From: Fairbanks, Alaska
A little on how it plays differently than stock:
French: The addition of the French forces give the Allies a significant asset in the face of the Japanese powerhouse. The two French Battlecruisers and their cruiser squadron are powerful ships, and can be used early on to supplement the weak allied forces in the DEI. However, the three biggest assets that France bring to the table are its two Fleet Carriers and one CVL.
CVL Bearn starts out in a damaged state in Noumea. The allied player must choose whether to send it to a large friendly port like Sydney, taking precious days to repair, or to take it out in its battle-damaged state to try and disrupt the Japanese landings in the DEI and Pacific.
CVs Painleve and Joffre start at Tahiti, but are unfinished, with no systems, weapons or airgroups. The allied player must safely escort them to a large enough port - on the West Coast or Pearl - so that they can complete their fitting, which takes an additional three months. Once they are upgraded and receive their airgroups, they form an important addition to the allied carrier strength in 1942.
Most French reinforcements arrive either at Pondicherri India or Tahiti. Both present their own challenges for the allied player and opportunity for the Japanese player. Pondicherri is conveniently close to the front lines compared to Aden, allowing French units arriving their to quickly be used by the allied player. However, a determined Japanese player can easily drive into India in 1942. If Pondicherri is captured, those reinforcements instead appear in the UK - a two month trip for cargo ships before the Med is opened up in 43. This can create huge logistic problems for the allied player trying to ensure that those reinforcements arrive in theater in a reasonable amount of time - sending enough ships to the UK to pick up the units, and then back again. Tahiti has almost the opposite problem - it's an extremely isolated base, which means supplying it is a challenge. Unless additional airfields are constructed, most air units can't even transfer out of Tahiti, which again creates logistic problems for the allies. Tahiti is also weakly defended, which means if the Japanese sneak an invasion TF through, there's a good possibility that they can take Tahiti and force all Tahiti reinforcements to appear in the UK.
In the air, the French receive some very strong air groups, mostly made up of historical lend-lease planes such as the p-39 and p-63, as well as a few aviation base forces for Aviation Support.
On the ground, the French receive a few Colonial Infantry divisions that don't arrive until later in the game.
Dutch: The Dutch have more air support and air groups, but are still plagued by poor air-frames early in the game. They do receive more lend-lease airframes, as well as a larger pilot pool, which allows Dutch airgroups to continue to fight through the end of the war, but never with first-rate equipment.
The British: British carriers do not withdraw, allowing the allied player to create a strong, British focused air combat TF. They also receive CVL Ares, which is a sister ship to CVL Hermes, and CAVs Vindictive and Vengeful, along with more patrol squadrons. The British also receive training squadrons in the UK which allows for a small pilot training program.
Australia: In addition to the CAV Melbourne from BtS, Australia also receives more air-groups and air-frames, especially Hudsons and Catalinas, allowing them to better patrol their shores.
New Zealand: New Zealand receives the CAV Auckland from BtS, as well as additional naval airgroups.
United States: The United States receives the additional CAVs and CVLs from BtS on the sea, as well as the two CBs from that mod. On the ground, they receive additional base forces to help them support the greatly increased airgroups they field. They also receive an enormous air-frame production boost, which I included to try and off-set some of the heavy industry advantages I gave to the Japanese. These levels probably aren't final, I have a suspicion that I may need to revise them downward considerably.
Japan: Japan's updated order of battle was detailed in the first post, but the ability to field two full KBs plus a large CVE group in December of 41 is a game changer. In stock, the allied player has to keep their eye on the KB at all times, as the KB will dominate any battle space that it enters. Now the Japanese player can completely control two areas at once with the threat of a second KB - simultaneously putting pressure on central Pacific and DEI at the same time for example - with the knowledge that nothing the allied player has can stop them. This allows the Japanese player to continue expanding un-threatened for months longer.
Increased HI allows Japan to expand aircraft production to higher levels than in stock, and experienced Japanese players should be able to match allied production through the end of the war. Moreover, a small organic production of aircraft takes some of the pressure off Japanese factories early game, giving them some more breathing room to expand and research.
China - Japan has good armor units, more airframes than in stock and doesn't have to worry about their supply situation as much, which means that China is ripe for the picking. Only a skilled defense by the allied player will let them keep Chunking. However, working in the allied player's favor, Chunking does produce more supply than in stock, which allows the allied player to stalemate the Japanese with resurrected units if they can slow them down enough.
India - The addition of more AVG airgroups here makes this a tougher nut for Japan to crack, but if the Japanese player manages to push through and take Pondicherri, they will have added more than a month's delay to the arrival of French ground and air groups scheduled to arrive there.
DEI - Japan will face stiffer air and ground defense from the Dutch, but it's nothing that judicious use of a KB or two can't overcome.
Coral Sea - Australia begins the scenario with more material in the area, so taking Port Morseby will be a fight from the get-go. The Japanese player will also have to contend with the presence of a developed French airbase at Noumea that can provide support to the area.
Central Pacific - No change, with the exception of a little better allied search capabilities and a little stiffer defense. Japan has to be careful when assaulting Wake not to bloody their nose on the shore defenses there.
South Pacific - Other than the addition of a small seaplane base at Wallis Island, this area remains the same as stock, though supply traffic will be heavier with units and supply transiting to and from Tahiti.
Just a little while longer and I'll have a download link, just cleaning up some last-minute issues.
< Message edited by paradigmblue -- 1/26/2015 6:55:30 AM >