Regarding the pre-war intelligence issue. I'd say the Allies would have a very good idea of what the Japanese already had in service, at least from DDs on up (certainly from CA/CLs on up). They'd probably a pretty good idea on the size of the IJ army (number of divisions/ ind. brigades/ind. regiments). The IJNAF and IJAAF might be harder to know the specifics, but I think they would have a fairly good idea of general size and types of equipment.
If I was playing this mod and wanted to acquire a "historical" level of pre-war intelligence on the Japanese forces, I'd probably do the following:
- View and write down the current IJN BBs, CVs (all types), CAs, and CLs. I'd probably look at types and overall numbers of DDs and SSs. I probably wouldn't look at anything else.
- I'd look at a listing of the IJA/IJN ground forces and write down a list of the active combat units (not ENG, base force, support, etc.)
- I'd look at types of IJA/IJN aircraft in service and maybe list the # of squadrons of ground-based Netties/Fighters/Bombers.
- I'd probably look at the build list for BB/CV/CA for the next 6 months or so.
Please note, I would not look at the map to see where these units start the game. Just look at the various unit lists. One possible exception to that general rule would be units in China, where the Allies might have semi-decent pre-war intelligence. Even then, I'd probably look at the unit list for ground units assigned to the China commands rather than looking at the map.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on what I'd look at.
When you shoot at a destroyer and miss, it's like hit'in a wildcat in the ass with a banjo.
Nathan Dogan, USS Gurnard