Oof. Those are tough numbers.
....which is why it's so important - vital, critical, essential! - that the Allies open up a second front for the air war.
In 1942-mid 1943, the Allies risk being their own worst enemy in the air war, IMO. Combined Allied fighter production does not and cannot match Japanese production in quantity OR quality, once the Tojos come online. Too aggressive an Allied forward deployment will result in ripping through combined airframes at a prodigious pace. Can you lose 1:1 with a fighter platform that is being replaced at, say, 180 planes / month (see GreyJoy's numbers)? When combined with the A6M line, Oscars and a few other airframe types, make that some 300 fighters / month. Ish.
1. Can you afford 1:1 losses to the tune of 300 fighters / month?
2. Would opening up another air war front in mid-1942 be to your benefit or detriment in terms of fighter airframe exchange?
Once mid-1943 rolls around, the Allies will start to make inroads on qualitative improvements, but this is slow going. Particularly against a Japanese player that pushes the envelope on R&D and fighter production numbers.
Good point, but I think the Allies have to open the fronts regardless in anticipation of the coming replacement rate. The tojo breaker is the hellcat, which was my go to fighter for the second half of 1943. Hellcats can beat any Japanese fighter save the Frank. So, I would look to get my foot in the door now. Even if the Japanese hold air superiority for a while it will be worth it. It also gives the Allies a chance to put their rapidly growing DD and CA force to work wearing down the Japanese fleet. I think looking for a chance in early 43 is the best bet but not one that would put undue risk on the carrier force.
I played a cautious game vs Viberpol and now knowing what I know, wish that I was a little more aggressive. Canoe knows his business here. And even if the Allies take a loss. an aggressive (not suicidal) stance helps keep the enemy off balance.
< Message edited by crsutton -- 5/15/2013 8:00:45 PM >
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