From: La Salle, Colorado
Am stuck at the store while it snows to beat all heck. Very slow. Sort of like feel yourself age while working slow...
Michael and I have spoken several times on the separation of the Mods. I really like the idea. We are going to work something along these lines:
Between the Storms Heavy--The Fleet Faction of the Kaigun wins the struggle (as is historical) and we get the changes detailed the current BTSH. Yamamoto still becomes Naval Minister but cannot substantively change building policy within the Imperial Navy. You get the Shokaku/Shokaku-Kai designs, 4 Yamato-Class, and the Light Battlecruisers. It is heavier, bigger gunned and a fun scenario to play with.
Between the Storms Lite--The Treaty Faction wins the battle for the soul of the Kaigun. Everything stays the same thru exiting the Treaty System in 1935. Washington and London Treaties are the same. The change occurs when the Fleet Faction rams thru the exit from the Treaty System. Yamamoto and other Treaty-Minded individuals realize that things MUST change and purge the Fleet thru 'disappearances' and forced retirements.
This move leaves the Kaigun OPEN for changes. The Treaty Officers know that quality CANNOT defeat quantity. Without the controls of the Treaty System, Japan will be hopelessly outbuilt in ships. The solution, while time remains, is to build upon successful designs and work to find a workable philosophy to fight the United States Navy. More economical-sized ships are one answer. Instead of Hiraga's behemoths (Yamato and B-64/65), the design of a more conventional 16" Owari-Class BB is accepted. Fast carriers and strong heavy cruisers move to fore. The successful Hiryu-Class becomes the standard for Japan's Fleet Carriers. These fast and maneuverable carriers will serve as Japan's future. Compared to the Shokaku-Class these CVs are cheaper and faster to build. The Niitaka-Class CA (15,000T) build upon the previous successful heavy cruiser designs.
From 1936 to war start, Japan orders the following:
4 Owari-Class BB
4 Hiryu-Class CV
4 Niitaka-Class CA
Two of each are complete in Dec 41. The second pair of BBs will be available in 1943, the CVs and CAs will come in in late-42.
War orders see 6 more CVs and 6 more CAs. The pairs each come out in 1943, 1944, and 1945.
In Real Life, the Japanese had 2 Shokaku (72 planes), 1 Taiho (63), 1 Shinano (??--48), and 6 Unryu (63) for 633 Planes.
BTSL adds 10 CVs (69) for 690 Planes. The carriers are fast but brittle compared to the Shokaku, Taiho, and Shinano-Classes.
This is the preliminary idea. Certainly would make things different. The vast majority of the carrier force would be 34 Knots. You can move fast and strike at a distance and, PERHAPS, survive!