I've read in a number of threads that some Japanese players have made "concessions" to the allied player in allowing the US to have reliable torpedoes from the beginning of the game. My question is why would this be done? First the reality is that the US torpedoes were crud and second this would entirely skew the game in favor of the allies.... Why would either side want this (in the long run, the Japanese player is in trouble anyway), other than to find out how badly the Japanese would suffer at the hands of good torpedoes (which would decrease the challenge of the game)? Thanks in advance... Hal
It is one thing if a Japanese player wants to vary his game experience by allowing US reliable torpedoes, and in exchange gains some semi compensating benefit elsewhere. However IMHO, if a Japanese player agrees to this because they believe they can gain a benefit elsewhere which benefits the Japanese war effort more than the Allied war effort gains from having reliable US torpedoes, they are very much mistaken. Such a trade off sees the Japanese war effort disadvantaged in these ways.
1. It will tempt the Japanese player to strike Manila rather than Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. More often than not that is a poor decision whose poor strategic consequences would only be mitigated to a limited degree if 90-100% of the subs in Manila are sunk outright. Otherwise the adverse strategic consequences are:
- Allied ship repair yards are not occupied long term with crippled capital ships. Consequently Allied recovery from early naval battles is much improved and acts as a substantial force multiplier
- there is no stress placed on the at start very fragile Allied aircraft production run. In particular the usual horendous day 1 losses to PBYs will not occur. Almost immediately the Allied player will have sufficient "eyes" to establish meaningful fleet and ASW search zones whereas normally it will take many months to do so following a Pearl Harbor strike
- with his intact Pearl Harbor strategic forces the Allies can launch early spoiling counter attacks
2. At the start it is a race against time for Japan to acquire the real estate it needs. Sinking subs but leaving intact the surface fleet does not assist this strategic Japanese imperative; in fact it hinders it. No early war Japanese invasion fleet can ever, under any circumstances, be defeated by Allied subs alone. Allied airpower can do it, but at the start it is too weak to realistically stand a chance. The only thing which can at the beginning is the presence of Allied surface ships. This is why Japanese players always give great thought to the early destruction of Force Z. At the very least, the existence of a possible Allied surface naval intercept forces the Japanese player to be more circumspect in their early offensive operations.
3. Even if 90-100% of the Manila subs are sunk outright on 7 December 1941, there are plenty more in the pipeline coming, and quite soon too. The pileline for Allied capital ships is much, much . In any case not all USN subs are present at Manila. The end result is that the Japanese player is confronted from the beginning with having to combat a much more efficient and cost effective (from the Allied POV regarding fuel and supply consumption) weapon system. Allied pilots start off ill equipped to sink Japanese combat and merchant ships. Allied surface ships are very inefficient at commerce raiding and too valuable to lose. Which leaves subs;
- quite expendable but still able to sneak in to the killing fields
- equipped with the pre-eminent anti ship weapon of the era, ergo the torpedo (whether launched from the air or sea)
- operating at a time when Japanese ASW assets are at their weakest
- impose an early convoy requirement which steals assets that otherwise could be used to further the prime strategic directive viz capturing real estate