Whatcha Gonna Do, when JAPAN runs wild on YOU?!?
First off, let me say that there is no such thing as a strategy for Japan that does not take into account everything that happens in Germany, and vise-versa. There is no Japan or Germany, they do not exist. Only the Axis has independent reality.
That having been said, let us look at the problems facing Japan on Turn One:
Soviet Far East
Since it’s extremely unlikely that all of these can be taken on Turn One, it’s clear that some prioritization must be done. If the Axis is pursuing a double whammy on Russia, then perhaps the Russian territories should take priority. If the Axis is pursuing an anti-british plan in some sort of defense of Fortress Europe, then India and Australia become valuable targets. Finnally, if the Axis players have been hit in the head by too much shrapnel and decide on some ridiculously ludicrous anti-USA program, then Alaska, Hawaii, China and Sinkiang become priority targets.
In my local group, I tend to be the most experienced Japanese Player. I enjoy playing Japan because our group usually ignores Japan in hopes of a quick win over Germany, allowing me to flex the muscles of an unstoppable Nihon Teikoku Juggernaut all over their weak candy asses.
Anyway, this is my standard war plan, assuming the USA does not build up in the Pacific:
TURN ONE: Build Factory and Transport, Save 2IPC’s
Attack India from Burma,
Attack China from Kwangtung and Manchuria.
Attack Hawaiian fleet with 1 Carrier, 2 Battleships, Two Planes (one from Phillipenes), submarine and bomber.
Variants: Use transport from Philipenes to support attack on India if sea zone is clear. Use transport from Japan to occupy Soviet Far East if it’s abandoned. Otherwise, transports reinforce Burma or Kwangtung with four infantry.
Manchuria is deliberately vacated to lure the Soviet army into the range of the returning Battleships and carrier fighters from Hawaii.
TURN TWO: Build 3 tanks, 1 Transport and 3 INF.
Attack Manchuria with full naval support, unless a) Russians withdraw towards Moscow for some reason, or b) USA builds naval presence on their West Coast.
Attack Sinkiang from Burma
Occupy Soviet Far East if Possible.
Finish off US Pacific Fleet unless they retreated to Panama on US Turn One.
TURN THREE: build tanks and factory for Manchuria.
Attack Either Caucasus or Kazakh from Persia.
Attack Novosibirsk from Sinkiang
Attack Yakut from Manchura, blitzing into Evenki if possible.
Occupy Soviet Far East if it hasn’t already been occupied.
VARIANTS: Send 2 Infantry into Persia on turn two, so they can occupy both Syria and Kazakh, assuming the UK concentrates their forces in Africa.
At this point, Japan will collect 42-44 IPC’s, half or over half of the 84 IPC’s needed for an Axis economic victory.
• A USA naval program in the Pacific can disrupt japanese operations, at the cost of allowing Germany to conquer Africa and attack Russia much more successfully.
• A British Factory Built on turn one in India can prove to be a thorn in the side of the Emperor’s inevitable victory. Again, this comes with a cost of a successful German Defense of Fortress Europe, a Romellian Africa and threatens an early Russian Collapse in the East.
• Russia could devote 100% of it’s mechanized units into a foolhardy offensive towards Burma. This would be really irritating, but would be somewhat mitigated by the German conquest of Moscow. Alternately, the Russians could sit in Yakut and reinforce it with an infantry division or two every couple of turns. It would be up to the Germans to take full advantage of the slight deficiency in Infantry on the Eastern Front that this Asian Buildup would create.
I totally agree with treating Japan and Germany as a single entity. I’m not a fan of building an IC right away, for me it’s 2 transports and 3 inf. My reasoning is that you build and IC for tanks only so assume 15 IPC/round to supply it. With 3 transports and the IC you should be building 6 inf for the transports and 3 tanks for 33 IPC. Japan won’t have this coin until about R3. I build only enough inf for the 4 transports, taking the free inf off local islands. Once I save 8 IPC then it’s the 5th transport, 10 inf/round at 30 IPC. Again, I only spend 30 IPC and once I have about 10 IPC saved I think about the first IC, maybe an extended voyage with a transport or two causes me to build it then or I wait until I have 15 IPC. Having an IC early sometimes hampers you as you must defend it. As always it depends on what the allies do, if it works for you then it’s right for you
The lure technique has it’s advantages for sure. A wise russian player might keep a tank to drive in and out, if not I’d always put an infantry on Manchuria but no more. Again, knowing what you can hit me with I won’t just put all my units in one spot for you to smoke them. I know a slow withdraw with the russians is better.
One stumbling block with building transports and doing Pearl Harbour is if the Brit or Ruskie puts a plane within striking range of the Japan home waters. If the brit player always does IC in India you most likely don’t face this.
Our group always does the Brit grand fleet, saving until they can build fleet big enough to defend against the luftwaffe. The US sets up a supply line via Canada and both allies pump 8-10 transports/round worth of land equipment into Norway. The brit India fighter moves to the territory west of the soviet far east (I must be getting old!). This little move is such a prick shot……
If the US navy does 2 hits you might have to take off the bomber if no transport was brought in. With only 1 ftr I think the US should hit the jap fleet assuming it does not have to put it’s ftrs on a newly built brit carrier on T1. If you take only 1 hit or less then as the Jap, I’d hit any newly built US navy in the pacific. I can do this because I don’t retreat from Manchuria. I’ll take out the US fighter in China, not bother with India (unless open or 1 inf). With overwhelming firepower on China the battle is over quick, you don’t need to commit too many Inf, 3 if you are brave, 4 if you are conservative. I mass my air in Manchuria, 3 fighters with at least 4 inf is usually enough for defence. With this I can fly 2 ftrs to the US west coast, the 2 ftrs from the carrier land at Wake island with the bomber. That’s 4 3s and 3 4s, toss in the carrier’s 1 for good measure and you’re likely to do 4 hits on the first round. Even if the US player built 4 subs (the best navy for the money for T1) he’s only gonna do 2 hits on average back and have a lone BB and sub left against 2 ftrs, 2 BBs and the CV.
Dang I gotta get this CD playing over the net…
I’ll take out the US fighter in China, not bother with India (unless open or 1 inf).
India can be left alone till turn two if the UK withdraws the fighter. The only reason I hit it early is to either capture the factory that they built there, or to kill that fighter. Usually, if the UK withdraws the fighter from India, they also transport the Indian infantry to Egypt to give Germany a headache and land the RAF in Moscow or Karelia (three spaces from India to Karelia or Moscow…)
Another dirty trick the UK can do is to send the Indian Transport to evacuate Australia on turn two. Then the Aussies reinforce India. This has it’s flaws though. It makes Australia a more tempting target, and leaves the Indian coastline vulnerable to amphibious assault from the Philippenes.
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I agree with BBs plan. Yet, I rarely build an IC for Japan unless my opponent makes it to easy in Asia. I find 5 or 6 trans enable me to get a minimum of 6 inf/1 arm to Man or FICB, with enough left over to hit Alaska/Haw/Aus/NZ/Mex/Brz or Africa.
I agree with BBs plan. Yet, I rarely build an IC for Japan unless my opponent makes it to easy in Asia.
The reason Japan builds a factory or two in Asia is not for infantry. It’s to place three to six Tanks a turn into asia faster than transports can get them there. Armor can get you knocking on the door of Moscow on turn four, while Infantry will delay you till at least turn six or seven.
All of my strategies focus on the TIMETABLE. Coordination and timing becomes indispensable in this sort of plan. Basically, transports might get more infantry onto asia, but they’re too slow. Japan needs to be on the same page as Germany, and the goal is to have a one-two punch on moscow in turn five. This is not possible if you focus on transports, which might be much more flexible, but do not help Germany out at all.
MIB, how often do you capture Moscow with the Japs on turn 4? If the russians leave 1 infantry on each of the territories next to Moscow, do you exchange tanks to get the territory? How do you defend your factories, with tanks only? It takes 3 turns for infantry built on Japan to get next to Moscow. With 2 factories you must defend 2 spots AND the territory next to russian to plan to attack from. You can only build 6 units per round with 2 factories, you should plan to lose 4/round just retaking territories the allies retook…
MIB, how often do you capture Moscow with the Japs on turn 4? BB
Never. The idea is to be knocking on their door by turn four or five, not actually invading on turn four. The Japanese have assaulted on turn five and six however, after a substantial german attack. Usually it’s the germans who take the Russian treasury, but the idea is to be there on the other side with the Japanese. A Russia with 8-14 IPC income tends to be quite feeble in their counterattacks.
BBIf the russians leave 1 infantry on each of the territories next to Moscow, do you exchange tanks to get the territory? How do you defend your factories, with tanks only? It takes 3 turns for infantry built on Japan to get next to Moscow. With 2 factories you must defend 2 spots AND the territory next to russian to plan to attack from. You can only build 6 units per round with 2 factories, you should plan to lose 4/round just retaking territories the allies retook…
I have no problem sending three tanks vs one infantry. The real problem begins on turn five. If the Germans are doing poorly, then the Russians will likely devote resources to take back their Asian territories. This is when Japan must look at moving to africa to win an economic victory while rolling their six tanks a turn taking and retaking Asia. But if the Germans do well, then Russia is out of the Game, and an economic victory quickly follows.
I’m unclear where the allied threat to the factories you refer to comes from. I usually take China and India on turn one. I land all aircraft at the factory built on turn one in Burma. This prevents the two infantry at Sinkiang from getting any funny ideas. The two existing transports also ship infantry to the factory, and/or ship them to Manchuria or Kwangtung if I think the Russians are liable to come across the border.
If the Russians mass their forces, they can be smashed on turn two or three. If not, it takes a little longer to move across the Russian steppes and tundra, but a larger, more concentrated force arrives to besiege Moscow.
On turn two a second factory is built in either Manchuria or Kwantung. (Manchuria being slightly better). and on turn three and four, six tanks a turn roll across Asia. Sometimes it pays to build a factory in Sinkiang, as this saves a turn of movement. But I generally dislike this for some reason.
MIB, if you send 3 tanks against 1 infantry then your 3 tanks are left undefended against a russian counter attack or better yet, the allies coming in with a few infantry and ftrs to attrition out your Jap tanks. Moreover, you just used 15 IPC to kill a 3 IPC unit and get 2 IPC territory, you’re down 10 IPC. Even if the 3 tanks take out 2 infantry defending you’re losing the attrition war. If you’re using 3 tanks to get 1 territory you’re not going to re-take the 4 territories the allies will be retaking per round against the Japs.
The allies will always have lots of air power on Karelia doing nothing basically. It is so easy for the US to send 2 infantry and 4 air units against 3 Jap tanks, then the Brits send 2 infantry and 4 air units against another stack of 2-3 Jap land units. Then the russians take a single territory with their 2 ftrs. You’re losing units faster then 2 factories can build. If you’re spending 30 IPC on tanks how much do you have left over for infantry?
The threat to your factories would be apparent I think if the allies were playing a bit more aggresively.
You do pearl harbour II, knock out China and India? Pretty good, I guess you leave manchuria wide open? The russians should only send 1 infantry in, a safe trade off for turn 1.
You spend 30 IPC in 2 rounds on factories and can still defend them? I think the allies are drunk…… But if it works stick with it!
MIB, if you send 3 tanks against 1 infantry then your 3 tanks are left undefended against a russian counter attack or better yet, the allies coming in with a few infantry and ftrs to attrition out your Jap tanks. BB
You’re neglecting to consider the German portion of the timetable. By turn four, the Germans should be ready to push into moscow on turn five. Therefore, this strategy relies on risking Japanese tanks for a quick seizure of Russian territory. The idea is to come to the aid of the Germans as soon as possible. It’s far from perfect, and can be countered by a determined allied player, but that could be said about any strategy.
In the game I played last night, I played the Axis with a 74 IPC bid for economic victory, RR, and no new factories. The Allies spanked me bad, thanks to some atrocious die rolling (3 fighters and 1 bomber vs Battleship and three transports = all luftwaffe killed, battleship survived…) and that was just ONE of the disasters that befell me. Another was the extremely irritating fact that the USA spent 5 IPC’s on a tech roll on turn one and got heavy bombers…
Of course, one game I played as Japan vs some first time players and spent 25 IPC’s on tech rolls on turn one, and got Heavy Bombers AND Industrial Tech. So I got to feel the same agony those new guys felt. That was a short game, just like last night’s seven turn fiasco.
Why should germany be ready to push into Moscow on turn 5? The allies are dropping of units into Karelia faster than the Germans can build up. Germany is lucky to hold out until round 6 never mind being the one to cause the russians to retreat to Moscow. Germany’s goal is to stay alive and threaten Russia as much as possible to limit what the allies can throw against Japan.
By turn 5 the allies have had 10 transports pumping units into Europe. 20 allied units plus airforce can hit W. Europe, Germany or E. Europe by navy alone, no way Germany takes Karelia and you can’t threaten Moscow as Germany without Karelia.