From: Near Paris, France
ORIGINAL: John 3rd
I forgot to add the point mentioned earlier that the replacement pool should be increased to more reasonable amounts. I believe the proposal was:
IJ Army Pilots 40/Month
IJ Navy Pilots 25/Month
That seems slightly more reasonable to me.
This is funny. THe designers originally wanted NO trained pilots for the Japanese - all training was going to have to be "on the map". Someone said "oh lets be nice and give them some" and prevailed (probably to make the AI work, actually).
And that is why we have to micromanage this... Why in the hell have they not proposed a training system with something like the choose for Japan to have each month:
_ 10 pilots at 70 exp
_ 20 pilots of 60 exp
_ 40 pilots at 50 exp
_ 80 pilots at 40 exp
and so on...
Probably because we can train on the map... I don't like it also. Units set on training 90% win 2-4 exp per month (that is for Japanese starting at 35-40), while those ordered to bombard some starving troops will win more each week ! Actually training is more efficient to learn than operations. The RAF in the late war even opened schools for pilots having allready done a full turn of operations. As one said "Before I though I was a good shot and probably hit nothing at all, than I knew I was bad but learned to hit anyway."
If all you had to do was to set your unit as training X% in a Japanese base and they will 5-10 exp a month (below 50) and then 3-5 above 50, and then 1-2 above 70 (I believe than in the current model training above 60 on the map is impossible), that will just be "fire and forget". As for operations I will only give pilots a chance to gain experience if they are the target, not the shooters. So no more full units at 90+ exp.
Back to the Zero bonus, here is the result of the battles over Java in February 1942. The losses shown are the real ones, claims were far above them. Note the number of Zeroes involved, the Tainan Kokutai and 3rd Kokutai were used here, in WITP they will have 117 Zeroes... I have also only listed the losses in the air, Zeroes destroyed tens of aircraft on the ground by strafing without loss to AA (in fact, one was lost to AA but it was while strafing an arounred car on Borneo and it is not shown there). Also the long-range Zeroes were able to shot down a number of Allied bombers, floatplanes and transports over Java. Both these features are unavailable in WITP as AA is much too effective against strafing fighters, that are themselves way too much ineffective, and sweep or raids will only meet CAP and nothing else.
2/Feb/42 : 17 Zeroes sent : no loss, 1 B-18 shot down over Soerabaja
3/Feb/42 : 44 Zeroes sent : 4 losses, 6 CW-21B, 5 Hawks, 2 B-17, 2 Catalinas, 1 P-40 and 1 trainer shot down over Java
5/Feb/42: 47 Zeroes sent : no loss, 5 P-40E, 2 Hawks, 2 Catalina, 1 CW-21, 1 trainer shot down
8/feb/42: 13 Zeroes sent: no loss, 2 B-17 shot down
9/Feb/42: 13 Zeroes sent: no loss, 2 Brewsters, 2 Glenn Martins shot down
18/feb/42: 23 Zeroes sent: no loss, 1 C-XIW shot down
19/feb/42: 23 Zeroes sent: 1 loss, 7 P-40E shot down
20/Feb/42: 6 Zeroes on CAP: no loss, 3 P-40E shot down
21/Feb/42: 19 Zeroes sent: no loss, 2 P-40E shot down
23/Feb/42: 9 Zeroes sent: no loss, no claim (battle vs P-40)
24/Feb/42: 2 Zeroes on CAP shot down 1 Catalina, 1 Zero lost to return fire. 9 Zeroes sent: no loss, no claim (battle vs P-40)
25/Feb/42: 11 Zeroes sent: no loss, 1 P-40E and 1 Catalina shot down
27/Feb/42: 15 Zeroes sent: 1 loss (unclear cause, but no CAP met), 1 Empire and 1 Catalina shot down
28/Feb/42: a dozen Zeroes sent: no loss, 1 Brewster shot down
So if we count the A2A battles between fighters, the score is 36 Allied fighters lost against 5 Zeroes lost against them in one month (and 3 Zeroes lost to other causes). WITP is producing this kind of ratio in this period... but it will produce it in one day probably...
The Darwin raid: 36 Zeroes sent: 1 loss, 7 P-40E and 1 Catalina shot
My source above is Shore's "Bloody Shambles, vol 2". The only action involving US CV described in the serie is the aborted raid vs Rabaul in February 1942 and the only air battle between Wildcats and unescorted IJNAF bombers. So no RL numbers for CV battles in my bookshelves..