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Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced?
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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Wed 2 May - 22:12 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

USS Archerfish wrote:
Yes I agree with that.  I think in one battle in the Coral Sea both side were only 60 miles away when they spotted each other.


Both US and Japanese carriers staffs had a wrong idea about the actual situation on the 7th May.
The Japanese were searching the enemy to their south while it was already in their north, in their back, and conversely for the US who were searching the enemy to their north while it was already in their south. Finally, at night,the TF were so close that some Japanese bombers tried to land on the US carriers and conversely, at least one US bomber lost its way back to its carrier and was last heard asking to an unidentified CV permission to land...
Of course, at night, both staff realized their mistake and the battle between the fleet carriers occurred on the 8th.


Last edited by larsenjp on Wed 2 May - 23:09 (2018); edited 1 time in total
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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Wed 2 May - 22:37 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

USS Archerfish wrote:
The biggest issue for me are the Betties.  They are way too deadly against the CVs and historically inaccurate. Bomber attacks on shipping were not common and against CV extremely rare.  I think there are several way to reduce bomber threats that would be historically accurate.  Here are some idea.


1. The farther away a bomber is from base the more difficult it is to change targets.  At long range it should be almost impossible. Once bombers launch I don’t think it was common for bombers in general to change targets. 
2. Large bombers can not be deployed to forward bases. For example Betties in Rubal cannot be moved to Khali.  
3. Another area to explore is that when ships are detected at long range, the location report may not be accurate. The game may show it in a adjacent hex instead of its actual hex.  For searches over water, this was not uncommon for reports of enemy ship locations to be off from time to time.  Navigation wasn’t always precise. Something to think about. 
4. Reduce number of bomber at Rubal (dedicated to PNG)


Anything to reduce bomber attacks on shipping will be a plus.


I fully agree with the idea that G4M are way too deadly in the game and that something should be done in order to decrease their lethality...

I agree with points number 1 and 4.
The latter has been already discussed i guess and should be implemented easily (with the alternative of adding the planes in PNG on the allied side but maybe let's start with removing some planes in Rabaul).

Regarding number 2, maybe just limit the number of bomber units to deploy: i mean maybe not zero but certainly not as much as players should want.

Number 3 sounds very interesting but i think we may consider it globally, maybe within the framework of shadowing.

I would maybe add one point: payloads supply especially torpedoes. We already introduced the idea that Japanese DDs had limited amount of torpedoes to fire in order to reduce their lethality in surface battle.
Maybe we could do the same for bombs and moreover torpedoes. i think this is probably historical because i do not think that Rabaul airbase had tens/hundreds of aerial torpedoes available at a very given moment during the battles of 1942.
Sending an air raid with let's say 15 G4M Bettys air units armed with torpedoes means firing 60 torpedoes. Assuming 2 or 3 such raids every day during the 3 days of a scenario and it means firing potentially between 360 and 540 torpedoes! I think it is too much.
Furthermore adding limitations in torpedoes supply will add decision making problem for players and some more fun...

Well my 2 cents of course... Wink


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Bladerunner
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PostPosted: Thu 3 May - 10:49 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Point 1 is already in the game (radio)
I have reduced the G4M by 20% with the 2.4. Enough ?
Point 2 : ahistorical but also covered by fuel limits


Point 3 could be interesting


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SBD


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PostPosted: Thu 3 May - 11:29 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Wow a number of posts, maybe out sync
Last post I read was 22.02? From larsenjp




The IJN doctrine was to strike, and to dilute a CV strike by using Kate B5N  torpedo bombers was unpalatable to IJN commanders; hence they used 'secondary' seaplanes as primary scouts.


On 8th May both commanders were unsure were their quarry was. IJN had use Kates in the key search semi-circle, and Betties in the less likely 180 degrees remaining.


USN recognised the importance of scouts from the outset, and designated SBDs as scouts or dive bombers organisationally, but not rigidly.



I have no evidence that B5N Kates were used in CAP, nor the Val dive-bombers.
I hope this helps AF and I agree with your post of 01/05 re Betties


Regarding searches


I thought BR's pragmatic comment was a good compromise.
"the idea is that the IJN performed poorly in Jan-Jul 42. A worse search would compensate the long-range striking ability
- the search chance will be decreased by % defined by the scenario. May also impact the US player.



I have to disagree with LJP re IJN quality of searches, they were very poor at critical instances at Midway, and wasted a full strike on a tanker at Coral Sea.
Fletcher could have thrown a strike at flat islands, but he didn't.
We have to build in competence, not what might have happened.
Wellington was a great general, with perhaps an indifferent mixture of Allied troops at Waterloo, good games build that factor in.


I do agree that Mavis's appeared good scouts, and Bettys poor; similarly? PBYs and B17s respectively I think that is down to the Navy v Air Force training 
##
I understand LJP's concern, and others, about too many IJN scouts and the reproduction of ONE plane being shot down.


Cannot the program simulate one scout being shot down, the % likelihood being dependent on say the CAP strength, weather and chance? If it is shot down the enemy TF cannot be spotted for a period of time, say 1-2 hours to reproduce the solitary plane; and the missing plane is assumed missing in a likely search area after say one hour of being shot down.

I have no immediate answer on how ONE scout can represented in the game, potentially a book-keeping nightmare, other than abstracting as above. Itshould be included as it is a key element of carrier warfare. Not helped, understandably by  one 'counter' representing four planes, and scouts were 'loners' in the vast Pacific? 



Have I understood or addressed your concerns laresenjp? I know you have posted many times on this, sorry, but I am not 100% what exactly the issue is
Please clarify
"I think you also need to consider giving full control to the players on all planes in the game, included seaplanes."


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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Thu 3 May - 20:32 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

SBD wrote:
The IJN doctrine was to strike, and to dilute a CV strike by using Kate B5N  torpedo bombers was unpalatable to IJN commanders; hence they used 'secondary' seaplanes as primary scouts.

Sure but it is also quite certain that IJN frequently used B5Ns as scouts, altogether with CAS/BBs seaplanes and large land-based seaplanes like H6K or H8K.

SBD wrote:
On 8th May both commanders were unsure were their quarry was. IJN had use Kates in the key search semi-circle, and Betties in the less likely 180 degrees remaining.

Well of course they did not exactly were but both sides knew the enemy was very close and that the battle would occur that day. This is very clear from all memories written by the participants.


SBD wrote:
USN recognised the importance of scouts from the outset, and designated SBDs as scouts or dive bombers organisationally, but not rigidly.

You are right. VB crews could perform scouting missions while VS crews were also trained to dive bombing. Actually, pre-war USN pilots had often flew on various types of aircraft ranging from fighters to patrol planes! This is not the case on the Japanese sides where pilots were specialized on one type.

SBD wrote:
I have no evidence that B5N Kates were used in CAP, nor the Val dive-bombers.

Kates certainly not, but most probably in ASM patrols; Vals also in ASM patrols and maybe in CAPs. Actually i do not have evidence either but they could have done it.

SBD wrote:
I have to disagree with LJP re IJN quality of searches, they were very poor at critical instances at Midway, and wasted a full strike on a tanker at Coral Sea.

At Midway, i do not think that IJN scout crews performed so bad. As BR said, they were not responsible for the bad design of the search patterns.
And at Midway, the USN did not perform that good: they knew they were 4 Japanese carriers but they found only 2. This failure had heavy consequences since some US leaders thought that the 2 missing Japanese carriers were somewhere behind, ambushing their own forces. Actually it is clear that these 2 carriers were in the vicinity most probably hidden by some rain squalls.
At CS well... again the Japanese CV scouts failed but the CAs scouts had a tremendous success, but to no avail. However the failure in misidentifying the tanker is not that clear. It could be a mistake from the scouts themselves or a misinterpretation from the staff onboard the carriers or both... That's what happened on the US side: a mistake by the scout and than a mistake when decoding the message!


SBD wrote:
I understand LJP's concern, and others, about too many IJN scouts and the reproduction of ONE plane being shot down.
Cannot the program simulate one scout being shot down, the % likelihood being dependent on say the CAP strength, weather and chance? If it is shot down the enemy TF cannot be spotted for a period of time, say 1-2 hours to reproduce the solitary plane; and the missing plane is assumed missing in a likely search area after say one hour of being shot down.
I have no immediate answer on how ONE scout can represented in the game, potentially a book-keeping nightmare, other than abstracting as above. It should be included as it is a key element of carrier warfare. Not helped, understandably by  one 'counter' representing four planes, and scouts were 'loners' in the vast Pacific?


Thanks! i think you understood perfectly well my concern.
I agree about calculating the probability for the scout to be shot down (or maybe just repelled from the TF).
Then, representing a missing scout is obviously the problem unless it is possible to locally decrease (or even put to zero if it is shot down) the probability to find. However this is depending on the way the probability system is implemented in the game and only BR knows about it.

Regarding the last sentence, the idea behind is that, currently, seaplanes are controlled by the AI, whether 1P or 2P. The idea would be to give control of these planes to the players thus letting them design their own search patterns, and maybe making mistakes or forgetting to launch some scouts while the AI seems to be VERY efficient. Furthermore, the corresponding bases would appear on the map (e.g. Tulagi in CS scenario and so on) and could be vulnerable to attacks, thus allowing to suppress adverse scouting capability. This is not possible at the moment since the corresponding seaplanes bases are not on the map. Of course, in the case of 1P game, the corresponding air bases should also appear in order for the player to disturb the AI plans...
I think this option is not very difficult to implement, everything is already here. Of course players would have to manage a larger number of air units and air bases but i think this is worthy and should add to balance (since the AI manage very efficiently the numerous Japanese seaplanes dedicated to scouting).


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SBD


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PostPosted: Sun 6 May - 09:56 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

I think we, LJP, AF, myself, have covered the ground to balance the game?
BR submitted his proposals on 29th Thx BR


Pragmatically USN AA and % reduction in IJN scout capability appear attractive for ready balancing.
I think equal take off times pre dawn for carrier scouts and all land based aircraft is readily doable and essential?


This leaves AF’s Betty and LJP’s ‘lone scout’ issues, which maybe trickier to code, but at least the above proposals make the 2P game more balanced?


Any thoughts from other gamers?


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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Sun 6 May - 14:19 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

SBD,

I agree we covered in depth several ideas in order to add balance to the game.

Regarding the Bettys problem, i think we do have solutions as proposed by several of us:
- limit the number of Bettys available against Guadalcanal (simulating the fact that some of them were engaged against Port-Moresby)
- limit the size of Bettys air strikes. i think no more than 12 Bettys air units should be authorized; this gives 48 planes, that is a full Kokutai and this is already quite a lot.. I do not count possible escorting fighters air units.
- limit the number of torpedoes available at Rabaul (meaning also that such air raids against shipping o=could only depart from Rabaul and not from smaller advanced airbases).

Regarding the "lone scout" problem, i think only BR can tell the way it can be taken into account... or no.


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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Mon 7 May - 15:20 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

SBD, LarsenJP I pretty much agree with your conclusions.  I think we have enough to go on.  The only thing I would like to add is that whatever percentage of bombers are reduced, that fighters are equally reduced.  The reasoning for this is it is assumed that these fighters are being used to escort bombers to PNG. Also, allow everyone to launch scouts including CVs and land based aircraft at 0520. That means the first aircraft are flying off the deck/runway at 0520 and not 0600.

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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Mon 7 May - 18:17 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

So here is a recap of what has been discussed. Just consolidating and we can eleiminate from here.


SCOUTS. There seems to be a consensus that Japanese Scout capability are too strong and need to be reduced.  Here are some proposals.


1. Reduce Japanese ability to detect TF at longer ranges.  May also affect US.
2. Reduce the scouting abilities of bombers.
3. Allow both sides to launch scouts in the air at 0520 from ships, CVs and airfield.  Currently only IJN BBs and CAs can do this.)
4. Make seaplanes controlled by player instead of AI
5. Allow scouts to be shot down. (May take longer to implement because 1 plane counters = 4 planes where scouts are single)
6. Allow sea plane tenders to be attack.  Sinking a tender will prevent seaplanes to launch from that location. 


BOMBERS  Bombers are too leathal against ships (primarily the Betties) Historically inaccurate. Successful Betty attacks against shipping were small and against CV TF extremely rare. Consensus is that this needs to be reduced.  Some proposals.
1. Reduce the number of long range bombers and fighter at Rabaul. This is to simulate a portion of bombers being dedicated to the Papua New Guinea campaign. 
2. Restrict the ability of bombers to change targets. 
3. Restrict the size of bomber attacks to 12 counters. This equals one Kokutai.  Historically this was the average size strike during this time.
4. Japanese have limited torpedo supplies for bombers. This will reduce the number of shipping attacks.


ADDITIONAL MODIFICATIONS
1. Increase AA capability at Guadalcanal.
2. Allow SBDs to be used as CAP if US looses all fighters.  Historically accurate. 
3. Increase the VP gains by the US when sinking Japanese ships or destroying as crew salvage parties were more effective on the Allied side.
4. Increase the number of VP gained by the US for destroying carrier-based Japanese air units
5. Make Japanese planes harder to repair (bad logistics)
6. Some pro-US options used for 1P games, could be allocated by default or selectable in a 2P game
7. Round up US plane range to even numbers. SBD was recently upgraded from 15 to 16
8. Increase CAP range for US planes.
9. Allow P-39 to use drop tanks for CAP. 
10. Allow modification options like 1P game.  (Such as the USS Nimitz with F-14s😁) just kidding!
11. 20 min CAP launch for US planes if no activity for 1 hour.
12. Modify CAP to be more efficient. Currently a small strike of 4 counters for example can exhaust a CAP of 12 down to 6 to 4 counters.  Difficult for US to save CAP against a larger follow on wave.  


Scenario Modifications

CORAL SEA 
Currently the IJN needs to land only 15 infantry points to capture PM. Increase this to 36.  IJN has 12 TRS with 6 cargo points each. 36 would respresent half of this value. 


MIDWAY 
Very difficult for US since the Japanese player usually doesn’t attack Midway because they know US CV are near by.  Perhaps creat some sort of penalty for IJN player if they do not attack Midway in the morning.  Perhaps IJN player losses victory points for Landing troops on Midway.  Or maybe AI launches first attack?




I know this is not everything but feel free to add, delete or modify.  This is just a rough consolidation.


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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Mon 7 May - 20:52 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Some remarks below


SCOUTS. There seems to be a consensus that Japanese Scout capability are too strong and need to be reduced.  Here are some proposals.


1. Reduce Japanese ability to detect TF at longer ranges.  May also affect US. OK but how to do it? I think this should be managed carefully
2. Reduce the scouting abilities of bombers. OK but this also should be managed carefully because there is no real reason for it. Maybe slightly decreasing the probability to find
3. Allow both sides to launch scouts in the air at 0520 from ships, CVs and airfield.  Currently only IJN BBs and CAs can do this.) OK
4. Make seaplanes controlled by player instead of AI OK; this implies putting seaplanes airbases/tenders on the map
5. Allow scouts to be shot down. (May take longer to implement because 1 plane counters = 4 planes where scouts are single) OK; most probably the most difficult
6. Allow sea plane tenders to be attack.  Sinking a tender will prevent seaplanes to launch from that location. OK, comes with point 4. Seaplanes airbases should also be attacked.


BOMBERS  Bombers are too leathal against ships (primarily the Betties) Historically inaccurate. Successful Betty attacks against shipping were small and against CV TF extremely rare. Consensus is that this needs to be reduced.  Some proposals.
1. Reduce the number of long range bombers and fighter at Rabaul. This is to simulate a portion of bombers being dedicated to the Papua New Guinea campaign. OK
2. Restrict the ability of bombers to change targets. OK
3. Restrict the size of bomber attacks to 12 counters. This equals one Kokutai.  Historically this was the average size strike during this time. OK
4. Japanese have limited torpedo supplies for bombers. This will reduce the number of shipping attacks. OK. Here we will need some information regarding Rabaul capabilities regarding torpedoes supply


ADDITIONAL MODIFICATIONS
1. Increase AA capability at Guadalcanal. OK but to be tested
2. Allow SBDs to be used as CAP if US looses all fighters.  Historically accurate. OK; historically also when there were still fighters but we can put a limitation...
3. Increase the VP gains by the US when sinking Japanese ships or destroying as crew salvage parties were more effective on the Allied side OK i'd rather say this is because IJN ships were more difficult to replace...
4. Increase the number of VP gained by the US for destroying carrier-based Japanese air units OK; same than above
5. Make Japanese planes harder to repair (bad logistics) I think this should be secondary
6. Some pro-US options used for 1P games could be allocated by default or selectable in a 2P game OK
7. Round up US plane range to even numbers. SBD was recently upgraded from 15 to 16 OK
8. Increase CAP range for US planes. I disagree with this one, too much advantageous for the US side!
9. Allow P-39 to use drop tanks for CAP. I also disagree; i do not think this is fundamental and furthermore it is non historical
10. Allow modification options like 1P game.  (Such as the USS Nimitz with F-14s😁) just kidding! Why not Laughing
11. 20 min CAP launch for US planes if no activity for 1 hour. OK
12. Modify CAP to be more efficient. Currently a small strike of 4 counters for example can exhaust a CAP of 12 down to 6 to 4 counters.  Difficult for US to save CAP against a larger follow on wave.  OK; just let the US player choose how many air units he wants to commit; i think this is a good way to further simulate effects of radar and beginning of fighter directions on the US side


Scenario Modifications

CORAL SEA 
Currently the IJN needs to land only 15 infantry points to capture PM. Increase this to 36.  IJN has 12 TRS with 6 cargo points each. 36 would represent half of this value. OK we can test


MIDWAY 
Very difficult for US since the Japanese player usually doesn’t attack Midway because they know US CV are near by.  Perhaps create some sort of penalty for IJN player if they do not attack Midway in the morning.  Perhaps IJN player losses victory points for Landing troops on Midway.  Or maybe AI launches first attack?
I assume you mean IJN player lose VP if NOT landing troops on Midway? I think this should be mandatory for the IJN to win a strategic victory. Otherwise quite difficult to balance. I played it once only 1P and i noticed the Japanese had more than the 4 fleet CVs. Maybe withdraw these CVs should also be interesting, i mean the CVL that historically did not take part in the action. Maybe also force the Japanese to launch a raid in the morning or lose VP i.e. gaining negative VP depending on the number of attacking planes and carriers...

OK, i think this should help to rebalance the game. The problem is not to rebalance too much otherwise it will become very difficult for the Japanese side since, as BR said, they do not have that much advantages...


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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Mon 7 May - 21:35 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

LarsenJP


These aren’t all my ideas. I read through the whole thread and just consolidated the various proposals to make a final review so BR can see what what the general consensus is and what is most doable for him. Perhaps he can comment to see what will be accepted and what won’t. Details on some proposals still need to be worked out. 


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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Mon 7 May - 21:37 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

SCOUTS. There seems to be a consensus that Japanese Scout capability are too strong and need to be reduced.  Here are some proposals.


1. Reduce Japanese ability to detect TF at longer ranges.  May also affect US. OK but how to do it? I think this should be managed carefully
2. Reduce the scouting abilities of bombers. OK but this also should be managed carefully because there is no real reason for it. Maybe slightly decreasing the probability to find.


This was BRs proposal mention around the beginning of this page.


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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Tue 8 May - 13:36 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Archerfish,

I know all these proposals are not yours and i think you did a very good job in synthesizing all of them.

Regarding the two first ones about the scouts, i did not remember BR was at the origin. Wink

Actually i think that all these proposals are fine but this will require intensive testing, especially to be sure we are not introducing too much unbalance on the other side.
Now BR has to make decision about what to include in the game or not...


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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Tue 8 May - 16:32 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

larsenjp wrote:


Regarding the two first ones about the scouts, i did not remember BR was at the origin. Wink

I think what BR was thinking here is that the PBY and many 



I think what BR was thinking here is that the PBY and many H6K had bubble windows which provided better visibility for searching.  How much that improved detection I don’t know. 


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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Tue 8 May - 20:51 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Difficult to say... The documents i found and used to calculate basic eyed probability of detection state that, basically, detection is commonly made in the forward angle sector of the plane, whatever the plane... But i agree that dedicated scouting planes with large number of lookouts specially trained most probably performed better than bombers. However, in the case of the Japanese, Bettys were IJN planes with crews that were also trained to naval operations included scouting. While it was far from being the case for US Army's B17s.
Well I think this should be rather "chrome" details while simulating scouting patterns and shadowing is really the core of the problem...


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