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Japanese Strategy



  • I’ve played Japan twice and have seen it played twice.  I would like some thoughts on my observations.

    Japan seems to try desperately to take over China.  I personally think this should be abandoned after Japan is at war with the US.  Here are my thoughts…
    1- Japan tries to take over China for the IPC’s in the beginning and is needed to build up Navy vs. US.
    2- Japan should be going after the island bonuses (Java, Bornio and such) as they are worth more than China put together. 
    3- China CANNOT leave China.  They aren’t even a threat to anyone.

    Now, this doesn’t mean leave China all together either.  Holding the coastal territories are still key.  They are worth big money and have a Naval base in Hong Kong.  Building a factory in China is also a waste.  Transports are a better way to go.  You can almost build 2 for the same price and brings 4 pieces to China instead of the 3 that a factory can produce.

    I saw someone play it this way and it was a great victory for Japan and the Axis.  I’ve played it both ways.  Going after China just kills Japan.  Playing it with not worrying about China was another Axis victory.

    Anybody else have thoughts on this?


  • '10

    I always try to take out China as fast as possible in the first few turns.  Use all your Air Power and concentrate efforts and wiping them out.  I think killing the Burma road is still important as that gives China two more infantry per turn.  Unless your strategy involves ignoring India all together, I think you are forced to deal with China.

    If you leave them they will eventually push you out of mainland Asia with the aid of the British. IMO



  • I have only played the Pacific game.

    I also thought just as you did before I played my first game - there’s no way China will ever be a threat to Japan (proper), so why even bother with it?  It seemed that pursuing the IPCs elsewhere (against the powers that CAN build a navy and threaten Japan) seemed much more efficient.

    However, the games I played seemed to serve to show me that this was NOT a viable strategy.  It seems like it should be, but I couldn’t really make it work.



  • You have to take as many Chinese territories as you can BEFORE you go to war with the US.  Once you are at war, protect the 2 and 3 IPC values.  Leave one troop in all other territories.  Make China take them back.  They can make a thousand dollars with Burma RD.  It doesn’t matter by then.  They can’t leave China.  They are no threat and you should have the Dutch East Indies.

    If you are at War with the US an you don’t have A- China or B- DEI, the game is over for Japan.  The US is going to crush.



  • Kill china, suicide yourself to get your plans to an Italian or Germany spot in Russia, go for the Europe board win!


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    What happens if the Brits attack you early?

    Can they block your amphibious landing in India?



  • @ThomasJefferson:

    capture Chinese territories of Yunnan, Hunan, Anhwe, and chahar. The Chinese cannot counterattack, because if they do, all of their forces would be wiped out the subsequent turn by airpower and the rest of the japanese army, so they retreat.

    That’s absurd. China is next to useless on the defense. The Allies should never simply allow Japan to hold Yunnan.



  • Well docfav7,

    I have played Japan a few times, and I’m usually pretty successful with them. You are right, Japan needs to build up a navy for the US. Here is what I do:

    On Japan’s first turn, I split Japan’s navy into two. I put the bigger half in Seazone 36, and the second half (which is the one that starts at the Caroline Islands) at Seazone 20, by Formosa. By doing this, you’re basically prepared to hit United Kingdom with all your force. Since you have the dominating navy in the area, UK won’t touch it. Now with Japan’s land units/airforce already in China, I like to take Yunan, which is a section of the Burma Road. But this does not always happen due to poor luck w/ the dice. I also get as far into China as I can with all the land units. I usually take out single men, standing alone. These make good targets for my Zeros, and Tac-Bombers. Doing this really narrows down China’s army. And since you have a section of the Burma Road, China will want that back but can’t since they have so little (this does depend on how much you have sitting in Yunan, and how much you killed with your airforce). This usually forces UK to take back Yunan, which puts you at war with them WITHOUT bringing US into the war.

    After that, you pounce on Hong Kong, and UK’s Navy on the second round. Then storm the beaches, as far south as you can with your transports and airforce. I usually forget about Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and the Celebs until UK’s navy is dead.

    Also, on Japan’s first or second turn I like to buy a MINOR Industrial Complex (I know you said you think it’s a waste, but I think it’s effective) and put it on Kaingsu A.K.A. Shanghai. After that, on each turn I buy 2-3 tanks and build them there. That’s usually effective on UK’s campaign.

    Now I don’t know how your oppenent will place US’s navy, but I have taken out US’s navy, but it severly damaged Japan’s navy as well. Again this all depends on how nice the dice decide to be  😉 .

    @ Gargantua

    Usually for the Brits, attacking Japan early is a mistake. They cannot block your naval fleet, because your fleet more than doubles theirs.

    ~Mad Pup~


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    They cannot block your naval fleet, because your fleet more than doubles th

    Though I appreciate Japan’s overwhelming power, 1 allied destroyer can still block the ENTIRE Japanese amphibious invasion, that encompasses every unit they have in range on the board, going into india on Round 3.

    What is the reciprocal action as japan to prevent this?



  • Oh haha, I did not think my response through enough. Yes it is possible I guess. I didn’t really think about it.

    I think I have a strategy to that, if they put a destroyer out, and another one in the seazone after that, fly any and/or all of your planes that can reach them, and destroy them (bombers do the job quite well, as well as your Aircraft Carrier planes. Lord knows you start out with enough to replace them). Yes you risk loosing a plane or two, but it will clear the way, due to UK’s small navy.

    ~MadPup~



  • Then on a second note I
    Have yet to see a game where china can’t trade Yunnan for at least the first 2 rounds.



  • Well this all depends on how much you kill on your first turn, the dice are a major factor. If you don’t suceed in taking Yunan on your first turn, you should be able to take it by the second one. Heck I’ve had 17 dice at 3, and only 2 of them hit.

    ~MadPup~


  • '10

    @MadPup77:

    Well this all depends on how much you kill on your first turn, the dice are a major factor. If you don’t suceed in taking Yunan on your first turn, you should be able to take it by the second one. Heck I’ve had 17 dice at 3, and only 2 of them hit.

    ~MadPup~

    The dice represent the fog of war. The player can make strategy decisions and declare battles but your troops have to deal with the fog of war. That you have no control over. All you can do is try to put them in the best possible position.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Well, I’ve yet to really see China fall to Japan without a serious investment and serious time.  Of course, I’ve yet to get lucky enough to get Yunnan early to stop them from getting serious equipment.

    I’d like to see strats that maybe set up to one shot ANZAC around turn 3 or 4, if its even possible.  Be nice not to worry about Australia at all.  Then it’s a matter of putting enough men into SE Asia to keep England out of China.

    Course, I see heavy American investments into the Pacific, what specificly are people doing to counter-build the Americans?  You know, create a MAD situation? (Mutually Assured Destruction, for you younglings.  Sheesh.)



  • @Cmdr:

    Course, I see heavy American investments into the Pacific, what specificly are people doing to counter-build the Americans?  You know, create a MAD situation?

    My best guess would be to take Sumatra, Java, Borneo, & Celebs, for the 5 extra IPCs. That and take out India, before they can get majorly into China. By using my startegy I posted earlier in the topic it works pretty good (which usually works, but there have been times it hasn’t).

    China is extremely hard to take, but it can be done, with time (Not that they have much).

    @Fishmoto37:

    The dice represent the fog of war. The player can make strategy decisions and declare battles but your troops have to deal with the fog of war. That you have no control over. All you can do is try to put them in the best possible position.

    This is very true. The fog of war is like trying to navigate through a 1,000 acre corn maze. Just can’t be done without a map. Anyone got a map like that?  😉

    ~MadPup~


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I seriously wonder if China is worth it.  Combined I think it’s 1 Victory City, 23 IPC (not including Hong Kong and Korea.)  Wouldn’t it be possible to hold some of the more important land, yield the lesser stuff and position for a stronger attack on ANZAC/East India territories?  It guals me seeing England/ANZAC getting the NO for all those islands (and the income) without really being able to do much against them.



  • If the game is gonna last more than 5 turns, and the Japanese want to hold onto their asia holdings, they gotta take out at least one of the 3 allies, the Chinese, the Ruskies, or the English. If you sit back and try to hold on to your territory with out attacking, you will start to lose it turn 5. Plus, if you use your airforce, you can usually take out the chicoms with the units you start with, and in that way you are putting those units to use, where they are rusting doing nothing if you sit back and play defensive.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Well, to clarify I’m looking at Alpha 2 set up, so the Japanese air force has been decimated.  Okay, about 5 or 6 planes were removed, but its still a major change from OOB.

    Anyway, I was not thinking about completely ignoring China without filling the gap elsewhere.  I was thinking of using 3 or 4 turns to really build up in SE Asia and pounding ANZAC/England the round before America comes into the game anyway.  The thought process was more like “Waste 200 IPC in China to stop them from building 100 IPC in units or get a fleet and secure the SE Pacific” but I’m not really sure on the feasibility of that either.



  • @Cmdr:

    I seriously wonder if China is worth it.  Combined I think it’s 1 Victory City, 23 IPC (not including Hong Kong and Korea.)  Wouldn’t it be possible to hold some of the more important land, yield the lesser stuff and position for a stronger attack on ANZAC/East India territories?  It guals me seeing England/ANZAC getting the NO for all those islands (and the income) without really being able to do much against them.

    I think china is worth it, but not all of it. Send a few men here and there, just to keep them on the down low. Focus most of your Transport men/art/tanks on India, and ANZAC. Like I said before, a minor factory, and 3 tanks a turn does a lot in that area. Yes that 18 IPCs, but still if you do the job right, you end up earning 60-70 IPCs a round.

    ~MadPup~


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Minor IC goes where, in your mind?


  • '10

    @Cmdr:

    Minor IC goes where, in your mind?

    Heck no!  For implanted comlinks, I want MAJOR IC!  I’m talking black like night, chummer.  That thing runs my gun arm and my smartlink–ain’t takin’ no chances.  Minor IC might be suitable for a Rebreather or sumpin’.


  • '10

    I thought that you could not build a Major IC on foreign soil?  If this is the Case, as Japan you must build a Minor IC, or have a major all the way in Korea.

    Am I right?


  • '10

    Yes.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    You can build a major industrial complex in Korea.  Korea is worth 3 IPC.  Thing is, I am not sure if it is worth it since yer right next to Japan and I doubt Japan’s going to have 30 IPC for ground forces to fill Korea + enough for 6+ naval ships to make adequate (in my mind) use of the home IC.



  • @Cmdr:

    Minor IC goes where, in your mind?

    I put it in Shanghai.

    @FieldMarshalGames:

    I thought that you could not build a Major IC on foreign soil?

    I knew that, but if you capture a IC, you convert it to a minor. Now can you upgrade it to a major, even though its on foreign soil? Or can’t you?

    Also is my signature to big, or is it fine? I got kicked off other forums for pictures being too big.

    ~MadPup~


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