• The conveyor belt technique I’ve put together has worked out so well that now I cannot get Japan to win the game. It’s like if I know this technique, and I’m allied, my victory is preordained. I even enhanced it by having the Chinese abandon all of Asia in favor of Szechwan and Yunnin. It turns out they’re a menace if they do that. And it further shields the UK from invasion, giving them even more time to get dug in.

    So I’ve been working on a procedure to defeat the conveyor belt, but I’m consistently unsuccessful. I figured out a way to guarantee the US cannot push units through the DEI, by controlling Java with a sizable fleet, an airbase and naval base and 4 planes stationed there. No one would dare touch it, and they didnt. Blockading that valuable SZ cut off the flow of arms into Asia (except for planes). Instead though, US sea and land units were backing up in australia and eventually pushed north into the carolines, taking them with ease and eventually Japan. It was just ridiculous. Japan cant cover the entire left half of the board!

    So tonight, I set it up again and wondered what many of you have no doubt pondered. What if I just put the Asian and DEI invasions on hold and sent everything straight at America? Now I’d never tried this before because you have to assume that Larry went this over a dozen times just to be on the safe side. But the Japs have so MANY planes… If I could just land them in say, Alaska, and I used them flagrantly, could I defeat the US at the beginning of the game? Could I overcome that one round of heavy US production with the meager lands units I could ship over?

    And lets up this ante further. What if the US KNEW I was going to do this, and abandoned their posts to push everything into a WUS defense? If I could still beat them anyway with average rolls, I knew I could use it against an Allied player that I felt was aware of the belt technique. I cant detail every unit movement here, so I’m going to summarize. This only takes 5 rounds, so it wont take long for you to test. I performed the best moves I could for the US to prevent its collapse. The key is to control Alaska so you can land your planes to use them in the assault.

    In order the save time, I did not play ANZAC, the UK or China. It’s possible that these units could affect the outcome of this battle, but I dont think so. Bear in mind that my attack does not begin until round 3, so they cannot use US facilities and land to get across the Pacific faster until round 3.

    Round 1: Condense all JIN on SZ6. Condense all planes but 5 on Japan. I left the ones in Kiangsu, Okinawa and Formosa to attack the Chinese for IPC production. I didnt want to pull all planes because I needed a little flexibility if this was to be a reliable strat. I didnt actually perform any attacks in China, so I did not receive this benefit. Build 1 Transport and 3 Tanks. That should leave 1 IPC.

    I built an aircraft carrier for the US and moved two of their planes onto it to protect SZ10. It might be a better choice to instead build inf or mech inf and actually abandon the existing carrier to have more land based defensive units. I moved the Hawaiian planes to WUS and the philipino bomber to Hawaii and the fighter to Guam. The philipino destroyer cant participate in any useful way. All US transports ultimately met the destroyer in Hawaii to avoid destruction.

    Round 2: Move the entire fleet to SZ8. This includes 4 tanks with 4 inf. Purchase 3 transports that will eventually move 4 inf and 2 artillery. That should leave 6 IPC. You may want to buy 2 infantry for Japan in case the Brits decide to take advantage of the situation with their 2 transports. If they did, my remaining asian planes would react.

    At the end of this round, the US could have moved 3 Inf, 1 Mechanized, 1 Artillery and 1 Tank into Alaska to defend it. I did not do this in my simulation. If I had, it would have been harder to conquer Alaska, especially if they moved planes into there. If they had, that would have taken the 6 planes on my carriers away from the SZ10 naval engagement that is going to happen in the next round. But if he had emptied his carrier(s) of planes, that would have just made the SZ10 engagement equal out. Further, his lost land units would hamper his defense of WUS. I would have lost units as well of course, to the average toll of my 4 infantry, leaving 2 art, 4 tanks and all my planes. Based on this, I felt the US was better off attempting to hole up until their superior production made it impossible for the Japs to break in. With the US’s 23 IPC, I built 7 Infantry, leaving 2 IPC.

    Round 3: Japan declares war and US production increases to 62 collectively. Buy 2 transports and 4 Inf. The 4 SZ8 transports dump into Alaska, as do the 3 from Japan for a total of 4 tanks, 8 Infantry and 2 artillery. IF there are protecting units there, I’ll add probably 4 planes from the carriers. 3 Destroyers join the transports in SZ2 to protect them from the 3 US bombers scavenged from across the map. Depending on how he’s arranged his planes and fleet, I may set aside more ships to defend them, but 3 is more than enough typically. My fleet moves to SZ10 and wipes out the US resistance sith style. In my case, the US had two loaded carriers as part of their complement, and all I lost was a sub and a destroyer. All my capital ships were oblated (damaged). If I had to pop something other than a sub or a destroyer, it would not be a bombarding ship! So a plane would be destroyed and then immediately replaced from Japan, which is 5 airbased moves away!

    The US currently has 24 IPCs, with which she purchases 8 Infantry to continue fortifying WUS against the coming assault. She could have used the bombers to attack the fleet or the transports, but she needs them as high value hard hitting units. They only defend on a 1, but that still has value. I decided against attacking the transports. If the US popped 4 transports, there would still be 3 that would bring across Infantry and artillery while the tanks rolled through BC. Right here I think is the most room for wiggling. Risk the bombers and maybe stick 1 man in BC to prevent the blitz? It might work. I didnt try it. To prevent something like that as Japan, I might have secured BC with a few infantry to keep the channel open (eventually replacing them with the 4 infantry just created in SZ6). At collection time, the US receives 60 IPC’s (down 2 from Alaska).

    Round 4: (I skipped japanese purchasing from this point on.) Japan moves all her planes into Alaska (8 Fighters, 6 Tacticals, and 4 Bombers not including the carrier armaments), and the SZ6 transports with 4 infantry moves to join the rest in SZ2. If they were never touched, you’d have 4 tanks, 12 infantry and 2 artillery. But my guess is you’d be down 4 to 6 infantry, so we’ll just say 6. The SZ10 JIN never moves because the Philipino destroyer currently in Hawaii would just love to get in there to block a bombardment. The exception is moving a carrier to SZ2 to protect the transports and one destroyer to SZ10 to prevent a purchased sub from disrupting bombardment.

    The US has 60 IPCs, and so you need to go bang for the buck here up to a maximum of 10 units. So you have two choices. You could buy 10 tanks for 60 IPC or 8 tanks for 48 IPC and 1 destroyer for 8 IPC to block bombardment on Round 5. Losing 4 bombardment hits because of that destroyer would hurt the JIN, but the two tanks it prevents from existing is not to be ignored. I opted for 10 tanks, but it could really have gone either way. Japan has so many planes it really doesn’t matter. Just make sure you specify your carrier planes for the amphibious assault if a US destroyer appeared at the end of round 4!

    Round 5: Let the mayhem begin. Bring all transports, men and equipment down from Alaska. Engage all planes, carriers included against WUS. IIRC, I had 11 fighters, 9 tacticals, 4 bombers, 4 tanks, 4 infantry and 2 artillery. The US had 14 Infantry, 11 tanks, 1 artillery, 1 mechanized, 2 Fighters 1 tactical and 3 bombers. Of course I rolled bombardment and anti-aircraft first. When all was said and done, I had specifically left 3 fighters to rejoin their carriers, 4 bombers, 4 tacticals and 1 tank. I collected 60 IPC’s from the US along with a 10 IPC increase.

    It later occured to me that the US might have set aside units in BC to retake WUS, knowing that I would leave only one land unit in there. On round 4 I did not build anything, but I could have built two transports with two tanks. On round 5, the attack round, I could have moved those two transports/tanks along with the 2 infantry I could have built in round 2 over to SZ2. I then could have used them with an 4 unit amphibious bombardment to retake WUS permanently and claim another 60 IPC the US had collected at the end of their round 5 for retaking WUS.

    Now of course, I dont exactly know what would have been happening in the rest of the world, but I find it hard to believe it would have made any difference after all this had taken place. This all assumes that US player knows its coming. Even if they suspect it, they’re not likely to move EVERYTHING to WUS right away, which would waste valuable time. Taking this into consideration makes it even more likely this strat will work even with slightly unfavorable rolls. The rules about sparking war are almost all against the japanese. Using this technique actually reverses that disadvantage. The US sees it coming in round2, but they cannot attack because technically, the Japanese have not committed a hostile act. Cheers.

    EDIT: I decided to factor in UK/ANZAC assaults to see if they could take japan or stop the flow of transports or perform game tipping convoy disruption. In 2 rounds, the brits could bring a BS and 2 transports with 4 infantry to Japan. Or if they wait for their cruiser and destroyer, 3 rounds. ANZAC could bring in 1 transport with 2 infantry, 1 destroyer and 1 sub.

    Previously I neglected the japanese infantry in Carolines and Korea. These units would need to be moved into Japan and reserved for an eventual attack. The land based japanese units in asia would need to be shuffled in such a way so as to prevent easy access for planes of either faction to set down anywhere. So long as they didnt make it to Korea, they could not be used to attack Tokyo. If I saw a british fleet moving up the coastline, I would attack them with my bomber, tactical and 3 fighters. ANZAC could not get to the same SZ to back them up. With average rolls, the british fleet would be destroyed, and I’d be two fighters, or a bomber/fighter. That would eliminate the british transports as well. I would station the remaining planes on an isle in the way of ANZAC’s travel path and any additional loaded transport the brits may have produced in round1, say Okinawa. If they steered clear, I would move those planes in round 4 to Japan to soak up hits from the two offloading ANZAC trespassers. This would be comfortably enough to hold japan until round 5 when I produced more infantry. If I really felt the need, I might have reserved 1 additional japanese infantry that was intended for the WUS assault.

  • I think the main counter to that strat would have to come from the UK/China/ANZAC. If Japan takes San Francisco and Hawaii then the IPC numbers would be something like this:

    26 (starting) + 15 (US production) + 10 NOs + Chinese territories = 50 something (plus the US money)

    But UK would have around 37, ANZAC 15 and China 12-15, meaning that the 3 would outproduce Japan. It would be a matter of kicking Japan out of Asia and afterwards to build an UK/ANZAC navy to deal with the IJN. The best use for the UK transports would be to take DEI and heavily garrison then move to get Korea and Manchuria. Losing Asia would mean less 15 IPCs from Japan.

  • I really haven’t seen any strats that target the US that I think are solid. First off, in turn one when the entire Japanese navy converges on Japan, you have to figure it’s for a push on Hawaii, otherwise the farthest south you can push is the Phillipines and Hong Kong. When nearly your entire airforce lands on Japan I’m thinking you’re either going to try for Western US or Landing them in the Marshal Islands. Either way I’m the cautious type, I’ll usually err on the side of defending my capital, so the US buys 5 infantry, evacuates the Phillipines (fighter to Guam, bomber to Hawaii, and everything else to seazone 54) and moves a destroyer into midway to block a turn two invasion of Hawaii. Meanwhile Anzac fighters land in Queensland.

    Turn 2, it’s now quite obvious what you’re attacking, US buys 8 more infantry. Since you now do not have any combat ships that can hit Hawaii the entire fleet masses there with the exception of a cruiser who stays on the west coast to prevent any shore bombardment in a J3 invasion. All airunits (including carrier forces) now land in the US, with the exception of the fighter in Guam, he flys to Wake. This leaves a total garrison of 16 Infantry, a mechanized infantry, an arty, a tank, 3 fighters, 3 tac bombers and 3 bombers. By round 2 the UK has snatched up the DEI.

    Turn 3 lets assume you adequetly guard your transports, which means you’ll need to leave the bulk of your navy in sea zone 2. On the US turn I buy 7 infantry (leaving one IPC) and my only combat moves will be to send my sub to Japan to kill your unguarded transports (air units will not be able to strike my sub, and you have not bought any destroyers to protect your home sea zone) and two destroyers kill your two subs off the West Coast. Also the two transports in Hawaii now move four more infantry into the West Coast, the fighter at Wake lands there too for a total of 27 Infantry, a mechanized infantry, an arty, a tank, 4 fighters, 3 tac bombers and 3 bombers.  Four Anzac fighters fly to Hawaii and South East Asia is probably in shambles by now.

    Turn 4, as you mass everything in Alaska the US buys five infantry, a tank and four fighters. Leaving a defense of 32 Infantry, a mechanized infantry, an arty, 2 tanks, 8 fighters (12 when Anzac lands), 3 tac bombers, and 3 bombers, making it unlikely you’ll take America.

  • The max # of inf I calculate is 35 at the end of round 4.
    3 Native.
    2 from Hawaii.
    5 Purchased at round 1 totalling 10 in WUS and 2 IPC.
    8 Purchased at round 2 totalling 18 in WUS and 0 IPC.
    7 Purchased at round 3 totalling 25 in WUS and 1 IPC.
    10 Purchased at round 4 totalling 35 in WUS and 2 IPC.

    I would assume that you would buy 8 tanks and 1 destroyer in round 4 instead for a total of…
    25 Inf
    9 Tanks
    1 Mechanized
    1 Artillery
    3 Bombers
    3 Tacticals
    4 Fighters
    & 1 SZ10 Bombardment blocking Destroyer
    This assumes the abandonment of the carrier by round 2.

    In my test, I had…
    14 Inf
    11 Tanks
    1 Mechanized
    1 Artillery
    3 Bombers
    1 Tactical
    2 Fighters
    & No destroyer

    So that’s…
    11 additional Infantry
    2 fewer tanks
    2 additional Tacticals
    2 additional Fighters
    1 Destroyer
    (which is effectively 11 more Inf, 2 more fighters, and 2 lost bombardment hits [statistically])
    Based on that, I would say WUS could not be taken. But…

    • At the end of J1, it is unclear what Japan is intending to do.
    • At the end of J2, with 7 transports on the ready, it is clear they intend to attack, but most likely it will be Pearl because of the stigma associated with attacking WUS. Japan cannot reach WUS in 1 move. So the US fleet most likely moves to Pearl along with it’s loaded carrier. The US will most likely have left the fighter and tactical on Pearl (for scrambles) along with the two infantry and perhaps 2 more, but we’ll just say not.
    • With the move to Pearl, the J3 response is different. 3 or 4 transports offload in Alaska with the help of 2 destroyers and a carrier, or just 3 destroyers (I’m uncertain). The rest of the JIN and transports attack Pearl offloading tanks and perhaps two planes for the ground assault depending on the defending force and whether they scrambled. The truth is you dont need much of a navy after this, just your bombard ships, and maybe not even them if the US destroyer is purchased to prevent bombardment.

    Now in doing this, the US is down 2 infantry, 2 tacticals and 2 fighters. Perhaps 4 infantry if there were trying to reinforce Honolulu. That would reduce the WUS’s survivability quite a bit. Though it’s still a tall order with 23 Inf and 11 tanks. You would have lose virtually all your planes. But again, I dont see how it would matter if you actually took WUS. I heard what you said about the UK/ANZAC picking up steam IPCwise, but looting the US’s treasury and the additional 15 IPC every round would make up for that I’m sure. They would hold the fort well and get nicely dug in. But now Japan has the luxury of going after Australia before Asia.

  • Also, see this thread for some discussion of “Kill USA First”:

  • @JamesG:

    Also, see this thread for some discussion of “Kill USA First”:

    Holy crap, I didnt even think about that. I was performing convoy disruption to WUS and Mexico during rounds 3 & 4 and did not account the lost US IPCs. Now it wouldnt be 12 IPCs cause I didnt have that much value in ships, but it would probably be about 7 or 8 for two rounds.

  • It’s really Theory & Allies when you get into point and counter point. You asked for a counter to your strat, and I gave you what I feel a decent US player would do in response. I see it as a horrible tactic, one that will doom Japan, we’ve born this out one night in four seperate games where Japan attempted to take the West Coast early on, luckily they were all fairly fast games, so we still had time to start what I would consider a real game.

    Also on turn two when Japan moves to seazone 8 your combat ships cannot reach Hawaii, so it’s really not under threat now. My infantry calculation are based on:

    3 Infantry in Western US
    2 in Hawaii
    2 in Phillipines (moved over with the transport)
    5 bought in turn 1
    8 bought in turn two
    7 bought in turn three
    5 bought in turn four (along with a tank and four fighters)
    32 Infantry

    If you base your entire fleet off the west coast your trasports will be ripped apart by the US bombers, so IPC’s lost for the US will be more then made up for by the Japanese transport costs. This has been played out in a few of our games and the US has more then enough tools at their disposal to defend themselves.

    Edit: Why would you assume I’d make that purchase in turn four, especially when I stated what I would buy for the US. You also seem to want to ignore the Anzac fighters in America. There is no reason not to fly them there. The DEI’s or Australia is certainly not under threat.

  • Ah, right you are. There is a path to get all 4 ANZAC fighters up there in A4. You got me there 🙂

  • I have succeeded with a “kill USA first” strategy before, but if the US player sees Jap is set up for this strategy, don’t you think they will be able to keep Alaska from being captured and held?  Even though they can’t enter/go through Brit. Col. until they are at war, they can still use naval blocking and land units/planes in Alaska, keeping Japan from gaining a landing zone, don’t you think?

  • It doesn’t really matter if Alaska is kept or held. It’s all about diverting enough of Japans resources to a fruitless venture, while India and the Anzacs are cleaning up the south pacific. Once US switches to a wartime economy and Japan is still pulling in 30-35 IPC’s a turn it’s pretty much over. All your forces will be facing an American enemy that is out producing you while you steadily lose ground in Asia.

  • This is simple to stop.

    US1 DD block in SZ 7 & shuck some units to alaska.  Buy tanks with the US.  The key is to keep Japan from having an LZ for there planes to attack WUS with.  The moment Japan declares war the US can play hide & seek inside of canada to prevent Japan from having a place to put there planes.  No where for planes to land, no luck for Japan to win at WUS.

  • UK and ANZAC would play a huge roll in this.  If they build 1 sub per turn and your entire navy is off the coast of the US, then they are free to roam the pacific doing convoy disruptions and killing your transports.  I think this would make the US attack unaffordable and result in a quick loss.  Not to mention, that the entire time you are ignoring them they are just refortifiying their defenses.

  • Customizer

    forgive me but what is the conveyor belt strat?

  • @Gwlachmai:

    It doesn’t really matter if Alaska is kept or held. It’s all about diverting enough of Japans resources to a fruitless venture, while India and the Anzacs are cleaning up the south pacific. Once US switches to a wartime economy and Japan is still pulling in 30-35 IPC’s a turn it’s pretty much over. All your forces will be facing an American enemy that is out producing you while you steadily lose ground in Asia.

    Wrong.  If Japan is able to land all it’s planes in alaska and then attack USA with them, Wus will fall.  You can argue that Jap will have then lost against UK/ANZ/Chi, but it’s a tough argument since Japan gets one turn to spend 100+ IPC to replenish what it lost regaining Wus, and while it’s income is now only in the 40s, it no longer has to worry about the US and has a much more contiguous front against the rest of the Allies.  However, If the US player knows what’s coming, they should be able to hold on to Alaska.

  • Japan can bring every plane it posses to the US, by the time they’re ready to attack, the Western US will be more then able to repel the attack. Obviously if the Western US falls Japan will likely win the game, even without the 40 IPC NO bonus. What does Japan bring in that can beat potentially 32 Infantry, a mechanized infantry, an arty, 2 tanks, 8 fighters (12 when Anzac fighters lands), 3 tac bombers, and 3 bombers? This force averages over 20 kills on the defense.

    Every strat I’ve seen that involves an attempt to take the US involves the US player blithely ignoring any invasion signs and making poor purchases. If the Japanese fleet moves toward the US, assume an invasion is coming, heck if they mass up in Seazone 6 on turn one, assume it’s coming. It’s silly not too, the US is the primary adversary for Japan, you cannot afford to chance it falling. Feel free to post your strat on how to successfully invade the Western US, I’m sure it’ll be picked apart. I really think that the San Fran rush was likely extensively tested, and it’s just not going to happen against any kind of decent player.

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