From: Iowan in MD/DC
I respectfully disagree. I see getting the '45 fighters in mid-'43 as a logical consequence of utilizing a system built into the game by the developers. Besides, all these fighters give a JFB is a rough parity with the mid-'43 allied fighters, not air superiority. If you take a look at the stats of the A6M8, the poster child of utilizing the R&D system, you will see that it is about on a par with the early Hellcat, both of which can come on line in mid-43. It's not a war-winner by any stretch of the imagination but it does help Japan stay competitive for a while longer.
More damaging is the George, or the Ki-100. Still, the better mid-war A6M5c model can be crucial to 43 CV battles, and this lets you get that earlier and build big pools sooner.
My point above is not just about superiority, but VPs. If the VP scale is set up based on balance is it still balanced with these research ultra-accelerations?
Another aspect of the debate on R&D system (as well as the ability to accelerate ship production) has to do with the decision a JFB must make between building up his military vs building up his economy. At the outset of every game, a JFB must decide how he is going to handle this balance and design his strategy around it. He can decide to forego the A/C R&D and ship acceleration and hoard the saved HI for the late game siege of the Home Islands, or he can expend the HI to build up his military through the R&D and ship acceleration capabilities gambling that a better equipped military can hold the Allies at bay.
Ok. So it's easy to say this to an AFB who doesn't know the production or RnD system.
If you do this you can get the N1K5 faster for the same investment you'd usually use. You're starting it's research earlier, so it comes sooner but costs the same. Right?
So not actually the investment you have to consider as deeply regarding the economy.
A large part of the enjoyment of playing the Japanese side is the challenge of designing a strategy that balances these two competing demands for resources in such a way to enhance your chance of a more favourable outcome. Stated more simply, for me at least, the war comes down to placing a bet on the proper allocation of resources then playing the game to its conclusion to see if your gamble will pay off. This is very similar to the kind of gamble that other Japanese players make when they expend huge quantities of supplies trying to take India, Australia, or even the west coast to achieve auto-victory.
But in this case you bet less to get the same payout. Or bet the same and get a bigger payout.
I doubt I will change your mind, Mr. Moose, but I hope that I have explained why I find the use of the R&D system and other aspects game so central to the enjoyment of the game for the Japanese player. It is the side every riverboat gambler would want to play, even if the odds are still stacked against him.
It's a hell of a game, wouldn't you say?
Just my two cents.
I've used this push in my current game, but only from the mid-game on. It will get some 45 fighters to me faster. I wanted to see how much faster and if that really felt right. We'll see, but this whole trade-off argument you're using doesn't work if you push the timeframe with the R & D jump. There is no extra cost to switch an already repaired factory.
You're paying the same for better results.
I disagree about there not being a cost or that you're paying the same for better results, because you're ignoring a not-so-minor quibble:
If you devote (say) 5 factories to researching the N1K1 (or any other 2nd generation plane for that matter), and then skip them forward to the end of the line as they become repaired, you will basically never use the initial model of that line as you won't have any production factories for it. So instead of getting the N1K1 in mid-43, you're getting the N1K5 in early-44 or something. That's a definite cost.
OR you could use more factories (which has its own opportunity cost), or allow 1 to switch to production (decreasing your R&D effort) and pump its production up. This will in turn require more engines to maintain your engine pools, which is more HI and supplies for the expansion and more HI for the consumption.
That is either: a) not paying the same (you spent more to increase a single factory to production of the first model in the line), and/or b) are not getting the same results. I think the results are worse, personally, because if you're still subsisting on A6M2/A6M3a Zeroes and Vals in 1943 you're going to have a worse time of it than if you'd paused to research a version of the A6M5 and the D4Y1.