From: Melbourne, Australia
A bit of analysis on the IJA fighters and bombers ...
IJA seems to have 582 fighter slots. I use the term "slot" to refer to a place to put an airplane in an air unit. Since there is no air unit production in AE (nor was their in WITP) we live with what the OOB gives us in terms of slots. And slots determines the maximum amount of aircraft we can use at any point in time - hence the maximum useful size of the air force. So, in the case of IJA fighters this seems to be 582 (if my arithmetic is correct). I am not counting the 102 additional slots in "static" fighter units - those which cannot be deployed out of Manchurian or the Home Islands. So, in my terminology, we have 582 "mobile" fighter slots for the IJA.
These start with about 70 deployable Oscars. So to "retire" the Oscars would require upwards up 500 new planes to be built, not counting losses. At the starting rate of 32 per month, this would take over 15 months to accomplish by which time these Oscar Ic would be obsolete. And on average, we would still be using Nates, in the slots for half of this time. Re-stated, about half the slots would be full of Nates on average.
Tojos will come in Around September 42, and Tony's around February 43, so we won't need to build Oscars for 15 months. But if we build them for a year, building a total of 500 might make sense. If we average about 50 per month - then we would be buliding Oscars for about 10 months - if we build 500. Having several small factores building Oscars is probably good, then as the Tojos and Tonys come on line, some factories can switch over. Any excess Oscars can be used as trainers later.
Nates, will be used as trainers until they cease to exist. This is most useful in PDU ON games, where you can "downgrade" as well as "upgrade". For air units performing on map training - I will "downgrade" the unit to Nates while it is training - then upgrade it to the latest fighter type as it returns to the front. This means that I only need to build enough new fighters to fill up the units at the front. And I can continue to fully utilize obsolecent types for training until they all attrite away. Note that this is only possible in PDU ON games.
In stock I had about 2/3rds of all IJA fighter units "in training" on average. So given the AE slot totals 200 front line fighters available for forward deployment, plus another 200 in the pools seems a sufficient target for the first year.
As for IJA bombers I count 779 slots with about 230 Sally's in these slots (in my game). So not quite 1/3rd are Sally's already. I cannot predict the percentage of bomber units that will need to be in training at any given time in AE. But given that the Japanese will surely switch to the defensive by the end of 1942 and surely lose air superiority, the need for bombers will drastically decrease at the front. Remaining bombers we can try to switch to ASW as we did in stock, but they will not be nearly as effective, so keeping the IJA bomber units at full strength after 1942 is probably not nearly as useful as it was in stock. Consequently, I do not plan a major investment in growing IJA bomber production. But I will build up Helen production to roughly the same as Sally production.
Thanks for that analysis jwilkerson. Very helpful.
The only rider I would put on it, is upon scanning the database, I notice there are Oscar and (especially) Nate units arriving right up until mid-1945?
I did not do a count but it seems to be quite significant in qunatities. Would this affect your analysis?
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