In my game in late July 1942 I've destroyed about 660 more planes than Japan has. They have equal VP ratings for each side: 2 for heavy bombers (I actually don't know if Japanese 2Es are considered "heavy") 1 for fighters. CR has said many times he's way, way ahead of John in pure numbers of destroyed planes. That may not get all the way back to equity, but it's not nothing. IF the players respect and play for VPs. An "it's just a journey" Japan player won't care how many planes/VPs he throws away and it can become the "Hulk smash!" hour.
Second, at this point in the game's lifespan it's not realistic for any Allied player to bewail his pools. We all know how they are and how they work. Same with what we face.
Third, the game and the victory conditions are balanced on the models. You can't just throw in, say, 30% more Allied air metal and expect not to break the thing.
Fourth, I think there is too much reliance on the air side of the game. My fighter pools are as flat as CR's. I have not spared them, I have not Sir Robined. But look in my AAR at the situation in Burma. Japan has total air superiority. I take losses on the ground, but the battle is not lost. If the Allied player uses terrain, local forts, built forts, AA LCUs, internal LCU AA devices, and pays attention to LCU leadership and mode (Reserve is woefully underused I think) he can stand--for awhile--on a location and take the rain of death from the skies. Air is one leg of three in the game, but GG put the most detail there so a lot of players focus on it. It's better to have air superiority of course, but if you don't you have more options than run or die. IMO of course.
I think you have excellent points on training. It's too fast IMO, and moreover it's too uniform. Not every pilot can be Chuck Yeager no matter how much he practices. Some guys are just average or below (50% in fact.) But your best point is the one on PDU. Well, PDU and Scen 1. THOSE ARE THE HISTORIC NORMS. But nobody plays them. They aren't "fun." That's not the devs' fault. They put them in, they put in the option to go around them. With the editor the option to REALLY go around them.
Count the number of Opponents Wanted ads with Scen 1, PDU Off. It won't take you long.
Yes, but how many of those are japanese OPS losses? The 1:1 ratio I was talking about was meant as 1:1 air vs air ratio. Iīm not sure but I donīt think the Japanese have any planes considered "heavy" but only the allied 4Es get this designation?
I do agree with you on what you say about VPs. But Iīm just not so sure a Japanese player considers this a stopping block or hindrance to throw everything he has against the allied air force. Thats what I meant about getting a 1:1 VP ratio for knocking out the allied air force. Some Japanese input on this would be interesting!
I certainly agree with you on the point of more allied planes. That is not the way to go. As with many things even a small increase can have huge ramifications. Thats why I think it would be better to tackle the abundance of Japanese pilots. At least early game. And I agree with you 100% on the points you bring up on training.
I think its a shame that almost nobody plays SCEN 1 PDU OFF. I think it might bring a more balanced and fun experience for both players. Especially 41-43. I certainly understand why Japanese players shun it. If I could choose between having unlimited resources or not. Of course I would go for the option of having them. But if I was a japanese player I would also probably rather face 2000 Wildkittens than 2000 Hellcats?
I think its that "HULK SMASH" mentality. The Japanese side want lots and lots of stuff because they think they must have them to stay competitive. I think in 90% of the cases these extra toys only leads to overextension and a premature ending of the game. There are a few SCEN 1 games running where the Japanese player have done very well. So the SCEN 2 option isnīt a requirement for a successful Japanese campaign.
Japan, even in a scenario 2 environement (and in RA, I think, it's the same) is a paper tiger. Strong, yes, but its strength has no depth. Once you start to lose some warships and your best navy pilots, it's a downhill. And it takes just few unlucky battles to cripple your navy or your pre-war pilots pool.
As CrSutton always says, if the allies do not do stupid things in 1942 and keep their CVs alive, they cannot lose. Simply cannot.
Even in a successful game, Japan won't be able to keep a strong extended perimeter too long. They can seem strong at certain points, but the map is so huge that the allies can decide easily to attack where the japs aren't strong enough...and believe me when I say that they CANNOT be strong everywhere.
I strongly suggest to any allied player to play, at least once, with Japan... you'll know its weaknesses and understand how tough is life on the other side of the hill