Large Slow Target has responded ablely to several of these assertions, so I will add only a few minor points.
1. Japanese has absolute certainty that the Soviets will not launch a surprise attack on her before August 1945.
It is of incalculable strategic benefit to the Japanese player. It allows for a draw down of the Manchukuo army which simply was not possible historically.
This is a false statement, Alfred. The Manchuko army most certainly was drawn down to bare bones, and most of the artillery and tanks were withdrawn. Soviet post-war estimates grossly exaggerated the size of the Japanese army that they confronted: claiming for example that the army was nearly 1.5 million men in size and contained 1,150 tanks. Recent scholarship agrees with the Japanese sources that the Kwantung army had been stripped completely of all its best units, including most of its tanks and artillery. In fact, the Soviets encountered and destroyed very few tanks, and only about 370 were captured; most were inoperable. Here is a source. https://web.archive.org/web/20110723082515/http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/resources/csi/glantz3/glantz3.asp#c3-15 .
I quote, "Despite its numerical strength, the Kwantung Army lacked quality. The Japanese Imperial High Command had transferred most veteran Japanese divisions from Manchuria before the summer of 1945. Hence, most remaining divisions were newly formed from reservists or from cannibalized smaller units. In fact, only the 119th, 107th, 108th, 117th, 63d, and 39th Infantry Divisions had existed before January 1945. Training was limited in all units, and equipment and materiel shortages plagued the Kwantung Army at every level. The Japanese considered none of the Kwantung Army divisions combat ready and some divisions only 15 percent ready."
Finally, Japan could have some confidence that the Soviet Union was not going to go on the offensive, because substantial lend-lease materials were flowing through Vladivostok, which the Japanese could have cut off.
2. Aircraft do not consume AVGAS.
The historical Allies did not suffer a shortage of AVGAS but Japan was crippled by not having sufficient AVGAS, hence this design parameter greatly aids Japan.
This is also a plainly false statement. Japan was not "crippled" by a shortage of aviation fuel. Give me one instance where Japanese planes were unable to sortie because of a lack of fuel. Rather, the consensus opinion of most military historians is that Japan was crippled by a lack of spare parts for its aircraft. This would be a supply issue. Also, the lower quality of Japanese aviation fuel is accounted for in the specifications of the various aircraft in the game.
What is more, what difficulties Japan had in refining fuel are often attributed to the loss of most of their petro-chemical engineers in a single submarine attack, which occurred during the war. Unless you want to consider this loss as "built into" the game, then it is not realistic to assume that Japan would experience as many difficulties in refining high-quality fuel as it did historically. If you do wish to consider this loss as built in, why this loss and not others? Should Yamamoto be removed as a commander as well in 1943 because his plane was shot down?
3. The magical highway which allows the auto movement of oil/fuel/resources all the way from Singapore to Port Arthur (or even Korea).
Oil will not move along this magic highway except in small quantities. It is not as if Japan can sit all of its tankers and oilers in port. Japan's tankers and oilers are constantly at sea and vulnerable to allied attack. Resources moving along this highway are helpul, but not essential to Japan's economy, because there are sufficient resources near the home islands. As I mentioned above, the "magic highway" has grown to mythical status in the minds of many and is not some sort of supernatural solution to the problems of managing the Japanese economy.
4. The initial Japanese amphibious landing bonus.
The Japanese were the pioneers of modern amphibious operations. In the early stages of the war their xAks and AKs were outfitted with various launches for amphibious landings. The amphibious bonus improves the amphibious rate of these ships by 1200 points to 1450 for xAKs and mitigates the unload damage. Without this bonus, the unload damage (and devices destroyed, which is a different function according to the manual) is very high and ahistorical. To put this bonus in perspective for allied players, the amphibious unload rate for LSDs, LSVs, or APAs is 3000 points, which is double that of a Japanese AK during the 4-month period of the amphibious bonus. Japan has 1, yes 1, LSD, and 0 LSVs and APAs. Without the bonus, Japan does not have nearly enough AKs or APs for any player, including the AI (which does cheat, despite your repeated claims to the contrary, and will teleport ships from one port to another to load units) to replicate the pace at which Japan was able to move material and infantry.
Most Japanese amphibious operations during the early war period were uncontested landings, except those at Wake and Khota Baru. In game, the only combat advantage that Japan achieves from the amphibious bonus is during the invasions of small islands and atolls where the initial attack is automatic, resistance to the initial landing is likely, and very fast unload rates are essential. Otherwise, the amphibious bonus replicates Japanese amphibious operation capabilities and expertise. Of course, this amphibious bonus can be exploited to some extent if the Japanese player moves a large number of units, say 3 divisions, very deep into allied territory during the opening move. Which is why most games have a house rule limiting Japan's initial amphibious moves.
In one of my current games, the Dutch forces have holed up in a mountain hex with no hope, no actual supplies, and having lost all the key positions in Java. I have been bombarding them for 2 months. The Dutch surrendered on Java after a 10 day campaign when the key regions were lost. There is no "Dutch surrender" in this game. In fact, I have had SNLFs hunting down Dutch fragments for months: fragments, which, historically would have disbanded as part of a general Dutch surrender 2 months ago. Such is the nature of the game. To complain about the Japanese amphibious bonus, which has far more basis in historical fact than a "Dutch mountain fortress" or "fortress Palembang," is absurd.
5. Accelerated ship construction.
The supply cost and the heavy industry cost for accelerating ship production is very large, unless other ships are "turned off." Again, this is not equivalent to aircraft R&D which does not consume additional supplies or heavy industry if the R&D program is tailored to meet eventual production. You know that these two things are not equivalent in any way, and I suspect that you are being deliberately argumentative and obtuse.
6. Unified Central Command.
There are no restrictions on Red-Army and White Army coordination. No restrictions on Chinese-U.S. joint operations. No restrictions generally of this sort. So how is not having restrictions on Japanese army and navy cooperation a distinctive benefit to the Japanese player? Again, I suspect that you are being selective in your presentation of facts merely for the purpose of being argumentative.
7. Air unit size.
Which is why we are discussing resizing, and it seems that the OP and most others agree with you on this point.
8. Absence of electronics.
AE lacks a true electronics component and what there is, is very abstracted. The abstraction provides the Allied player with only a fraction of their historical electronic advantage and tends to substantially reduce the historical deficiencies which plagued Japan. As a consequence Japanese ASW and CAP efforts are better than they would otherwise be.
Pure opinion Alfred. If you wish to prove this point, you would have to provide a detailed analysis of how radar effects CAP response and surface engagements and demonstrate that Japanese radar in-game is more effective than it was historically and that the IJN frequently performs better than historically in surface engagements in the later war period, when allied radar was fully operational and staffed by well-trained technicians.
< Message edited by Aurorus -- 1/4/2018 4:38:33 AM >