The case for a second US carrier


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I am wondering why the US does not start with an Atlantic Carrier, as well as the Pacific one.
    It had 6 Carriers in June 1940. I know 3 of them were in the Atlantic on Dec 7th 41. I can only guess they were there in 40.
    Why does Japan start Global with 3, but the US only 1? Is this a mistake? Japan had 6 Carriers  too and I realise its tactics were more advanced, but think the starting 21 Air units more than cover that.
    I ask, as I feel the US is always chasing Japan, naval wise and economically, in 1940. Having a second starting Carrier, therefore,  would seem justified.



  • Hi Witt!

    Why, you wonder? I think it is for balancing reasons.
    If the total number of carriers Japan historically had available to them in medio 1940 translates into 3 Carriers in the game, then certainly the USA should start with at least 2CV, yes.

    I can’t think of anything else than balance, unless the devs didn’t do a proper history-research, but I don’t feel like that ;-).


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thanks for  your response ItIsILeClerc.
    Annoying though, as most of us believe the Axis have the edge anyway and Japan’s TUV is so much higher than the US’.
    An Atlantic Carrier could help deter an early J DOW.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Hi Wittmann,

    I would also guess like ItIsILeClerc that it was for balancing reasons to have not an Atlantic CV there.
    We know that one unit is not representing any known Military size such as battalion, Division and so on.

    Since the game is starting with Fall Gelb into Fall Rot, on the US turn the possibility is given to US Players to buy one and that this possibility is much likely represanting those three CV’s you talked about.

    (But if you ask me, I would like to have one right from the beginning as US Player ,too. :-D)

    AeV



  • Hi Wittmann,

    the 2nd US carrier would be a nice idea (to counterbalance the 21 Japanese fighters).
    I think I’ll give it a try in our next game…



  • @The:

    Hi Wittmann,

    the 2nd US carrier would be a nice idea (to counterbalance the 21 Japanese fighters).
    I think I’ll give it a try in our next game…

    And that is really where the rubber meets the road.  Playtest it and see how it works.  May be totally OP or it could become a standard HR.  Be sure to let us know!

    By-the-by, that’s what I’m really enjoying about this board, folks aren’t afraid to suggest/try different things and/or institute different HR’s.  Seems like games such as this draw creative folks.  I like that  🙂



  • It is for balance reasons, and you can always use your bid to put a carrier there.
    Most bids are in the 16 range it appears so no reason not to put a carrier there if you feel it balances the game.

    Although the axis do need a good head start in order to win the game, slow them down in the first 2 turns and they have basicaly lost the game.



  • Why not an American battleship off Washington? What are the 1940 US numbers for those?



  • @ShadowHAwk:

    It is for balance reasons, and you can always use your bid to put a carrier there.
    Most bids are in the 16 range it appears so no reason not to put a carrier there if you feel it balances the game.

    Although the axis do need a good head start in order to win the game, slow them down in the first 2 turns and they have basicaly lost the game.

    In our games there are no bits. Countries are assigned by lot. So what you see after original set-up is was you get.



  • @Young:

    Why not an American battleship off Washington? What are the 1940 US numbers for those?

    US Battleships in July 1940:

    Wyoming, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, New York, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexoco.

    These battleships were either completed or so far in the construction process that it would be unfair to not count them as finished. In reality it took 2 years of construction to build a battleship (same for a CV), but in A&A they are built in just 1 turn, which I don’t think equals 2years. More like 6 months max.
    That’s 19BB, about 7 more than Japan. So if you’d want a more historical representation of the numbers of these mighty beasts, the USA should start A&AG40 with 3BB total.

    Because Japan had no real fleet superiority against the USA, Yamamoto launched ‘Pear Harbor’ in the hope to destroy enough US warships so that Japan would gain superiority. We know how that went for the IJN… Japan did a lot of damage to the USN, but no CV was hit and of the Battleships only the Oklahoma and the Arizona were permanently lost. The IJN had failed to gain superiority and only awoken the US’ resolve to fight Japan.

    But Yamamoto was right to go for the gambit: he correctly judged that the USA would not stay neutral for long, if Japan was to attack the Commonwealth, France and the Dutch (not to mention the Chinese, who were already suffering).


  • Customizer

    I agree with you guys. On one hand, the Axis do have to start off with a big superiority in military hardware in order to have a chance of winning this game.
    However, I think the USN is under represented, especially in the Atlantic. They get 1 cruiser and 1 transport in SZ 101. That is almost nothing.
    I think the US should get at least 1 more capital ship, either a battleship or a carrier with 1 fighter in SZ 101. I think they should also get a destroyer there as well. If that is too much, perhaps exchange the cruiser for a destroyer. After all, once the US was in the war, they participated heavily in the Battle of the North Atlantic and cruisers do not hunt down U-Boats, Destroyers do.
    At the very least, I think they should add a capital ship to SZ 101 and perhaps exchange the cruiser for the destroyer in SZ 35 if you don’t want to add another US ship. I think a cruiser stationed in the Philippines makes more sense anyway.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    I am wondering why the US does not start with an Atlantic Carrier, as well as the Pacific one. It had 6 Carriers in June 1940. I know 3 of them were in the Atlantic on Dec 7th 41. I can only guess they were there in 40.

    It’s true that, of the seven carriers the US Navy had in December 1941, three were in the Pacific and four were in the Atlantic – but the numbers don’t tell the whole story.  Two of the carriers in the Atlantic were Wasp and Ranger: the smallest, slowest, and least capable of the USN’s flattops.  They were okay for neutrality patrol duties in the Atlantic, but not adequate for the kind of fleet operations that were envisaged for the Pacific.  The other two carriers serving in the Atlantic were Yorktown and her sister ship Hornet.  Both were fully-fledged fleet carriers…but only Yorktown was fully operational on December 7, 1941.  Hornet (which had been built in Virginia) had been commissioned just three weeks earlier, and was still working up; she wouldn’t be ready for action until the training for her crew and the shaking down of the ship were complete.  In the Pacific, by contrast, all three of the USN’s flattops were fully operational fleet carriers: Enterprise (another Yorktown class ship) and the older but larger Lexington and Saratoga (both originally laid down as battlecruisers).

    As for the USN’s battleships: as I recall, most of all of the old ones were in the Pacific at the time of Pearl Harbor, while the news ones were still either under construction or (in the case of North Carolina and Washington) were still working up.  Basically, the pattern which the USN followed for many of its major warships was: build them on the East Coast, work them up in the Atlantic and the Carribean, then send them through the Panama Canal to the Pacific where the real threat to US naval supremacy – Japan, not Germany or Italy – needed to be confronted with the USN’s heavy hardware.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thank you for that informative post, Marc.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    My pleasure.  On the same subject, here’s an enjoyable bit of conversation in the movie Tora, Tora, Tora between the famously pugnacious Admiral Halsey and his boss Admiral Kimmel.  The G-rated dialogue is actually quite mild by the standards of the real Halsey, who was much better at swearing than the scene suggests.

    Halsey: Blast me, break me, court marshal me, draw and quarter me…if you think they’re gonna send my ships on convoy duty in the Atlantic. Kim, I think they’ve gone nuts in Washington.  How will I fight a task force if they send my ships to the Atlantic?  That damn ocean is a swimming hole compared to the Pacific!  What are we, a fighting fleet or these toy boats here so the Japs can buy them at Christmas?

    Kimmel: All right, Bill, now ease it off. It’s not just you. They asked for some of our tankers too.

    Halsey: How do they expect to feed these battlewagons parked out here on this land-locked duck pond?  You’re still planning on rotating half of them at sea?

    Kimmel: I was.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Don’t remember that.
    Are you sure you did not make it up?

    Did not know Halsey was known for his profanity either.
    But then I can’t remember reading about any WW2 commanders who were. (Must have been reading the wrong books.)


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    Don’t remember that.  Are you sure you did not make it up?  Did not know Halsey was known for his profanity either.
    But then I can’t remember reading about any WW2 commanders who were. (Must have been reading the wrong books.)

    I re-watched Tora Tora Tora just a week ago (I’ve seen it many times), so no I didn’t make up the scene.  Whether Halsey and Kimmel actually had that precise conversation in real life is something for which I can’t vouch.  The movie is fairly accurate in a general sense at reconstructing the events leading up to Pearl Harbor, but some of the dialogue is evidently dramatic fiction to various degrees.

    Halsey was known to be a hard-fightin’, hard-cussin’, hard-drinkin’ admiral – qualities for which rank-and-file sailors admired him.  He was very different from Raymond Spraunce, with whom he alternated command of the 3rd Fleet / 5th Fleet during the last two or three years of the war: Spruance didn’t drink or swear, and was very self-controlled.  (Spruance’s restrained description of what he hoped to do to the Japanese at Midway, “Sock 'em”, contrasts nicely with Halsey’s famous “Kill Japs…kill more Japs” pep talk to his men.)  Still, Halsey knew when to underplay his hand.  One day during the war, an enlisted sailor who tried to jump to the head of the line when ice-cream was being served onboard ship discovered to his horror that one of the people who’d been ahead of him in the queue was Admiral Halsey.  Halsey mildly told him to “get back in line, son.”


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I believe you; I was being silly.
    My knowledge of Commanders and their traits is better when it comes to Civil War. Probably helps that there were fewer.
    Always happy to learn more about the Pacific and Navy in general, so thanks Marc.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    I believe you; I was being silly.

    Ah.  Well, I fell for it completely.  😄  Offhand I’d say that the best-known land-based counterpart to Halsey in the profanity department would be George Patton…but there are undoubtedly others.  Blue language is hardly unusual in the military. Colin Powell once referred to the fact that, in a phone conversation he’d had with Norman Schwarzkopff during the Gulf War, the two of them had done a good deal of swearing, but he added that “It didn’t mean anything – it was just soldiers’ talk.”



  • Totally off topic, but since we’re on WWII historical dialogue and such…

    Read Silent Victory which was an outstanding account of U.S. subs in the Pacific.  Admiral Christy was the U.S. Admiral in charge of the Southern Pacific and was based in Australia.  He made a habit of greeting his boat commanders at the dock when they came in from a particularly successful patrol.  He would greet the boat skipper and give him a small gift like a bottle of scotch or some such token.

    He was at the dock on morning for a particularly special reason.  He was awaiting the arrival of a Dutch Submarine under the command of a British Captain (don’t recall his name).  This sub was tasked with tracking down a German U-boat trying to break through to Japan with a new code for their communications.  And they had been successful in sinking the U-boat off the coast of Japan.

    As he stood there waiting for the sub to dock it suddenly struck him how truly global this war had become…

    He was an American Admiral…

    based in Australia…

    waiting for a Dutch submarine…

    commanded by a British captain…

    tasked with sinking a German U-boat…

    that was carrying Japanese codes…

    and sunk it off the coast of Japan…

    and here he stood waiting to gift a bottle of Canadian whiskey!   :lol:


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Great anecdote SEP – and it’s nice to hear that Canadian whisky was raising the morale of Allied fighting men as far away as the other side of the planet!  I can’t help wondering, however, about the part stating that a German U-boat was sunk off the coast of Japan, which sounds beyond the capabilities of even its long-range boat types.  German subs did operate as far as the Indian Ocean, but I’m not aware of their going all the way to Japan (though some Japanese very long range subs did travel all the way to Germany).


  • Customizer

    On the subject of leader personalities,
    I’m sure most of you remember the movie “Patton” starring George C. Scott. After Patton slapped that soldier because he was suffering from battle fatigue and it got back to Ike, then Patton was forced to make an apology not only to the soldier, but to everyone even remotely involved with the incident.
    What got me was when they showed the German Headquarters and the German officers were discussing the matter. They couldn’t believe that the Americans would recall their best general “just for slapping a soldier”.
    I guess that really shows the difference between an army of a democratic nation and an army of a dictatorship.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @knp7765:

    What got me was when they showed the German Headquarters and the German officers were discussing the matter. They couldn’t believe that the Americans would recall their best general “just for slapping a soldier”. I guess that really shows the difference between an army of a democratic nation and an army of a dictatorship.

    There’s a section along those lines in Mitsuru Yoshida’s memoir Requiem for Battleship Yamato.  Yoshida was a junior officer aboard Yamato (a lieutenant, I think) during its final sortie in April 1945.  One day, prior to the battle, an enlisted sailor walked past him on deck without saluting.  Yoshida ordered him to halt, which the man did.  IJN regulations required Yoshida to discipline the man by striking him in the face with his fist, but instead of doing so Yoshida just lectured him, saying that the man had acted stupidly and that it would have been much simpler for him to just salute, an act requiring only a small amount of effort.  He then ordered the man to give him three or four by-the-book navy salutes, which the man did with great enthusiam (and no doubt with great relief at getting off so easily).  Yoshida then sent the man on his way.  As Yoshida himself turned to go, he heard someone order him to halt and a fist punched him in the face.  One of his superiors had watched the scene and had noticed that Yoshida had failed to hit the man, so he had therefore hit Yoshida as punishment for failing to discipline the sailor properly.  The superior then lectured Yoshida, saying something to the effect of “When we go into battle, we’ll see whose command style gets the best results during combat – mine or yours.”



  • @CWO:

    Great anecdote SEP – and it’s nice to hear that Canadian whisky was raising the morale of Allied fighting men as far away as the other side of the planet!  I can’t help wondering, however, about the part stating that a German U-boat was sunk off the coast of Japan, which sounds beyond the capabilities of even its long-range boat types.  German subs did operate as far as the Indian Ocean, but I’m not aware of their going all the way to Japan (though some Japanese very long range subs did travel all the way to Germany).

    I’m trying to find my copy of SV to recheck that story.  I’m going off memory from about 5 years ago.  Very good read and there were a lot of fascinating parts that really struck home.



  • I enjoyed the last couple posts, but back to topic:

    I agree that the US navy is under represented. As someone else pointed out though the US gets to spend 52 IPCs a round as a neutral nation. I get the feeling this was their way of boosting the US fleet and allowing the players a bit more flexibility in strategies. Even though the game didn’t restrict the Japanese from making earlier attacks, I think that there might have been more emphasis on a more traditional delayed J3 attack (which would give the US time to ramp up). Always found it funny that the US could buy 2 carriers, and a battleship in the first turn while they were still neutral.

    I think if you bring the US navy up to par in the set-up, the US income should be cut when not at war. Some would even suggest they shouldn’t be able to build or move until activated, but I think that is going over board.

    I would like a beefier Atlantic fleet (sure add a carrier, Battleship and destroyer), but cut their income in half (26 IPCs) while neutral. The Atlantic fleet would continue to be restricted in movement, but could still come through the canal to the Pacific side (would take 2 turns to show up in Hawaii).

    So US gets a few more ships, they start with 26 IPCs, but it doubles up when they go to war (52 IPCs) and their NOs also kick in. Basically their income would triple once fully activated so you get a real “Arsenal of Democracy”

    I would also be cool to have capital ships take a couple turns to build, and each power could have a couple in the works when the game starts.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Japan had more than 6 carriers in 1941. It had a bevy of light carriers that really were more “medium” carriers so to speak. Look up Zuiho and Shoho and Ryujo.  They were fairly capable ships in their own right.


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