What to do with Japan



  • There seems to be somewhat of a general consensus on what to do with Germany (Sea-Lion or at the very least feint it) and Italy (Africa, Middle East, Southern Russia).

    However, I was wondering what you guys think Japans primary focus should be, along with any secondary objectives. It seems to me that Japan is the hardest to play, given that a 100% Pacific strategy by the US is nearly impossible to overcome. With that being said, should the Japs simply try to hold on as long as possible, taking as much land in the meantime as they possibly can? Should they go for a knockout blow in Calcutta or NSW? Should they try to assist Germany by keeping the heat on the Russians in the east? Etc.


  • Customizer

    Well, in our games, the US player usually doesn’t go 100% Pacific.  Usually, a lot depends on whether Germany accomplishes Sealion.  If they do, then the US player will usually spend more in the Atlantic to try and liberate the Brits, keep Italy in check and try and get some pressure off of Russia.  If Germany doesn’t take London and starts off Barbarossa, then the US player will not spend much in the Atlantic because Britain should be able to harrass Germany enough to help out Russia some.  In that case, the US will spend closer to 80% or so in the Pacific and really give Japan a hard time.

    I would say the most important thing to do with Japan is get the DEI and keep them, which will probably necessitate destroying the Indian fleet and maybe even ANZAC’s small navy as well.  The Philippines, Malaya and Hong Kong are also important grabs.  With the DEI (+15), those three territories (+8) and the NO for the DEI (+5), you more than double Japan’s starting income.  Grab up as much of China as you can while working your way toward India.  Once you have Calcutta in your pocket, Japan should be making plenty of money for more warships and air force to take on the ever growing US Navy.
    I wouldn’t mess with trying to take Australia until AFTER you have Calcutta, and even then if you happen to have the chance to do so.  Your main priority by this point will be fending off the US Navy and protecting your capital from invasion.  Any major push toward Australia could leave you too weak back home and America could swoop in if you are not careful.  ANZAC is more of a nuisance than a real threat and if you can manage to keep enough troops on and warships around the DEI, you should be able to more or less neutralize them and deal with USA.
    Also, when I play Japan, I almost never attack Russia unless the Pacific war is going really good or Russia moves all those men west.  With those 18 infantry, there is too much commitment for too little gain up there.



  • As a general rule for the games I play, we normally assault China from the North, hard and make our way south, so that all your units end up at Britain’s doorstep (once China is done).
    An Issue I have with the current set up is that Russia has nothing to lose in the Pacific and if he thinks he MIGHT win in the West, in the beginning he throws all he has at Manchuria and Korea, and butchering the Japanese with the AA gun. in our games, either Russia or Japan attacks by J2. Japan because it’s afraid and wants the upper hand, or Russia because, honestly, why not?



  • I think it is important for Japan to try and influence the Europe board as fast and as strongly as possible.  I am currently running with the strategy of leaving China and attacking Russia J1.  In concert with this I send everything I can into Russia in an attempt to eat away at IPCS and troops, preventing those 18 inf from retreating to Moscow.

    As Japan I keep trying to find a way to ignore China, it cannot move outside its confines, so why even try and fight them?  I’d prefer to send those troops to SEAsia or Siberia.



  • @JimmyHat:

    As Japan I keep trying to find a way to ignore China, it cannot move outside its confines, so why even try and fight them?  I’d prefer to send those troops to SEAsia or Siberia.

    The only problem I run into is that two victory cities are in China.  On one hand it is really nice to have Japan help in Europe.  Giving up China would free up a lot of resources.  On the other hand I think it is important for Japan to put pressure on America to spend points in the Pacific if the Axis really wants to win in Europe.  If the USA knows Japan can’t win the game in the Pacific anymore once China is given up I think they would be free to spend most of their resources in Europe/Africa.



  • Well to me in the first half your primary objective should be Asia against the Chinese, British, Russians, etc, while holding off the American and Australian navies. Then after China is pretty much wiped out and Hong Kong see how the Germans are doing; if they have Leningrad or Stalingrad go for India if they have both move half your army in Asia towards Australia and start focusing your builds on navy to fight the Americans the other half with pressure India. Then once Australia is out begin to get ready to conquest Hawaii. If the Germans are being pushed out of Russia you need to then prepare to take West US, and if they continue to get penned in East US too. Then if they really really suck London, (but I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that 😉 )



  • i like the naval base in sumatra
    i once did it, combined with sealion
    if japan can take south africa (which is quite unexpected, and all remaining british forces are in egypt) they can quite upset the game balance towards axis.



  • Japan should:

    1. Utterly subjugate China with all possible resources.

    2. Create the infrastructure necessary to fight a land war, freeing your navy to do important work in the Pacific… so buy two to three Minor ICs along the coast.

    3. Build units in those factories capable of speed, to go with your air power. Don’t cry if you lose a mech infantry or two on the front… speed and dying for the Empire is their job.

    4. Build a fourth carrier when the moment is right, to be able to either completely lock down one sea zone, or split into two respectable navies… of course, it all depends if the US is splitting their efforts or dedicating themselves to knocking you out.

    5. Plan ahead for Russian involvement… after you’ve built fast forces, you should be building waves of infantry to methodically approach the front and deal with Russians. If they’ve already attacked you, thank them, and fight them opportunistically… you will wear them down.

    Yes, you’ve also taken the DEI, and you deal with India as much as humanly possible. The Phillipines becomes the key, because a half decent US player will stage in the Carolines in one way or another throughout the game.

    Japan is hard!



  • @Stalingradski:

    Japan should:

    1. Utterly subjugate China with all possible resources.

    2. Create the infrastructure necessary to fight a land war, freeing your navy to do important work in the Pacific… so buy two to three Minor ICs along the coast.

    3. Build units in those factories capable of speed, to go with your air power. Don’t cry if you lose a mech infantry or two on the front… speed and dying for the Empire is their job.

    4. Build a fourth carrier when the moment is right, to be able to either completely lock down one sea zone, or split into two respectable navies… of course, it all depends if the US is splitting their efforts or dedicating themselves to knocking you out.

    5. Plan ahead for Russian involvement… after you’ve built fast forces, you should be building waves of infantry to methodically approach the front and deal with Russians. If they’ve already attacked you, thank them, and fight them opportunistically… you will wear them down.

    Yes, you’ve also taken the DEI, and you deal with India as much as humanly possible. The Phillipines becomes the key, because a half decent US player will stage in the Carolines in one way or another throughout the game.

    Japan is hard!

    1. I totally agree.

    2. Agree, but often find 2 to be enough.

    3. I usually build only Armors in those minor IC

    4. Also agree. At sea a defensive tactic is better… you don’t need to invade US!!

    5. There I disagree. I attack Russia the very first turn. The 12IPC given if quicly gain back (in 3 turns)… Besides if you count the differentiel, for every -1IPC to russian, it’s +1 for Japan… so a difference of 2, for every piece of land, for every turn!!

    6. Aim NOs… so get yours and remove Allies one’s. Solomon island if very important in this. It removes both ANZAC’s NO and provide an extra island for Japan’s

    7. if allies go 100% pacific, I’m so please… because it’s a sure victory for Axis in Europe, and there’s no way US will ever conquer Japan.



    1. if allies go 100% pacific, I’m so please… because it’s a sure victory for Axis in Europe, and there’s no way US will ever conquer Japan.

    Victory is not at all sure in Europe. The Axis face an uphill battle there as well, granted they have a better chance than in the Pacific.



  • Man I need to learn how to quote on here  :?



  • @SSPanther:

    Man I need to learn how to quote on here  :?

    click the quote button and don’t delete anything that comes up when your about to post.



  • BigBadBruce - great point about attacking Russia - the 12 IPCs shouldn’t be a deterrent because you get it back quickly - I hadn’t thought about it that way… looking forward to it the next time I’m the Axis…

    Also - good call on the Solomons. That’s a thorn in the side of the Allies. It should be taken back pretty easily, but it would be an economic shift for a turn or two, which can mean a lot.



  • @Dylan:

    @SSPanther:

    Man I need to learn how to quote on here  :?

    click the quote button and don’t delete anything that comes up when your about to post.

    If you dont delete anything, how do some people quote certain points someone makes and not all of them, and how do people split the quotes up and comment on each of them?



  • Japan has to apply pressure to Russia from the get go. They need to do this for two reasons. One, the Japs need to do everything in their power from allowing those 18 infantry to get to Moscow. 2, considering Germany usually won’t invade until turns 2-4, when they do, they will face a Russia that is not making 37 ipcs in income. Not to mention that it obviously gives Japan Ipcs as well.


  • Customizer

    @SSPanther:

    If you dont delete anything, how do some people quote certain points someone makes and not all of them, and how do people split the quotes up and comment on each of them?

    When you insert a quote on your screen, at the very top there will be a line that says "@:

    ".  Then you simply get your cursor to the very end, hit “Enter”, and start typing what you want to say on the next line.  Once you enter your post, go back an look at it.  The other person’s quote should be in the blue box with your words underneath in the white box.


  • Customizer

    @Stalingradski:

    BigBadBruce - great point about attacking Russia - the 12 IPCs shouldn’t be a deterrent because you get it back quickly - I hadn’t thought about it that way… looking forward to it the next time I’m the Axis…

    Okay, I don’t understand something here.  When you guys are talking about the 12 IPCs, I am pretty sure you are talking about the NO that Russia gets when Japan declares war on Russia, right?  Basically, Russia gets a 12 IPC bonus if Japan attacks thus violating their Non-Agression Treaty.  You keep mentioning Japan “getting it back”.  Are you actually taking 12 IPCs FROM Japan and giving it to Russia when Japan attacks Russia?  I don’t think it works that way.  Russia gets the 12 IPCs but it doesn’t come from Japan.  It’s simply an extra bonus for the Soviet Union.
    What about if Russia violates the treaty by attacking Manchuria or Korea with those 18 infantry?  In that case, it is Japan that gets an extra 12 IPCs.  You don’t take that FROM Russia’s income, do you?



  • Correct. The 12 IPC (one way or the order) comes from “the bank”. No nation actually looses that 12IPC.
    By “taking back” we mean overall income. Japan by attacking Russia, cause Russia (and allies to some extend) to receive an extra 12 IPC… but, since it Russia looses ground, so income, the effect or that extra 12 IPC is reduced by the losse of income (by loosing ground).

    Furthermore, and it’s my point, Japan will make more income. So Russia loosing 1 IPC (for Amur for instance) and Japan gaining 1 IPC (for invadind Amur in my example), causes a difference of 2 between overall income of those nations.

    So, that Extra 12 IPC received for the non-aggression pact broken would be nullify in 6 turns if Japan holds Amur all that time. But since Japand won’t stop at Amur and will take surrounding territorries as well, I say that 12 IPC bonus will be nullify in 2-3 turns… and all following turns, it will be at Axis advantage.


  • Customizer

    Okay, now I get it.  So basically, Japan takes Amur and gets 1 IPC while Russia loses 1 IPC, thus effectivly reducing the 12 IPC bonus to 10.
    So, say Japan not only attacks Amur, but sends a couple of transports to take Siberia and Soviet Far East.  Japan gains 3 IPCs, Russia loses 3 IPCs and the 12 IPC bonus is effectively reduced to 6.  Assuming Japan holds all three of those territories for another round, the 12 IPC bonus is more or less nullified because Russia lost 6 IPCs over 2 rounds and Japan gained 6 IPCs over 2 rounds.

    Thanks for clearing that up for me.  Guess I was thinking a bit too literally.



  • @knp7765:

    Okay, now I get it.  So basically, Japan takes Amur and gets 1 IPC while Russia loses 1 IPC, thus effectivly reducing the 12 IPC bonus to 10.
    So, say Japan not only attacks Amur, but sends a couple of transports to take Siberia and Soviet Far East.  Japan gains 3 IPCs, Russia loses 3 IPCs and the 12 IPC bonus is effectively reduced to 6.  Assuming Japan holds all three of those territories for another round, the 12 IPC bonus is more or less nullified because Russia lost 6 IPCs over 2 rounds and Japan gained 6 IPCs over 2 rounds.

    Thanks for clearing that up for me.  Guess I was thinking a bit too literally.

    Yep, you understood my point. No problem, this forum is all about sharing!  😉
    As I say, you never know before you learn it!



  • What does everyone think about taking away the Russian NO for Japan attacking it? Meaning, if Japan attacks Russia, then Russia doesn’t get 12 IPC’s. Only Japan would get the 12 IPC’s if Russia attacked it. I think this would be a way to help balance the game. Sometimes Japan doesn’t attack Russia b/cuz it gives Russia 12 IPC’s if it does. This would allow Japan to attack Russia w/out any negative effects.



  • @Commando:

    What does everyone think about taking away the Russian NO for Japan attacking it? Meaning, if Japan attacks Russia, then Russia doesn’t get 12 IPC’s. Only Japan would get the 12 IPC’s if Russia attacked it. I think this would be a way to help balance the game. Sometimes Japan doesn’t attack Russia b/cuz it gives Russia 12 IPC’s if it does. This would allow Japan to attack Russia w/out any negative effects.

    But remember this is a game based on world war II a real war that happened, and in that war there was no contact between Russia and Japan (at least not until Russia attacked it in 1944.) Beside their air force can help them take over territory easily and get them that money back, so if you know what your doing it shouldn’t be that bad.

    Your free to try it though.



  • What does A&A being based on WWII have to do w/my post? I’m simply talking about balancing the game, using different idea’s. I’m just curious if anyone’s tried it. And of course Japan can take over territory they’ve lost to the Russians using their airforce. Again, the point is balancing the game. Yes the game is based on WWII but it’s still a game at the end of the day so it has to be balanced, otherwise it’s no fun to play.



  • Alright then I guess your right, but still it’s always bugged me that Japan and Russia go to war, except when I’m Japan goggling territory from them.



  • There are a lot of things that bug me too about A&A, like the fact that planes can hit subs when a destroyer is present, even though that never happened in WWII. But at the end of the day it’s a game.


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