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Japan strategy please



  • this month I am playing Japan against a very good UK player and a Pacific aggressive American player. I need help because I have only played Japan once and I was completely lost. We play Alfa +2.



  • @Trisdin:

    this month I am playing Japan against a very good UK player and a Pacific aggressive American player. I need help because I have only played Japan once and I was completely lost. We play Alfa +2.

    The thing you got to keep in mind with the Japanese is they have options… lots of them.  The allies on turn 1 will wait and see what you do before they start making their moves.  You should ask yourself, “What are my goals with Japan?”, and than execute that plan.

    Lets see… general rule of thumb with Japan, never attack Turn 1.  You need to ready yourself first before you launch your campaign, and you are never ready turn 1.  This gives you some breathing room and an extra +10 IPC from USA.  You also might get the added bonus of India and Anzac declaring war on you turn 1 to get their bonus’s.

    Your overall objective should always be turning USA’s eyes away from the Europe board, this will give your Axis brothers time to kill Russia.  If USA is 100% Europe, than your objective at that point is to win the game for your team.

    Your first order of business is to always dive into China and Russia.  Think about building a Minor or Major in Korea to further this endeavor.  Mech and Tanks go North (after smashing Russia 18 infantry), than Infantry and Artillery to the South.

    When India see’s China in trouble, it’s going to build ground troops, this is your chance!  You pre-built fleet grabs some transports and loads from Japan, and you march on down and take those Dutch Islands and Threaten India.  Take a good eye to convoy India while doing this.  REMEMBER TO KEEP PRESSURE INLAND.  Don’t let them build a fleet to counter your own.  Play Defensive with Anzac and USA while heading south.  Keep an eye on what can hit you, and keep enough sea units to take hits.  Remember to put planes your carriers in Sea Zone 6 and take hits on them and just put your planes back on Japan.  Don’t let them nail you with subs, keep enough Destroyers.

    After India is down, you nail Hawaii and Anzac with all you got!


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Good advice from the destroyer.

    I was gonna say, just roll over and die.

    Seriously, I think the Allies have a HUUUGE advantage in Alpha 2, and Japan is very difficult to succeed with.  It’s essentially 1 on 5.



  • @gamerman01:

    Good advice from the destroyer.

    I was gonna say, just roll over and die.

    Seriously, I think the Allies have a HUUUGE advantage in Alpha 2, and Japan is very difficult to succeed with.  It’s essentially 1 on 5.

    I disagree with the HUUUGE advantage part. Japan starts the game at war with China only. That sounds like 1V1 to me.  By the time it’s 1V5 Japan should be earning around 70 IPC’s per turn. Don’t forget Japan’s starting fleet takes USA several turns to match and that is if they are spending all in the Pacific.



  • That’s great advice Dark one. What round do you suggest attacking the soviet union?



  • I play Japan quite a bit and what I’ve realized is that Japan basically has four areas that it can put resources into, but it only has enough money to focus on 3 of those areas. The areas are the Pacific, the DEI, China/Southeast Asia, and Russia. Now it’s not impossible to do all 4 and sometimes the Allies let you get away with it, but I usually plan to focus on 3 of those

    Now I usually always put resources into the Pacific (US fleet) and the DEI. Which leaves you a choice of going after Russia or Southeast Asia. I usually focus on China and southeast Asia since if you let that area get away from you they’re going to sweep up and take away all of your coastal territories (which you can let them do to some extent if your goal is to sweep across Northern Russia as fast as possible). But if you take out the Chinese now you can threaten Russia on 2 fronts while removing one of your enemies.

    For the question of when to attack Russia it really depends on what they’re doing. If they stack all of their forces in Amur on Round 1 send everything you have to take them out. They’ll only try that once. Also, if they stack a huge force in Sakha on the first round, then unload everything you can into Amur on your first turn and put a bunch of airforce in range. Now you have them trapped since they can only move to Buryatia, you can lose a fair amount of airforce in the attack but the whole of northern Russia is now yours.

    A round 2 attack on Russia can be pretty effective since you can take all of the coastal territories and push them back pretty effectively.

    One last thing, if your airforce is in Kwangsi and China has taken back Yunnan with minimal force and stacked in Szechwan, then send your whole airforce to attack Szechwan. You’ll wipe out all of the inf, and China will lose it’s only fighter. I just did that in a game and took out 5 inf, 1 ftr for the cost of 1 of my fighters. Definitely worth it.



  • What dose everyone think about taking away the allies NOs?. Japan would need to hold everything they have plus Alaska, Guam or Wake, a island above Aulstralia and Kwangtung from the Brits. It would prevent the allies from gaining money but on the other hand, it spreads the Japs ou alot.



  • @Trisdin:

    What dose everyone think about taking away the allies NOs?. Japan would need to hold everything they have plus Alaska, Guam or Wake, a island above Aulstralia and Kwangtung from the Brits. It would prevent the allies from gaining money but on the other hand, it spreads the Japs ou alot.

    While your at it why not take away the Axis NO’s as well>


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    @Idi:

    @Trisdin:

    What dose everyone think about taking away the allies NOs?. Japan would need to hold everything they have plus Alaska, Guam or Wake, a island above Aulstralia and Kwangtung from the Brits. It would prevent the allies from gaining money but on the other hand, it spreads the Japs ou alot.

    While your at it why not take away the Allied NO’s as well>

    Did you mean…. er… JAPAN’s??  Like while you’re at it, get Japan’s NO’s?

    Seems like a decent idea, Trisdin.



  • It would be very difficult I understand, but Japan can’t just stand by and allow all the enemy powers that surround it to cash in on so much bonus money round after round. I’m not saying that Japan can or should go on a crazy campaign all over the ocean denying every allied NO, but there should definitely be some plan in place to take away some NOs and with enough force to keep that money out of their hands for good. The question is what are the NOs that can realistically be taken and held?. Can Japan take and hold Alaska? can they take and hold both the Philippines and an island like Wake or Guam?



  • @Trisdin:

    That’s great advice Dark one. What round do you suggest attacking the soviet union?

    This is the wrong question.  Wait for the Soviets to attack you first, you got enough on your plate at game start as it is to start worrying about Siberia.  Take the +12 IPCs and use it to take the DEI, you get more for those territories anyway.

    Now, if the Russian player stacks in Amur on R1, go right ahead and pwn his stack.  Totally worth it then when you’re at max strength and can concentrate your attack.



  • @Trisdin:

    It would be very difficult I understand, but Japan can’t just stand by and allow all the enemy powers that surround it to cash in on so much bonus money round after round. I’m not saying that Japan can or should go on a crazy campaign all over the ocean denying every allied NO, but there should definitely be some plan in place to take away some NOs and with enough force to keep that money out of their hands for good. The question is what are the NOs that can realistically be taken and held?. Can Japan take and hold Alaska? can they take and hold both the Philippines and an island like Wake or Guam?

    It would be very difficult for Japan to deny UKP/ANZAC’s NOs while also denying the US NOs with enough force to keep them out of the allies hands for good.

    The most important NOs to take away from the Allies (and the easiest) are making sure UKP doesn’t have all of it’s original territories (taking Malaya gets rid of the same NO for ANZAC) and taking Dutch New Guinea.

    As for the NOs that you’re going to be fighting with the US for, those are impossible to permanently deny unless the US player is either bad, or really not spending any money in the Pacific (the only exception is the Philippines). You can easily swing up from Japan and take the Aleutian Islands and Alaska in 1 turn, but good luck keeping them since the US will be spending all of their sizable income on taking them back.

    I would favour spreading out and taking the NOs away as the situation dictates. Whenever the US is out of position, drop your forces to nab the critical territory and block US access as much as possible.



  • The two biggest bang for the buck are:
    Malaya (3$ plus a lost  3 IPC and 10$ in NOs for the allies)
    Solomon Islands denies 5 to ANZAC, works towards denying 5$ to USA and works towards gaining 5$ for USA

    Japan gets the advantage of choosing when to strike …. I would recomend if you are not going to tangle with Russia early … set up to nerf most if not all of the allied NOS in that first strike.

    Aleutians easy – don’t bother about getting it back
    Phillipines a little harder but easy – plan to hold
    Swing into Guadacanal from The Carolines – might be worth trying to hold
    If your not going to get Singapore  grab either Borneo or Gilbert
    Consider grabbing Johnston or Line later it can be a pain to get back and usually costs Uncle Sam 5-15



  • Thanks Darby, that was an excellent assessment. I will look at my board and strategize this weekend keeping your report in mind. Good work. What does everyone think about a transport, an aircraft carrier and 1 infantry as a turn 1 buy for Japan? I want to split my fleet into two and send one island hoping while the other sails up and down the coast. When the U.S enters I will bring everything back home. Is that a good strategy for my ships?



  • @Trisdin:

    Thanks Darby, that was an excellent assessment. I will look at my board and strategize this weekend keeping your report in mind. Good work. What does everyone think about a transport, an aircraft carrier and 1 infantry as a turn 1 buy for Japan? I want to split my fleet into two and send one island hoping while the other sails up and down the coast. When the U.S enters I will bring everything back home. Is that a good strategy for my ships?

    I would probably get more transports, I consider 2 the minimum amount you would want to buy. 3 is nice too since you’ll then have enough to take almost all of your targets on a turn 3 attack. The 2 buys I usually look at is 3 trn, 1 art for a heavy invasion force, or 2 trn, 2 ss for a more well-balanced buy.

    Splitting in two is a good idea, usually I put 1 in sz33, and the other in sz36. I favour stacking in sz33 on the first round since it puts ANZAC and the US on their toes, put a smaller fleet in sz36 (1 bb, 1 ca, 1 dd, 1 ss). Then on the 2nd round I shift some units to sz36 and get ready for my attack on the DEI.

    On the round that the US is going to attack, you don’t really need a huge fleet in sz6. Put 1 destroyer in sz16 to block (assuming the US is off of Hawaii) and put your Caroline Islands fleet into sz35 (Philippines). Then you can backup your southern fleet, are in a good position to attack ANZAC, Malaya, or counterattack the Carolines, and can always swing up to sz6 to defend Japan. Don’t forget that if you don’t have any ships (or little defense) in sz6 on the turn USA is attacking they can use the planes on their carriers to clear the seazone and then non-com into sz6. Which could be OK for you since you’ll probably be in a position to wipe them out, but just be mindful.



  • @Trisdin:

    Thanks Darby, that was an excellent assessment. I will look at my board and strategize this weekend keeping your report in mind. Good work. What does everyone think about a transport, an aircraft carrier and 1 infantry as a turn 1 buy for Japan? I want to split my fleet into two and send one island hoping while the other sails up and down the coast. When the U.S enters I will bring everything back home. Is that a good strategy for my ships?

    Thank You for starting the thread!
    It got me thinking and I wanted to hear others’ thoughts.

    When I’ve played it has been more going for the win (in which case Japan’s job is to pressure Russia - and worry USA to spending in the Pacific without any real attempt at Co-prosperity sphere – just buy Germany Time/ Space)

    I think its kind of cool to try and play Japan acting in its own interests —
    (in any case nerfing USA NOs will stir the pot, draw attn, and maybe help Germany that way)



  • That’s great advice, you really giving me some good strategies. Thanks



  • If your  goal in the game is just to get an Axis win overall you can essentially sacrifice Japan to get an Axis win in Europe. There are several ways to do this like going hard into Russia or blitzing the U.S. and taking all their perimeter territories opening up the Panama Canal for Japanese actions in the Atlantic.



  • @aaron91:

    If your  goal in the game is just to get an Axis win overall you can essentially sacrifice Japan to get an Axis win in Europe. There are several ways to do this like going hard into Russia or blitzing the U.S. and taking all their perimeter territories opening up the Panama Canal for Japanese actions in the Atlantic.

    please share in detail this winning strat>



  • @Trisdin:

    this month I am playing Japan against a very good UK player and a Pacific aggressive American player. I need help because I have only played Japan once and I was completely lost. We play Alfa +2.

    Kiss your ass good bye.  Hold on long enough for Germany and Italy to Kill Russia.



  • @Daedelus:

    @Trisdin:

    this month I am playing Japan against a very good UK player and a Pacific aggressive American player. I need help because I have only played Japan once and I was completely lost. We play Alfa +2.

    Kiss your a** good bye.  Hold on long enough for Germany and Italy to Kill Russia.

    as long as I’m giving up before I even roll my first dice, the least I could do is help hit Russia from the east.(I mean while I’m kissing my a** goodbye).



  • Don’t attack Russia from the east.  You’ll dilute your forces out and the territories aren’t worth it.  “That’s Stalin’s territory!  You want your armies over HERE.”  Use your time in the game keeping the US bogged down the Pacific, so they can’t send forces into Europe.

    Concentrate on taking the DEI first before any of the other Allies in the Pacific get a chance, preferably on J2.  Build transports on J1 so you’ll have greater spread throughout the Pacific in taking the DEI oil islands.  On J2 launch a monster attack with most of your fleet to capture them all.  Leave enough boats to protect your transports so you can use them later to reinforce everywhere.  After that, try to match the US boat for boat, bring back your airplanes from the mainland gradually to land on carriers, and generally maintain a stalemate with the US while sending enough troops into Asia to knockout India.  Attack the US fleets once you have numerical superiority if they start ignoring you and sending more stuff into Europe.

    Make sure you take as much of the DEI as you can on J2, and don’t let the Allies get a foothold on them or both India and Australia will be impossible.  Try to keep China mowed down every turn if you can, but you can afford to lose territory in China compared to the amount of money available in the Pacific.  Minor ICs in FIC and Malaya work wonders in keeping the troops coming for the final push too.



  • This is great stuff. Anyone playing japan should read this thread.



  • When Japan attacks on J2 US takes Gibraltar US2



  • I would never attack the states before turn 4, the only exception is if sealion was successful.


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