The first Tojo gets 2x7.7 CL, 2x12.7 F. The Oscar has 2x12.7 CL until the IV model. These are equivalent armaments. 2x12.7F = 1x12.7 CL literally. The accuracy for CL is doubled. Comparing 2x7.7 CL and 1x12.7 CL, roughly the same, many players will give the edge to the 12.7 but most would agree it is a close thing.
Next range. The first Tojo will sweep at 5 hexes, for DOUBLE your supply you get 6 hex. Oscar is also 5, but for double your supply usage you get 10 hexes. If you plan to sweep at extended range, you will learn the penalty for that quickly.
All the other factors are mitigated by how you setup your missions (altitude, leaders, etc.). If you don't agree, I suggest you go read Herb's last long AAR, he is an acknowledged expert in Air Combat and he detailed his mission prep routine thoroughly. His results are spread throughout 3 of the best written AAR's on the forum. Except for DUR. That is the real difference between the two. Oscar 22 DUR means armor is almost moot; for the pilot to survive, the aircraft has to make it home, Oscar doesn't do that well (it tends to disintegrate . Tojo 28 DUR gets the AC home more often, you lose the AC (crash on landing), but save the pilot. In the early war, losing a pilot is a big deal.
After about 3/42 though, unless the SOV are activated (Lowpe!), you should never, ever be short of fighter pilots. If you are, you need to work on your pilot training program(s). What this means is that pilot losses are also almost moot for the IJ by the time the Tojo is available.
If you practice good mechanics for your air missions, you should see very little difference between Oscar and Tojo in sweep effectiveness with two caveats:
- slightly higher AC losses and noticeably higher pilot losses due to DUR for the Oscar
- far greater flexibility in terms of basing and a higher tempo of operations for the Oscar.
While the IJ has initiative, IJ has little problem making up AC and pilot losses and can always achieve positive force ratios (much like the allies from '44 on) when she wants. Initiative is crucial in combat and this reality is accurately modeled in this game. The 2nd caveat should be of greater import than the first for IJ players until they cede the initiative, and that should be as late in the game as possible. This means, you should be using Oscar primarily with Tojo being your preferred CAP fighter.
I do not want to go too far into details, because I do not like to reveal all of the various tactics that I employ in the air war. I do hint at some things that I do and make mention from time to time, but one has to "read between the lines" at times to see what I am doing.
I think that you are basing much of your judgment on your experience playing against the AI. Remember that playing a human player is very different. For example, you can sweep the AI at the max altitude of a manuever band and come in above it almost every time. So you can sweep the AI with Oscars at 15K, and your Oscars will perform well, because the dive makes up for their lack of speed, and they are within their effective manuever band. If you try this against a human player more than once or twice, he will adjust his CAP to 18 or 19K. Then, many of your Oscars will climb out of the 15K manuever band to engage only to be dived on and shot to ribbons. If this happens against Hurricanes, for example, the Oscars will be absolutely obliterated; I mean like 15 to 1 in kills. I know this to be true, because it has happened to me.
Now, try the same experiment with Tojos. They will climb, meet the CAP, and fight on even terms or better against Hurricanes, P-40Es, and so forth. This is just one example. There are many others. The point is that Oscars in dogfights that occur above 15K often get destroyed. Tojos have a great deal more flexibility with their altitude settings. They are not cannon fodder above 15K, and they perform well low too, because of their good climb and sufficient manueverability.
When I played the AI, I always thought that the Oscar was a pretty good plane. I now realize that it is not.
< Message edited by Aurorus -- 10/25/2017 11:32:04 AM >