Does Japan need to be house ruled to weaken them?


  • So we’ve gotten to the point in our house games where Japan has 1 unstoppable strategy. Two IC’s in Asia on J1. Assuming the Japanese player isn’t retarded he starts with more than enough navy to keep the Americans at bay for 4 or 5 turns. With 6 tanks/inf/art per turn in Asia with air support we’ve repeatedly had them blow through any resistance, including and excluding IC’s in Sinkang or India.

    Leaving the allies with 1 option, blitz Germany. Which, on a lot of occasions, we can manage before Japan takes all of Russia. But it makes for repetitive games. I know this isn’t the house rule forum, but do you think this needs a house rule to prevent this scenario? A simple one would be no J1 IC building allowed. Or increasing the price of Japanese IC.


  • @Mr.Biggg:

    So we’ve gotten to the point in our house games where Japan has 1 unstoppable strategy. Two IC’s in Asia on J1. Assuming the Japanese player isn’t retarded he starts with more than enough navy to keep the Americans at bay for 4 or 5 turns.

    Almost. 2 ICs on Asia means that J will not buy a destroyer for J1 nor transports. It means its fleet will be locked into 2 SZs, since it will need to use its battleships to defend against the UK and US subs.
    No transports also mean less units that can reach Africa on the next turns, helping the Allies to retake Africa from any German thrust. Plus to keep those ICs occupied it will have to spend some 18-30 IPCs just for units on the mainland.
    Usually if Japan takes the ‘Light Pearl’ option against SZ52 it will lose at least the cruiser during that attack (with the US submerging the submarine). An usual US buy can be 1 carrier, 2 destroyers and 1 cruiser. That gives it a force of 1 AC, 1 BB, 1 CA, 2 DDs (1 moving on US1 to SZ54 from Panama) and 2 FTRs to take the Solomons on US2, if it sends 1 DD to Wake to act as a blocker against the fleet at SZ60.
    It really depends on the Japanese moves and if it has send units to destroy the UK units on the Indian ocean but a 2 IC buy can be a really bad move for Japan if they lose any planes or major capital ships on J1 and the US decides to send everything to the Pacific. Japan now has 2 territories on Asia that need to defend at all costs (when 1 falls the other is usually doomed) plus defending Japan and the money islands from the US fleet. Of course, what Germany will do with the US going full Pacific might be enough to take down Russia.

    But even if you don’t want to go Pacific then it’s a matter of getting to Germany (or reinforcing Russia) first than the Japanese. The 2 IC buy is also suboptimal for Japan because it will keep a lot of Japanese infantry on the islands enjoying the beach instead of using them against Russia. And if Japan buys only tanks it is even worse because they’ll advance individually and can be easy pickings for the Russians during the middle game.


  • @Hobbes:

    @Mr.Biggg:

    So we’ve gotten to the point in our house games where Japan has 1 unstoppable strategy. Two IC’s in Asia on J1. Assuming the Japanese player isn’t retarded he starts with more than enough navy to keep the Americans at bay for 4 or 5 turns.

    Almost. 2 ICs on Asia means that J will not buy a destroyer for J1 nor transports. It means its fleet will be locked into 2 SZs, since it will need to use its battleships to defend against the UK and US subs.
    No transports also mean less units that can reach Africa on the next turns, helping the Allies to retake Africa from any German thrust. Plus to keep those ICs occupied it will have to spend some 18-30 IPCs just for units on the mainland.
    Usually if Japan takes the ‘Light Pearl’ option against SZ52 it will lose at least the cruiser during that attack (with the US submerging the submarine). An usual US buy can be 1 carrier, 2 destroyers and 1 cruiser. That gives it a force of 1 AC, 1 BB, 1 CA, 2 DDs (1 moving on US1 to SZ54 from Panama) and 2 FTRs to take the Solomons on US2, if it sends 1 DD to Wake to act as a blocker against the fleet at SZ60.
    It really depends on the Japanese moves and if it has send units to destroy the UK units on the Indian ocean but a 2 IC buy can be a really bad move for Japan if they lose any planes or major capital ships on J1 and the US decides to send everything to the Pacific. Japan now has 2 territories on Asia that need to defend at all costs (when 1 falls the other is usually doomed) plus defending Japan and the money islands from the US fleet. Of course, what Germany will do with the US going full Pacific might be enough to take down Russia.

    But even if you don’t want to go Pacific then it’s a matter of getting to Germany (or reinforcing Russia) first than the Japanese. The 2 IC buy is also suboptimal for Japan because it will keep a lot of Japanese infantry on the islands enjoying the beach instead of using them against Russia. And if Japan buys only tanks it is even worse because they’ll advance individually and can be easy pickings for the Russians during the middle game.

    Huh, I’ve never seen Japan run into the troubles you are describing, mayhaps we just aren’t using Allied Navy to full potential. Let me run this by you, was our situation last game if I remember right:

    UK1: Carrier and Transport to Borneo, Cruiser to sz59 to kill Jap transport, sub to jap sub and sz40 transport to new guinea.
    J1: 1BB 1 carrier 2 Ftr, 1 Trans to Borneo , 1 sub 1 BB 1 Cr 1 Car 2 Ftr to Hawaii (this seemed a bit much to me, but I wasn’t the one playing Jap). 1 Ftr and 1 Bmb to kill the cruiser

    Japan took zero losses, realistically could only lose a fighter in SZ59. I don’t think I’ve ever lost a capital ship as Japan in J1.
    So this leaves far to much to counter in Hawaii, then an easy retreat J2, the transport is already positioned to start offloading islands and a second transport can be built J2 or J3. The J fleet at this point is 2 BB 2 Ca 1 Cruiser 1 Sub, time to build some destroyers and plenty of fighters and bombers within reach if the American approach anything important.


  • @Mr.Biggg:

    Huh, I’ve never seen Japan run into the troubles you are describing, mayhaps we just aren’t using Allied Navy to full potential. Let me run this by you, was our situation last game if I remember right:

    UK1: Carrier and Transport to Borneo, Cruiser to sz59 to kill Jap transport, sub to jap sub and sz40 transport to new guinea.
    J1: 1BB 1 carrier 2 Ftr, 1 Trans to Borneo , 1 sub 1 BB 1 Cr 1 Car 2 Ftr to Hawaii (this seemed a bit much to me, but I wasn’t the one playing Jap). 1 Ftr and 1 Bmb to kill the cruiser

    Japan took zero losses, realistically could only lose a fighter in SZ59. I don’t think I’ve ever lost a capital ship as Japan in J1.
    So this leaves far to much to counter in Hawaii, then an easy retreat J2, the transport is already positioned to start offloading islands and a second transport can be built J2 or J3. The J fleet at this point is 2 BB 2 Ca 1 Cruiser 1 Sub, time to build some destroyers and plenty of fighters and bombers within reach if the American approach anything important.

    With the Allies I’d usually use the UK transport to retake and position the carrier to be a landing pad for fighters to kill the German fleet on SZ15 if it tries to retake Egypt. And I’d also have moved the 6 Russian infantry to Buryatia - Japan can still destroy them but it will take a lot of resources.
    A full Pearl attack can prevent the Americans from attacking the Japanese fleet on SZ52 but the US can still build a fleet to challenge the Japanese on the Pacific. Usually it is better to go Europe instead though - a big half of the Japanese fleet is away from Africa/Indian Ocean and there’s almost no transports for Japan to perform landings.

    What are the usual moves for Russia/Germany/UK in your games?


  • @Hobbes:

    @Mr.Biggg:

    Huh, I’ve never seen Japan run into the troubles you are describing, mayhaps we just aren’t using Allied Navy to full potential. Let me run this by you, was our situation last game if I remember right:

    UK1: Carrier and Transport to Borneo, Cruiser to sz59 to kill Jap transport, sub to jap sub and sz40 transport to new guinea.
    J1: 1BB 1 carrier 2 Ftr, 1 Trans to Borneo , 1 sub 1 BB 1 Cr 1 Car 2 Ftr to Hawaii (this seemed a bit much to me, but I wasn’t the one playing Jap). 1 Ftr and 1 Bmb to kill the cruiser

    Japan took zero losses, realistically could only lose a fighter in SZ59. I don’t think I’ve ever lost a capital ship as Japan in J1.
    So this leaves far to much to counter in Hawaii, then an easy retreat J2, the transport is already positioned to start offloading islands and a second transport can be built J2 or J3. The J fleet at this point is 2 BB 2 Ca 1 Cruiser 1 Sub, time to build some destroyers and plenty of fighters and bombers within reach if the American approach anything important.

    With the Allies I’d usually use the UK transport to retake and position the carrier to be a landing pad for fighters to kill the German fleet on SZ15 if it tries to retake Egypt. And I’d also have moved the 6 Russian infantry to Buryatia - Japan can still destroy them but it will take a lot of resources.
    A full Pearl attack can prevent the Americans from attacking the Japanese fleet on SZ52 but the US can still build a fleet to challenge the Japanese on the Pacific. Usually it is better to go Europe instead though - a big half of the Japanese fleet is away from Africa/Indian Ocean and there’s almost no transports for Japan to perform landings.

    What are the usual moves for Russia/Germany/UK in your games?

    There is a bit of variance still, but we are settling in the area of:

    Russia loads up inf and a sub in R1 takes some combination of Norway, West Russia, Ukraine. Land fighters in Caucasus. Load 6 inf in Bur R1 and taken Manchuria in R2 if available. From there does a bit of back and forth with Germany and tries to slow down Japan where possible.
    Germany takes anglo-egypt G1 (losing battleship in round 2, though I am personally rethinking this one), kills UK BB if still have Norway, kills sz1 tranny if not. Take back Ukraine and consolidate ground forces wherever logical. Build some subs and bomber +inf&art.
    UK builds carrier and 2 destroyers U1, transports/ships/inf/art afterwards. Land in West Europe where available, otherwise come in from Norway. Most of the time UK1 retakes anglo-Egypt with carrier and trans, but i was just demonstrating the maximum pain you can do to Japan. Though, I don’t know what you mean by landing pad for fighters, whose fighters? Planes from UK can’t get there and the Russians can make it back to Caucasus.


  • @Mr.Biggg:

    There is a bit of variance still, but we are settling in the area of:

    Russia loads up inf and a sub in R1 takes some combination of Norway, West Russia, Ukraine. Land fighters in Caucasus. Load 6 inf in Bur R1 and taken Manchuria in R2 if available. From there does a bit of back and forth with Germany and tries to slow down Japan where possible.
    Germany takes anglo-egypt G1 (losing battleship in round 2, though I am personally rethinking this one), kills UK BB if still have Norway, kills sz1 tranny if not. Take back Ukraine and consolidate ground forces wherever logical. Build some subs and bomber +inf&art.
    UK builds carrier and 2 destroyers U1, transports/ships/inf/art afterwards. Land in West Europe where available, otherwise come in from Norway. Most of the time UK1 retakes anglo-Egypt with carrier and trans, but i was just demonstrating the maximum pain you can do to Japan. Though, I don’t know what you mean by landing pad for fighters, whose fighters? Planes from UK can’t get there and the Russians can make it back to Caucasus.

    If you move the UK fighters to West Russia after they are done killing the German Baltic fleet they can be used to kill any German fleet on SZ16. But the UK will either need to retain control of Jordan or pull back the Indian ocean carrier to the SZ between Kenya and Madagascar.


  • @Hobbes:

    If you move the UK fighters to West Russia after they are done killing the German Baltic fleet they can be used to kill any German fleet on SZ16. But the UK will either need to retain control of Jordan or pull back the Indian ocean carrier to the SZ between Kenya and Madagascar.

    Interesting, without fighters does UK build Navy on UK1, if so how do they protect it from Germany G2?


  • @Mr.Biggg:

    @Hobbes:

    If you move the UK fighters to West Russia after they are done killing the German Baltic fleet they can be used to kill any German fleet on SZ16. But the UK will either need to retain control of Jordan or pull back the Indian ocean carrier to the SZ between Kenya and Madagascar.

    Interesting, without fighters does UK build Navy on UK1, if so how do they protect it from Germany G2?

    If you place the UK navy on SZ8 or SZ2 then 2 US fighters can land on the UK carrier on US1.


  • Ah ok. So this is in case you kill the battleship on R2 and Germany builds say, a cruiser and a transport. or combo with UK bomber and go after German Battleship (suddenly liking this idea, then no need for Russian sub, course then you give Germany two rounds to drop)?


  • @Mr.Biggg:

    Ah ok. So this is in case you kill the battleship on R2 and Germany builds say, a cruiser and a transport. or combo with UK bomber and go after German Battleship (suddenly liking this idea, then no need for Russian sub, course then you give Germany two rounds to drop)?

    Was actually just thinking, ever hit the Med on UK1. It’s risky but its 60-20-20 with 1 bomber+1 Ftr. Course then you are probably hitting Egypt with 3inf 1 cruiser, which may prove tricky.


  • @Mr.Biggg:

    @Mr.Biggg:

    Ah ok. So this is in case you kill the battleship on R2 and Germany builds say, a cruiser and a transport. or combo with UK bomber and go after German Battleship (suddenly liking this idea, then no need for Russian sub, course then you give Germany two rounds to drop)?

    Was actually just thinking, ever hit the Med on UK1. It’s risky but its 60-20-20 with 1 bomber+1 Ftr. Course then you are probably hitting Egypt with 3inf 1 cruiser, which may prove tricky.

    If you miss G gets a free hand in Africa. Using the Russians to kill that fleet takes away their planes against the Germans.

    I usually also land the US on Algeria on US1, even though the transports will be destroyed on G2. Usually, the sooner you start retaking Africa from the Germans the better.


  • This is the state of the game, just before J1 (I’m playing Allies, I opponent has retired to think it over):

    I’m enacting Operation Iron Horde (detailed under “Russian moves to start the game”).  He faces: India (2 Russian fighters, 1 Russian tank, 2 UK inf, AA and IC); China (2 US inf, 1 US fighter, 1 UK fighter); Borneo (1 UK inf); New Guinea (2 UK inf); Buryatia (6 Russian inf), Sinkiang (2 Russian tanks, 2 US inf); SZ45 (UK sub, JP sub); SZ15 (2 UK cruisers, UK carrier); Egypt (1 German tank).

    Would you still make your standard J1 move?

  • '16 '15 '10

    I’m pretty sure you aren’t following the rules correctly if that’s your position.  For one thing, the ac couldn’t come through the Suez Canal if Germany controls Egypt at the end of G2.

    Anyway that’s a very lucky start for Allies.  New Guinea and Borneo for instance are pretty dicey–34% of the time you will lose in those battles.  Certainly there’s no ideal Japan response–it’s probably best to play fairly conservative.  Attack Pearl, attack Borneo, and attack China very hard–7 inf + 4-5 figs.


  • Good point on the Suez.  😮 I never had the cruiser survive G1 (high spirits I suppose), we’ll have to resolve that before we continue…
    Glad you pointed that out before we had some sort of butterfly effect.  Thanks.


  • @Nomarclegs:

    This is the state of the game, just before J1 (I’m playing Allies, I opponent has retired to think it over):

    I’m enacting Operation Iron Horde (detailed under “Russian moves to start the game”).  He faces: India (2 Russian fighters, 1 Russian tank, 2 UK inf, AA and IC); China (2 US inf, 1 US fighter, 1 UK fighter); Borneo (1 UK inf); New Guinea (2 UK inf); Buryatia (6 Russian inf), Sinkiang (2 Russian tanks, 2 US inf); SZ45 (UK sub, JP sub); SZ15 (2 UK cruisers, UK carrier); Egypt (1 German tank).

    Would you still make your standard J1 move?

    Hrm, that’s exceptionally Japan focused and rolls went pretty well for allies, but lets go with it. Also, Germany let you keep that second cruiser alive? So lets go through a couple mental rounds of this scenario with two IC’s. J1 retakes borneo. Pearl Harbor (for the sake of argument goes overwhelming). Knocks off UK cruiser. Not sure where you have UK carrier, so we’ll leave that be. J1 takes china, leaves buryatia alone. This leaves, say 2-3 inf in China, 2 inf 2-3 planes in French Indo-China and an IC in Kwangtun and FIC.

    US1 builds some fleet, in the scenario described Japan would have 1 bb 1 cr 1 sub 1 ca and 2 ftr in hawaii and is safe from counter.

    R2 takes Manchuria with 6 inf, could try FIC with 1 tank and 2 FTR, but would have almost zero chance. Probably uses 2 ftr + 2 tanks in China. loses 1-2 tanks lands back in India.
    UK2 builds 3 units in india, Maybe has a bomber in range? not sure, any attempts would be risky.
    So lets see J2, could go with 5 planes 1 bomber, 3 inf 1 tank + 1 bombard into india, gives about a 75% chance. Then land fighters in Kwangtun to defend against remaining 6 R inf and tank. Or just turtle up, Build 3 units in FIC, 3 in Kwang, land 4 planes in Kwangtun, 3 in FIC. That would leave something like 3 inf 1 tank 5 planes 1 bomber plus whatever 6 units you build to defend against a round 2 push, should be more than enough. Pull the Navy into, say, sz 49. Meanwhile what is defending Russia?


  • @Nomarclegs:

    This is the state of the game, just before J1 (I’m playing Allies, I opponent has retired to think it over):

    I’m enacting Operation Iron Horde (detailed under “Russian moves to start the game”).  He faces: India (2 Russian fighters, 1 Russian tank, 2 UK inf, AA and IC); China (2 US inf, 1 US fighter, 1 UK fighter); Borneo (1 UK inf); New Guinea (2 UK inf); Buryatia (6 Russian inf), Sinkiang (2 Russian tanks, 2 US inf); SZ45 (UK sub, JP sub); SZ15 (2 UK cruisers, UK carrier); Egypt (1 German tank).

    Would you still make your standard J1 move?

    Oh lol, just noticed you said SZ15, thought this was up in England. But yeah, as other guy pointed out, this is not possible. Also, you didn’t send anything to help with Borneo then?


  • So… We decided that I could do only moves, no attacking with the fleet that… sneaked through Suez… in the dead of night?..
    UK Indian Ocean fleet stayed put Med cruiser went to the other side of Gib.

    My opponent bought: IC, transport, destroyer; attacked India with literally everything he could (4 fighters, 1 bomber, 2 inf); I got one with AA.  He pulled back to FIC with 1 bomber and 1 inf (fighter to carrier of Kwangtung). leaving me both Russian fighters and the tank (weird dice there).  He killed both UK transports with East Indian battleship and cruiser.  Pearl-lite: Battleship, sub, 2 fighters (BB lived). He turtled in Kwang adding 2 inf from Japan and 2 from Manchuria (East Indian carrier (with fighter) protects transport off China; Central Pacific carrier and new destroyer protect new transport off Japan.

    Must go to work now.  More to come…


  • Yes, Japan’s setup needs to be changed in order to weaken them. Germany’s setup should be weakened OR the allie’s setup be strengthened.


  • @nutbar:

    Yes, Japan’s setup needs to be changed in order to weaken them. Germany’s setup should be weakened OR the allie’s setup be strengthened.

    I wouldn’t agree with #2. I think this game is fantastically well balanced. I was just arguing that the original setup of Japan encourages a Moscow vs Berlin race.


  • @Nomarclegs:  I’m not going to dig through another thread to look for “Iron Horde”.  You want comments, give good details.  Like my saying Japan should use the “Voltron” strategy probably isn’t going to help you understand what I’m talking about.  (Clearly you could ALSO use “Macross” or “Robotech”.)

    @nutbar:  You’re claiming Japan should be weakened, and that Germany should be weakened or Allies strengthened.  Please provide specific reasoning if you can.  Otherwise, the discussion devolves quickly into one side claiming apples are better, and another side claiming oranges are better.  Of course, maybe that’s what you want, a show of hands.  For my part, I preferred apples a couple years ago, but I like oranges a lot more these days.  Tomatoes are also very nice for chicken dishes, or for throwing at angry young gophers.  Perhaps the gophers are angry because I’m throwing tomatoes at them, but I digress.

    @Biggg:  Claiming it’s a Moscow vs Berlin race is, I think, correct.  Particularly given Japan’s large starting navy and air force, with US having little to match, plus difficulty for UK and Russia in getting reinforcements to that area, plus the difficulty of 1) UK maintaining control of Africa, and 2) of UK threatening a West Europe invasion without US support (threatening West Europe forces Germany to either add a lot of units to Western Europe to defend, removing units from attack on Russia, or has Germany abandon West Europe, giving Allies a much easier time moving fleet in the Atlantic.  (For example, German bombers on Western Europe threaten a lot of the African coast, can hit points in Africa, can hit any number of territories in Russia, threaten all sea zones around London, and threaten any US transports maintaining a East Canada-London transport chain (forcing Allies to build additional escorts for such transports).

    BUT I’d say that’s just the nature of the game.  If you want a different experience, try looking for something like Pact of Steel (it’s a version of Axis and Allies on the TripleA platform).  There, Australia and Union of South Africa are worth 3 IPC, and China and Italy are added as powers, changing the game dynamic to the point that Kill Japan First strategies are (in my opinion) feasible.  You could try house rules too, but strengthen Germany to compensate.


  • @Bunnies:

    @Nomarclegs:  I’m not going to dig through another thread to look for “Iron Horde”.  You want comments, give good details.  Like my saying Japan should use the “Voltron” strategy probably isn’t going to help you understand what I’m talking about.  (Clearly you could ALSO use “Macross” or “Robotech”.)

    @nutbar:  You’re claiming Japan should be weakened, and that Germany should be weakened or Allies strengthened.  Please provide specific reasoning if you can.  Otherwise, the discussion devolves quickly into one side claiming apples are better, and another side claiming oranges are better.  Of course, maybe that’s what you want, a show of hands.  For my part, I preferred apples a couple years ago, but I like oranges a lot more these days.  Tomatoes are also very nice for chicken dishes, or for throwing at angry young gophers.  Perhaps the gophers are angry because I’m throwing tomatoes at them, but I digress.

    @Biggg:  Claiming it’s a Moscow vs Berlin race is, I think, correct.  Particularly given Japan’s large starting navy and air force, with US having little to match, plus difficulty for UK and Russia in getting reinforcements to that area, plus the difficulty of 1) UK maintaining control of Africa, and 2) of UK threatening a West Europe invasion without US support (threatening West Europe forces Germany to either add a lot of units to Western Europe to defend, removing units from attack on Russia, or has Germany abandon West Europe, giving Allies a much easier time moving fleet in the Atlantic.  (For example, German bombers on Western Europe threaten a lot of the African coast, can hit points in Africa, can hit any number of territories in Russia, threaten all sea zones around London, and threaten any US transports maintaining a East Canada-London transport chain (forcing Allies to build additional escorts for such transports).

    BUT I’d say that’s just the nature of the game.  If you want a different experience, try looking for something like Pact of Steel (it’s a version of Axis and Allies on the TripleA platform).  There, Australia and Union of South Africa are worth 3 IPC, and China and Italy are added as powers, changing the game dynamic to the point that Kill Japan First strategies are (in my opinion) feasible.  You could try house rules too, but strengthen Germany to compensate.

    Yeah, true, I have been busy with school and not able to check out your version. I wonder if it would be possible to replace an existing Japanese ship with a few German Infantry for team balance.  I’ll look into Pact of Steel ASAP (screw grad school).


  • The axis do not need to be weakened. I find the opposite is true. They still need a bid. I do wish there was some way to get some more Pacific action going but we play KGF all the time now.


  • @Col.Stauffenberg:

    I do wish there was some way to get some more Pacific action going but we play KGF all the time now.

    Why not move the E US fleet to the coast of L.A. (as a house rule)? That’ll change your game and probably get the Pacific going.


  • @Bunnies:

    BUT I’d say that’s just the nature of the game.  If you want a different experience, try looking for something like Pact of Steel (it’s a version of Axis and Allies on the TripleA platform).  There, Australia and Union of South Africa are worth 3 IPC, and China and Italy are added as powers, changing the game dynamic to the point that Kill Japan First strategies are (in my opinion) feasible.  You could try house rules too, but strengthen Germany to compensate.

    I’ve played Pact of Steel quite a bit before Spring 1942 came out. It is a nice game but Axis has the advantage if German/Italy go straight to Russia through Ukraine - it is very hard for the Allies to defeat such a strat and going Pacific with the US would make it even worse.


  • My buddies and I played two games one Saturday a while ago. Everybody played the same power for both games. Allies won the first, and axis won the second. A&A Spring 1942 is very balanced.

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