From: Toledo, Ohio
ORIGINAL: Andrew Brown
Yamato Hugger has provided some answers, and Don can provide more detail regarding the port loading/unloading system in AE, but regarding the port size and SPS values themselves, AE has basically the same limitation as stock does, in that there is no separation between port facility size and anchorage size. This results in the same sort of compromises that must be made in stock. So ports like Truk, than have massive protected anchorages, but only limited facilities (say, compared to Osaka), will have an "average" port size and SPS value taking into account both of these things. As you guess there would need to be major work on the code to change this to a system that has separate values instead of a combined one.
Having said that, port size does mean more in AE, since it determines such things as how many ships can dock at the port (as opposed to just anchor there), and the largest size of ship (in tonnage) that can dock there also.
And as Yamato Hugger says, Naval support DOES play a role in how effectively a port operates, so in AE we can use this as a means of representing the facilities provided by large naval bases, instead of having to rely on port size alone. As an example, Pearl Harbor is a size 7 port in AE, because there is also Naval Support present to contribute to the efficient operation of the port - Pearl Harbor was not a massive civilian port like, say, San Francisco.
I must say I am pleasantly surprised. I am continually pleasantly surprised every time a question gets answered and we get the "Its in there" answer! Major Kudos to the AE team.
PH was not a great port at all. The anchorage was not that big, shallow, and very restricted. I think back to the old WiTP board game and it did base building completely different. You didn't build Ports, you moved BF's into hexes. Some hexes had little anchors in them meaning they had a suitable anchorage present for port development. IIRC, a BF only worked at 50% in a non-anchorage hex and I think you could not put more than a level one BF in a non-anchorage hex (I may be wrong on that). In addition, it took like a month to fully deploy a BF. BF's deployed in already existing ports increased the ports abilities when deployed. So, to increase a port that started the game at level 2 to level 6 would take a minumum of four months IF you had the BF available. Build up ports was a very tedious process in the board game as it should be and greatly limited both sides abilitiy to conduct offensive operations. Especially because the board game had very nasty cargo unloading limitations. BTW, the whole anchorage thing worked for amphibious assaults too. Much easier to offload your transports if they actually had somewhere to park the ships. This is where I was coming from in the original post. If I understand your answer correctly, Andrew, Iwo Jima can still be built up to at least a level 3 port and you can undock the entire US Pacific Fleet there once it is at level 3 or above. Is that correct?
I guess the whole SPS could be made better if the values are a little more harsh. The vast majority of atolls should be 0/0 IMHO. I am playing Big B 1.4 now and Tarawa's SPS was 2/1 at the beginning making the max AB size 5. Really? Ever seen a picture of this place. Where exactly are you going to put that 8-10,000 ft runway? One last thing, going back to the board game, AB construction was not handled very well (Level 1, 5, 10 AB's) but one thing I did like was Atoll's could only have level 1 AB's built on them and the construction cost was GREATLY affected by terrain. Also, building a level 1 AB was easy. A level 5 was hard and took a long time. A level 10 was a major undertaking and took a REALLLY long time
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