I've been through this before, but let me tell you what I'd expect now.
The Allies have done very well in the air war - winning it thus far according to my estimation. The Japanese have lost 50% more aircraft than the Allies (7,500 to 5,000). Many of those losses were Tojos in the long and bitter airwar over Akyab and Ramree Island, during which the Allies developed topnotch pilots.
I'd thereofre expect - given what's happened thus far and the end-of-1942 date - that the Allies could afford to stand toe-to-toe with Japan in an air war. Not that the Allies would be guaranteed to win; not that Japan couldn't perform better; but not a onesided show in which the Allies have no chance. I think (but I'm not positive) that's what's about to happen. Perhaps through good pilots and the massive level of air support and the decent numbers of P-40K the Allies will be able to withstand the all-out air battle. I hope so.
You might not forgive me for being blunt, but the Allied invasion of Sumatra was titanically successful. John was negligent in the extreme in leaving such an important area unguarded and without patrols. The Allies have landed a massive army there, with massive support, fully supplied, huge infrastructure, well equipped and supported navy, nearly 900 mines, etc. By every measure the Allies should be able to hold and take advantage of a lodgement so vast. If, however, the air war is the limiting factor that prevents this because it's ridiculously lopsided, I just don't have the heart to continue the game.
I want a game in which the Allies in 1942 can take chances and turn the war against Japan. If the air war prevents that - or makes it all but impossible - so that the Allies have to be much more careful, an exciting element of the game is missing.
I agree that adjustments to the game are warranted to give Japan the ability to fight late - that's in the best interest of all players. I just don't think it's a good idea if the air war is so onesided in 1942 that it essentially prevents the Allies from doing things that otherwise make perfect sense.
The air war is what it is. If I may be blunt this is a self-inflicted wound. You agreed to HRs which give him the ability to use his already vast advantages in numbers and early quality. If you were bombing Palembang this week, even by day, your situation up north would be different and the KB would be doing different things.
I've also got to suggest, gently I hope, CR, that you also went into a scenario specifically designed to advantage Japan against the guy who wrote it, while you refused to even read threads about what it does. Yes, a lot of the changes are to the navy, but not all. And even those make a Japan player able to play more aggressively.
The landing on Sumatra was masterful. It makes my pitiful efforts in the summer of 1942 look just that. But without strategic bombing, and without a full-scale "Nemo" effort on Malaysia in tandem to isolate Singers and mess up those big air fields over there, you were destined to enter a war of attrition. And it's here.