From: Fort Wayne IN USA
-Is it me or is the standard scenario heavily weighed in the Allies' favor? Looking at the reinforcement schedule of all types of ships, I'd be amazed if the Japanese Navy isn't wiped out by the end of 1944. I'm actually a little surprised that no one is playing Ironman in the AAR section. It seems more like a fair fight to me! Right now I'm playing Hakko Ichiu with reliable torpedoes off and allied damage control off.
That's because World War II was heavily weighted in the Allies' favor IRL. And the IJN was effectively wiped out by the end of 1944 IRL. If you're looking for a more balanced scenario you might try one of the campaigns.
-Are airfield strikes even worth doing? The pearl harbor attack never seems to destroy nearly as many planes on the ground as the historical raid did. Even worse for the Clark field raids (historical first turn setting): I only destroy a few fighters and maybe a B-17 or two when historically the base was hit extremely hard and most of the aircraft were destroyed. What gives? Oh and finally it doesn't seem to matter how many "runway strikes" you perform, or at least I don't notice any effect.
The game engine isn't perfect; combat results are designed for normal situations; even with the December 7 surprise rule in effect, you are unlikely to do as well as the Japanese did historically; planes are assumed to be at least somewhat dispersed, and possibly camouflaged and in revetments. Also bear in mind that, even taking into account surprise, the Japanese were very lucky to achieve the results they did.
As for runway bombing, having been on the receiving end of plenty of Japanese attacks, I can assure you that it does have an effect. However, if the target has plenty of engineering vehicles and supplies, the damage will likely be repaired quickly.
-Is there any downside (besides a possible lack of planes and pilots) to stripping my carriers of dive bombers and using only fighters and torpedo bombers? The Val only gets 1x250kg bomb which is insufficient, so why not use only Kates? Similarly for the Americans, they get carrier-capable fighter planes that can drop bombs. Assuming equal payload, is there any reason to go with a dive bomber over a fighter?
Other than being ahistorical (but if you want to play that way, that's your choice; it's just a game after all), I think there's a bonus if you attack a task force with both torpedo and dive bombers simultaneously. Also, dive bombers are more accurate in some situations.
-How important is it to take Wake? If I just left it in Allied hands would I regret it? I'm also considering ignoring Guam and northern New Guinea in favor of other more important early targets. It seems like I can easily leave these for later. Am I wrong?
If you don't take Wake the Americans will most likely use it as a forward submarine base, which will be A Bad Thing for Japan.
"I know Japanese. He is very bad. And tricky. But we Americans too smart. We catch him and give him hell."
--Benny Sablan, crewman, USS Enterprise 12/7/41