From: Alexandria, Scotland
ORIGINAL: castor troy
I had a go against AI Ironman too. While Allies lack modern fighter escorts Ki-100 is the best 4E killer, bar none. But it requires research hopping and lasts only for 43 and some 44, then becoming obsolete when new speedy Allied fighters arrive
Well, the J7W, the N1K5 and the Frank Ki-84b I found to be better than the Ki-100 at getting to and killing bombers. Any one of those also lasts better through Allied sweep or escorts. The Allies get P-47s and Corsairs well before the Ki-100 is available with the most aggressive R & D and those two will rip the Ki-100 to shreds easily.
That's exactly what I wrote, innit? You can't get those 3rd gens in 43, and Ki-100 plugs the hole
You can get the George in late 42 and the Frank in early 43, so where would the Ki-100 plug a hole? You have the Tojo for mid 42 and as soon as the Tojo is outdated the George arrives, followed by the Frank in mid 43. Then there's a long journey until anything like Ki-83 or Ki-94 or J7W.
What was the earliest that you have received the Ki-84b (per the specific subject above)? "Early" 1943? Doubtful. I can't even imagine that the Ki-84a would be available 'early' 1943 without prohibitive research factory stacking (see previous comment about 'all-or-nothing-Frank-or-bust').
ETA: Perhaps you meant "Jack"? in early 1943?
George, Frank, Sam, Ki-83. Those 4 as early as you can. Hard for me to allocate RnD to anything else.
My acquisition dates (in Scen 2) were below, without a terribly aggressive R&D program except on the Frank:
02/43 N1K1 George
10/43 N1K2 George
06/44 N1K5 George
06/43 Ki-84a Frank
12/43 Ki-84r Frank
03/45 (no Ki-84b R&D for me)
09/44 A7M2 Sam
I'd focus even more on Ki-83 and Sam in any future game. Probably by taking away some of the Ki-100-I R&D that I did (IIRC I had 5+ factories set to it). I ended up using the Ki-100 as simple disruptive night CAP, for the most part. Just having night CAP present, even if it didn't shoot anything down, seemed to affect the bombers' aim to a measurable degree.
The key dates for Allied fighter production are 04/43 (Hellcats), 07/43 (P-47D2 in low numbers), and 10/43 (CV Corsairs).
If you can get 120/mo production of George and Frank prior to Hellcats showing up, you can maintain superiority of airframes in contexts of your choosing for quite a while.
This is sooo broken to be beyond belief the Air team would be appalled at what players can achieve through R&D - wow not funny