From: La Salle, Colorado
The Between the Storms scenarios (Treaty, Reluctant Admiral, and Between the Storms) has always been premised on two major changes to history:
1. The Japanese successfully argue for a 10:7 (instead of 10:6) ratio at Washington and London as well as 'playing with/experimenting with' new/unusual ships (the 1920s oddball SS and Hybrid Warships).
2. Admiral Yamamoto assuming the mantle of Naval Minister in 1937. His ascension leads to Japan preparing better for a long-term war of attrition as well as embracing newer technologies.
Each of these changes has been grounded in serious, historical facts and writings.
1. Any ship added to the Mods has been brought in off of real designs based on actual or hypothetical warships. Primary sources abound and I have referenced many of them. If anyone ever has a question as to where did this come from or why is this so has simply to ask. I'll (as seen over in Sean's AAR with Q-Ball) cite the source and page number if needed.
2. Most of the changes brought on by Yamamoto comes off his direct writings (the fantastic book Reluctant Admiral) or that of his staff/acolytes. The additions, changes, and tweaks from 1937-1941 reflect his control of the Fleet. The period from 1941 to 1945 is more suspect but all decisions were made in a spirit of 'how do you THINK he might have responded?'
This is the thinking that has always guided the work within these Mods. They are designed to be AltHist Naval Mods. The IJA has rarely been touched. There are a few changes but not many there. The goal has been to create a set of Mods that sit somewhere between Scenario 1 and Scenario 2.
One area has always been exceedingly difficult to pin down within our design/creation philosophy: Japanese CV-Based Fighters.
a. The first iterations of this question were settled by focusing entirely on the ZERO Airframe and Horikoshi Jiro's design team at Mitsubishi. FatR and I created, with help from serious Forumites, an extended series of ZEROS and deleted the JACK.
For those who don't, Horikoshi and his Team designed the ZERO, the JACK, and the SAM. By deleting the JACK we took away the distraction of being pulled in THREE directions at the same time. This conflict and heavy workload led Horikoshi to delay work on other projects whenever he had to help with a new upgrade for the ZERO, deal with JACK's teething pains, or fight to get the RIGHT engine into the SAM.
b. The ZERO answer in the first workings of the Mods worked but it wasn't too terribly good. Our design team felt that, perhaps, the better answer was to cut down on ZERO design and development (work through the M5) and reinstate the JACK as the second generation Fighter answer to the realities of late-42/1943. We allow for Minister Yamamoto to 'encourage' competition between the JACK and GEORGE's design teams. If you have never read the story of the GEORGE and how Kawanishi fought to create a truly superb fighter, it is one you should look at!
So the Mark Two version of the Mods allow for BOTH JACK and GEORGE to develop and come in earlier and with more models. The player is given the CHOICE as to which plane to invest in and bring forward for deployment. This choice usually leads to apoplectic responses from some forumites about having a CV-Based GEORGE model flying very late-43/early-44.
Having played BTS into late-43 with Sean, I have constantly been working to improve the Mod and work on balance issues when they became apparent. My intention was to walk away from Mod Development at that point. Thanks to questions from Sean, my creative juices started flowing again and we made the decision to import work from Brian's excellent Big B Mod. I wanted to created some smaller scenarios (like Wake and Coral Sea) using his base work but changes it to reflect the ALTHIST of BTS. Movement here has led to the 3rd and, hopefully, final iteration of the Mods.
3. Japan does not have the resources to bank on multiple options for aircraft development so we are taking a radically different direction using historical information on Horikoshi's Design Team. Japanese Fighters will take two directions in 1940-1941. Knowing some of the designs being worked on by the Allies and Japan's Axis partners, the Imperial Japanese Navy develops the ZERO as planned but STOPS with the M2 and Sen Baku FB. No M3 or M5 or other variants. The ZERO is superb but the second generation Fighters need a complete new look and design. Horikoshi's Team creates the M2 and Sen Baku then directly moves to the SAM. No JACK.
Original designs were made in both 1940 (16-Shi)and 1941 (17-Shi) for SAM. The designs were highly promising but Horikoshi was limited with engine choices. He creates the A7M1 SAM but it is under-powered. The planes handles beautifully but cannot climb quickly at all. Very promising but not decisive. It is BETTER then the M2 in firepower (2 20MM and 2 .50-Cal MG), faster, has armor, and is very maneuverable but needs a far better engine. That engine comes with the A7M2 model. With no other choices for a CV-Based Fighter, the Japanese go with it and hope for the M2 to come along as fast as possible.
For the ground-based side of the second generation Fighter question the decision is made to go with the GEORGE. Without a HUGE re-design of the undercarriage, GEORGE cannot handle the stress of CV usage. It will serve as the IJN's ground-based Fighter for late-42/1943/1944.
OK. That is the thinking and rationale. Here is a chart showing the A7M1--A7M2--A6M2--A6M5. Take a look:
I nerfed the stats between the M1 and M2. The sources used are Francillon, Mondey, and some on-line sites. The delivery dates are advanced roughly six months reflecting Horikoshi's entire focus on the Airframe.
< Message edited by John 3rd -- 1/2/2020 7:51:59 PM >