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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art

 
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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/4/2011 9:14:12 PM   
FatR

 

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Thanks! Amazing work. Will apply it to the mod soon immediately.

Image, by the way, was taken from this great site:
http://www.navypedia.org/ships/japan/jap_amphib.htm

For modding purposes, it's a very useful addition to combinedfleet.com's database, as it lists upgrades by dates for many ships. No ship histories, save for dates and causes of loss, though.

< Message edited by FatR -- 4/4/2011 9:33:58 PM >

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/5/2011 5:01:31 AM   
John 3rd


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Thank You LY! Excellent work.

FatR--Nice site you list above.


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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/5/2011 12:18:32 PM   
FatR

 

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I've added new LSDs and Eijo Maru CMs to the queue, looks like they work fine. Thanks again, LY. Also added three small minelayers resulted from development of Sokuten class that were built or building IRL. Rolled them into a single class.

It is very possible, of course, that players wouldn't want to build expensive ships like LSDs or large CMs so late in the war. But extra options won't hurt. Back to working on subs for now...

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/8/2011 9:39:32 PM   
FatR

 

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No comments from anyone?

Anyway, I haven't had much time to work on subs, but what I've done so far is tinkering with the upgrades:

- Old kaidai subs (pre-KD6) stay as they are in stock. They are (realistically, although not according to their in-game stats) the least useful subs of IJN, so they get the lowest uprgade priority. I.e., no upgrades until refitting as kaiten platforms in 1945.

- Later kaidai subs and RO-subs will receive radar upgrades through early 1944.

- Big subs will receive radar and, when appropriate, flak upgrades through second half of 1943.

I'm really torn on what class of medium subs to choose as standard. K6 is a realistical option. KD7 is one that is more likely to be actually built in the game (because the number of torpedo tubes is so important).

Upon reading more on Japanese sub program, my opinion about it had improved somewhat. Apparently A/B/C boats used very similar hulls and the same machinery already. Good for Japan, as with the divergence point in second half of 1942 significant divergences from reality are simply impossible - most boats completed during the war were laid down before that date. I think that just eliminating the sole A2 class boat, I-12, as well as one of the inferior C3 class boats from the program, and replacing the remaining C3 class boats, as well as the entire B3 class with C2 boats.

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/9/2011 12:50:26 AM   
bklooste

 

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An important consideration for submarines is the strategic roll . Historically it was to support the battle fleet and pick of enemy capital ships before hand but with a stronger belief in Air vs capital ships this would change. Likely changes

- Less A and B subs and more medium subs which are more capable.
- Probably an upgrade of sub bases where action is likely Marshalls , Bonin , Taiwan , Saigon to support medium subs.
- radar on most subs as you have done including medium flotilla leaders.
- subs instead of working with Kitoris work with some sort of fast AV, and less plane equipped
- A decrease in overall numbers and resources moved to LBA and plane equipped surface ships . eg a decrease in Cruiser subs (ABC) , more LBA and an increase in medium subs , a few CVS or AV to replace the Katori. Maybe an AS roll for the AV/CVS.

If improvements are made you could standardize medium subs on a slightly improved KD7 . I believe the KD7 had an improved double hull , i doubt they would ramp up K6 production.

Rather than build the Ds you can convert some old subs to cargo , I believe there were more of the class that start of with 4 mine layers but the rest were scrapped pre war.

For the larger boats there was an interesting B4 variant planned but not built you could upgrade B3 / C3 with these B4s. With a higher believe in air power it is is likely that a more survivable cruiser sub like the B4 was built. The B4 would have been larger by about 200 tons, had a surface speed of 22.5 knots, and carried eight torpedo tubes forward (with 23 torpedoes). This class was planned to number 8 boats, Historically they were all canceled in 1943 but as i said with a desire for more survivability vs air the higher surface speed would allow them to get in position better though IMHO the submarine Cruiser concept does not fit with an air focused Japan.




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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/9/2011 1:31:32 AM   
John 3rd


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I have been surprised by no commentary as well. Thanks for the update FatR and thoughts by BK.

Hadn't thought along the cruiser submarine line as you just wrote about. Reactions:

1. The B4 is a GOOD boat: excellent speed, tubes, and strength, however, the Cs make sense too. The Japanese SS effort is something I haven't read much on so I will leave it others who know better. What do people think about that?

2. Like the radar and AA upgrades as written. Fits with what we've chartered for vision in the Mod.


< Message edited by John 3rd -- 4/9/2011 1:45:11 AM >


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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/9/2011 1:56:07 AM   
bklooste

 

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The real question is the roll of the fleet eg the B3 are better than the B2s at interdicting enemy merchant shipping due to range vs speed trade off.

I doubt you can convince many of the Japanese submarine fleet being focused against merchants.

If the focus is on medium subs to finish carrier strikes than their is a good case for bringing forward the I200 and bumping the numbers. This will free resources and Japan already has a pretty large fleet of Cruiser subs to fulfill their needs. eg When air focus happens in 1940 no more Cruiser subs laid down.



< Message edited by bklooste -- 4/9/2011 2:01:29 AM >


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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/9/2011 2:07:54 AM   
John 3rd


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Good thoughts. Yamamoto never talked (in my reading) about conducting a merchant war. Think the focus needs to be streamlining, specializing, and personnel consideration. The medium SS seems to be the right way to run.

Which one though? Appears to be several choices: C2/C3 or B4.

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/9/2011 3:38:12 AM   
bklooste

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: John 3rd

Good thoughts. Yamamoto never talked (in my reading) about conducting a merchant war. Think the focus needs to be streamlining, specializing, and personnel consideration. The medium SS seems to be the right way to run.

Which one though? Appears to be several choices: C2/C3 or B4.

quote:

Which one though? Appears to be several choices: C2/C3 or B4.


I would say neither just a mod KD7...but what is the strategy ? You already have a stack of Sub Cruiser ready in 41 , do you support carrier fleets by finishing torpedoed ships ? This requires some replacement for the Katoris with scout air planes , LBA and medium subs. Will you fight near your base with subs or aggressively ? etc.

Ben

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/9/2011 10:41:34 AM   
FatR

 

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Strategy is too late to change, and as I mentioned before, Japanese have no other realistic strategy to pursue anyway, before Allied ASW will inevitably crush them. Neither in game, nor in RL. Doing meaningful damage to the Allied merchant fleet with their numbers is just not possible, unless the Allied player manages his convoys worse than AI. So operations against the enemy battlefleet (and, later, invasion forces) are the only option.
In the game, this usually means that Jap subs mostly stay in ports and flood the area before or right after big battles from 1943 onwards.

What you need for it, well, here RL and the game diverge. IRL you needed high submerged speed and low noise. In the game, I'm not sure if maneuver speed seriously impacts survivability (although I'm going to test it), so you primarily need more torpedo tubes in front to make your shot count and durability to maybe survive the retaliation. Also, decent cruise speed to reach patrol areas in time, but this Japanese subs already have. Unfortunately, durability is directly tied to (already heavy) building cost, so cannot increase it.

B4 boats, I feel, will be unjustified. By late 1942 it should be clear that operating floatplanes in the areas of enemy fleet activity is impossible. Therefore C2 is a more economical way to get the same eight torpedo tubes, which is what we want. In addition, C2 had better surfaced and submerged speeds. So, if we must build some big subs (as there is also no resources or time to shift production to something radically new one extra time).

But after some thinking, I agree that further improvement of KD series will be an optimum choice, even from RL standpoint. While K6 is far more economical to build (IRL), there is also the matter of crew shortages, which will make building lots of cheap subs rather futile. So, I think, here we can follow the game's logic with RL justification.


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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/9/2011 3:14:43 PM   
bklooste

 

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Well a valid strategy is just dont lay down any A,B,C and D after 1/1940 and convert some old subs which were decommisioned pre war to cargo carriers like the I121 . You can put a few more resources into the KD7 say for a KD7+ with better armour ( which is cheaper than DUR ) and improve LBA a bit. Also with the focus on mediums I200 comes in 6 months earlier and build 6 of them .. They should be more survivable but the dur may mean its not worth it .
Should save quite a lot of Naval points which you need in this mod.

Ben

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/9/2011 5:30:06 PM   
FatR

 

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I mostly agree with you, bklooste, but the point of divergence for light forces is second half of 1942, so not that much can be done. The biggest change I can see is cancelling of K6/KS in favor of more KD, with actual reduction in the number of subs built.

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/9/2011 11:10:17 PM   
FatR

 

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So, John, what do you think? If you are OK with this, I can proceed with small changes to large boats queue, as outlined above and then to look at what RO-boats can be realistically replaced with KD.


One more thought, though... With even more capital ships in the current build (one Ibuki CVL added) and Agano cruisers growing in size again, is building 6 of them justified? Not to rain on anyone's parade, but there are already 3 CVs, 1 big CVLs, 2 BCs and 2 CAs added to the construction queue, and removals include only Taiho, Shinano, Hull #101 and Oyodo. And 3 training CLs (plus less expensive pre-war rebuilds to CLd), but these are used to justify extra Akizukis. I'm afraid we're starting drifting into fantasyland here, even considering that some ships, primarily BCs, might not be built if Japanese get sloppy or unlucky with oil capture. Again, just food for thought. Maybe the number of Aganos should be cut to 4, just enough to use up remaining 155x3 turrets, maybe the last two can be pushed back somewhat and finished as CLAAs with pure DP armament (will require new art, though), maybe we can achieve long-term econommy in another area, such as replacing 6 Unryus with 4 Shokaku-Kai carriers (less materials and equipment used, plus sticking to the same type... ).

< Message edited by FatR -- 4/9/2011 11:44:05 PM >

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/10/2011 3:10:18 AM   
bklooste

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FatR

I mostly agree with you, bklooste, but the point of divergence for light forces is second half of 1942, so not that much can be done. The biggest change I can see is cancelling of K6/KS in favor of more KD, with actual reduction in the number of subs built.


Does this (late 42 ) make sense for light forces ,with a greater air focus eg the new CVs that appear instead of the Shinano and Hull 111. This decision for heavies would have been made in 39 or very early 40's. Lights only taking a year to build could if it supports the strategic direction arrive in late 40 early 41 and this is exactly what happens with the Akizkukis. The Akizukis are laid down at least 6 months earlier eg 30 June 1940 becomes Dec 39 or Jan 40 - with the decisions even earlier , so the "light forces" late 42 is at least selectively applied.

I was going to say it makes no sense to lay the Cruiser subs down after dec 41 but now think it makes no sense after the new Cvs are laid down though you could allow a year for momentum.


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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/10/2011 5:21:15 AM   
John 3rd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: FatR

So, John, what do you think? If you are OK with this, I can proceed with small changes to large boats queue, as outlined above and then to look at what RO-boats can be realistically replaced with KD.


One more thought, though... With even more capital ships in the current build (one Ibuki CVL added) and Agano cruisers growing in size again, is building 6 of them justified? Not to rain on anyone's parade, but there are already 3 CVs, 1 big CVLs, 2 BCs and 2 CAs added to the construction queue, and removals include only Taiho, Shinano, Hull #101 and Oyodo. And 3 training CLs (plus less expensive pre-war rebuilds to CLd), but these are used to justify extra Akizukis. I'm afraid we're starting drifting into fantasyland here, even considering that some ships, primarily BCs, might not be built if Japanese get sloppy or unlucky with oil capture. Again, just food for thought. Maybe the number of Aganos should be cut to 4, just enough to use up remaining 155x3 turrets, maybe the last two can be pushed back somewhat and finished as CLAAs with pure DP armament (will require new art, though), maybe we can achieve long-term econommy in another area, such as replacing 6 Unryus with 4 Shokaku-Kai carriers (less materials and equipment used, plus sticking to the same type... ).


Sorry--my personal weekends are in the middle of the work week so Sat-Sun are heavy work days. Just read the last few Posts and will try to jump in with my immediate reactions:

1. Regarding the points above in warships being built I actually think our construction que is pretty good. Reason I say this is to remind the readers that we raise naval shipyard points at the start of the scenario with the addition (by our view) of two cruiser-sized slipways to the Japanese start. These yards provide for the additional hulls described above. As with everything in RA the additional yard space has been paid for out of Japan's starting supply and fuel stockpile.

2. Additionally, on the subject of the Agano's, their construction is entirely plausible since we theorize that there is no year-long debate as to their configuration. By starting them a year early and not departing into the useless Oyodo design, I feel it is entirely plausible for 6 to be built. When I settled on their launch time I used several sources to arrive at a median amount of time for their building. Two were built in a shorter amount of days and two took longer IRL. With this in mind their building time was set right down the middle.

3. I love the idea of CLAA but we've already invalidated that by building the additional Akizukis.

4. SUBS? I don't know. The two of you guy's discussion has been excellent. As stated earlier my knowledge base here is pretty thin. Gut reactions? How about lessoning and simplifying the larger SS (as noted) and settle with the slightly improved KD? BK makes a solid argument that range is less important starting in 1943. The SS were built to support the Kaigun. I WISH it had been for commerce war but the reality does not support that vision. The mid-to-late war SS need to be fast, tough, and carry a reasonable number of TTs. Does this help at all?


Additional thought. Time and again we've spoken over the course of our development of RA that we want to provide the player with CHOICES. The RA warship building que, various new airframes and units (developed by BK and FatR), revamped industry, and reworked ASW forces make for an all new game that will stand on its own for player testing and fun with lots of interesting and challenging choices to be had by the Japanese...

Don't forget that the Allies get a few changes to play with too!

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/10/2011 9:39:54 AM   
FatR

 

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Well, building only one type of large SS and settling on KD7/8 is what I want to do... but not that much can be changed if the changes start in 1942. But on the other hand, without war experience earlier changes are hard to justify, there is no grounds for serious evaluation of subs' role and abiliies. If there cannot be formulated a good reason for pre-war change in plans, I'll proceed with simple production simplification from second half of 1942.

Also, it seems that I haven't emphazised enough that commerce war was a bad idea for Japanese. In RL, they sank slightly less than one merchant per sub built. Assuming they will be able to do a miracle, and raise sinkings ratio to German level... this will still mean less than two merchants sunk per sub built. Will this impact the war measurably, considering that Japanese have built around 180 subs in all? No. And will sticking mainly to medium subs, assuming realistic projects of commerce hunters, allow them to seriously reduce losses against Allied ASW? In the long run, no as well, U-boats were dying like flies too, from 1943 onwards. Meanwhile in RL, sub attacks on American carriers probably bought Japanese at least half a year (considering that Santa Cruz likely would have been decisively lost by Japanese, had they confronted Wasp and Saratoga as well). IJN subs' most serious faults in 1942, ironically, were caused by failure to follow the pre-war doctrine and deploy numerically sufficient sub forces to scout for the fleet in Coral Sea and Midway operations...


< Message edited by FatR -- 4/10/2011 9:45:38 AM >

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/10/2011 10:57:50 AM   
bklooste

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FatR

Well, building only one type of large SS and settling on KD7/8 is what I want to do... but not that much can be changed if the changes start in 1942. But on the other hand, without war experience earlier changes are hard to justify, there is no grounds for serious evaluation of subs' role and abiliies. If there cannot be formulated a good reason for pre-war change in plans, I'll proceed with simple production simplification from second half of 1942.


Changes based on war experience are hard to justify , changes based on a change of Doctrine eg the Cvs instead of more Yamatos are justifiable from 1940.

quote:




Also, it seems that I haven't emphazised enough that commerce war was a bad idea for Japanese. In RL, they sank slightly less than one merchant per sub built. Assuming they will be able to do a miracle, and raise sinkings ratio to German level... this will still mean less than two merchants sunk per sub built. Will this impact the war measurably, considering that Japanese have built around 180 subs in all? No. And will sticking mainly to medium subs, assuming realistic projects of commerce hunters, allow them to seriously reduce losses against Allied ASW? In the long run, no as well, U-boats were dying like flies too, from 1943 onwards. Meanwhile in RL, sub attacks on American carriers probably bought Japanese at least half a year (considering that Santa Cruz likely would have been decisively lost by Japanese, had they confronted Wasp and Saratoga as well). IJN subs' most serious faults in 1942, ironically, were caused by failure to follow the pre-war doctrine and deploy numerically sufficient sub forces to scout for the fleet in Coral Sea and Midway operations...


Interesting proposition though its worth stating the German subs were much cheaper and better. Probably correct over the whole war but they could have had a major impact on merchant shipping in early 42 like the U boats with 10:1 ratios but not much from 43 onwards ..

Personally to suit the doctrine i would just halt all cruisers subs laid down from 1940 ( including I-400) spend 10% of the saved budget on sub support (AS/AV) and base improvement , spend 20% on LBA/ patrol air craft ( air power doctrine) , 30% on mediums KD7+/I200 and save the rest... ( assume it went to the carrier air arm). Basically medium subs go where the action (Cv 's ) are or take a defensive roll.


That said i feel many of the ships that arrive from 43 onwards are just not worth it , too small a window of usage and some ships like the BCs probably get you an extra 1000 Franks in 44 when your fuel starts drying up , but it is good that it is up to the player.


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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/11/2011 2:08:34 AM   
John 3rd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: FatR

Well, building only one type of large SS and settling on KD7/8 is what I want to do... but not that much can be changed if the changes start in 1942. But on the other hand, without war experience earlier changes are hard to justify, there is no grounds for serious evaluation of subs' role and abiliies. If there cannot be formulated a good reason for pre-war change in plans, I'll proceed with simple production simplification from second half of 1942.

Also, it seems that I haven't emphazised enough that commerce war was a bad idea for Japanese. In RL, they sank slightly less than one merchant per sub built. Assuming they will be able to do a miracle, and raise sinkings ratio to German level... this will still mean less than two merchants sunk per sub built. Will this impact the war measurably, considering that Japanese have built around 180 subs in all? No. And will sticking mainly to medium subs, assuming realistic projects of commerce hunters, allow them to seriously reduce losses against Allied ASW? In the long run, no as well, U-boats were dying like flies too, from 1943 onwards. Meanwhile in RL, sub attacks on American carriers probably bought Japanese at least half a year (considering that Santa Cruz likely would have been decisively lost by Japanese, had they confronted Wasp and Saratoga as well). IJN subs' most serious faults in 1942, ironically, were caused by failure to follow the pre-war doctrine and deploy numerically sufficient sub forces to scout for the fleet in Coral Sea and Midway operations...



Maybe I was misunderstood with my last Post. FatR I concur with both your above paragraphs. Go with the single large SS and KD variant.


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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/11/2011 4:03:16 AM   
John 3rd


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Wasn't able to finish my last thought as it was dinner time here in the house.

FatR: There is something to BK's point about using excess construction/economic resources. The question is, with the changes made, do you think there would be a point to creating something along the lines of what BK mentions? Could we 'enhance' a base or two for SS Operations? What about a new search plane group or two? It might be a tangent but the point does make one think.

This thoughtline supposes a drawdown of some sort in final SS numbers. How do you see them ending up within your vision?




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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/11/2011 11:12:18 AM   
FatR

 

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I can see a pre-war change in the doctrine towards not building aircraft-equipped subs, resulting from the conceptual shift towards supporting the carrier fleet, which has far more effective air search methods, instead of the battlefleet. Short-ranged RO subs might be not produced as well, due to operating on an even more limited money/manpower allowance and their uselessness for supporting the fleet. But supporting offensive fleet operations across the Pacific still requires great range, so I can't see any justification for reducing the number of large subs that is not based purely on hindsight. Japanese placed great hopes on their subs operations, expecting as much from a concentrated sub offensive as from the KB raid on Pearl, and early U-boat successes in 1939-41 could only raise these hopes. I don't see a possibility for reevaluation there, before the trial of combat, in fact, with the former supporting/attritional forces moving into the foreground strongly, the sub fleet is more likely to gain more prominence and resources.

If allowed to make pre-war changes from about 1940, I would have cancelled K6 and KS subs, reduced B1 build by 4 hulls, cancelled all other A/B subs laid down in 1940 and later, replacing them with C2 subs on 1:1 basis for those completed or almost completed before the war and 4:3 basis later; and added 20 KD subs instead of 39 RO subs, replacing KD7 class with slightly improved KD8 somewhere in 1942 (I mean dates of laying subs down, not their completion). This will leave some manpower available for the new capital ships, other expenses will be roughly similar, IMO, and the players will receive a sub fleet that is actually tempting to build. Of course, with reduced numbers it will be even more of a weapon with limited number of shots... but c'est la vie.

With reduces number of subs, there aren't as much need in new AS... But we can make Aikoku/Hokoku Maru convert to AS instead of AP. In fact, in RL they initally were sub rearming ships, and probably did more good in this role than as raiders.

As about late-war, build only I-200 class. But this class might need a rehaul to make it less of halting fodder. More on this later.

< Message edited by FatR -- 4/12/2011 9:37:26 AM >

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RE: The End of the Beginning: Ship Art - 4/12/2011 4:25:12 AM   
John 3rd


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BINGO. I like that a lot! Totally different and offering a sound, thoughtful approach.

Have Tues and Wednesday off so we can exchange more ideas and put this together. It really sounds promising. How often does the Japanese player actually WANT to build his SS?! Need some sleep and then will jump back in tomorrow morning.




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RE: p70 havoc - 4/13/2011 3:20:27 PM   
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I was looking at tracker, noticed the p70 havac sqn,s , then looked at production and dont see any havoc plane production...is this WAD?





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RE: p70 havoc - 4/13/2011 3:39:09 PM   
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Hmmmm...that is...ahhhh...interesting. I didn't mess with Allied aircraft. FatR?

We'll take a look and see what is to be seen.


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Post #: 1013
RE: p70 havoc - 4/13/2011 4:21:51 PM   
FatR

 

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P-70A-1 doesn't get any production in stock too. No changes here. I guess Allied players are limited with what arrives in squadrons. Or maybe this is a bug. But not of our doing.

< Message edited by FatR -- 4/13/2011 4:22:41 PM >

(in reply to John 3rd)
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RE: p70 havoc - 4/13/2011 4:23:07 PM   
traskott

 

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I think it should be a case of "on map production". 

edit: Forget it...

< Message edited by traskott -- 4/13/2011 4:36:50 PM >

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Gaming - 4/13/2011 4:39:59 PM   
John 3rd


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Hey Stanislav. How are things going? You slugging through the IJN SS?

There is/was an interesting exchange in BigRed's Production Thread in the War Room you ought to take a look at when you get the chance.


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RE: Gaming - 4/13/2011 6:51:32 PM   
FatR

 

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Well, I believed you're still thinking on my last proposal. If you agree with sub plan-1940, I can start working on it.

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RE: Gaming - 4/13/2011 7:33:35 PM   
John 3rd


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I thought my last email was clear. Lets go with what you outlined. Think it will be a substantial change--for the better--within the IJN SS area.

EDIT: I did leave the door open with my Posting Monday night. Sorry about that.

1. Go with your plan for SS.
2. Add the conversion option to AS as you outlined above.

Think the support issue that BK mentioned has already been somewhat addressed as we open with a slightly more developed Saipan, Truk, and Kwajalein.


< Message edited by John 3rd -- 4/13/2011 7:36:08 PM >


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RE: Gaming - 4/14/2011 9:50:34 PM   
FatR

 

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I've started working on subs.

Meanwhile, I had some thoughts from another area, I thought I should write down.


I was thinking here, if it was realistically possible for Japanese to seriously improve their shipboard AAA capabilities, and what can be possibly done in this area either in Scen 70, or in relatvely realistic mods in general. Unfortunately, the main issue actually is not some identifiable mistakes, but Japan simply being too poor and underdeveloped to keep up with the Allies. This is well-illustrated by...

- Small-calibre AAA. Japanese 25mm is usually maligned, but what what actual alternatives they had? Versions of Bofors and Oerlikon guns that gave USN the edge in anti-aicraft defense do not and will not even exist before the war. If we imagine that Japanese buy, say, a license for the Bofors gun as it existed before the war... they won't get anywhere close to US quadruple water-cooled Bofors mount. They will get a gun with good ballistics, which mount they will need to cram in the same weight category as their 25mm triple mount, so it can be operated with the same electric motors as 25mm powered mounts (we don't postulate overall massive boost to the economy yes?), or manually, which is necessary, as most 25mm mounts were, by necessity, manually operated. So, it will, by necessity, be placed in single mounts. And then the combination of low maximal rate of fire, small magazine and air cooling will eat most of the benefits of the good ballistics through inadequate practical rate of fire. Even if the industry will be able to handle it in the first place, which, looking at the quality of wartime Japanese Bofors clone, is far from a given. Soviet 37mm Bofors derivative 70-K is probably a good approximae example of what Japanese could have actually created, and it was a very mediocre gun, for the reasons stated above.
With Oerlikon the situation is even worse, as existing versions Japanese could have licensed were unsuitable for real mass production and/or godawfully bad, particularly at the time when Japanese actually adopted Hotchkiss 25mm. The only decent Oerlikon derivative, save for US Oerlikon revorking, German C/38 Flakvierling, did not exist until 1940, far past the point where Japanese were choosing a new AA machinecannon. And to be honest, all of them 20mm guns were grudge weapons anyway, as far as large warships are concerned.

And, by the way, what other fleets had at the end of 1941? British 40mm Vickers was really bad, with pathetic effective range. In fact, that's why Japanese already phased this gun out. By the end of the war it was made kinda-sorta effective due to advances in mounts, fire control and whatever, but in 1942 British shipboard flak failed hard indeed against Japanese.
USN 28mm gun is not measurably better than Japanese 25mm, and also is unreliable. Its only serious advantage is far more powerful motors, allowing to place 4 barrels on a single mount and giving it better rates of elevation and train, despite far greater weight. Which, AFAIK, also made it unsuitable for manual operation, and most of Japanese 25mm mounts were, by necessity, operated manually. As it is unreasonable to expect from Japanese to radically improve their motor production... But no one offers them that gun anyway.
Germans had very poor 37mm non-automatic guns and above-mentioned 20mm C/38, which was a good complementary weapon to something more powerful, but inadequate by itself. They, AFAIK, had no powered mounts for small-calibre AAA whatsoever. They compensated with good fire control and large number of guns... and not facing the level of challenge IJN did.
Don't really know about Italian fleet, but I somehow don't think they had anything awesome...

So, basically, Japanese picked if not the best, then one of the best available options, and were at least on par with other major fleets before PH in this area... and after the war actually began, Americans one-upped them by creating practically a new generation of weapons, while IJN was stuck with what it had, because Japanese economy or research capability was nowhere near as powerful.


Short version: There was no magic choice that can suddenly improve IJN's small-calibre AAA situation. I can speculate about what could have been realistically done to make 25mm a better weapon, but this will be rather presumptions, considering how superficial my knowledge is. And considering that one of the most severe problems with Japanese 25mm guns, if not the most severe one, was their insufficient numbers until late 1944, I don't know from where they could have scrounged enough yen for technical improvements here...



- Medium calibre AAA/DP guns. Well, here Japan was mostly in OK position, save for, again, not really having enough of them until way too late, not having enough high-power mounts until way too late, not having enough modern fire directors, and so on. And here we also more room for speculations and what ifs, considering the range of existing options. I think the most obvious improvement here is using either 127/40 or 120/45, but not both (type 89 mounts could have just used 120/45 with the same level of success, type 88 mounts could have replaced 120/45 singles...). The former has heavier shell and greater explosion envelope, the latter slightly better ballistics... they are about equal to each other. Unfortunately, it is unclear if 127/50 DP Japanese were developing had any promise for shipboard use, so unifying all weapons to 127mm is a weak idea, if it forces Japan to abandon 100/65. A more exotic, but, IMO, viable option will be using 100/50 gun (historically used only on a couple of subs) in place of 127/40 on type 89 mounts, until 100/65 is developed. 100/50 had even better ballistics than 120/45 and decent possible rate of fire.

Of course, all of those alternatives, save of not making any more 120/45 during the war, phasing them out in favor of more 127/40, require the point of divergence at the beginning of 1930s, so they are not really applicable to Scen 70.

Another possible alternative is using 76/60 gun as an intermediate weapon between DP guns and small calibre, and trying to develop a semi-automatic gun on its base. I've seen it posed before, but, unfortunately, cannot really comment on its technical viability, except that lack of interest in it IRL most likely indicates lack of such. Japanese themselves considered 76/60 inferior to 100/65 and wanted to rearm surviving Aganos with the latter, but never actually got to that.


Whew. To think I wrote all of that for the conclusion like "Japanese AA weapons should probably stay as they already are, for this scenario".

(in reply to John 3rd)
Post #: 1019
RE: Gaming - 4/15/2011 3:25:31 PM   
John 3rd


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Stanislav: You really made me laugh with that last Posting. I saw this long entry and I get all excited that you have a new proposal or great revelation to share and, when read, it is simply a 'stay as they are' addition to our Mod.

Made for a good moment of humor.

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