Having finally gotten a few games on both sides under my belt, I was pondering some alternative strategies. One thing I've found as Japan is that a large portion of my naval budget went to carriers, in order to leverage the massive number of planes you start the game with. I was wondering. Has anyone considered forgoing carrier purchases, using the ones you start the game with to grab territory then buying airbases for a few key islands and using those airbases as "fixed carriers" Seems like it might free up a good chunk of change for destroyers and subs.
Or you can capture US airbases. I always take Guam to prevent US bombers from hitting SZ6 and if you are looking to hit Hawaii you can take Wake and land plenty of fighters and bombers there. The other option is Midway but it is farther to the Carolines and the Marshalls and it might be a good idea to have other islands close to escape US counterattacks.
As to building airbases I only tried doing it at the Solomons (the Marshalls or any other islands are far from any big targets) to prevent the US fleet from moving into NSW's sea zone. But the real key to projecting power might be simply to conquer and hold New Guinea and drop your airforce there. Of course this has the inconvenience of J how having a lot of places out of position to move elsewhere, even with an airbase there.