I notice many players abandon their games as soon as their (jap) KB destroyed. This move could be well understood, if not encouraged. Now I want to say something about carrier duel, so you perhaps not lose your KB and game so easily next time.
I don't want to discuss the TF group ways, this has been discussed many times. I just want to mention some basic facts about equipment of both sides, as you, as a newbie, perhaps ignored them.
This article specially aims to Jap player, and the carrier duel before Hellcat into service. And without land-based AC interference, i.e a classic meeting engagement. . I don't conside a case including TBD, since experienced allied players would wait until TBF become available, or replace those flying coffins with marine SBD.
This is most important factors. Carrier without planes are just sitting targets. There are 3 types of planes, torpedo bombers, dive bombers and fighters. Of course there are only torpedo bombers on british carrier.
Japanese Zero is, arguably, the best of early war carrier fighter. Even without bonus it's still better than wildcat and sea hurricane, or sea fire, in the chs. Combined with superior Japanese pilot quality, it could well stand it's position in a fighter vs. fighter duel. But, as we know, things doesn't go this way in a carrier duel, that is to say, your fighters, or enemy fighters, in their CAP mission, always have to deal with not only escort fighters, but also incoming bombers. . In this way Zero show its weakness. Though armed with 20 mm guns, but its accuracy is not very good, this means it could not kill SBD and TBF as effectively as allied fighter dealing with Kate and Val.
So, be attention: You would let many SBD and TBF slipping from CAP even if your CAP enjoy a significent number superior and successfully defeat allied escort fighters while badly maul them. DEFEATING ENEMY ESCORT FIGHTERS DOESN'T MEANS YOUR KB IS SAFE FROM AIR STRIKE.
Allied fighters are quite diffirent. Their armament are more accuracy. The accuracy of .5 browning gun is 29, the british 20mm hispano is 26, while jap gun is only 22. Their performance perhaps not as good as zero, but they still far exceed those of Val and Kate, so for bombers it's the same thing. This fact, combined with their much more heavier armament, 6 x .5 browning in wildcat and 2 Hispano in seafire, means they are far deadlier bomber killers. Especially the US wildcats.
So, as Jap players, you, not like allied players, cannot let your escort fighters defeated. Their defeat means the massacre of your bombers, instead of only a bad maul in allied case.
At this point, we must focus our attention to bombers. Jap bombers , D3A Val or B5N Kate, are with only so so performance. They need strong, and victorious fighter escort. They are little darlings, need careful protection. American planes, the SBD, and later TBF, are wild girls. Not as strong as fighters, they yet can hold their own, to some degree. Even with a weak escort or no escort at all, if Japanese don't deploy an overwelming CAP, (let's say, more than 150 zeros), they still have some chance. Japanese bomber, in the contrary, if unescorted or with a weak escort meeting, let's say, more than 60 wildcat, then they are dead. Nix chance.
So now your say the danger facing Japanese, they need many fighters, both in CAP and escort, but they desperately lack them. We would discuss this later.
Now we suppose those bombers successfully penetrate CAP, no matter how many shot down in the process. Then they begin their bomb run. Now they must face ship AAA, and carrier facing their bombs and torpedos. In this place, Allied side again enjoy some advantages. . Every bombers, except for torpedo bombers in their extended range with bombs instead of torpedos, must face AAA gun 2 times. One is on their assigned altitude, the other is on 2000 feet or 200 feet. Unfortunately, allied AAA, especially in the lower altitude, is far stronger than Jap AAA. And Jap bombers much more fragile. This means fewer your aircrafts could actually release their ordnance, if you and allied player start with the same number attackers.
Now, suppose the bomber does successfully release its bomb or torpedo. Then what happens? Your dive bomber is loaded with 250 kg bombs, allied with 1000lb bombs. Though labeled with "AP", its penetration value is actually lower than allied 1000lb. And it has only 37% damage effect of allied bomb, it's accuracy only as half. They are slight better than 500lb, though. But under most circumstance you have to face allied 1000lb, not 500lb. Now you could see, your percious dive bomber, with so many labor to escort, can actually do much less than allied ones.
And what is about torpedo bombers? Your torpedo bombers still better than allied ones, perhaps mostly because of the terrible dud rate of Mk22 torpedos ( 50% vs. 10% of Jap and british torpedos). So you have edge in this place at least. But allied players could circumvent this problem. He could choose don't load torpedo bombers on his american carriers at all. With their high damage power and accuracy, combined with the fact, that dive bomber hit more accurately than torpedo bombers, means their SBD is more than enough send your KB to bottom. So why bother with those unrealiable torpedo bombers? Allied doesn't need them to deal with your carrier. They need them only when they want to sink your battleships.
In the contrary, your force, need both dive bomber AND torpedo bomber. It's relatively difficult for your torpedo bombers to hit carrier, not to mention destroyers. But after some hits from bombs, how feeble damage effect themselves may be, you find it's much easier for your torpedo bombers to achieve hit.
Now we come to the last point. The ship.
You need many, many fighters to do dual missions of escort and CAP, and you need both D3A and B5N to do the dirty work. So it's a painful thing to watch your proud carrier can only hold up to 72 planes, while allied could hold 90. In CHS this is slight better, but you still in a 84 vs 91 disadvantage, and you have only 4 large carriers, allied have 5. Of course you could overload them to 110%, but allied could do that too. So, the paper superior of japanese in carrier number now reduced, because ship vs. ship, US ones has clear advantage.
British ships cannot load so many aircrafts as americans, but they have another virtue. Their decks are immune to 250 AP bombs. NO PENETRATION POSSIBLE. This means they are damage proof to half of your attack strength. US carriers are not so robust, but they are still well protected. Let's see the deck armor. The lexinton class is 50, and yorktown is 37. Japanese shokaku class and akagi is 50, and kaga is 37, and soryu and hiryu are 25. Others, with 5 or 10 or none at all, are basically the same thing. Their deck armor cannot withstand 500lbs, not to say 1000lbs. A bomb without penetration is meaningless. It cannot do much damage, it cannot make enemy ship easier target for your torpedo bombers. All it may achieve is destroy some Flaks. Believe me, you cannot hope to destroy enough allied Flaks this way....
So we can see Japanese carriers are much more vulnerable. Only the "BIG FOUR" could be considered nearly as good protected as allied ones, The Hiryus cannot hope to deflect 1000lbs, and perhaps have some chance against 500lbs, lesser ones have nix chance against both 1000lb and 500lb. That's to say, an allied bombs hit equals to an allied bomb penetrates, with dire result.
Now comes the last unpleasant thing. The damage effect. If you could make your B5N hit target, then everything is rosy. No ship is torpedo proof. But, as we say, torpedo hit is less frequent than bomb hit, and you need your bomb hit to increase the chance of torpedo hit. Simple to say, you need your bombs hit, and more importantly, to penetrate.
Allied side doesn't need torpedos. With torpedo hits it's better, but even without torpedo the 1000lbs could do work quite effectively. They have a damage effect of 1000, while jap 250kg only 370. With 4 or 5 hit even strongest shokaku are certainly doomed. No aircraft launch possible anymore. If 100 SBD penetrate your CAP, then any carrier in this TF is most possibly out of action. And your, lets say, 50 vals and 50 kates penetrate allied CAP, and he has 4 carriers in that TF, can you hope put them all out of action? NO !!
With enemy still has flight deck while you not, the result of battle doesn't have any uncertainty anymore.
So now you could see, your KB is not all that invincible. Their victories could only come from careful organisation and deployment, not by default. They could perhaps well easily destroy lesser opponnets, but need greatest vigilance when facing their equals, or get a disastrous result.
< Message edited by trollelite -- 10/9/2007 3:18:42 AM >