Japan takes Panama



  • Just out of interest, has anyone playing Japan tried to take Panama?

    I kinda thought among several strategic options for Japan (aside from possibly a few better ones  :-)) that japan could focus its attention on hitting Hawaii J1, then taking Panama J2; or maybe J3 after destroying the US Pacific fleet first.
    Obviously Japan would still employ a strategy to strike China and maybe russia at the same time to maintain other lines of pressure, but the idea with the Panama strategy is that it attains a base for Japan that enables the fully massed Japanese fleet to strike either the US East or West coast. This would probably be backed up by landing Bombers and fighters into panama asap. Without a navy the US should be rendered impotent for at least a few rounds…
    To be extra tricky, the Japanese fleet could also cross the pond to hit the english fleet and strike into the heart of the tyrannical european dogs!!
    Possibly would want to coordinate it with German airstrikes on the UK fleet in G1 or G2.

    Thoughts??



  • ??? :?



  • @technobabble66:

    Just out of interest, has anyone playing Japan tried to take Panama?

    I kinda thought among several strategic options for Japan (aside from possibly a few better ones  :-)) that japan could focus its attention on hitting Hawaii J1, then taking Panama J2; or maybe J3 after destroying the US Pacific fleet first.
    Obviously Japan would still employ a strategy to strike China and maybe russia at the same time to maintain other lines of pressure, but the idea with the Panama strategy is that it attains a base for Japan that enables the fully massed Japanese fleet to strike either the US East or West coast. This would probably be backed up by landing Bombers and fighters into panama asap. Without a navy the US should be rendered impotent for at least a few rounds…
    To be extra tricky, the Japanese fleet could also cross the pond to hit the english fleet and strike into the heart of the tyrannical european dogs!!
    Possibly would want to coordinate it with German airstrikes on the UK fleet in G1 or G2.

    Thoughts??

    I’m thinking that having either Germany or Italy take out West Indies and then building an airbase so the Japanese airforce can land there and scramble would be a better idea.  Then let the convoy raiding begin.



  • Interesting. I love going after the DEI as japan. Grabbing panama might be another trick to cost the allies a turn.

    Man. I would love to leave at least one carrier and some lower units near japan to take them pricey islands…… If america goes surface ship or even carrier heavy on the east coast this could be annoying.


  • 2018 2017 2015

    I don’t think this would work.  So Japan attacks Hawaii on J1?  The US would bring over the European Fleet to SZ11 (Mexico), move its starting WUS fleet down to join them, and buy 5FTRs or 52 worth of navy.

    Japan could then only move planes from Japan to Hawaii on J2, and if Japan tried to attack the SZ11fleet, they would be destroyed by a counter attack by the US1 52fleet plus bombers from the mainland.

    The US would deply 52 and then 82 per turn right into the action, while Japan has to place, then fly to Hawaii, then get in the action.  You’ve essentially reversed the US logistic problem in the Pacific towards their favor, plus they have more money than you.

    And with all of your money, planes going towards the US to “keep them in check”, you’re not pushing into the DEI or China as hard as you could be.



  • Ive done this a couple times, it usually works, because the scared Americans try to protect L.A. you suddenly sent your entire navy down to panama, and the Americans dont have enough time to counter attack, because their infantry are two turns away. you send your whole navy through, and destroy the Atlantic fleet.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Just for amusement, people interested in this strategy might want to check out the 1942 Humphrey Bogard spy film Across the Pacific, a fun (though at times implausibly plotted) movie involving the Panama Canal, sinister Imperial Japanese agents, and Bogart’s fellow Maltese Falcon co-stars Sydney Greenstreet and Mary Astor.



  • I have never tried this but given it much thought over the years.

    First of all, A J1DOW does not get Japan Hawaii. They can attack the USN there but not the harbor, unless you want to gamble with the Japanese 1INF + 1ART versus the American 2INF + 2FTR…
    Nothing else can get there, so Japan should know Honolulu is out of reach.
    This also means Panama is out of reach for the J2 since it is 3 away and Japan does have only 2 movement.

    USA can indeed consolidate and build a fleet in WUS.
    What follows is a war of attrition and Japan can only hope to at least compete with the US buildup in WUS by fully focusing on this theatre. The DEI will permanently be India + ANZAC and the Chinese will be having a much easier time (especially with the massive aid from India).

    I don’t think Japan can attack Panama even J3 because of pesky little ANZAC/USA blockers.
    Hoping to get there J4, Japan must be using blockers itself to protect the IJN from the US-counterattack. Really, the fleet-advantage of Japan is not that big. Japanese LandBasedAircraft are the problem and they can only become a factor 2 turns later than Hawaii is taken, so J4 (J2 take Hawaii, J3 LBA rebases there, J4 they can start doing things).

    This leaves the USA with 4 turns of production before Japan can start threatening all of the WUS, CUS and EUS at once, but since the Japanese LBA (now at Hawaii) cannot reach a single one of them yet, this will give the USA even 1 more turn of building up.
    The Japanese LBA in Hawaii won’t even be able to attack the USN in SZ10, because there are not enough Japanese landing spots available.

    So it is even not very unlikely that the USA will have 5 turns of production before Japan can finally project a threat to all the important US areas and to add insult to injury, a single allied blocker in SZ89 (the other side of the Panama-canal) prevents Japan from threatening EUS and CUS.

    All this will give the USA a final 6 turns (!) of full production for its defences. If they build a lot of air and fleet units (Carriers and subs mostly) and a few land units, the USA can have a big enough army on land to make each and every landing short lived, or even outright prevent any. The USN should even be in shape to withstand the IJN + LBA, since during those 6 turns the USA will have had >400 IPCs to spend and Japan ~200.

    So in the end for Japan this means investing everything into gaining nothing economically.
    There is 1 big thing on the plus side though: no USA involvement in the Euro-war for 6 turns. Maybe the USA can spare a few resources to go into Europe but I think not. Whatever they are able to send into Europe will not matter much anyway.

    AFAICS, the big strategical picture for this plan is a free hand for Germany + Italy in Europe for 6 to 10 turns (hard to predict anything beyond that 6 turn mark) and a strong China + India + ANZAC. The Axis will have to win the war in Europe because Japan is going to collapse. With no meaningful US involvement in Europe, Germany + Italy indeed will have no small chance of achieving victory. So I think this early Panama approach, even though doomed in itself, does serve a much stronger greater purpose.

    So far my 2 cents in the bag of thoughts  8-).



  • Good post Clerc, my only addition is that India and ANZAC can send resources to the middle east to help the UK/Russia defense, which will make things harder for Ger.


  • '14 Customizer

    Germany-1 sub the transport and cruiser in Eastern US first.

    Japan-1 destroys fleet at Hawaii. Send majority of planes to Japan. Take Alaska and block SZ1 and SZ9 with DD

    Italy-1 must take Gib (This can be near to impossible if UK player consolidates navy at Gib.

    Germany-2 must clear all ships at Gib so Italy can move through.

    Japan-2 build AB at Alaska, move planes to Alaska.

    Italy-2 Move transport and inf to Panama.

    Germany-3 Business as usual

    Japan-3 Fly planes from Alaska to Panama.

    Italy-3 Build AB at Panama.

    I know this is far fetched and probably impossible but it all depends on the opponent 🙂



  • I’m still not seeing any benefit to this strategy.

    Even if it achieves it’s goal of completely taking the US out of the war (it won’t fall unless the US player has no idea what they’re doing, it isn’t worth the crushing blow that it will deal to Japan and Italy. The best case scenario is the Pacific Allies being stalemated by Japan for a few rounds while the UK and Russia take on Germany and a shadow of Italy (no fleet means no threat of achieving anything). After a few turns the US will have enough land units to be completely protected from Japan and it will move to crush the small Japanese beachheads. Japan will gain very little economically while sacrificing tons of IPCs in South Asia. Not to mention the fact that it would be super easy to block Italy from Panama (or the Americas in general) using the UK or US ships. If Italy gets blocked then Japan is just stuck at Alaska for another turn and the whole strategy is doomed to fail before it really even starts.

    Without it’s air force in China/India, they will lose the ground war very quickly. Italy sending whatever remains of it’s fleet to the Americas will doom it with very minimal UK investment. This leaves Japan struggling to make it to 40 IPCs (which will be matched by India+China+ANZAC. The US will be reduced to approximately 60, maybe even less, but I just don’t see any threat on the US. If you’re gonna try attacking the US at home, might as well go for the all out attack that has been suggested before (basically the same as this strategy except Japan attacks a turn later and that is combined with Germany faking Sea Lion and then moving to Gibraltar to attack the US).

    Sorry to be so negative, but I don’t see this working on anyone but a complete beginner (<5 games played) and even then it’d be a strategy that is only semi-effective one time.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Hmm, it could work if you can scare the United States into pulling it’s ships over to the Gulf of Mexico.  Then a single transport hit on Panama costs the United States 1 round to open Panama again and 1 round to move through Panama (assuming you have a picket destroyer there, they can’t get in further) and another round to move back into LA Harbors.  There’s a LOT of damage the Japanese can do with 3 extra rounds of no American imperialism!  They could liberate Australia, or bring benevolent acquisition of the DEI peoples under Imperial protection!

    The problem is, if you don’t scare the United States out, you don’t get Hawaii or Panama so what is the cost for the potential reward?



  • I usually do this in conjunction with Italy/Germany fleet coming from Gibraltar that feigns a sea lion.  Forces the allies to just sit on their capital while denying their NO’s. Then the Axis fleet can move into the pacific to Hawaii to attack ANZAC. Such a strategy usually gears the Axis up for cheesy Pacific win unless the U.S. player completely reads the Axis intent from round one.



  • @Final:

    I usually do this in conjunction with Italy/Germany fleet coming from Gibraltar that feigns a sea lion.  Forces the allies to just sit on their capital while denying their NO’s. Then the Axis fleet can move into the pacific to Hawaii to attack ANZAC. Such a strategy usually gears the Axis up for cheesy Pacific win unless the U.S. player completely reads the Axis intent from round one.

    Definately seems like you got to catch the allies off guard.

    Gotta turtle HK and Shanghai.


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