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Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced?
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Dr. Brian


Joined: 16 Oct 2017
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri 30 Mar - 17:27 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

I've been giving this game a whirl for a while now ... and I was really glad I came across it ... as I always wanted to play a game that reminded me of Avalon Hill's Flat Top.

I think the game is balanced as a one-player ... as over my 40+ years of wargaming, I have found computer opponents easy to trick and do stupid things ...

However, as a two-player ... this game is an unbalanced dog.

There are two problems that need to be overcome. First, Japanese CV based aircraft range makes it impossible to close any distance, as they just stay out of range and can launch strikes with impunity. This is compounded by the fact that their air search ability is outstanding. They have aircraft all over the place and can find you rather quickly.

It becomes impossible for the US CVs to sneak into range, and do any damage as the Jap CVs just sit outside of the US strike range and launch strikes with impunity.

Additionally, the US doesn't have the same ability to find the Japanese, as the US land-based long range bombers are light years away from the action zone.

I'd like to continue to play this game ... but this is a deal breaker for me ... as I don't want to play an unbalanced game. You've been responsive to many things (like the unbalanced return of AC to CVs).

I would suggest:

1) reducing the range of the Jap CV strike AC ... with a possible increase in either lethality or ruggedness to make up for the decrease range ...
2) reducing the ability of Japanese searching, either the number of sea planes bases ... or their respective chance to spot, or faster chance to lose sight.
3) make the US ability better than Japan.

I'm sure one can make historical arguments for the searching changes ... while the AC strike ranges is more for balancing ... maybe you can assume Japanese strikes took longer to form up around their CVs ... thereby decreasing their range. Spend more fuel getting into formation, etc.

I hope you consider these ... because right now ... Japan is just to easy to play as ... or to hard to play against in a 2-player.



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PostPosted: Sat 31 Mar - 11:16 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Hello Brian,

Well, range os the only advantage of the Japanese. 
US air force is more solid, US planes carry more payload, US ships have greater AA
US CV may detect incoming air strikes and attempt evasive manoeuvres especially when the airstrike is sent at the maximum range and you increase the range by moving away the ships (the chance for the airstrike to abort is good with the 2.4, or a lot of attacking planes may be lost by lack of fuel)

Hence, I don't want to reduce it. 
Why the IJN has not used it more often remains a mystery to me. May be they preferred to close in to strike faster or with a fuel margin
In the Philippines Sea, they managed to achieve a first strike but it was too late, the US were unstoppable
For sure, a human player will perform better than its historical counterpart
The advantages of long-range search has been drastically reduced with the impossibility for fighters to search (the A6M a range of 42)

But you might be right , the game needs to be more balanced but just a bit. (I still play and win with the US)

Small things which could be tired
- May be increase the SBD range to 16 instead of 15
- Increase the VP gains by the US when sinking Japanese ships or destroying as crew salvage parties were more effective on the Allied side.
- Increase the number of Vp gained by the US for destroying carrier-based Japanese air units
- Make Japanese planes harder to repair (bad logistics)
- Reduce the number of air planes available at Rabaul because part of them should be assigned to New Guinea in 42
- Some pro-US options used for 1P games, could be allocated by default or selectable in a 2P game

Also ideally the IJN should be enforced to follow some rigid doctrine à la Midway
This may force them to make attacks or to close range

A long subject  Very Happy


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Dr. Brian


Joined: 16 Oct 2017
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sat 31 Mar - 14:08 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

<< US CV may detect incoming air strikes and attempt evasive manoeuvres especially when the airstrike is sent at the maximum range and you increase the range by moving away the ships (the chance for the airstrike to abort is good with the 2.4, or a lot of attacking planes may be lost by lack of fuel)>>

Never happens in game play.  

1) By the time US detects airstrike (20 minutes away or even 40), you need the ability to move, but you can only move once per hour, not every 20 minutes.

2) If you are lucky enough to have a movement point to use, and move away at maximum range, the superior Japanese search assets see it, and their CV moves at maximum range with you, making it 100% safe to land.

That's what I do to "game the system."

As far as US forces being more solid, I have yet to see it in action.  The number on the counters look higher, but I don't see any more losses to strike craft than when US forces strike.  In fact, I think the Zero AtA is way over rated (but if you want it that high, you have to increase the defense of the US air).  They chew up US like paper instead of the other way around.

I think if you do implement your suggestions, it would be an improvement and give the US a chance. 

Regarding winning as US.  Yes, I can win as US too.  But I lose more often as US, and even if I do everything right.  There were a few games that I got close enough, get first strike, and then watch my air assets get totally shot down, not one aircraft from an ENTIRE airstrike from a CV survived, including escorts.  Lost 3 wildcats, 5 DB, and 4 TB all at once. How is that "US Air Force more solid?"

So, I hope I see some of these balance provisions.  

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PostPosted: Sat 31 Mar - 15:36 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Hi Brian, very interesting topic.

Actually i agree the game is most probably not balanced but i think this was reality.
History showed that the Japanese carrier-borne crews were by far superior to the US ones in the period 1941-1942, especially in the offensive. Indeed, they had airplanes with superior range, better weapons especially torpedoes, and they knew how to coordinate massive airstrikes involving planes from several carriers. This was not the case on the US side and, out of the 4 main air-to-sea battles of 1942, all of them were actually a US defeat on the tactical point of view except of course Midway. But Midway was no more than an ambush; and when you look closely at the events on the morning of June 4th, you see that the US crews were very lucky since they could even have lost the strategic surprise that was achieved thanks to the superior US intelligence because of their (very) poor tactical ability. Of course the Japanese generally lost on a strategic point of view but i think their air crews really did the job.

I think the advantage of getting high range planes is well rendered in the game. The Japanese admirals never really used this advantage in 1942 but they could have done it. I am not for changing this.

The problem with scouting is different. I agree the US should have more scouting capability and more control on the scouts. I think this should be added later in the game.

Regarding the gameplay, the main problem to me is about shadowing, reaction to shadowing and CAPs. History showed that the US had already a kind of air control over their fleet with radar and fighter directors vectoring the CAPs towards the bogeys. This is why the US managed to shoot down a lot of Japanese scouts allowing to escape detection or preventing the Japanese to get continuous information for preparing their airstrikes. This is also why the US managed to launch at the last moment fighters to intercept incoming Japanese raids and fight them, avoiding more severe losses.
This is not possible at the moment in the game but i think this could be possible in the future.
I think one of the main evolution in the game should be to move from air units of 4 planes to individual planes. This is necessary to better take into account scouting, shadowing and interception of scouts. I think this would also solve a some others problems, like as you say the entire destruction of an air raid...
Regarding this point, I also think the air-to air combat system should be reviewed but this is another problem...

Finally to me, balancing the game should be rather a question of options (adding more planes/ships on one side, etc.) and awarding victory points differently as suggested above.
But i really should want the game to stay as realistic as possible.
Well my 2 cents of course.

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Dr. Brian


Joined: 16 Oct 2017
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sat 31 Mar - 18:25 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Modifying VC is acceptable in my book.  However, right now I win waaaaay more often as Japan than US.  This means unbalanced.  

Put it this way... if there was a tournament with prize money on the line, I would certainly play Japan over the US.  I'm sure everyone interested in prize money would.  Lol

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USS Archerfish


Joined: 16 Mar 2017
Posts: 833

PostPosted: Sun 1 Apr - 07:00 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

I have to agree with Brian.  The 2P game is unbalanced in the Japanese favor.  Especially in Midway and the Guadalcanal fights. 

I know some people want this game to be historically accurate as possible including myself.  However, in the attempt to make the game historically accurate is has also created an imbalance in the 2P game.  There needs to be a balance between historical accuracy and game playability. I know some people are against this but you have to look at it this way.  People buy this game because they want to have carrier battles.  If one side has a biggger advantage than the other then people will get discouraged and loose interest in the game and not want to play anymore. That’s the bottom line.  So if you have to bend historical accuracy to increase a balanced playability. Then I’m all for it.  Because the more people that play the more enjoyable this game Will become. So I’m going to propose multiple solutions that can perhaps increase historical accuracy and improve game play.  BR can use all of them, some of them or none of them. 

The two most important factors in this game is detection and range.  As it stands right now.  The Japanese has the advantage in both categories. To create balance the Japanese advantages must either be reduced or the US be given additional advantage to counter it.  

Reduce Japanese Scouting Abilities -  As it is right now, the IJN scouting capability is overwhelming and it’s nearly impossible for the US to hide. Especially in the Guadalcanal fights. I recommend the following. 

Seaplanes - Reduce the number of sea planes that are use per location. By reducing the number of planes it lowers the chance of detection. 
Give US CVs Early Scout Launches - Now I notice that when IJN CAs are attached to a CV TF, the CA can still launch their scout planes but the US cannot.  This gives the Japanese a huge advantage over the US because the IJN sea planes launch at 0520.  The fastest the US player can get a scout off the deck is 0600.  That gives Japan a 40 min launch advantage which means that they will almost always detect the US first. This creates a big imbalance. On top of that, it is a automatic launch and not a manual one.  So if the Japanese player forgets, no problem, the game will launch the planes for you.  Now I know BR did this because the Japanese primarily relied on CA and BB scout planes instead of CV planes.  The US did the opposite, by launching CV bombers to scout instead of sea planes.  The problem is that the Japanese player doesn’t follow historical action and launches his own CV scout planes in addition to his sea planes.  So here are some options I recommend.  

A.  Allow the US player to launch scouts immediately at 0520.  This is historically accurate.  During the night the crew has many hours to get the planes prepped so they could launch at first light.  I can provide evidence of this.  I can even provide evidence of US CV launching an hour before sunrise. If the US player puts planes in the scout box at night.  They automatically launch at 0520.  That will create a balance and is historically accurate.  The Japanese still have a slight advantage because they don’t even have to remember to put a plane in the scout box at night..

B.  Allow US BBs and CAs seaplanes to launch form CV TF like Japanese seaplanes do or eliminate the Japanese auto scout launch from CV TFs. (I prefer option A)

Reduce Japanese D3A and B5N planes to 18 and bump up the SBD to 16. I know some are opposed to this but one can argue that the Japanese never used this advantage and this change simulates that.  I know some people are against this but what is more important, historical accuracy or blalances game play?  It’s still gives the IJN a slight advantage.

Now here are some other ideas

Land base bombers cannot change targets after they launch.  As it is now, is see this as one of the biggest imbalance.  Historically, I think there was once case where a US CV was hit by bombers.  As it is now, I think I’ve had more US carriers sunk by bombers than by IJN CV planes.  I There is a good argument for this. By the time a scout sees something and reports it to command and then sends out the new coordinates to planes in flight, this could take hours.  This sharing of intel was even slower with the Japanese when sharing between the army and navy.  Restricting this I think would make things a bit more realistic and not make Japanese bombers such a big threat to ships. Because the shear number of planes and range is almost like having an extra CV or two. 

Increase Radar detection to 4 hexes. Originally planes moved only one hex per turn.  If radar had a range of 3, this gave the US 60 min to get his fighter into the sky.  When rule changes were made to allow planes to move 2 hexes per turn, it cut that response time in half. By giving radar range of 4 this give the US more time to launch fighters.   
Another option is to allow US fighters in 20mins.  Historically, it took less time to rearm and refuel a fighter than it did a bomber.  

I have more to add but I need to get to be.  I’ll come back to this later. 

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Joined: 19 Aug 2017
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PostPosted: Sun 1 Apr - 14:44 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Hi Archerfish,

Thanks for these very interesting comments.

I agree that playability should be improved but not at all costs and especially at the cost of historical accuracy. Indeed, i think balance is a kind of myth you can never reach. The game is currently unbalanced in favor of the Japanese side so that we need to find out solutions to rebalance; but then, maybe, people will complain about the game being unbalanced in favor of the US side so that we may again modify rules/options to rebalance and so on... That's why I think trying to get as close as possible to history is a good idea...

BTW I am a bit afraid of your speaking about people wanting carrier battles; to me we are not talking about an arcade game where the only objective is to "shoot down" carriers. Players get carriers (or no) among others assets in order to fulfill a mission which is generally related to land troops and equipment somewhere. Then either you make decision to risk your main assets or no... Of course this aspect of "asset management" is not dominant at the moment and the current way of playing is rather in favor of massive air/surface engagements with each side losing several carriers, BBs or CAs at each battle, not speaking with hundreds of planes. If so, the Pacific war would have ended in 1943... Laughing
I think this may change once some campaign rules will have been introduced, one day or another i hope. Wink
Well, that's my general feeling about this game which i remember is still under development and logically still lack a lot of features. I think that's the main reason why it is still imperfect although already very exciting but i have no doubt it will improve a lot in the future. Considering the scouting system for example, i think the current one, while still somewhat unsatisfactory, is much better than the previous one.

Well actually i do not really play 2P games but i have noticed this bias about launching seaplanes at 0520 while the CVs planes can be launched only at 0600. I think this should be corrected and CVs may be able to launch planes as early as 0520, assuming that the planes can be readied and spotted on the deck before, which is very historical.
Also, i support the idea of players having full control of all their planes, especially seaplanes, either sea-based seaplanes (on CAs and BBs) or land-based seaplanes. Up to them to manage their planes or forget...
I think these modifications could be done quite easily by BR, i do not think they need much programming.

Regarding your remark about using seaplanes and attack CV planes (or dive bombers) for scouting... well, this is very historical since the Japanese (and the US) used both for scouting. However, both sides also used quite a large number of planes for anti-sub purposes. Of course, this can not be taken into account at the moment since there are no subs in the game. Most probably later since i understood BR wants to add them in the game. Of course, we can still reduce the number of planes available to take into account the ones used for asm duties... However, when attack planes were lost, i guess the ones that were scheduled for asm duties were quickly reverted back to their initial role... So i don't know what's best.

Personally i am against modifying ranges, either reducing or (and even more) increasing. It is true that the Japanese did not exploit fully their range advantage but i think this is part of the game.

However, i have some ideas regarding the more general problem behind it. Actually, the Japanese did have the advantage regarding offensive capabilities while the US had the advantage regarding defensive capabilities. I think the second ones are not fully taken into account and should be in order to get a better balance in the game ... and more historical accuracy (see below).

Land-based bombers capability
I fully agree with you; i think it should be much more difficult for bombers to change their target. Maybe not impossible at all but very difficult; maybe from drawing a "loto" with quite low probability of success.
I also had the majority of my CVs sunk by land-based attack airplanes. The game makes massive air raids with attack planes carrying deadly torpedoes and this is very unrealistic. Air raids with more than 16 bomber air units mean that a full Kokutai (that is Japanese naval air group), at full strength, is performing the attack. I think this may have happened but not on a regular basis. Maybe the size of such air raids should be constrained. I was supposed to make some research about this but i did not have time; i will have a look at it.

Here are some data about radars aboard US CVs in 1942:
- CXAM1 set: capable to detect large planes at 10,000 feet altitude at 70 nautical miles (80.5 statute miles), or small planes (typically fighters) at 10,000 feet altitude at 50 nautical miles (57.5 statute miles).
- SC-2 set: capable to detect large planes at 10,000 feet altitude at 80 nautical miles (115 statute miles), or small planes (typically fighters) at 10,000 feet altitude at 40 nautical miles (46 statute miles).
So maybe three hexes should be OK before getting some more accurate modeling?
Or maybe an option depending on the size of the raid.

However, i think that, at least on the US side, there should be an option to have some fighter planes being able to take off in emergency whenever a raid is detected, even at short range. Attacks were never instantaneous and history shows that some fighters always managed to take off and very often to intercept, especially on the US side thanks to the radar. Both sides had very often CAPs fighters ready on the deck able to take off with very short delay...

Finally i think that shadowing should be reviewed. I think it is one of the main source of unbalance. As you say, Japanese scouts very often find the US TFs, especially the CVs. This is very historical but, actually, it was not so very easy for them to keep the contact since the US just sent their fighters in order to chase them away. And when you read AAR, this happened a lot of times with a lot of Japanese scouts just being shot down. Hence shadowing was difficult and reports were incomplete. It was a bit different for the US since the Japanese CAPs were much less efficient.
In the game, whenever a TF has been found, it can never been lost, provided you have enough scouts which is the case for the Japanese, since scouts cannot be chased off. I think this should be revised quickly... However, i am afraid this will require scout planes, hence planes, to be individualized which is a major evolution of the game.

Well my two cents of course... Wink

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Dr. Brian


Joined: 16 Oct 2017
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun 1 Apr - 18:06 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

larsenjp wrote:

Indeed, i think balance is a kind of myth you can never reach.

I totally disagree ... and I know I'm new here within the last 8 months ... but I'm also an avid board-gamer for over 40+ years ... and we all have experience that can see a lot ...

For example, I play ASL and have won the ASL World Championship ... and in 30 years+ of ASL ... I can certainly tell (as well as other ASLers) which scenario is balanced ... or which is an unbalanced dog ... Right now, Carrier Battles falls in the latter.

I'm certainly glad that the designer is listening to the users.

Some of the proposals I've read from those that have been here for much longer are spot on. But we shouldn't let technical accuracy trump historical accuracy. For example, technically Japanese aircraft certainly had longer range ... but historically, that was rarely used as pointed out by even the designer. Why is it wrong to limit the player to the same historical tactical doctrine used by the Japanese? I can find no reason when all I want is a balanced game. Many games limit what a side can do based on the historical situation. For example, Germany must attack Poland on first turn, etc.

Bringing this back to ASL ... we have a balance provision for each scenario. Perhaps the programmer can do that here? (Hey, worth a shot to mention it and see if it was considered.) Allow the PLAYERS to decide which "optional" rules they use in their scenario. That way, all these options discussed can be implemented if the players feel the scenario is an unbalanced dog. The players can pick and choose. At a certain point, the scenario and players will figure out what works. And it allows players to adjust the optional rules more or less as the players develop new strategy and tactics.

Just some thoughts.

By the way, I'm shocked that the Japanese get to use CV air assets for searching, and that radar was lessened because that explains why I can never get my CAP up in time. That's just wrong.

Thanks for reading ...


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USS Archerfish


Joined: 16 Mar 2017
Posts: 833

PostPosted: Sun 1 Apr - 19:00 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Dr Brian

I didn’t know you were such a long time gamer, nice!

Try throwing in some more detailed suggestions.  (If you can do it within the game mechanics it will make it easier for BR to modify. 

The purpose of this forum is to throw out some ideas.  We debate them and  if we come to some form of consensus or someone provides hard historical evidence we can get them implemented.  Your experience as a long time board gamer can bring valuable input to this game.  Your comment about Japanese doctrine that didn’t allow them to take advantage of technological ability is an excellent one.  Placing restriction based on historical doctrine is a legitimate in my opinion. Let’s keep going and see if we can work something out.

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USS Archerfish


Joined: 16 Mar 2017
Posts: 833

PostPosted: Sun 1 Apr - 19:27 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote


I agree with you in the radar range.  I think a 3 hex radar detection range is a good historical representation of radar capability. I suggested extending it to 4 by modifying the game mechanics to get us closer to historical results in getting CAP up into the air. It’s not sufficient at this time.

Perhaps we should allow fighters to launch in 20 min and give them a faster turnaround time.  This is historically accurate. Fighter were able to rearm faster than bombers. Also at Guadalcanal, fighters sat at the ready.  Pilots often eating and sleeping next to their planes.  One of the biggest problems I have when playing the US at G is having so many fighters and not having enough time or fuel to get them off the ground. 

This would need to be modified for carriers.  Due to movement restrictions.  Fighters should only get the 20 min launch ability if there has been no recovery of aircraft in the last hour. 

With bombers I had also thought of a delayed response for course corrections but in order to create less work load for BR I just suggested the “No course change”.  I think having a delay would be better but I don’t know how difficult that programming would be. We would also need to create a delay chart for BR to base his programming on.  

I’m also in favor of reducing bombers at Rubal by 25% - 40%.  As it has been mentioned before, while the number of aircraft at Rubal is historically accurate, a portion of those bombers were being used for the Paupa New Guinea campaign. A reduction of bombers would represent aircraft being diverted for that purpose.  

I’m still in favor of reducing the range of the D3A and B5N to 18.  But perhaps BR can create options for players to choose from. If I create a 2P game and select a range reduction, then when a new player want to accept, there could be a pop up alert of rule changes.  Then the player can accept or decline. 

Yes I agree with manual control of seaplanes. Being notified when you have been detected and the ability to shoot them down. I think something along this line is currently in the works. 

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Dr. Brian


Joined: 16 Oct 2017
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue 3 Apr - 02:05 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

USS Archerfish wrote:

Try throwing in some more detailed suggestions.  (If you can do it within the game mechanics it will make it easier for BR to modify. 

Thanks for the note ... however, I'm not in the position to make specific recommendations ... as you gentlemen have been playing longer and know the inner workings.

However, I can recognize deficiencies... more of a "feel" that something is wrong. For example, the fact that until recently, all the returning fighters would land on one CV and bombers on another CV was creating a broken game for me. But the designer heard me .. and changed it ... wow ... that is awesome!

Overall, I think Carrier Battles needs some minor tweaks to be enjoyable as a 2P. Right now ... I'm frustrated with the imbalance that I perceive. As someone mentioned above, it will chase people like me away. I'll test drive it, and then move on looking for a more competitive game experience for 2P. But I'm not going to give up yet, because I always loved Avalon Hill's Flat Top and Victory Games Carrier!

So what I perceive is weak radar that is pointless for the US to even have. All the strikes I've been subjected to are all 20 minutes ... rarely 40 minutes away. There is no way to even put up 1 CAP unit.

Another is the lack of US spotting ability, and what seems like Japan's excellent spotting ability.

Another is that once spotted ... always spotted until night. Seems wrong.

There are others ... but these I think are breaking the 2P game.

I allow the more veteran players to fine tune it. Smile

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USS Archerfish


Joined: 16 Mar 2017
Posts: 833

PostPosted: Tue 3 Apr - 02:30 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

As I mentioned above, perhaps we can give fighters a 20 min launch.  The other issue is detection. While the 3 hex range is historically accurate it doesn’t translate very well into the game.  This is because airplanes move 2 hexes.  In the old rules where planes moved one hex, this gave the US an hour to get planes up in the air.  Since they now move 2 hexes the US only gets a 20 min warning. The 3rd hex range is basically eliminated because of the 2 hex move.  That’s why I suggest radar to be extended to 4 hexes. This would give the US a 40 min warning to get planes up. But if we give fighters a 20 min launch and turnaround time it could help for the deficiency of the 3 hex range. Another option is to increase the effectiveness of coast watchers. 

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USS Archerfish


Joined: 16 Mar 2017
Posts: 833

PostPosted: Tue 3 Apr - 03:15 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

As for scouts it has been mention that the IJN is too powerful and the US search capabilities is under represented.  Our current game Santa Cruz the US is still lacking PBY searches at Nendo Island and Malaita Island. 

Eastern Solomon
PBY Base 
Espritu Santos - USS Curtis (tender)
Santa Cruz - Nendo Island (hex 4338) - USS Mackinac and USS Ballar (tender) Sqd. VP-23 (9 planes)
Malaita Island (hex 3947) tender = USS MacFarland

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Localisation: UK

PostPosted: Tue 3 Apr - 17:49 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Apologies for lack recent contributions, health and work have prevented more.
A few comments I hope will help.
I keep quoting 1942 as this when the four balanced carrier battles occurred.
The 44 Turkey Shoot was just that.

Naval games are notoriously difficult to balance plus the ‘d13’ magazine blows up OK NOTOK factor,
in almost total contrast to ASL type games.
Overlaying naval rules with air rules, makes it even worse.

What do we mean by ‘historical’
The IJN always had the long range advantage but never appeared to use it in 1942.
They failed at Coral Sea and Midway largely because of appalling reconnaissance.
Why not factor that in, which would surely balance any theoretical range advantage?

Historical does not mean a simulation, but a ‘game feel’

Land based aircraft had negligible bombing impact on carriers.

Yes the USN had radar, but no real CAP coordination until late 42.
Poor coordination, poor vectoring onto bogies.
The IJN had poor radar and never mastered CAP coordination.
In any event fighters on deck would not be able to stop the dive bombers,
probably only .. perhaps the torpedo bombers.
The defence should be in the airborne CAP, but more CAP, less offense!

The USN had a significant advantage in damage control technology and procedures.
Why not factor this in?
Plus the USN invariably had a 1000 v 500lb (dive) bomb advantage.

So why not have user changeable parameters to assist balance?
(In addition to VP conditions)
I understand this would not cause BR any programming traumas.

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USS Archerfish


Joined: 16 Mar 2017
Posts: 833

PostPosted: Tue 3 Apr - 18:40 (2018)    Post subject: Is Carrier Battles Unbalanced? Reply with quote

Good comments SBD.

I will have to say that I think damage control is fine.  I noticed that with Japanese carriers it’s much easier to destroy the flight deck. A destroyed flight deck means it’s out of the game.  US damage control is very robust.  The US ability to repair the flight deck in the game is very, very good when compared to the Japanese. Rarely do I ever encountered a destroyed flight deck with US carriers. 

Now your comment about the Japanese having poor reconnaissance is accurate. The IJN relies primarily on scout planes from BBs and CA. I believe the Japanese doctrine at the time was that when an enemy carrier was spotted, they wanted every available plane to be able to strike the US carriers.  If you used your bombers to scout you diminish your available firepower once the enemy has been detected. So because the Japanese relied on scout planes for searches, this resulted in poorer detection and negated their range advantage.

They US did the opposite. They usually didn’t use scout planes because recovery was very slow until they used the drag net. Also, by using carrier bombers the US generally had more planes in the air scouting thus increasing their detection. 

This brings me to one of the points I have been complaining about.  BR has programmed the game so that any BB or CA that is attached to a US CV TF cannot launch its scout planes. He is modifying the game to force the US players to follow US doctrine. Which I don’t necessarily have an issue with.  But if that’s the case, then the Japanese should not be allowed to use CV bombers to search.  But that’s not the case.  The Japanese have no such restriction and Japanese players are going to play by Japanese doctrine. They are going to play by the rules and take as much advantage of them as they can. 

This is the crux of the problem. If you’re going to modify the rules to force players to play by the doctrine of that time then it needs to be implemented equally on both sides.  But because if it’s not it creates an imbalance. So if US BBs and CA can’t use their scout planes when attached to CVs then the Japanese should not be able to use CV bombers to scout and or reduce CV aircraft range to simulate the poorer detection by the IJN. 

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