From: Iowan in MD/DC
There's simply too many data points bouncing around in my bin of knowledge for me to mention them all in one cohesive post. In the other thread, I alluded to my 2 completed Allied games (well, 1 is still going on, but I reached the AV screen already) and the late-war Japan game that I have ongoing. In that game, VPs are all-important. It is the only way I can win. As the Allies, after a certain point I was never concerned about whether or not I would reach the 2:1 threshold - it was just a matter of when. In one game, I felt I did have to push to do it before August 31, 1945, but I made it with more than a month to spare despite coming off the throttle a little bit when it became obvious that I would do so. I let off the throttle a bit because we'd already agreed to play beyond the victory screen, so I wasn't going to throw bombers away for less than the returns I wanted to get. It became more about hitting specific factories than obtaining points.
In any case, the focus on what the VP ratio (and therefore the absolute totals) looks like in the Japan game has had me ruminating on this topic for months. There are differences between the games.
In the most recent Allied game, the air war was very hyperactive. Air losses were in excess of 50,000 planes for Japan around the time of autovictory. For the Allies, my losses were just around 26,000 points (not planes - every 4E was worth 2). So that game was much more active in the air than the other 2 games, but in terms of victory ratio it wasn't that different. Only about 1000 points of difference, and in his favor, not mine (this is about a 3-4 days' worth of strategic bombing in July 1945). Comparing this game to my Japan game, Japanese air losses are about 20,000 planes less than at the same point in the war. For the Allies, they are a few thousand less.
The other Allied game concluded about one year ago. The pace of the air war in that game was more similar to the pace in my Japan game, although the Allies were a bit more on top. Total losses for Japan were approaching upper-30,000's in May 1945. For the Allies, they were approaching 18,000 or 19,000. This is where similarities between that game and my Japan game end.
My second Allied game, the one with the hyper air war, is also rather similar to my Allied game. Points for ships are pretty much in-line, and the ships sunk are similar. If anything, I'm doing better in the Japan game than my opponent was doing in the Allied game - in terms of Japanese ships still alive, so points the Allies haven't earned. The points Japan has earned are within the same ballpark, as well as the number/types of ships sunk.
This one I don't have as much of a handle on. In the Allied game, I harvested more than 50,000 LCU VPs and it came very quickly as large armies were defeated. In my Japan game, I have similar large armies. Several thousand LCU VPs are given up every time a major area is taken, despite evacuating what I can whenever possible once it's clear that my forces aren't going to delay his for any longer nor wear them down appreciably. The key difference between my Japan game and the game as Allies is that as Japan I have killed many more VPs of Allied LCUs than I lost as the Allies - about 10K more. But the Japanese LCU losses might end up being comparable if a couple of major retreats turn into routs instead of being organized.
Base VPs are about the same, barring perhaps China. There are 5400 Japanese VPs between Chungking and Chengtu. A concerted Soviet effort could probably retake them prior to March 1946.
Adding it all up...
Even assuming Chungking/Chengtu remain in Japanese hands, I'm only looking at an advantage in my Japan game vs. the Allied game of about 15,000 VPs - perhaps 20,000 at most. When I measure this, I am measuring this vs. the autovictory threshold, not the absolute point totals in each game. My opponent, despite being delayed in the Pacific and stalled in Burma, is only a few months behind where I was in that Allied game. I'm forced to assume/guess that he will be able to begin token strategic bombing of Japan by April 1945, with perhaps a moderate campaign able to reach the bases west of Tokyo (maybe as far as Osaka) by June 1945 at the very latest. If he surprises me somewhere, it would be sooner.
Once he is able to drop atomic bombs, based on my admittedly limited experience with them (all of 2 bombs), I am estimating he will be able to achieve 10-15K VPs with 2 of them. Perhaps more, perhaps less. That more than nullifies the current VP advantage I have right now (if assuming that 10K of my base VPs will be lost to him before the end of 1945, which is everything but China/Taiwan/Okinawa, without even counting the VPs he would gain for the bases). Based on current VPs and a 12.5K boost from 2 A-bombs, he would have 66K VPs to my 63K.
Assuming a light campaign based on the edge of B-29 normal range is able to harvest an estimated 200-400 VPs per week, that is about 1K - 1.5K VPs per month. Let's assume 2.5K for April and May 1945. That's somewhere around 69K VPs to my 63K - 57K to go for him, minus whatever difference he was able to claim in combat.
Eventually, B-29s will be based in places I can't touch and within range of the southwestern Home Islands. My typical B-29 night-time raids, even against aerial opposition, were able to achieve an average of around 400-500 VPs per raid - often less than that, but in a few cases much more, which skews the average higher than the median. Assuming 3 weeks every 2 weeks, that's 6 or 7 raids per month. That's about 3.5K per month and there would be several months of this. Being generous to my defense, perhaps I could delay him from getting even more bombers into range for 3 months (until September 1945). That's about 10K in VPs for him during that time, dropping the running total he needs to 47K, minus whatever difference he was able to claim in combat.
Beginning in September 1945, he should have some bases in Manchuria from which he could hit even more targets, and perhaps bring bombers besides B-29s to bear on my juicy strategic targets. Perhaps he is able to harvest 4.5K this month as more B-29s arrive at the front. Down to about 42K, minus whatever difference from combat, with just 3 months remaining before entering Draw territory. At this point, we are also outside of Japanese Decisive territory as he will be beyond the 1.25:1 ratio.
Obviously, the exact points he will need will depend on how many LCU devices he kills, which is where he will gain the bulk of his points outside of bases and strategic bombing. He will get points for planes, but so will I - I don't know what this ratio will be and don't know how it will trend. At present, I am able to keep rolling average trades for the past few months at under a 2:1 in his favor, but he doesn't have his best planes yet. Eventually, I will probably lose my navy. I will probably be able to trade slightly better than 2:1 in his favor, but this is an enormous wildcard. If I lose my navy without achieving much in return, he's several thousand points closer and many several thousand points closer than if I had traded roughly 1:1 with him in a naval battle. In all, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that he gains another 15K VPs beyond a 1:1 trade from LCUs alone. That puts him within 30K of achieving a victory, not a draw. An extremely concerted strategic bombing effort in October - December 1945 might be able to achieve that. It can almost certainly achieve that in 6 months, before the clock runs out. And it can even more almost certainly achieve a 1.75:1 ratio in his favor prior to March 1946 as well - which means it's still a draw.
These are all conservative estimates, although I also admit they could vary by a substantial amount. I'm just guesstimating based on my experience as the Allies x2, what how I've been able to do so far in this game. And what's why I think the VP scale is tilted towards the Allies such that evenly matched players do not have a 50-50 on which side wins.