We haven’t tried the J1 attack yet, but the last couple of games saw Japan buying 2 x transports on the first turn + 1 minor complex.
The first game wound up being a J2 attack, and China got steam rolled in a couple turns, then India went bye-bye.
The second game wound up a J3 attack, at which point China was down to just two infantry. India enjoyed an extra turn of infantry building, then got crushed under a tidal wave of Japanese units.
We’ve been fooling around with using the British CA & DD to screen off Java and Sumatra (we call the “lower block”), and the British BB and the US DD to screen off the Philippines from the 2 transports in Japan on J2 (we’re calling this move the “upper block”. The Brit BB goes to the SZ with Guam, and the US DD blocks the adjacent SZ between Guam & Asia. I don’t have the SZ numbers handy at the moment). The two blocking moves together can present the Japanese with some interesting choices on J2. To be honest, this is the first and only situation we’ve seen that causes the Japanese player to consider a J3 attack.
The minor complex going into Asia on J1, even with it’s 3 unit restriction, has been huge in the games we’ve played. Just when we thought that the Allies were back into the game on an even level, this move tipped the scales right back to Japan’s favor.
I know it sounds crazy, but after our last crushing Japanese win in which India again fell, I was looking at the board and trying to think of some way to threaten Japan more directly. I thought maybe an American minor IC (which could go to a major one later), along with a naval base in Alaska might do the trick?
Especially if the Japanese attack on J1, the US could put both down by US2. The Japanese fleet would be at the other end of the gameboard…ah, just a thought.