I am still not convinced that aircraft shot down is a linking construct to a higher short term or long term outcome. Aircraft shotdown is clearly a metric in this game but to what end does a 1K advantage lead to victory? In my limited experience this this game I keep shooting down aircraft and the IJA/IJN aircraft keep coming no matter how many I shoot down. Thoughts?
Cracker, I would think it matters from a trio of different angles. First, in response to a long term outcome, if one is playing for victory points, it matters. Second, in both the short and long term outcome, destroying that differential of AC means a larger number of experienced IJ pilots are toast. This can never help the IJ cause. I'm sure John is adept at training and that he keeps a close eye on maintaining a high level of trained pilots. However, I would think (never having played the IJ) that with losses like that in mid-42, he may be struggling to keep the quality of his pilots up. Third, relating to a short term outcome, having a loss differential like that gives the Allies a better chance to achieve areas of local air superiority, thus potentially snowballing the IJ loss differential.
So, while the IJ AC do come on forever, maintaining or increasing a large loss differential like that can aid the Allies and offer the potential for creating a cascading effect on IJ aerial/pilot losses. While your point has merit, I do think that kind of loss differential can be harmful to IJ ambitions.