think you can say that the Wasp should hold fewer planes, you maybe can argue with its defense rating.

The Ranger could hold 85 planes or so, so its air rating is also consistent. It led a task force with some smaller carriers and was very valuable in the North African landings and similar actions. As a comparison, the Kaga could fly 72 planes and hold 18 in its bay. So the Ranger's limitations were not in the air complement available.

As far as matching speed with the Japanese carriers, well that is just how it was. The Yorktown class could do 32.5 knots. The Wasp could do 29.5 Knots and the Ranger was just a tad slower (29.1 knots iirc); the Kaga only did 28 knots. So the Wasp and Ranger could keep up with the Japanese carriers but not with the other US fleet carriers, so including them in the fleet would give away a key advantage of the Yorktown class.


For the Game


The US player can reduce its sea box and use the Ranger and Wasp with the Yorktown class in the Pacific, but then they aren't useful for the Atlantic.

I know that I often have a 6 mover fleet with the six moving carriers and Iowas and often have a 5 mover fleet with the slower carriers and older battleships, and I do often use the Ranger and Wasp in the 5 mover fleet. I usually don't mix them but of course you can.

If I lose a bunch of the Yorktown's then I bite the bullet and just use a 5 mover fleet, and sometimes it is good to have them together and then decide on the spot if you want the extra power of the 5 movers or the extra sea box/one by just moving 6's.

The issue is often how many carriers do you want in the Atlantic? The answer here often depends on how well the RN is doing against the German and Italian fleets and what happens to the French fleet; so the Battle of the Pacific can be strongly impacted by the Battle of the Atlantic and the air-sea war in the Mediterranean. I know some CW players build all of their carriers and some build very few and these decisions can impact how the Americans react.


So I think the issue overall is that the WIFFE carrier ratings and choices match those faced in the war. Obviously WiFFE doesn't simulate everything (for example, elite original Japanese pilots in this case, which horribly reversed at the end of the war) but the ship capabilities seem to be correct. I know ADG spend substantial time researching these issues, far more than I have.

I haven't discussed the CVP's here, I just haven't studied them as much. But I do think that the 42 equality seems right, my understanding was that the F4F was roughly equivalent to a Zero in fighting. The Japanese planes still have a substantial range advantage especially for fighters. I think the Americans had better dive bombers but substantially worse torpedo bombers,, but had clear superiority once the Avenger came out.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
My usual experience is that Ranger and Wasp are the two Pearl Harbor carriers, for what that's worth. The Bearn used to be one of them, until the rules changed to explicitly block that.

Japan's early edge is also in quality - their CVP and Land based aircraft have a distinct advantage in 41/42, that declines in late 42/43 onward. Japan can also put out some of the 5 speed CVLs to give some additional backup that will take the US to mid 42 at earliest to match with the Independence class CVLs.

As far as the Shinano, it was an unusual design decision in that Shinano had the capacity for far more aircraft than she was intended for. Instead, a large part of Shinano's hangar space was devoted to transport capacity for Land-Based aircraft to be delivered to forward bases. Had it been configured instead to carry a full complement of aircraft, she would have carried closer to 100+ aircraft most likely. This, I think, is why you have the option of building the Shinano as a 6 rating or 3 rating carrier. 3 is more historical for her intended complement, but WiF also doesn't correctly model the rest of it, and that's why I think the "6" rating one both makes sense, and is the correct choice.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.