The Shimakaze would have been best used as a Destoyer Leader with its massive torpedo battery. And granted the machinery it used was complex, but this was also the same machinery that went into several of the late war carriers (which was the main reason more Shimakaze's weren't built).
It makes a poor leader since it has little space for command ,carries no float plane and outruns the rest of the Squadron. Historically she didnt even lead because she could use her speed better alone. It was intended that she lead a slighly cheaper varient ( the other 20 ordered) which would have been slightly slower ie a 40knots flotilla. The late war machinary on CVs makes little sense , machinary on larger ships tends to be more reliable , more fuel efficient and costly but weigh more. In the 150kshp impulse engines that powered the Tones and Mogamis they had an excellent power plant for 30+ knot 30K ton carriers ( excellent power to weight , reliable , bedded down, fuel efficient) . Unfortunately 1941 is no time to be wasting time developing new power plants and they should be shelved to focus on building more plants. They could do with a simple mass prodiced plant in 41 though say 30K shp or even 40K to build more destroyers, by the time they did for the Mutsu they were runnoing into all sorts of difficulties.
If one was willing to ditch Shinano and #111 early, concetrate on perfecting the machinery production it would be a longshot but possible to get a few more Shimakaze.
No question the Shinao would be worth at least 5-6.
Obviously, the Akizuki is the best choice for a DD, its AAA battery was far better than any other Japanese DD (or CL for that matter) at the time. Again a simple decision to concentrate production into a single usable piece of equipment (the 100mm/65 Type 98) would not only have allowed the construction, but also would have allowed a major upgrade to most of the IJN in terms of AAA capability (the 100mm/65 Type 98 was an excellent weapon).
Agreed , it needs to be mass produced . It makes a nice CD gun as well.
The Agano-kai would have had 4 turrets, which combined with triple 6.1" guns would have given you 12 tubes per ship, very useful had the Japanese only made this decision.
It would have gone up in tonnage a fair bit...Why not build Mogamis ? In which case why not 8" ..
In its 8 gun configuration its not quite as good and placing 8 inch guns on the same hull might have made more sense.
Scrapping the Shinano and #111 earlier (which eventually happened anyway) would have freed some 6.1" triple turrets earlier. Again its a production decision that wasn't made either direction.
Yes they would be freed earlier , but im leaning to using them as CD batteries or on night fighting ships . Note not building or earlier scrapping of 111 does not buy you any tonnage , though it does make a35K slip available . The steel was used for a number of CV conversions.
As I write this, I am realizing that most of the major problems with the IJN build schedule was simply a failure to: 1) Pool resources into 1 or 2 systems instead of many and 2) Constant indecisiveness on which direction to go with the build queues. A more focused build and R&D program could have overcome many of the problems.
Yes Japan seesm to be significantly worse in this respect than say the US who held the Montanas for the ships that were quicker to build Essex and Iowa or Germany or Russia .
Note the Naval R&D program was pretty much busy with the Yamatos there were many obstacles to overcome even 5 years later 42 the guns still had issues. Please note the desire for conversions obviously came from a lack of steel and machinery. They wasted a lot of yard time with time consuming rebuilds. I knid of like the idea of going for top heavy mass produced 1000-1500 ton destroyers , who cares if one roles because it empties the tanks without balast their life expectancy is short anyway and once you take a torp or shells and counter flood your not going to worry ...
Im leaning towards no Yamatos laid down till 42 ( and the plans scrapped before the war)
AS with float planes stay AS , player may convert if there is a midway.
Katoris ,Agano and Oyodo not build resources focused on DD.
Tones and Ibukis ( early) replaced by 4 Night fighting CAs as above.
Introduce 2 new destroyer classes
1 ) Same as the Akizuki but will preceed her and carry 2 * 2 * 6.1" guns and 2 small float planes to act as a destroyer leader. Later a 3.9" turret is added and 1 float plane removed . Later can carry 6 * 3.9" + Float plane.
2) A Ootori or Momi style top heavy 2nd class destoryer . Japan tradditionally had these but had not build many for a while. ~950-1000 tons standard , 31 knots ,4000nm range , 4 (2 * 2) 4.7" DP guns , 4 21" torpedo tubes ( not the 24") , Depth Charges. Cheap and dirty use as escorts for high value or squadrons.