Hmm, numbers alone don't tell the whole story but in my view the USN CV TFs don't have to "win" anything at this stage. They just have to not lose.
What I mean by that is that USN CV TFs exist in order to secure the unhindered passage of amphibious TFs to their targets. In order to do that they don't have to conduct strikes ( beyond whatever naval strikes are necessary to clear the waters ), they just have to be able to mount a strong numerical CAP.
Japanese escorts exist only to absorb "firing passes" in-game ( given the way the code currently works - if you're interested you can read two threads discussing this and suggesting changes which would improve the code's ability to model plausible outcomes in the Tech forum ). Once that is done and the fighters get at the bombers what matters is not their quality ( since even a Wildcat is more than good enough to shoot down a laden Judy or Netty ) but their numbers ( again, up to a certain point beyond which numbers don't matter due to the way the code currently works ).
Bottom line though, I'm not sure that USN CV fighter quality actually matters much in the defensive role since the fighter vs fighter and fighter vs bomber combat rounds seem to be resolved independently without carry-over of results ( so, for example, if there are 300 fighter vs fighter firing passes that doesn't impact the number of fighter vs bomber firing passes ---- whereas historically the longer you spent fighting the fighters ( fighter vs fighter firing passes ) the less time ( fewer firing passes ) you'd have in the fighter vs bomber phase.
I've thought about this a little tonight once the model was clarified by michaelm and given the current CAP vs strike model the determinant of whether or not a USN CV TF CAP is successful or not actually lies in Japanese hands and is independent of USN CV TF fighter technical-tactical characteristics. In other words, given the number of fighters USN CV TFs can put up 1,000 Wildcats are likely to do just as well against an optimal strike package as 1,000 F8F Bearcats. Obviously against sub-optimal strike packages the Bearcats would do better since sub-optimal strike packages wouldn't be designed to negate US technical-tactical superiority.
I've looked into it and while my basic approach is still valid this code issue definitely favours larger co-ordinated strikes with large numbers of Ki-264s/G9Ms along in order to "absorb" firing passes until the hard-coded limit is reached as a means of relatively sparing the much more fragile single-engined and twin-engined strike aircraft. With this in mind I'm going to look at co-ordinating G9M strikes with single and twin-engined strike groups from now on once USN CVs are in range. I believe G9Ms, on their own, can tackle CVEs/CVLs TFs.
So, technical-tactical issues matter but given the way CAP vs bomber fights are modelled at present there are ways to utterly negate this advantage if one is willing to pay the cost. For Japan that also means a further shift away from attrition to a series of pulsed battles in which there are long periods of very little combat followed by short periods in which almost the entire air force is committed, en masse, into a very high risk environment accepting massive losses over a short period of time in order to overwhelm Allied defences.
So, yes, the Bearcat is better than the F6F5 but defensively I don't think it actually matters much which he deploys. Offensively it matters a lot. To my mind if I were the Allies this would mean that I would reverse the usual doctrinal approach of sending lesser quality planes along to act as escorts since higher quality planes would do better as escorts but wouldn't do substantially better in the CAP role. What it also means is that one should preferentially use fighters with the heaviest armament in the CAP role so as to maximise the odds that each of the limited number of firing passes would result in a kill.
So, there are a lot of ramifications to this code issue and certainly my conclusions seem to support the view that it is much more complex than just looking at the technical-tactical characteristics would seem to suggest. There's an interplay between technical-tactical characteristics, role and code base and combining all three of those factors appropriately will yield the optimal outcome.
Of course, the solution is to fix the code base so that this sort of gap doesn't actually exist OR to HR it so that no side attacks with more than x planes and no side defends with more than y but that sort of HR would be laborious and relatively impossible to enforce given that Japanese strike packages are formed during the resolution phase without recourse to the player.
In terms of ueber-fighters... Well the P-51H is better than any of mine except, perhaps, the J7W2 so I'm not sure about ueber-fighters. I definitely have tried to build the best I could afford though - it was the only way I was ever going to be competitive vs his numbers and quality.
< Message edited by Nemo121 -- 1/24/2012 6:00:33 AM >
John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.