Midway-Wake-Pearl, Naval Bases & The J1 Attack



  • First off, “Hi” to everybody here on these boards! I’ve kinda lurked around on these and other boards for some time now, but lately have decided that this is my favorite site for Axis & Allies talk (I haven’t been to Larry’s site that much).

    A good friend of mine and myself have been playing this new Pacific version as much as we’ve been able in the past few months since it came out, and we’ve logged just under 100 game hours so far.

    Up to now, we’ve been seeing the Japanese concentrate on taking out India with mostly J2 attacks, but with a few J3 attacks in there too. Japan has been taking Singapore on J2 and placing a major IC there on J3. J1 has been mostly 2 transports and a minor IC for Japanese builds. Anyways, that’s the way our games have been going up to recently.

    In another thread I started here recently, one of the people who replied outlined a brief J1 attack, in which:

    *The Japanese took their transport from the Caroline Islands to take Midway on J1.
    *They also took a sub to Pearl on J1 to sink the transport there.
    *They take out the ANZAC sub, and take two transports to the PI with a small fleet of 1 CV, 1 CA & 1DD.
    *The British BB & transports get attacked by, I think it was 3 bombers and a fighter.
    *The rest of the Japanese fleet goes to Midway.

    The reason for this particular J1 move was in response to the US being able to build a naval base on either Wake or Midway early in the game, even as early as US1.

    I’ve since read a little bit on a couple other J1 attack variations here on these boards which are pretty interesting.

    The move briefly outlined above went on to have the Japanese plan a naval base for Midway on J2. There are 3 transports in SZ6 to start J2, which could move on Alaska/Canada, Pearl, or reinforce Midway.

    I don’t know about anybody else, but I thought that particular J1 attack was pretty good. I was thinking of what options the Japanese could go with on J2, and what the US & Allies could do in response.

    One issue that kept popping into my mind was Pearl. Could the US & ANZAC fighters hang on to it? After a little time pondering this, it occurred to me that the Japanese could attack Pearl on J3 with a combined force of 3 more transports from Japan (built on J2) along with the 3 built on J1. The Japanese could also bring in extra air on J2, to beef up the J3 attack, basing them at Midway.

    With only 17 IPCs on US1, there just isn’t a whole lot the US can bring in to Pearl on US2 to help defend Pearl before J3. I think Pearl could hold up on J2, but J3 it is extremely vulnerable to attack. If the Japanese skip building a naval base for Midway on J2, they could add an extra transport from Japan to the J3 attack.

    The best response I can come up with right now is for the US to build 2 transports on US1, and hold the fleet on the West Coast with 2 fighters on the CV. All other us Air & the ANZAC air go to Pearl. If the Japanese are massing for a J3 attack, then the US fleet can move to Pearl on US2 and bring all the troops from the US and land the CV air groups on Pearl?

    So I’m kinda curious about what kind of J1 & J2 builds people are going with for J1 attacks, and what direction do you go with your J1 attack? Pearl, Alaska, West Coast, Wake & Midway?

    A naval base on Midway for the Japanese puts the whole West Coast under threat. Anyone building naval or air bases?



  • Victory for Japan is settled around capturing VCs and basically making the Allies submit to their dominance.  With these sort of manuevers, Japan would be leaving herself vulnerable to attacks on the mainland of Asia.  While these can be easily countered, your layout above basically ignores them.

    From the two times I have played this game with friends (alot I know  😄 ) they were Japan while I played the Allies.  They both used Japan’s massive airforce to do ground attacks on anything and everything even with no land units to back up these attacks.  They also used their fleet to push back anything the US was trying to get going on.  I never built any extra bases which I do regret because an extra naval base here or there might have allowed myself to reach more of the map faster even though I won in both cases due to attrition of high value Japanese units.

    I personally see the Phillipines, Caroline Islands, and Hawaii as being the perverbial backbone of the Pacific.  I think they are of extreme value and worth fighting over because these 3 points allow you to reach large areas of the map.  Granted a naval base on Wake Island or Midway would be a strategic move, you may just be better off taking Hawaii and or Caroline Islands and saving yourself the 15 IPCs.  From those 3 bases I said before, you can reach every VC coastal water except that of India on just one move from one of those bases.  Interesting point though on the possibility of making more bases which I will keep in mind in future games.



  • @kaufschtick:

    In another thread I started here recently, one of the people who replied outlined a brief J1 attack, in which:

    *The Japanese took their transport from the Caroline Islands to take Midway on J1.
    *They also took a sub to Pearl on J1 to sink the transport there.
    *They take out the ANZAC sub, and take two transports to the PI with a small fleet of 1 CV, 1 CA & 1DD.
    *The British BB & transports get attacked by, I think it was 3 bombers and a fighter.
    *The rest of the Japanese fleet goes to Midway.

    The reason for this particular J1 move was in response to the US being able to build a naval base on either Wake or Midway early in the game, even as early as US1.

    The best response I can come up with right now is for the US to build 2 transports on US1, and hold the fleet on the West Coast with 2 fighters on the CV. All other us Air & the ANZAC air go to Pearl. If the Japanese are massing for a J3 attack, then the US fleet can move to Pearl on US2 and bring all the troops from the US and land the CV air groups on Pearl?

    Hello again.
    Great to see this strategy revisited. Japan has more than enough materiel to walk over China even with this diversion of resources to the US. And I don’t mean using unescorted fighters against Chinese infantry.
    UK dares not stack his fighters in China to keep Burma road open because they will be easily wiped out. The whole point of this strategy is India does not need to be taken for victory.

    The problem I see with your response is if J2 sees the Naval base build in Midway, the IJN can reach the US west coast. This threat forces US to build defenders on Western US. Also, the US Fleet better not stick around San Francisco or they’ll end up on the bottom of San Francisco Bay.

    Next time I play Japan we will be trying the “no new industries” rule for game balance.



  • Kaufs, who has been winning the majority of the games between you and your good friend.  We have a Japanese strat going right now (I’ve mentioned this J1 attack a few times already) that is 6-0.  We can’t figure out what to do with the Allies to get a win.  Since you have played alot of games, I’m curious to know if you think the game is balanced.

    We are really thinking of starting a few house rules to stop the Japanese player from using the same J1 strat that is dominating our games.



  • I agree with Van Trump…we will be using the “no industries” rule as well to balance the game.  Or we might be changing the opening set-up for UK (moving 1 trp and the BB to India so it can’t get taken out J1)



  • @Gravy:

    Kaufs, who has been winning the majority of the games between you and your good friend.  We have a Japanese strat going right now (I’ve mentioned this J1 attack a few times already) that is 6-0.  We can’t figure out what to do with the Allies to get a win.  Since you have played alot of games, I’m curious to know if you think the game is balanced.

    We are really thinking of starting a few house rules to stop the Japanese player from using the same J1 strat that is dominating our games.

    Ah, lets see here…I thinks it’s been 18 games now. I think we’ve had 2 Allied wins… it might be 3. Either way, it’s been all Japan.

    We’ve been searching for ways to play the Allies better, and every time we come up with a strat for the Allies, there winds up being a counter for Japan that makes the overall situation even worse for the Allies!

    Like recently, we got on to the fact that a US1 naval base on Wake helped the US get involved quickly and threaten Japan. Midway is even better for the Allies.

    Then we see the J1 attack that not only squashes that strat, but turns it around on the US with Japan taking Midway on J1 and having the potential to build a naval base there of their own, threatening the entire west coast of US & Canada! 😮  😄

    Other than, we’re doing the exact same thing you are, trying to figure out a way to get the Allies in a game. Right now, we’re not even interested in finishing a game, just trying to see if we can get the game to a point where the Allies have a chance.

    To be fair to the game, I will say that we’ve learned how to counter some of the Japanese moves and strats, so we’re not giving up on the game just yet, or resorting to house rules. We’re looking at it more from a point of view of how can we play the Allies better.



  • @Van_Trump:

    The problem I see with your response is if J2 sees the Naval base build in Midway, the IJN can reach the US west coast. This threat forces US to build defenders on Western US. Also, the US Fleet better not stick around San Francisco or they’ll end up on the bottom of San Francisco Bay.

    Howdy, yeah it was your post that I referred to in my OP. Great J1 attack,  the Japanese grabbing Midway right out of the gates, then buying a naval base on J2, which would put Japan in range of the US west coast by J3.

    What I’ve been thinking about is the situation on US1, right after the Japanese opening move. 1 transport with one infantry at Midway, along with 2 CVs with all fighters, 2 BBs, 1 CA, 2 DDs (1 DD in the PI, and 1 to take out the ANZAC sub). 3 more Japanese transports in Japan.

    Japan can’t hit the west coast until J3 from Midway, and they will be telescoping their intentions (a 55 IPC US buy will be waiting for them: 8 more tanks, 1 arty, 1 inf. + 4 AA shots on Japanese air). If the Japanese transports from Japan move to Alaska on J2, with the rest of the Japanese fleet in Midway, none of the fleet units will be able to join those transports, which will be defenseless to the US sub or bombers on US2.

    With the Japanese fleet at Midway on US1, with all fighters loaded, they can only hit the US fleet at San Fran with their 4 fighters & 1 sub, requiring the Japanese fleet to move to SZ9 or 12.  In that scenario, the US would get two free hits, as the BB & CV would “auto repair” in the following US turn, being on a naval base. If the US load two fighters of their own on the CV, then they are shooting back at 3 "4"s, a “3”, two "2"s & a “1”. I could see the Japanese loosing all 4 fighters & inflicting little damage to the US. Then the US could repair on their naval base, and kamikaze themselves with all available air into the Japanese, who have no island to land planes on now and probably 4 dive bombers from Japan loaded. If the Japanese survive with two damaged BBs, as you correctly point out, then the ANZAC air is now in a position to knock that out.

    On top of that, if the Japanese are intending to move the 3 transports from Japan to either Midway, Alaska or Pearl on J2, they’ll be completely unguarded without that Japanese fleet on T2.

    If the J2 target is Pearl for the 3 transports in Japan, the only planes that could make the land battle would have to come from your CVs at Midway. For each plane that would move from a CV to the land battle, it would negate one of the dive bombers at Japan from joing the sea battle, as any fighter that goes from a CV at Midway into a land battle at Pearl will have to land back on one of the CVs. So at most, Japan could send in 3 fighters to Pearl in the land attack, with 4 Japanese infantry, and I’m guess 3 arty to take on the 2 infantry, 3 US dive bombers, 4 Anzac fighters, 2 US bombers, and a minimum of 1 additional US fighter (possibly 2 if the US buys a fighter & transport on US1).

    If Japan were to take all 4 fighters to the land battle at Pearl on J2, then the fleet would have no air support from Japan or the Caroline Islands, and the Allies would have the option to bring out all its fighters and dive bombers to a sea battle.

    So I’ve been batting around US1 buys and responses.



  • I must say, this seems a good strategy for Japan. I think that, with Japan, you only need to keep USA at bay. And with such a strategy, you have the upper hand and could force them to defend themselves while you destroy their allies in Asia.

    But I don’t understand your last post: why do you want to have dive bombers on your ACs? To attack with more firepower? Don’t you think that 3 loaded transports with bbs et cruiser and fighter in support are quite enough to break any sizable opposition. Not a complete defense, but how could the USA defend themselves in both Hawaï and San Francisco against such a force?

    They could, with the help of the Anzac fighters. The same fighters that UK and China will desperatly need to defend themselves. The same fighters the Anzac will need to defend itself if you go after him.

    I don’t think you even need to attack, unless you take Pearl. Your powerful force is enough to force the USA to defend themselves in 2 key positions, which will take their full ressources for quite a time. In time, you could send dive bombers to your fleet to overcome their efforts for another turn or two, but for at least a few turns, USA will be happy to defend themselves against you.



  • I agree that a J2 capture of Hawaii is a stretch; impossible if ANZAC moves their fighters there.
    On J2 does japan build more transports in addition to the naval base on Midway?
    The Anzac fighters scrambling ability means the US could conceivably move the fleet to Hawaii, even with Tac Bombers reaching from Japan. Jap regular bombers are helping out on mainland; they certainly would be useful against the US fleet (based out of Midway).

    This J strategy certainly brings out the full paranoia of invasion that existed historically in the USA after Pearl.
    Great that a game can emulate reality.

    The whole point of this strategy is Japan does not have to go after India. Hawaii + Sydney wins the game.
    Given this emphasis it certainly makes sense to retreat the bombers to Japan J2, unless the tactical opportunity exists to destroy some UK fighters stacked in Yunnan.

    Can Japan build up enough of an invasion force to take Hawaii before US can build up fleet to threaten Japanese naval supremacy? US has to waste one turn building ground troops in Western US.

    Japan can send DD screens from Midway if necessary.

    UK’s transports are gone. The money islands are in Japanese hands by the end of J3. UK’s miniscule builds are no threat. China has to pray to the dice gods to have a chance.

    Game is definitely tilted in Japan’s favor. Japan can survive making mistakes. The allies cannot.

    btw Midway is tiny, as in 2 square miles total area.
    http://www.infoplease.com/atlas/state/midwayislands.html



  • @Van_Trump:

    I agree that a J2 capture of Hawaii is a stretch; impossible if ANZAC moves their fighters there.
    On J2 does japan build more transports in addition to the naval base on Midway?
    The Anzac fighters scrambling ability means the US could conceivably move the fleet to Hawaii, even with Tac Bombers reaching from Japan. Jap regular bombers are helping out on mainland; they certainly would be useful against the US fleet (based out of Midway).

    This J strategy certainly brings out the full paranoia of invasion that existed historically in the USA after Pearl.
    Great that a game can emulate reality.

    The whole point of this strategy is Japan does not have to go after India. Hawaii + Sydney wins the game.
    Given this emphasis it certainly makes sense to retreat the bombers to Japan J2, unless the tactical opportunity exists to destroy some UK fighters stacked in Yunnan.

    Can Japan build up enough of an invasion force to take Hawaii before US can build up fleet to threaten Japanese naval supremacy? US has to waste one turn building ground troops in Western US.

    Japan can send DD screens from Midway if necessary.

    UK’s transports are gone. The money islands are in Japanese hands by the end of J3. UK’s miniscule builds are no threat. China has to pray to the dice gods to have a chance.

    Game is definitely tilted in Japan’s favor. Japan can survive making mistakes. The allies cannot.

    btw Midway is tiny, as in 2 square miles total area.
    http://www.infoplease.com/atlas/state/midwayislands.html

    Great post, especially the part about the invasion paranoia.  😮  🙂

    Good Lord, Midway is microscopic!

    I just ordered HBO tonight and saw the first episode of “The Pacific” earlier…wow, about all I can say. Hanks & Spielburg get it, great start to what I’m sure will be another fantastic miniseries. 8-)



  • As far as USA turn 1 response goes, at a minimum the bombers can max damage the airbase on Midway.
    Builds depend on whether or not ANZAC fighters get moved to Hawaii.
    I can’t think of a better build on US 1 than the default 2 DD’s. If Fleet is moving to Hawaii no need to buy CV since the fighters can scramble.

    If J2 move 3 loaded transports to Midway + Naval base build, US MUST buy ground defense.
    At end of J2 with the Tac Bombers in Midway and regular Bombers in Japan situation in Hawaii touch and go. The one trans in Midway can move the inf to Alaska to set up landing zone and create additional distraction for US.

    It just seems to get worse and worse. It reminds me of having a winning position in Chess. You have tons of options and everything seems to work perfectly in concert. The poor player in the losing position is forced to make one perfect defensive move after another; a single misstep ends the game.



  • Since the J1 attack has become the default for my gaming group Japan has racked up win after win. It was fairly even on J2 and J3 assaults, but, I question how well the J1 assault was play tested.



  • We agree in our playgroup…the J1 attack cannot be stopped.  Very disappointed with the playtesting for this 100.00 game.



  • @Van_Trump:

    If J2 move 3 loaded transports to Midway + Naval base build, US MUST buy ground defense.

    It’s late here on my end right now, but on US2, does the US have the option of a sea zone blocking move against Midway to defend the western US?

    I don’t have the board out right now to look at it, but I tossed the idea about the other day. It would have to be a 2 zone block, but think it was possible. Especially if the US opts for a US1 buy of 2 x DDs. I wonder if this move, combined with a bombing attack on the naval base, following on the heels of bombing the airbase, would work to some good effect?

    Tomorrow, I"ll have to get the map out. I was thinking about trying a block move against an amphibious assault on the western US as a means of allowing a more aggresive, fighter oriented buy for the US on T2.

    @Van_Trump:

    It just seems to get worse and worse. It reminds me of having a winning position in Chess. You have tons of options and everything seems to work perfectly in concert. The poor player in the losing position is forced to make one perfect defensive move after another; a single misstep ends the game.

    @Gwlachmai:

    Since the J1 attack has become the default for my gaming group Japan has racked up win after win. It was fairly even on J2 and J3 assaults, but, I question how well the J1 assault was play tested.

    @Gravy:

    We agree in our playgroup…the J1 attack cannot be stopped.  Very disappointed with the playtesting for this 100.00 game.

    Oh brother, this kind of talk has me concerned. 😮

    I sure hope this isn’t the case, but for the life of me, I can’t find cause to say otherwise now. :?



  • I suspect the playtesters completely missed the Bombers + fighter attack on the UK BB + transports; as well as this crushing Midway invasion J1.
    I mean, what was the point of placing both transports in Singapore? It just teases the UK player. At least put one of the transports next to India.
    Maybe they thought the IPC boost to USA would be enough of a deterrent and didn’t worry about the consequences of a J1.

    So I move a tank/mech inf to Alaska US1. Defend Hawaii with everything I’ve got. Build 2 DD’s.
    Hopefully ANZAC can spare some fighters. If all ANZ fighters are there I move the US fleet to Hawaii.
    On US2 where do I move the fleet if Japan moves Bombers back to Japan on 2?

    It may be the only way to balance the game is to ban a J1 attack. It has the advantage of simplicity.



  • @Van_Trump:

    I suspect the playtesters completely missed the Bombers + fighter attack on the UK BB + transports; as well as this crushing Midway invasion J1.
    I mean, what was the point of placing both transports in Singapore? It just teases the UK player. At least put one of the transports next to India.
    Maybe they thought the IPC boost to USA would be enough of a deterrent and didn’t worry about the consequences of a J1.

    So I move a tank/mech inf to Alaska US1. Defend Hawaii with everything I’ve got. Build 2 DD’s.
    Hopefully ANZAC can spare some fighters. If all ANZ fighters are there I move the US fleet to Hawaii.
    On US2 where do I move the fleet if Japan moves Bombers back to Japan on 2?

    It may be the only way to balance the game is to ban a J1 attack. It has the advantage of simplicity.

    From what I’m seeing of this strat so far, if Japan buys 3 transports J1 & banks the other 5 IPCs, then on J2, they can buy 3 more transports and a minor complex for Asia, and still have a 4 IPC reserve to repair the airbase on Midway should the US bomb it.

    Hawaii is extremely vulnerable to invasion on J3 with the second batch of transports arriving in Japan, even with the ANZAC fighters there. 2 X DDs is a good US1 buy if you’re looking to make some kind of block move, but I’m thinking that a transport & a fighter may be better if you are trying to all-out defend Hawaii. The at start transport from the US can either try to sneak past the Japanese sub (I wouldn’t do this) on US1 to reinforce Hawaii on US1, or it can go in with the DD, the DD & air taking out the sub.

    If the US buys another transport & fighter, both can go to Hawaii on US2 to further bolster Hawaii’s defenses. I doubt the Japanese can be stopped at sea in a sea battle there, but the land fight might be possible to hold…maybe? :?

    That’s the best I can offer on the subject right now, hopefully we get another game session going soon to start working on this issue. I’ll have to actually play it our a game or three before forming a more solid opinion on the “broken” aspect. 😐



  • we have been playing this since it came out, and we have only tried the J1 attack once.  but we have been using the aleutian islands as an air and naval base for the US.  thinking that if the US can put some(any) pressure on japan itself, it would help keep the IJN to north and away from UK and Anzac.  with the few ftrs and bmrs the US begins with, along with the boats, you can have a nice little fleet in ale US1.  then buy bmrs, subs, and some loaded transports, and just keep building up a force there.  with the bases in aleutian, we leave haw open, daring Jap to take it, with a threat of a strong counter attack.  UK and Anzac always start out building inf, then switch to subs after a few rounds.  subs keep the destroyers busy and maybe take a convoy or two from jap.  china - if jap pressures burma road hard enough, they will take it every turn.  sometimes we have had china abandon the road and head north to  manchuria, just to keep jap in the north, away from india.

    i like the aleutian islands bases, but it takes a little time to get it really up and running.  i find that lots of subs gives jap something to do.



  • Kat

    Many of the strategies outlined take too long.
    If Japan is actually giving the allies that much time you’re probably better off building an unassailable US fleet (Massive buys of SS’s and DD’s). That way the IJN has to dodge you, not the other way around.

    At that point you can base transports + ground troops out of Midway (build naval base there) and threaten Japan every turn.

    Of course, the Japanese strategy outlined in this thread has Japan taking Midway J1. A J1 attack is very tough to counter.

    What would you do as US with most of the Japanese fleet at Midway on turn 1?



  • if i am playing US, and on J1 the japs take midway, i would probably abandon haw, and play def in wus.  buy a ftr, inf and art for wus def and leave boats off the coast.

    i have only played against 1 opponent f2f, maybe 10 games, and have 1 game of aap40 (still going) on the forum.  havent had to face the J1 attack yet. truth be told i am not sure how i would handle it.  i need to play against more and different opponents to really get the feel for it.

    the aleutian island thing has worked well in my f2f games only because he usually sends the whole fleet south to india. then  he has to worry about invasion and send some boats and planes back to japan.

    the one J1 attack was by me, and was working very well till i left a large fleet within reach of everything the US had on about turn 5, and he wiped me out, with a little help from the dice gods.  next time i play as Jap, i will try the J1 attack again.  maybe even try midway, just to see what happens.



  • Well, Kat, here is the dilemma:

    If you allow Japan to take Hawaii, the following turn Japan swings down to Australia.
    Add up the victory cities: 2 starting cities, Phillipines, Hong Kong + Hawaii = 5 total.
    Sydney is 6. No need to slog through to India.

    If you surrender Hawaii on J2, Japan could conceivably win the game outright on J4.
    J3 fresh troops from Japan land on Hawaii. New Zealand falls. Don’t forget Australia does not get to scramble fighters because they are considered a continent, not an island.
    Third CV returns to Phillipines to help with ANZAC attack.
    J4 fresh troops arrive in Hawaii; existing troops shuttled to Queensland or New Zealand, depending where ANZAC defends.
    At best Sydney holds out until J5.
    As Japan I could send out DD screens to delay US counterattack.
    Also, if Hawaii falls on J2, virtually every fighter in Asia I have will be in Hawaii by J4.
    The scrambling rules allow ALL fighters to defend sea zone around Hawaii.


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