@baron-Münchhausen The other reason to represent ships on a 2:1 ratio is that that was basically what a Battleship or Carrier division was. So you get ar,y corps on land and fleet divisions on sea. Heavy cruiser divisions were also 2 or 3 heavy cruisers and light cruiser divisions were 4 light cruisers. At Pearl Harbour there were 6 light cruisers and 2 heavy cruisers so that is roughly 2 cruiser fleets (since two of the cruisers were lead ships of DD flotillas) and if I don’t abstract the DDs, 2 DD flotillas… That might be a good scale) for the American side and 6 fleet carriers for the Japanese (3 carrier figures).
the math would be:
8 BBs on a A:4D:4 2 HP
2 Cruisers A3D3
(and an air wing AND AA defense but I won’t even deal with that for now)
6 fighters A3D4
(9 fighters at 3 per carrier division)
So that makes it on average:
3 hits or 4.3 hits for the japanese and six or nine hitpoints
6.3 or 7 hits for the Americans and 8 or 10 hitpoints of which 4 are “free”.
This means that on average, you would not destroy a single ship while you would get swated from the skies.
If you allowed air wings to take two hits, the combat would go a second round but you would never get the results obtained historically.
The idea of a -1 bonus to die rolls for surprise attacks is a cool one and I might play around with it.
With my changes so far, what you would have on average for the combat however:
4 BB Divisions each rolling 2 D6s for air defense (hit on a 1)
2 cruisers rolling 1D6 for AA
optional (though I do like the representation of DD flotillas at this scale) 2 DD flotillas rolling 1D6 for AA
you would get 1.6 to 2 hits from AA
6 fighters rolling on a 2 would be 2 hits. 9 fighters would be 3.6 hits.
This still feels a bit low so a bonus from carrier based planes against naval targets could be an option.
It would still not be enough to get an historical result but it is getting there. I can either lower the AA value of BBs to one D6 ,which would remove 0.6 hits so it would make the American fleet get one hit or 1.3 hits Depending on DDs being there or not.
This would make it so that planes would suffer one hit on the AA barrage, and damage 2 to 4 BBs… Second round of combat could see the naval forces destroy another plane and suffer another 2 or 3 hits… This would make that you could destroy one BB division (2 BBs) possibly but of course, a savy player would allocate hits to cruisers or DDs. So the Japanese would damage BBs and destroy a single ship on two rounds But lose as much as half their striking force (2 or 3 planes) and now things would continue to worsen.
The removal of the extra defensive die would also make other fleets more vulnerable to air attack but again, I need to revise OOB on the other theaters which I didn’t get around to yet so I will have to do a bit more work I guess.
This would get us closer to the result.
Anyway, if planes had the ability to soak some hits as well (becoming disrupted and attrition) this would be different and probably a lot closed to the historical result. The Japanese are unlikely to suffer any losses until round 4 or 5 and even with six fighters rolling on a 2, you would get 8 hits in four rounds. That would make the enemy fleets lose a lot of ships. But now the Japanese are a bit too strong as That would wipe out basically all cruisers and DDs and leave the BBs with one health. For no immediate losses or maybe one aircraft loss (and we still need to add the aircraft and the base AA to the result).
If we had objectives to an attack (like, the Battleship moorings were an actual objective for the Japanese fleet), we could say that the Japanese player has one hit choice or two hit choices or something.
I will game this out
but it looks like it is on the right track imho. Then we can play around with surprise attack rules (like enemy units do not get a defensive shot in the first round of combat) and see how it goes.
But that is basically the reasoning behind my proposed changes.