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Author Topic: Can the UK prevent Pearl Harbor?  (Read 710 times)
TripleA Xray
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« on: August 19, 2017, 03:02:42 pm »
+1

Somebody brought up the question: Can the UK prevent a Pearl Harbor attack J1?

In my opinion the UK that plays before Japan can discourage Japan from doing a Pearl Harbor. They do that by using all their Pacific fleet in a position to threaten the IJN. You think that Japan can easily repel this thread! That is true, but if it doesn't the IJN can get into trouble. So Japan will respond by taking out the threat of the UK Pacific fleet. Doing so he does not have the units to do a Pearl Harbor attack. That is the basic philosophy. Now players can make different decisions. So lets explore what are the different possibilities for the Allies and Japan.

The opening from the UK will be as follows:
The ANZAC sub will attack the sub in SZ45 together with the fighter from SZ35. There is a big chance they will kill it with no losses.
The ANZAC transport will take 2 inf and attack New Guinea. Also this battle has a good chance of success with at least 1 inf left.
The destroyer and carrier of SZ 35 will attack the lone transport in SZ59.
In the non-combat move the transport in SZ35 will go to SZ36 as a blocker.
The fighter attacking the IJN sub will land on the Pearl Harbor carrier.
The bomber will fly to Novosibirsk.
The fighters from London could fly to Moscow.
Walk 1 inf to India.

Now it depends on the dice how successful the UK will be. It is possible all battles are lucky, but more likely one or two will fail in various degrees.

In the Russia turn you could have walked all 6 possible inf to Buryatia. Though I would only do this if you are convinced that Japan will not attack it. Because I do believe that the only correct response by Japan should be to crush Buryatia. If you are willing to take the risk and Japan goes for a Pearl Harbor instead, you'll be very lucky! If Japan ignores all the bait and takes Buryatia, Russia will have a very hard time! But if you do, then land at least 1 fighter in Kazahk! This will give you the option to attack Manchuria R2.

But lets analyze the situation for Japan. First of all he need to make a choice what to buy. As Japan I always suggest to buy trannies! They double as sea defense in an Allied KJF strategy and can ferry units onto the mainland. Alternative choice would be factories on the mainland. If Japan buys transports you need to consider where to place them. SZ60 is the best place because it is the shortest route into Russia. The other option is SZ61. But there are UK ships lurking in the Pacific within reach of those two building locations. SZ60 can be reached with 1 sub, 1 destroyer, 1 carrier, 1 transport, 1 bomber and 3 fighters. If Japan does nothing, SZ60 is not a safe place! SZ61 is more protected by distance. Only the destroyer, carrier, transport and bomber can reach. For unprotected transports that is enough to be destroyed completely! So, if Japan has build transports he need to take out the threat of the UK Pacific fleet. Also if Japan builds factories he need to be careful. There is at least the threat of India. With 4 Inf and 1 bomber the UK can take FIC if Japan does not defend it well. It could be that even Russia is posing a threat to Manchuria. Remember that if Japan builds factories it only has extra units in Asia at the end of turn 2. Which is 1 turn lost opposed to transports. So if Japan does that you already have an advantage regardless other events. So lets consider Japan does want to build transports.

So the least Japan should do is take out the UK carrier and destroyer. With those taken out the UK can not do so much anymore against the Japanese transports in either SZ60 or 61. But all units that can reach are the battleship from SZ60, the destroyer from the Caroline Islands and all planes, but that are also the units that are needed to for a Pearl Harbor! You wish you could use the battleship of SZ37, but that one is blocked by the transport in SZ36! So you would at least need the SZ60 battleship, take the transport as fodder and 1 fighter for good odds. Though the transport is not really necessary according to the battle calculator.

If the attack on New Guinea was successful then the ANZAC transport should be taken out immediately. Otherwise it is advised to take it out. If left alone, it can pick up more inf and attack again or somewhere else. So, either 1 fighter or the battleship should take care of it.

The transport in SZ36 can reach SZ60 and serve as fodder in an attack on transports. So, it is better to take it out, or build your new transports in SZ61.

China need to be taken care off. I suggest to use at least 2 land based fighters for that.

Now it depend on whether the IJN sub survived UK1, whether Japan has the odds to do Pearl Harbor! If they don't, then they should forget Pearl Harbor, or be prepared to loose serious amounts of units in the process and in the counter attack from the US! Japan has at most 3 fighters available of which 2 have 1 movement left. That means that if they don't loose them, they need to lend them on a carrier within reach of a counter attack. The chance that you leave a blocker is very small, or you need to sacrifice fighters. But then they don't need to land them! The best would be if they only use the fighter with 2 movement left, but that will give them less then 50% chance even with the sub left! If Japan has the sub left, it need two fighters to get the right odds. On average Japan has 1.5 units left after the battle. So that takes care of the landing problem Wink With all 3 fighters Japan has good odds, but with high chance of loosing 1 fighter. So, that still leaves the problem of the counter attack. The chance is high that in the counter attack Japan looses the carrier and 1 or all fighters. That leaves 3 fighters for Japan. If it is smart it will land them all in FIC together with 2 inf. Then still the UK has a 7% chance to wipe them all out, and a bigger chance to loose some! That will leave Japan crippled!

So, can the UK prevent a Pearl Harbor? not for 100%, but if played well, then Japan will have to take great risk in doing so! If he is very lucky he can, but a reasonable player would rather find an other objective and be more successful.

Let me know what you think!
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DouchemanMacgee
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 07:36:53 am »
+1

Hello!

I'm not an advocate of a J1 Pearl in Revised myself, but let me play Devil's Advocate for a bit just to get some discussion going.

Sub attack is fine.  I don't know how I feel about giving Egypt to Germany for free in this scenario (and dooming your Africa IPCs), but if you really want that Solomon Sub dead + to reinforce the USN this is really the only way you can do it.

New Guinea attack is good and usually what I do with the Aus. INF+TT.

Sniping the Kwang TT is also good.

Weird Bomber movement but I guess it can work if you're planning on transitioning into a 100% KJF.  Personally I'd prefer landing in Moscow so you're at least in position to go after the Mediterranean Fleet if the opportunity presents itself.

Everything else looks good.

For Japan, I think the J1 Pearl attack is still possible/feasible if they really want to go for it.

The US/UK Fleet at Pearl is:
1 SUB
1 CV
2 FTR (1 US/1 UK)

Japan can bring:
0-1 SUB (depends on if it survived the hypothetical B1 attack)
1 TT (from Japan SZ)
1 BB (from Japan SZ)
1 Bomber (from Japan, can NCM back to Tokyo)
1 FTR (from Japan, will have 1 Move left to NCM onto a Carrier
1 CV (from Caroline Islands SZ)
1 FTR (from Caroline Islands SZ)
1 DD (from Caroline Islands SZ)

Which means the battle will ultimately something like:
J: 8-9 HP, 18-20 Power
US/UK: 4 HP, 13 Power.

So the British FTR lets combat go on for a second round and the Allies *probably* get 3 hits off, taking out the BB tip, 1 TT and 1 DD (or an air unit, I guess it depends on who you're playing against).  That gives the US a slightly easier time pulling off a huge counterattack if that's the way they want to go A1.

Pretty good plan actually.  I'd have to test it to see if the extra damage on the IJN is worth losing Africa over.
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TripleA Xray
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 12:50:59 pm »
+1

Yes, Pearl Harbor is always possible. Japan can muster enough ships to convincingly destroy the fleet at Pearl Harbor. But the question is: what are the consequences after round 1?

You can not attack both the UK fleet and the US fleet with convincing odds if you loose the sub. So, Japan need to choose in that case to do either one. From a tactical point of view the US fleet is the better choice. But if you let go the UK fleet, you can not buy transports! In combination with the bomber, the UK can wipe out all Japanese purchases in UK2 in SZ60 and 61. If Japan can not buy transports it need to buy IC's or other suboptimal purchases! Either way the Allies have a certain gain. Or the Allies keep the US carrier with planes, or Japan is forced to delay their push into Asia.

The UK bomber is important in this strategy. Without it you're threat to SZ 60 and 61 is not so big. However it is not essential! You might get the same result without it. It will especially help indeed if you want to switch to an KJF strategy. It can double in threatening FIC, but it can do that too from Caucasus or Moscow.

To give up Egypt temporarily is standard in most of my strategies. Simply because it is easier to take Egypt back later in the game then to keep Japan in check if they crossed the 50IPC mark. If Japan gain to much territory early in the game, he get difficult to control. If you give Egypt to Germany you will get it back anyway. With the transports already in the pacific you can easily overwhelm German forces in Africa. I almost wish Germany invest in Africa! That means he lost focus!

To me it comes down to the following: either deny Japan IPC's for a couple of rounds! Or deny Germany IPC's in Africa.

Anyway dooming Africa's IPC is not the case. I simply don't see how Germany can hold Africa past round 4 unless it heavily invests in fleet and units for Africa. In which case they are neglecting Russia!

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DouchemanMacgee
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 11:01:42 am »
+1

Yes, Pearl Harbor is always possible. Japan can muster enough ships to convincingly destroy the fleet at Pearl Harbor. But the question is: what are the consequences after round 1?

I agree with you, but for totally different reasons.  I simply don't think the J1 Pearl Harbor attack is a good long-term strategy period, as it's basically trading half of your irreplaceable fleet for 2/3 of the highly-replaceable USN on the first turn on the game.

Either way, I'm going to reply to your points and continue to play Devil's Advocate, because we've got to show Revised the love it deserves!

You can not attack both the UK fleet and the US fleet with convincing odds if you lose the sub.

Sure you can!  Assuming the British Fleet went to the Kwangtung SZ B1, just send the East Indies SZ BB + CB + 2 FTR.  If you're feeling super paranoid about Pearl you can send one (or both) or the East Indies FTRs to Pearl and use the FIC/MAN FTRs on the Brits instead.  This weakens your mainland campaign to an uncomfortable degree (you'll lose a lot of INF taking China this way), but you'll totally win the naval battles in a convincing fashion.

So, Japan need to choose in that case to do either one. From a tactical point of view the US fleet is the better choice. But if you let go the UK fleet, you can not buy transports! In combination with the bomber, the UK can wipe out all Japanese purchases in UK2 in SZ60 and 61. If Japan can not buy transports it need to buy IC's or other suboptimal purchases! Either way the Allies have a certain gain. Or the Allies keep the US carrier with planes, or Japan is forced to delay their push into Asia.

As someone who never does a PH attack J1, I agree with your assessment (although I'd argue that killing the British Fleet + making faster gains on the mainland > killing the USN).  Letting the British Pacific Fleet live past J1 is just asking for trouble.

The UK bomber is important in this strategy. Without it you're threat to SZ 60 and 61 is not so big. However it is not essential! You might get the same result without it. It will especially help indeed if you want to switch to an KJF strategy. It can double in threatening FIC, but it can do that too from Caucasus or Moscow.

If the Bomber is in Moscow it can make it to SZ60 via Moscow->Novo->Yakut->Bury->SZ60 with 2 moves left to escape back to Yakut (hopefully the Soviets are holding the line there).  Unfortunately they would take 5 moves to get to SZ61, so I can see your point in wanting to keep it in Novosibirsk instead.  I guess the exact position of the Bomber is something you'd have to vary depending on how G1 went.

*Egyptian Blurb*

OOB I have no problems with letting Germany go hog-wild in Africa, because given enough time the Americans will force Germany off the continent.  I typically play under WBC rules which, among other things, limits the game to a 5-6 turn (4.5 hour) time limit and heavily modifies the Victory Cities (Egypt is a Victory City, which matters in this case).  Me retaking Egypt B1 (assuming Germany lost at least 2 INF attacking it, otherwise I just write-off Africa in the same way you do) is just a way to delay the German IPC explosion by a turn and a means of forcing them to commit at least one more TT's worth of reinforcements to Africa (diverting them from the all-important Russian front).

That probably explains the difference in our approaches.  As I said before this is a pretty convincing strategy, especially if you want to play a heavy KJF game.
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DouchemanMacgee
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 05:48:58 am »
0

Necrobump I know.

Don't know if you're still out there TripleA, but I've been practicing with your strategy and have found that it works pretty well as a bait for a J1 Pearl Harbor.

The extra casualties Japan suffers due to the second FTR (the one that flies in from SZ35 to help with the Solomon Islands Sub) renders them vulnerable (pretty good odds, depending on how the dice went on J1) to a counterattack from the USA (with the BB+TT from W. US, the FTR from W. US, the FTR from Hawaii, and the BMB from E. US.).

Thanks for the great strategy! I'll definitely be giving it a try at the next tournament or face-to-face game I play in.
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