On the L2D2 Tabby (Full Version)

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Grotius -> On the L2D2 Tabby (3/4/2009 5:41:35 PM)

In the Air War thread, I posted a couple questions about the L2D2 Tabby, which apparently does not appear in AE until 1944. More precisely, I gather now the Japanese player gets a small -rd factory at game start, but no Tabby transport chutai until 1944. I gather Elf is offline for a while, because he hasn't responded, so I thought I'd reformulate and expand upon my question here, as I've had time to give it more thought.

In the Air War thread, I linked (and posted a picture of) the US Strategic Bombing Survey study of Tabby production during WW2. (See posts 1139-40, page 38 of that thread.) The US Strategic Bombing Survey study on the Tabby plant said that orders for the Tabby were placed by the Navy, and apparently were for military (not civilian) use.

I imagine the AE team would concede that the Tabby was built in significant numbers as early as 1942 -- and that Showa's plant had the capacity to build even more. But I think the team would argue that it can't find evidence that the Tabby was used in organized transport chutai until 1944. E.g., that it was used to ferry generals and admirals around, or to support HQ operations more generally, but not as a cargo- or troop-transport craft in direct support of military ops. It's true that the Topsy, not the Tabby, seems to have been used for paratroop ops early in the war. And it's true that the Tabby did some ferrying of brass. But Tabbies were used in the New Guinea campaign and elsewhere before 1944. And they weren't just used in rear areas. I posted a photo of a Tabby being shot down by American aircraft in 1943, for example.

Unless the AE team is certain that the Tabby would never have been used in a supply- or troop-transport role, isn't it safer to include the aircraft in some form before 1944? Perhaps compromise and make available a couple chutai in 1942, more in 1943? I've tried to research the question, and I have trouble finding English-language sources that answer the question definitively one way or the other. I've come across Japanese sources, but while I can make out kana, my knowledge of kanji is severely limited. Is there someone on the AE team who reads Japanese who has researched this? If not, shouldn't the team err on the side of caution and give the player the chance to make his own choices on how to use Showa's production of several hundred Tabbies before 1944?

After all, if Japan did under-use its 400-plus Tabbies, isn't that more a question of doctrine than capability? Japan, like other powers, underestimated the utility of air transports at the start of the war. Shouldn't the player have the chance to correct that doctrinal error, given that Japan actually did produce the transports but apparently put them to poor use?

EDIT: Changed title from "Bring back the L2D2 Tabby!" to "On the L2D2 Tabby," since the Tabby is in fact in AE -- I didn't meant to imply it wasn't! The only question is when it should appear on the game map.




CarnageINC -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 5:49:50 PM)

I didn't read much about the AE air changes so I'm responding off the cuff, could rd efforts bring up the date?  Probably not, at the least there should be an option for the player to bring them into 'front line' service sooner.




Long Lance -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 6:21:00 PM)

It wouln't be unrealistic to have a compropmise: Tabby is available for production right from the beginning, so the player would be free to produce as many tabbies as he wants und use them to upgrade the non-Taby units.




Yamato hugger -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 6:49:52 PM)

Wouldnt be the first time a typo went into the database, but here it is as of last weeks build (I havent downloaded this weeks yet):

[image]local://upfiles/14252/188D3B720CA74AAFAFE5CFEB4A0E7D0F.jpg[/image]




m10bob -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 6:50:14 PM)

Just my 2 cents here....I know a ton of research has been done on AE, and this includes the actual squadrons which had the actual planes..
The game is intentionally based on historic component, OOB-wise, and is for the most part only military application/assets..

Pan Am and China Air might be included because it is a known factor they were licensed to fulfill a military purpose, since before the war, but is what is being proposed another of those "what- if's".............?




khyberbill -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 8:10:54 PM)

What if Winnie had allowed the RAF to upgrade earlier? Shouldnt we decide when to upgrade, not Churchill? What if we decided that the P38 was a better plane than the P39? Shouldnt we decide to produce it in greater quantities earlier in the war? The trouble with "What Ifs" is that there are so many of them. Obviously, the AE team decided to try to reduce this as much as possible in order that we dont barrage them with ... what ifs? What if the radar team reporting the approaching planes on 12/7 had been believed? What if the AE development team stuck to historical record and brought out the Tabby squadrons when they appeared in actuality? Hmmm, I guess they did.




Yamato hugger -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 8:17:08 PM)

Other than the "at start" forces, this is the sum total of Japans transport reinforcements.

[image]local://upfiles/14252/BDC71114BB604B898D1C51E78ADD41E4.jpg[/image]

Note: The "red blob" says "Davao"




2ndACR -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 9:42:47 PM)

Pet Peeve of mine.......I cannot stand to be locked into decisions based on real life........Buy AE and then basically play to learn the interface until a mod comes out changing some things (like arrival dates). Same as stock.





anarchyintheuk -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 9:57:36 PM)

Maybe it's just semantics, but I wouldn't consider 20+ a/c in '41 and 80+ in '42 'significant numbers' in any way.




Tophat1815 -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 10:01:25 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: 2ndACR

Pet Peeve of mine.......I cannot stand to be locked into decisions based on real life........Buy AE and then basically play to learn the interface until a mod comes out changing some things (like arrival dates). Same as stock.





Agreed[&o]




2ndACR -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 10:02:05 PM)

Enough to equip 2 36 plane units..........enough counts. I prefer the, a/c entered serial production on this date and is available for use then.

Just because the Japanese high command were inept does not mean I have to be. Air transport can be the difference between victory and defeat in battles.

So the team can suspend OOB research for my version and just go ahead and let me get it.........there will be a mod along pretty quick, heck if the editor is that easy to use, I may do it myself.




anarchyintheuk -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 10:03:47 PM)

My pet peeve would be if one side was locked into decisions based on real life and the other isn't . . . . hmmm, wait a minute . . . .




2ndACR -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 10:08:01 PM)

Never said that.......when did the Hellcat enter serial production? I have no problems with it, or any other a/c.

I would prefer the Brits and Dutch to have the ability to upgrade from the get go. Need to keep a unit past it's withdrawl date? No problem, pay a PP cost.

I prefer as open a game as possible........just because someone in history did not do it, well no one else shouls be forced down that road either. Want the US to have a Japan first policy, okay.




anarchyintheuk -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 10:10:24 PM)

I know you didn't. I was just sarcastically stating mine. [;)]




Grotius -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 10:31:26 PM)

Thanks for the thoughtful replies. One thing I love about this forum is that I learn something here every day.

quote:

Maybe it's just semantics, but I wouldn't consider 20+ a/c in '41 and 80+ in '42 'significant numbers' in any way.


Well, maybe it is semantics, but 87 (not 80) is more significant than zero, which is the number of Tabbies that appear on map in AE in 1942. (And 1943.) :)

quote:

It wouln't be unrealistic to have a compropmise: Tabby is available for production right from the beginning, so the player would be free to produce as many tabbies as he wants und use them to upgrade the non-Taby units.


Yes, that's one possible compromise. Although looking at YH's numbers, there's only one squadron of 27 Tinas to upgrade from. (Topsy is still IJA in AE, I gather?)

In fact, YH's numbers indicate that Japan only gets enough squadrons to fly a total of 72 Tabbies total for the entire war, when Showa Company alone produced 416 over the course of the war. (I'm still not clear on to what extent other factories also produced L2D2s and their variants.) And it seems ahistorical to me to require the player to "research" an aircraft when 22 were already built by Showa in 1941 (and one each in 1939 and 1940), in accordance with a license to make a Japanese version of the DC-3.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a WITP/AE fanboy, and I have boundless admiration for the AE team -- I can only guess at the gargantuan amount of time the team has put into research alone, never mind coding, art, testing, etc, all without pay. I appreciate that the team seeks historical accuracy above all. But as a historical matter, are we certain that Japan only ever used 72 Tabbies in a military support role? That implies that 344 other Tabbies (probably more) were dedicated solely to moving HQs and top brass around? Do we have Japanese-language sources to verify this? By all means, the game shouldn't overrepresent Japanese transport aircraft -- but neither should it underrepresent them.





2ndACR -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/4/2009 10:42:26 PM)

Those Betty's are navy also, they too can be upgraded to Tabby's. I know that in Nikmod with PDU's on, once April 1942 arrives, every naval transport is a Tabby and if I combine army with navy I can airlift entire brigades in 2 days time (the 300AV brigades).

Hence the PDU option always chosen in my games.




wdolson -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/5/2009 2:12:26 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: 2ndACR

Never said that.......when did the Hellcat enter serial production? I have no problems with it, or any other a/c.

I would prefer the Brits and Dutch to have the ability to upgrade from the get go. Need to keep a unit past it's withdrawl date? No problem, pay a PP cost.

I prefer as open a game as possible........just because someone in history did not do it, well no one else shouls be forced down that road either. Want the US to have a Japan first policy, okay.


You got one of your wishes in AE. The British and Dutch have no limits on when they can start upgrading (nobody else does either). Since each nationality has it's own pools of aircraft, there isn't much in the British and Dutch pools to upgrade to, though Hurricanes do start trickling into the British pool early on. I've managed to upgrade a few British units in January, 42.

Bill




Tophat1815 -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/5/2009 4:02:27 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk

My pet peeve would be if one side was locked into decisions based on real life and the other isn't . . . . hmmm, wait a minute . . . .



nevermind............Unless you'd like a pbem game anarchyintheuk?




veji1 -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/5/2009 11:29:50 AM)

easiest thing to do will be to mod the Tabby availability date to a compromise such as 8/42...




Yamato hugger -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/5/2009 1:21:15 PM)

You can bring in the C-5A if you want. In a mod [;)]




timtom -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/5/2009 2:18:13 PM)

My apologies for the lateness of reply. I've been out of town this past week and am fairly useless away from the home library.

First a disclaimer. Working on the Japanese air forces is tricky. Not so much because of the alien (to a Westerner) organisational modes, terminology or the IJNAF fetish for reorganisation, but because of the relative paucity of English-language literature on the subject. There's nothing remotely like the single-volume works on fx the USAAF OOB by M.Mauer or the RAF OOB by C.G.Jefford. Some of the most useful literature in English are that of I.Hata & Y.Izawa, H.Sakaida, O.Tagaya, M.Kawamoto and the late R.Bueschel, which together form an important body of work but falls rather short of a complete OOB. Much more is available in Japanese, but has been largely beyond our reach in spite of the translation efforts by fellow forumite Yoshino of issues of FAOW and Brady's generosity with his old issues of KokuFan.

For our purposes its also worth noting that within aviation literature there's a glamour hierarchy of sorts. Fighter units gets the most attention followed by bombers followed by patrol types followed by everyone else. Transport units are at the bottom of the barrel. Japanese tranport units aren't even in the barrel.

Most of my understanding of the structure of IJNAF transport units stems from "The Japanese Air Forces in World War II: The Organization of the Japanese Army & Naval Air Forces, 1945", published by Arms & Armour 1979. This is a print of an Allied intelligence manual on the subject, so strictly speaking its a source not on the subject matter but on what the Allies thought they knew on the subject matter as of '45. But we have to work with the literature available and the game doesn't allow for ifs and buts.

According to this reference (p.119-123), IJNAF transport and communications aircraft were broadly distriputed as follows:

Naval Commands (Combined Fleet, Area Fleets, etc): 100 a/c
Air Commands (Air Fleets, Flotillas): 100 a/c
Operational Air Groups (other than transport units): 250 a/c
Training Units: "Some"
Naval Districts, Guard Districts, Base Forces: 100 a/c
Air Depots: 50 a/c
Transport Air Groups (1000-series Kokutais): 100 a/c

This leavening of transports throughout isn't unique, but stands out because of the relatively small number of a/c with tactical transport units proper. Only the 1000-series Kokutais were solely involved with WitP-style tactical missions, however one might presume that at least some of the other a/c would be involved in moving men and material some of the time. We've gone back and forth on whether to explicitly include some of the command transports more than a few times. As the Air Team OOB-wallah, my main concern is that doing would be opening the lid on a industrial-sized can o' worms not least considering the number of Allied transports found in echelon or similar - fx the entire US Air Transport Command in the Pacific is omitted and the argument for doing so is probably weaker than that for the IJN transports.

Its worth noting that the T/O strength of all IJNAF in-game transport units amount to 272 a/c excluding reserves.

Obviously the L2D was in production well before '44 (serial production from 1940 in fact). In repeat, the stated AE methodology is for the availability date of an a/c to equal the date it was first in use with an in-game unit, which presently is 1/44. This is by no means set in stone - we're only as good as our data [:)]





Grotius -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/5/2009 4:13:44 PM)

Timtom, thanks for that thoughtful and thorough response. You're right, it's tough to find reliable English-language sources on how the Japanese deployed their transport aircraft. Over the past few days I've probably spent 20 hours looking -- I've got the week off and have too much time on my hands! I've checked every book I own, from Morison to Bergerud's "Fire in the Sky" and lots of stuff in between. There's general stuff about how the Japanese didn't make good use of their transports, but no specific documentation of what planes were used where and by whom. I've looked through the Library of Congress online card catalogs, to no avail. I've also spent fruitless hours surfing the internet. I have found one unreliable, undocumented internet source suggesting that paratroopers jumped out of Tabbies before 1944, but it lists just about other IJA/IJN transport plane as participating too. *shrugs*

As it happens I've already ordered the source you're using, plus a couple other sources, including one on Japanese paratrooper ops. If I can find a Japanese-language source, I have friends who could help me translate parts of it, but I haven't found anything yet. Mostly I seem to be traveling down the path you've already followed. In a few days I'll receive a big clutch of books from Amazon (US and Japan), and maybe those will help.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that things aren't yet "set in stone." If I find anything helpful, I'll let you know.




Herrbear -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/7/2009 12:01:56 AM)



In fact, YH's numbers indicate that Japan only gets enough squadrons to fly a total of 72 Tabbies total for the entire war, when Showa Company alone produced 416 over the course of the war. (I'm still not clear on to what extent other factories also produced L2D2s and their variants.) And it seems ahistorical to me to require the player to "research" an aircraft when 22 were already built by Showa in 1941 (and one each in 1939 and 1940), in accordance with a license to make a Japanese version of the DC-3.

According to Francillon, 71 other Tabbies were produced by Nakajima from 1940 through 1942.




Dili -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/7/2009 12:20:47 AM)

Here only shows 71 made by Nakajima up until 42 http://www.combinedfleet.com/ijna/l2d.htm




Grotius -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/7/2009 12:36:37 AM)

Ah, thanks for that info, Herrbear.

I looked through a couple of sources on Japanese paratroop ops today. As I expected, neither indicated that the Japanese used the Tabby in paradrops before 1944. Osprey's "Japanese Paratroop Forces of WW2" may not be the most comprehensive source, but it's an interesting read. It lists the Tabby as one of several aircraft that were used at some point in the war (p. 20), but while it describes the Tabby in use in paradrops in 1944 (pp. 44-45, 49), it doesn't mention the Tabby being used before then. The book includes a couple of pics of Tabbies, including an interesting one of trainees in drop gear, sitting in the plane's wicker seats (p. 45). I've never seen a plane with wicker seats. (Although I once experienced a rickety flight on Aeroflot that made me feel like I was sitting in a wicker seat.)

Anyway, the Osprey book doesn't speak to other missions for supply craft, like supply transport or troop transport other than paradrops. I sure wish I could find a book on "Japanese Transport Aircraft in WW2"! That would be a big seller, huh?

One other tidbit: the boardgame "World in Flames", by the Australian Design Group, does include the Tabby as early as 1942. Matrix's forthcoming computer WIF, which I'm helping to beta-test, follows ADG's design decisions on such things. So at least one other Matrix-published game will include the Tabby in the early war. (And yes, I asked in the MWIF forum whether the NDA permitted me to say that. The designers just asked that I stress that inclusion of the Tabby was ADG's design decision, not MWIF's.) So I can get my Tabby jollies there! Maybe I can track down someone from ADG and ask them why they decided to put the Tabby in that early. Anyone know who I would ask?




timtom -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/7/2009 2:30:54 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Herrbear

In fact, YH's numbers indicate that Japan only gets enough squadrons to fly a total of 72 Tabbies total for the entire war, when Showa Company alone produced 416 over the course of the war. (I'm still not clear on to what extent other factories also produced L2D2s and their variants.)



Thanks God for PDU, eh? [:D]

quote:

ORIGINAL: Herrbear

And it seems ahistorical to me to require the player to "research" an aircraft when 22 were already built by Showa in 1941 (and one each in 1939 and 1940), in accordance with a license to make a Japanese version of the DC-3.



Between you and me, research factories aren't really research factories. They're a tool to help the AI handle production. The rest is just an afterthought.







pad152 -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/7/2009 7:38:31 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Yamato hugger

Wouldnt be the first time a typo went into the database, but here it is as of last weeks build (I havent downloaded this weeks yet):

[image]local://upfiles/14252/188D3B720CA74AAFAFE5CFEB4A0E7D0F.jpg[/image]



What's a Toka? Wasn't Tokia the Japanese name for the Q1W1 Lorna?





Yamato hugger -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/7/2009 10:17:53 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Herrbear



In fact, YH's numbers indicate that Japan only gets enough squadrons to fly a total of 72 Tabbies total for the entire war, when Showa Company alone produced 416 over the course of the war.



Well you are assuming that every plane produced goes into a transport unit. Fact is, they dont. Some are in "other" squadrons as utility planes. Some officers of command and even a few field grade commanders may have 1 or 2 for their personal use, ect. Any number of reasons a given unit or plane may not actually appear in the game. There are countless units that existed in real life that arent directly in the game. MP units, medical units, transportation units. Military prisons. The list is endless.

You cant look at production figures and say "look, they built "X" number of this plane, why do I only get "Y" number in the game? Not to mention the fact that this is a game and not a time capsule looking back into the 1940s.

These "unaccounted for" aircraft are modeled in other ways. Transport planes that are "missing" from the game could possibly be in infantry divisions supplying their own units, or evaccuating wounded to rear areas. Light recon planes that arent directly in the game give units the ability to "see" everything in their hex, ect.




Chad Harrison -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/7/2009 2:45:24 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Yamato hugger

Not to mention the fact that this is a game and not a time capsule looking back into the 1940s.



The more I read comments from outside of the AE dev team over the past year and a half, the more I wonder how many people forget this?

This is not a burn on anyone, just an observation. Theres nothing wrong with a little debate about this or that, but the dev team has to draw the line somewhere with what can be expected of their game, and I think we all need to do the same for our sometimes impossible expectations of AE.




Grotius -> RE: Bring back the L2D2 Tabby! (3/7/2009 4:21:37 PM)

quote:

Well you are assuming that every plane produced goes into a transport unit.

No, I acknowledge that many Tabbies didn't make it into a transport unit. There are indications that the Tabby was indeed used to ferry top brass around and to support HQ ops. I just ask whether we're certain that *none* were ever used in an air-supply or troop-transport role before 1944. That's why I suggested a compromise -- maybe one or two Tabby chutai, or at least the ability to make enough Tabbies that one can upgrade some other Navy transport craft to the Tabby before 1944. But Timtom's explanation is plausible to me, and I'll certainly understand if the devs go with things the way they are -- unless I can find more definitive evidence that the Tabby was used for air supply or troop transport before 1944.

quote:

Theres nothing wrong with a little debate about this or that, but the dev team has to draw the line somewhere with what can be expected of their game

Sure, I agree with that, too. But when it comes to the Order of Battle, now is the time for us to make our pitch, because (unless I'm mistaken) OOB changes require restarts. I'm not going to rant and stomp if the designers exclude the Tabby til 1944 -- I think there's a plausible case for their position, and I'll happily play the game either way. As long as debate remains civilized, and as long as I'm willing to do the legwork to look for authoritative sources on use of the Tabby, I see no harm done, and possible benefits.




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