First, as a veteran gamer (since 1972 and Avalon Hill's "Bismarck") I have to say this is the finest sim I have ever seen and that includes all the great SPI boardgames. I just have a few questions(and a few suggestions to the devs) on a some things that I am a bit confused about. I have searched the forums for these answers but did not really see anything.... so forgive me if I missed it or if they have been already discussed.
1. The biggest thing to me is confusion about the order of battle. When I fire this thing up and I start looking around at the forces I am overwhelmed a bit because I am not sure what I have to start with, (how many divisions, where are the elements at, why are they there, and the home HQ location.) Japan already has invasions moving in the historical first turn option but what is the best way to figure out what is going where? I assume someone has made an OB list with unit breakdowns and locations but I have not seen it.
2. A minor issue but I can't seem to do anything with the Japanese CVE "Taiyo." I thought I had seen this touched on somewhere but could not find it in a search. If I recall this was an issue with the original WIP which I own. I can't seem to transfer any AC to it. Any answers to that?
3. Why is the BB "Shinano" already a planned conversion to CV at the start of the game when in reality this was not decided untill later? I know some of you would ask why anyone would want to keep it as a third Yamato BB but it should be the Japanese player's choice. At only 47 AC "Shinano" was an overweight elephant which probably would have served better as a BB anyway. I would also like to see more flexible or maybe custom conversion options done through research (but not ahistorical.) What if Japan or the US wanted to accelerate the design/production of the Super Yamatos or Montanas?
4. Another problem (I am not sure there is anyway to do anything about it) but because most of us are quite familiar with the history of the Pacific war, we already know the exact size, Types and number of ships, aircraft, men etc.. their abilities etc of the forces involved. This can affect strategy and overall planning which skews realistic results. For example, I don't think the US even knew the Yamato's existed untill late in the war, yet we know they do from the start. Also, we know the exact number of CV's on both sides at the start and this knowledge takes away some of the fog of war. I am not saying make this a fantasy, ahistorical game but how about an option to alter the starting OB's by a certain percentage either way. And this could be random! What I mean is if you select "Possible randomized starting OB" you really do not know if the enemies starting OB has change or by how much. The randomizing, even if slight could throw a curve ball into normal planning and thinking. You know the Japanese only have six CV's at start but what if they had managed to rush production on a 7th or 8th? Or built a few more CA's? Also, because the US player knows the Japanese player is hitting the Phillipines, Hong Kong, and Singapore... they always start pulling everything they can in a mass exodus... Or they mass at Guadalcanal or Port Moresby early because they know that's coming too... this in reality would not have been done, anyone have any ideas on what can be done about this issue? How about serious political point penalities for early withdrawal? (Or is this done already?) The US player knows that Japan can't readily invade Hawaii but the politicans were heavily concerned that they could (or the US West Coast) and that is one of the main reasons the US did not rush forces willy nilly all over to the key points in the S.Pac. early.
5. The production detail is amazing and I love micromanagment but I have to admit, I am at a standstill as to what to do with it. Engines? huh? Even after watching the vid tutorial on it.
Just some things to consider. You may agree or disagree that any of the above is even worth looking at. I just wanted to comment.
Thanks and congrats to Matrix on being the number one producer of these types of games.