I think many players are in agreement that Japanese infantry are fairly outclassed by American equipment on most maps. Now I know what you're thinking; "That's how it really was!".....not necessarily. Here are some ways to make Japanese infantry play more fun and more balanced with Americans 1- It's all about the map design. The Japanese had one BIG advantage that I don't think is too well reflected in current FH maps- they were the defenders, they were WELL dug-in, they used elaborate and clever bunkers, tunnel systems, trenches, and took great advantage of natural defensive elements in the terrain. A good example is the real Iwo Jima, where the Japanese inflicted 30,000+ casualties on the Americans. The illustrate my point, I don't even think that FH's tweaked Iwo Jima map does adequate justice to the real thing. In real life, Mount Surabachi was a giant honeycomb of bunkers and tunnels; it was essentially one giant bunker, and the face of the mountain was full of firing positions that the Japanese could use. Not to mention that Japan had a good deal of artillery on Iwo Jima that lit up the sky, and even employed rocket launchers against the Americans. Point being, maps like Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima should be BIGGER...and Iwo Jima honestly should be an equivalent of the new FH Omaha-1944 map; ie, Japanese should be able to use lmgs, artillery, and rifles against American troops from the relative safety of bunkers and firing slots. This is done very well on the Omaha-1944 map. One ridiculous unhistorical aspect of the Iwo Jima map is the fact that the Japanese have a major spawn point / base on the very top of Mount Surabachi. This is probably one of the most absurd and ridiculous errors in all of BF, and it's pretty grievous for gameplay. In real life, when the enemy has air superiority, do you think they would set up a base on the TOP of a mountain in PLAIN VIEW of everyone, with NOWHERE to hide, while planes can continually bomb them? Those AA guns don't make up for it either, as they have to be continually crewed non-stop, and you're lucky if you can stop a halfway decent pilot before he strafes or bombs the top of the mountain. It's pretty outrageous, because in REAL LIFE, the ONLY thing that Japanese had on the very top of Mount Surabachi was a well-hidden cave-entrance (essentially a hole). In real life, bombing, strafing, and naval bombardment were virtually 100% useless on Iwo Jima, because there was nothing above ground to hit; even ground troops couldn't see enemy soldiers when they were being fired on. (continued next post)
already bought up. its apparently VERY difficul to use tunnels with the bf1942 engine.
You don't have to use tunnels, just fake it; Make a multi-level bunker structure like what the Germans have on Omaha-1944, give it firing positions on every level......now cover it with some clunky, rocky skins and models to simulate the face of a mountain; There ya go. Ok, moving on- 2- Weapons. Type 96 bullet dispersion is pretty laughable. I know the intention was probably to balance out the scope, but in real life that bullet dispersion is simply a fantasy. Make it a bit more realistic. Give the Japanese the Type 100 smg (just because it looks cool). Give the Japanese MORE ARTILLERY, fixed anti-tank gun positions like the Germans have on several maps, mortars, etc. This sort of ties into the last post. Speaking of mortars, a way to make Japanese infantry very fun to play would be to give the "knee-mortar" (Type 89 grenade discharger) to Japanese riflemen/assault class as standard issue! This wouldn't be too far from the truth as the "knee mortar" was extremely light weight and easy to use. Here's a good link to Japanese weapons- http://www3.plala.or.jp/takihome/ A few other things; The Type 99 rifle shot noise is not correct. In real life, the Type 99 rifle sounded almost EXACTLY like the M1 Garand (seriously). From a good distance, it's almost impossible to distinguish a single shot fired from either of them (you can only tell by the RoF and the classic "ping" noise the Garand makes when it expends a clip. This would at the very least maybe help confuse the Americans just a wee bit (as it did in real life).
The Sherman wasn't the standard American tank used in the Pacific, the M3 Stuart was. Make the Stuart the Americans' standard tank on all Pacific maps and treat the Sherman as a "rare heavy" tank akin to the German's Tiger with respect to how it spawns. Only two Japanese tanks are currently in FH- The Type 95 Ha-Go and the Type 97 Shinhoto Chi-Ha...understandable, but the Japanese DID have other tanks and DID use other tanks against the Americans in the Pacific. I'm basically referring to ONE Japanese tank the FH team needs to model- The Type 1 Chi-He medium tank. This tank was the successor to the Shinhoto Chi-Ha, it mounted a Shinhoto Chi-Ha turret on a new bigger and better-armored chassis. Although it was produced in limited amounts (sources vary widely between as little as 170 and as many as 500), it was deployed to the Pacific at various locations. And how about an amphibious tank for the Japanese? Type-2 Ka-Mi, Japanese amphibious tank was used in various operations by the Japanese SNLF (Special Naval Landing Forces; Japanese equivalent of Marines). And how about some nifty self-propelled guns? ...like the Ho-Ni series of SPGs?
4- Basically the Japanese are sorely lacking the fixed gun positions that you find on German defensive maps in FH (which is pretty unfair, IMO). Type 1 47mm ATG (basically the same gun on the turret of the Shinhoto Chi-Ha) Type 90 75mm field gun (probably the most famous of Japanese WWII artillery, very effective against all American armor) Type 96 150mm Howitzer (it was the main howitzer of IJA arillery units in WWII) Type 4 20cm rocket launcher (was used on Iwo Jima and Okinawa)
Wow, great suggestions.
Yep. Very good research. I have a vested interest in this subject since I play Axis 98% of the time and they sorely need help.
I say do it. At last a way to balance things out without tinkering with damage amounts and adding ahistorical stuff. I salute you, sir!
Good post. I would love to see an Iwo Jima map that was just the assault up Mount Surabachi. All of the Japanese could spawn in bunkers/firing positions and the Marines would have to make it to the top.
I do like the idea of large bunker/tunnel complexes. It would, as you said, provide cover for the Japanese and also make for some tense "underground" close-quarter battles. In fact, a tight tunnel would be a great place for the Americans to use a flamethrower, should it make it into FH. To counter, the Japanese need some sort of "trap" like antipersonnel mines or trip wires, just to keep things interesting.