From: El Paso, TX
As a new Japanese player, I'm almost pathologically concerned about losing time and wasting assets, so the quicker one can maximize the available units, the better. And potentially one of the most significant assets is Baby KB - or KBs. You open the game with small carriers Zuiho and Hosho in port, and Ryujo and Taiyo at sea. The 3 CVLs are carrying small (and almost useless) Claude units, two have small-but-serviceable B5N1 Kates, Hosho has a small Jean unit, and CVE Taiyo has nothing at all. Fortunately the game features the ability to both resize and upgrade these units, so the question is - what's the best approach to take?
I searched diligently on this topic, but couldn't find "rules" that worked consistently. Eventually, through trial and error, a process was discovered that appears to work all the time, and fairly quickly, too. First a couple of generic rules:
1) If you want to resize air units to the full carrying capacity of a carrier, get all but one of them off the carrier first!
2) When a unit resizes, it does NOT suck in planes from the pool in order to reach the new size.
3) A unit that resizes does NOT lose the ability to resize again. You can even resize multiple times in the same turn.
So how do we put these rules to work so as to have a pair of fully functional mini-KBs prowling the seas within the first 5 turns of the game? First a brief segue. One other really important consideration as the Japanese is you need to get pilots in training as early as possible. For the IJA, there's plenty of restricted units sitting around in Manchuria, Japan and China who can serve in a training role. But for the IJN, there's only a few locked away in Japan - using more means pulling units off the front lines. So if we can fill out a couple Baby KBs AND increase the number of training units? Bonus. So, how do we proceed?
1) Start of Turn 2:
1a) The Kates on CVL Ryujo can reach CVE Taiyo right away on Turn 2, so we make that transfer now. With the Kates gone, set the Claudes to "Resize to fit ship" (click the resize text off and on, three times, until the resize window appears) and select the number 45 (yes, it could be 48, but soon you'll see why we chose 45). At the same time, cancel the Ryujo's misson and start moving toward Takao - you need to be within 14 hexes by the start of Turn 3 (an easy journey). Note: Don't go to Babeldaoab. Claudes will not upgrade to Zeros there.
1b) The Kates on Taiyo go through the same process, but they can only maximize to 27 - Fortunately that is exactly what you need. Change Taiyo to an Air Combat TF (that's what she is now!) and point her back to Babeldaoab. After the Kates resize, this is a nearby port which (when docked) will allow you to fill them out with airframes and veteran pilots.
1c) Create a small Air Combat TF in Hiroshima, do not dock (this may not matter), and populate it with CVLs Zuiho, Hosho, and CS Chiyoda (as long as we're maximizing assets, lets make better use of Chiyoda's pair of floatplane units). Then do the following for each of the six units aboard:
- Zuiho Claudes resize to 30
- Zuiho Kates transfer to Hiroshima Airbase (add 18-20 Veteran Pilots too. You'll soon see why.)
- Hosho Jeans resize to 20
- Hosho Claudes transfer to Hiroshima Airbase
- Chiyoda Petes resize to 24
- Chiyoda Jakes transfer to Hiroshima Airbase
1d) Do a ton of other stuff and hit "End Turn"
2) At the start of Turn 3, you'll see that all five units resized, no exception. Now for the next phase of the plan.
2a) Divide the Claudes on Ryujo and transfer the "A unit to Takao (probably need drop tanks). Immediately upgrade it to a Zero, which will pull 15 Zeros from the pool. By now you should have a sizable pool of Veteran pilots, so add about 10 or so manually. The Zeros will be disabled for a while, but within 3 turns you'll be able to fly most of them back to Ryujo (you can even fly them back in increments, which isn't a bad idea). The remaining "B" and "C" units are still Claudes, but there's simply not enough Zero Airframes in the pool to convert all of these at game start. That said, you'll want to fly the "C" unit to Takao as well, so you can fill it up to 15 Claudes and add 10 Veteran Pilots. It's not a great option, but having a good sized CAP of experienced Claudes over Taiyo is better than nothing. Optionally, you could do the same with the "B" unit, but you might be running a bit low on experienced pilots at this point.
2b) Taiyo will now be docked at Babeldaoab, so fill out the Kates (add 15 airframes to get up to 27) and also add 15-18 Veteran Pilots. Now add some DD escorts and send Taiyo off to link up with Ryujo. Once they are close enough to exchange aircraft the "A" & "B" Claude/Zeros and Kates will operate from Ryujo while the "C" sections stay on Taiyo. And the math works very nicely:
- Ryujo (48 max) = Zero A (15) + Claude B (eventually 15) + Kate A (9) + Kate B (9) = 48
- Taiyo (27 max) = Claude C (eventually 15) + Kate C (9) = 24
2c) All three units aboard ship back in Hiroshima have resized, so it's time for the next move:
- Zuiho Claudes transfer to Hiroshima Airbase, divide into 3 section, and upgrade "A" and "C" to Zeros. That will consume the remaining Zeros in the Pool (and then some). Also add 5-6 Veteran Pilots to "A" & "C". "B" will remain behind as a Training unit, so it can be stripped of its veteran pilots and maxed out with Claudes and Replacements.
- Zuiho Kates transfer to Zuiho and set resize to 30.
- Hosho Jeans transfer to Hiroshima Airbase and fill out the unit with 12 Jean airframes. At the same time, return all those veteran pilots to the pool and add raw replacements. This is now a training unit. Since there are 71 Jeans in the pool, when KB eventually comes to town, I'd advise loading this unit aboard a big carrier and resizing up to 70 or more! Now THAT'S a training unit!
- Hosho Claudes transfer to Hosho and set resize to 20.
- Chiyoda Petes transfer to Hiroshima Airbase and fill out the unit with 8 Pete airframes. At the same time, return all those veteran pilots to the pool and add raw replacements. This is now a training unit.
- Chiyoda Jakes transfer to Chiyoda and set resize to 24. You only have 4 pilots, so this is good time add 20 veterans (many of which will come from the Pete unit you just eviscerated).
2d) Do a ton of other stuff and hit "End Turn"
3) At the start of Turn 4, the last three units have resized, and it's time to flesh out our Mini KBs and get rolling:
3a) Ryujo: Nothing major here. At this point you might be able to land the A & B Kates from Taiyo, but there's no real hurry. Another turn or two won't hurt matters (you're sort of stuck for a few turns anyway, since it takes a while for all those new Veteran Pilots to arrive)
3b) Taiyo: Much the same. Can't do much for the next turn or two but by the time she merges with Ryujo's TF, most of the airframes in Takao will be repaired and ready to fly back to "Mini KB #1"
3c) The Resizing in Hiroshma is complete so it's time to make the final transfers, assemble "Mini KB #2", and sail off into harm's way:
- Hosho Jeans (no further action)
- Hosho Claudes transfer to Hiroshima Airbase and fill out the unit with 4 Claude airframes. At the same time, return all those veteran pilots to the pool and add raw replacements. This is now a training unit.
- Zuiho Kates divide into 3 sections, with "C" transferring to Hosho, while "A" and "B" remain behind on Zuiho. Add roughly 6 airframes apiece to flesh out each section (veteran pilots were added last turn)
- Zuiho Claudes Section "A" transfers to Zuiho and Section "C" transfers to Hosho. Note: Once you have a large enough pool of Zeros, you may want upgrade Section "B" to the Zero and then swap it for the Kate "B", but at this stage of the war a fully functional Kate is more valuable than a Claude.
- Chiyoda Petes (no further action)
- Chiyoda Jakes (no further action)
3d) So what does "Mini KB #2" look like?
- Zuiho (30 max) = Zero A (10) + Kate A (10) + Kate B (10) = 30
- Hosho (20 max) = Zero C (10) + Kate C (10) = 20
- Chiyoda (24 max) = Jakes (24)
Which is a sizable improvement over the striking power and flexibility of this task force just two turns earlier!
So there you have it, by Turn #5 you should have two Mini KB's with a nearly full consignment of aircraft, able to protect themselves, safeguard invasion TFs, and do some damage along the way! Banzai, JFBs, Banzai!
< Message edited by Kull -- 11/16/2012 1:13:27 AM >