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How to play Japan!?



  • In all games with Japan, i’ve never really succeed with them. What is the ultimate strategy that you guys use with Japan, what do I need to do in order to become a beast at this game? 🙂



  • I personally like Japan to support what i am doing as Germany.  If I do Sealion I like Japan to go after India and/or the Aussies.  If I am doing Russia,  I like japan to help out against Russia.



  • My advice is to remind you that Japan isn’t like Germany.  Building ICs and TANKS will get you nowhere fast.

    Whereas Germany wins its war on the frozen Russian front, Japan wins its game by realizing that the battle is on the Ocean.  Don’t focus too much on the land, watch the Naval bases, and use them.  If you’re focusing too much on inland territories, remember that they are worth nothing - if Japan can’t use transports to take something, it is only worht 1 IPC, that’s just a fact.  Watch and see what Naval bases are within 3 zones of what.  Naval bases are the absolute key to doing anything in the Pacific - good luck.



  • You have to be good at allocating your resources since you’re fighting in just about every direction. Use your land troops efficiently and don’t take any pointless casualties. Replacing infantry is cheap, but the time to reposition them is not. Don’t waste $ on factories (though investing on only 1 or 2 can become useful). Transports will get the job done and are more versatile. Your starting land units and air force are strong enough to punch out most of China. Your navy should bully the allies while it has the numerical advantage, but survival must be its first priority once it has lost that advantage. My philosophy with Japan is to dominate the Pacific, and not fool around with Russia. Germany and Italy may have problems to deal with, but Japan has its own too.



  • Hammer China as best you can for the first 2 turns. Don’t provoke the US into war unless you know you can cripple them or take another capital that very same turn.

    Also key is to ensure that you take the DEI quickly and efficiently. Once the British/ANZAC navies are defeated, they’re very difficult to retake.


  • '10

    As Japan you MUST do whatever it takes to control the ocean. You cannot do that without income. The U.S. will eventually challenge you to a sea battle. You MUST do these sea battles on your terms. It is very easy to get caught in China and be short on infantry which will cost you too many expensive units. What ever portion of the Japanese fleet that you move south as you go for the money islands must position itself to move back north when threatened by the U.S. Japan loses control of the sea they can never get it back!



  • I respectfully disagree about the importance of Japanese ICs.

    If you have a determined US/Anzac player, who understands how to purchase and position naval and air forces and harass your islands, your transports will be needed to take back islands… I think you’ll find you’ll have an exhaustion of land forces on the mainland if this is the case.

    An IC in Korea allows you to send forces to North, and China as needed, without relying on Transports.

    An IC in Kiangsu, Kwangtung, or both allow you to supply a steady force toward China/India, without interruption.

    The absolute finest place for an IC is Malaya - the naval base allows you to control the DEI, or feed troops toward India, takes away an NO for good from Anzac, and is a great parking space for your air power - especially with an airbase.

    Transports are perfect in a game with a minor threat from the Pacific Allies at sea - but if you’re forced to use your navy in a vigorous defensive way, those same Transports you’re relying on to supply the mainland either have to go with you on your adventures, or become easy prey for lone destroyers, subs, and air units.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I am having good luck with a major complex in Korea and putting 6 Mech Infantry, 4 Armor into Russia a round pushing them back and pressing into Russia. These units get reinforced twice as fast as infantry units would, which helps keep Russia pressed.

    Pulling out of China has been a godsend idea as well.  It’s a quagmire with no strategic, financial or tactical advantage for Japan, all it does is grind up infantry units and tie up fighters.

    Leaving the fleet in the DEI as long as possible helps as well, as America, England and Australia will be focused there while Germany, Itlay and Japan press Russia.

    I like using Italian units (2 infantry, 2 armor is plenty) to take a territory and then landing all those German plane there to protect the German stack.  Gives the money to Italy, but that’s only 4 or 5 IPC not make it or break it cash while those planes really chew up Russia’s ability to strafe your stacks.



  • @Cmdr:

    I am having good luck with a major complex in Korea and putting 6 Mech Infantry, 4 Armor into Russia a round pushing them back and pressing into Russia. These units get reinforced twice as fast as infantry units would, which helps keep Russia pressed.

    Pulling out of China has been a godsend idea as well.  It’s a quagmire with no strategic, financial or tactical advantage for Japan, all it does is grind up infantry units and tie up fighters.

    Leaving the fleet in the DEI as long as possible helps as well, as America, England and Australia will be focused there while Germany, Itlay and Japan press Russia.

    I like using Italian units (2 infantry, 2 armor is plenty) to take a territory and then landing all those German plane there to protect the German stack.  Gives the money to Italy, but that’s only 4 or 5 IPC not make it or break it cash while those planes really chew up Russia’s ability to strafe your stacks.

    I would stay w/China attacks unless UK jumps the gun and steps in. It is worth 12 IPCs if you conquer it totally, or you can just take what you want on the way to Russia. The path through N China is one tt closer then through Siberia, and your mech/tanks built in Korea should be able to catch up if you clear the path. I guess I could see China nipping at your heels, or trying to cut your supply lines though. I haven’t really played where Jap didn’t at least try to take 1/2 of China, I just wouldn’t want them to get to a point that I can’t take them down and they start getting to the coast where my $ is, and giving the other allies a landing spot w/hoard of Chinese backing them up.

    Ya gotta love the Italian can opener for Germany. As Russia I try to kill those little buggers by putting a decent stack in front of them to start whittling them down. I would rather lose a few Rus inf, and maybe a tank then to let them continue to be a pest w/German reinf & air cover. If your squeezing Russia w/Ger & Jap you may be able to protect Jap advances w/Ita or Ger air cover too (turn order favor this), as long as US/UK are not in the picture. This will at the least keep Jap forces safe for a round, til they can bring in their own air cover. Helps when Jap takes Stalingrad, and you can still use your Euro axis air force as needed.

    If you do it right you can even swap axis air forces just before you sack Moscow.

    1. Italy can openers, Germany moves in Reif and air.
    2. Russia can’t attack this over powered stack.
    3. Japan advances its ground units and places Jap air w/German stack.
    4. Germany then fly’s its air to the Jap ground stack for protection, and brings in rienf for its own stack (mech/tanks).
    5. Russia can’t attack either one w/o taking heavy losses.
    6. Move in for the double hit, or wait it out until you mass more units for fewer looses as you SBR them.
    7. Keep an eye out for US/UK ftrs heading to Moscow (even 5 spaces away, US builds an AB say in Norway, and UK ftrs stationed there fly in).

    Of coarse tying up all that axis air power has its disadvantages to.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @WILD:

    @Cmdr:

    I am having good luck with a major complex in Korea and putting 6 Mech Infantry, 4 Armor into Russia a round pushing them back and pressing into Russia. These units get reinforced twice as fast as infantry units would, which helps keep Russia pressed.

    Pulling out of China has been a godsend idea as well.  It’s a quagmire with no strategic, financial or tactical advantage for Japan, all it does is grind up infantry units and tie up fighters.

    Leaving the fleet in the DEI as long as possible helps as well, as America, England and Australia will be focused there while Germany, Itlay and Japan press Russia.

    I like using Italian units (2 infantry, 2 armor is plenty) to take a territory and then landing all those German plane there to protect the German stack.  Gives the money to Italy, but that’s only 4 or 5 IPC not make it or break it cash while those planes really chew up Russia’s ability to strafe your stacks.

    I would stay w/China attacks unless UK jumps the gun and steps in. It is worth 12 IPCs 24 technically, since I advocate abandoning it so that China can liberate Jehol, etc, also 2 less victory cities since you won’t hold Beijing or Hong Kong if you conquer it totally, or you can just take what you want on the way to Russia. The path through N China is one tt closer then through Siberia I count 6 territories from Korea regardless of if you go through Amur or Jehol to get to Novosibirsk., and your mech/tanks built in Korea should be able to catch up if you clear the path It is far easier to block their route with China than it is for Russia, since China can build immediately on newly conqured land whereas Russia cannot. I guess I could see China nipping at your heels, or trying to cut your supply lines though. I haven’t really played where Jap didn’t at least try to take 1/2 of China The concept is to conserve your units to offset the coast while negating China as an opposing force entirely, I just wouldn’t want them to get to a point that I can’t take them down and they start getting to the coast where my $ is, and giving the other allies a landing spot w/hoard of Chinese backing them up.

    Ya gotta love the Italian can opener for Germany. As Russia I try to kill those little buggers by putting a decent stack in front of them to start whittling them down. I would rather lose a few Rus inf, and maybe a tank then to let them continue to be a pest w/German reinf & air cover. If your squeezing Russia w/Ger & Jap you may be able to protect Jap advances w/Ita or Ger air cover too (turn order favor this), as long as US/UK are not in the picture. This will at the least keep Jap forces safe for a round, til they can bring in their own air cover. Helps when Jap takes Stalingrad, and you can still use your Euro axis air force as needed. Ever sail the Germans over to help the Japanese?

    If you do it right you can even swap axis air forces just before you sack Moscow.

    1. Italy can openers, Germany moves in Reif and air.
    2. Russia can’t attack this over powered stack.
    3. Japan advances its ground units and places Jap air w/German stack.
    4. Germany then fly’s its air to the Jap ground stack for protection, and brings in rienf for its own stack (mech/tanks).
    5. Russia can’t attack either one w/o taking heavy losses.
    6. Move in for the double hit, or wait it out until you mass more units for fewer looses as you SBR them.
    7. Keep an eye out for US/UK ftrs heading to Moscow (even 5 spaces away, US builds an AB say in Norway, and UK ftrs stationed there fly in).

    Of coarse tying up all that axis air power has its disadvantages to.



  • @WILD:

    I haven’t really played where Jap didn’t at least try to take 1/2 of China…

    Sounds like you have a new strategy to try out the next time you’re Japan.  I still pop China in the mouth J1–I try to cut the burma road for 1 round, but after that retreat all remaining Japanese forces to Russia and perhaps a few to SEAsia.  Notice the look of surprise and big grin forming on your opponents face?  He’s all hot-and-bothered over having a strong China…but you already know China cannot leave CHINA!

    This strategy really only works when Moscow is your Axis goal, so KRF, and once Moscow falls then you can attack India from the weaker Western direction.  You will not be able to win on the Pacific board with this strategy because you are leaving 2 VC’s to China, so you’ll need to win the game on the Europe board then.



  • Japan have 24 ftr to land on carriers. Do never build airbases build more carriers.

    Be careful with land units on the front. Often better to sacrifice a fighter then to let China/India to do a cheap retaliation on your inf.

    If you take the eastern part of Soviet an a major part och China 50 IPC is in close range. My experience tells me 50 ICP is necessary to withstand American see aggression.

    If you loos Caroline Island Japan itself will be threatened. Hawaii is almost always possible to block.

    If you rush for the Dutch islands US will be able to cut your fleet in half. Therefore an IC is necessary in French Indochina more carriers can be built.

    Malaysia is a better place to build a large factory then Kwangtung or any other 3 ICP territory on land.

    Make a early SB (turn 3-4) on India if possible.

    If you go for Australia your fleet will be split in two. US will go for Japan and the two fleets will be out manuvrerade and the profitable islands will not be Japanese.

    Better to have fewer transports and guard them from US, India and Anzac then to wast transports for money one turn. If wasting transports make sure you get ICP for several turns.

    Taking India costs to much strength. Better to minimize there money and maybe convoy them to only a couple of ICP.

    In the north make sure Soviet are pushed back at least 6 ICP. From there some of your ftr will make sure you can trade some areas to really starve the Soviet and help Germany.

    So. What to do about US?

    The big question for Japan. To provoke India or Ansaz to attack helps to delay the US.

    Some bombers on Caroline helps at the end of J1 helps you to threat Hawaii and other sq. Sidney will be block from attacking in J2.

    It is possible to place a large fleet on Hawaii (not declaring war) and threaten LA, threating to to take Hawaii in J2.

    If making a bloody attack on US fleet. Make sure to buy new carriers. USA, India, Anzac are short on ftr compare to Japan, but do not sacrifice fleet. Opponents have more ICP so easier for them to build more.

    Japanese key points.

    Small factory in Manchuria, Soviet and Chinese northern front.
    Caroline Islands (Keep US away).
    Malaysia (Large factory to control profitable islands) (small if you build a small in France Indochina).
    Close the China route. If China muster Artillery twice they became strong.
    As many planes as possible should be placed in the territory south of Kwangtung in J1. Later some planes should be placed in the first Chinese territory in the middle. From there bombers reach both India and Soviet besides China.

    Do not build to strike out US fleet. Build so you can move around just as you like. Carriers is better because Japan have so many fighters and tactical fighters. If US goes all in Pacific it takes Japan 3-4 turns go get another 4-6 carriers witch adds 24 hp to the fleet. Some extra carriers saves some transports from sinking.

    IF US goes all in Europe. Make sure to use fleet and subs to convoy ICS from West US. Destroy all US bonuses that you can. Including harassing Panama. Force US to put IPC in the Pacific to easy the Europe front.

    One more thing. Me and my friends do not play with victory cities (VC). We play world domination or until one side gives up. So far, Japan haven’t finished the game by taking West US or Moscow any time, in anniversary Japan was the normal one to finish Moscow. The new combined Europe/Pacific are so large so then Japan has a gigantic run (90 ICP or more) it is closer to US then to Moscow. But when that is happening German have every time finished the game by taking Moscow, or it is just a mater of time until the troops gets to Moscow.

    Sorry if I am a little unfocused. I am tired and it is 4.am.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I count only 18 Japanese Fighters and Tactical Bombers which can land on Japanese carriers.



  • Original setup. Alpha+ was so broken so we haven’t looked on alpha2+.



  • lolwut

    Alpha broken, and OoB Pacific balanced?  :?


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    he may mean alpha 1, and I have no experience with alpha 1, I just know OOB was horrible!



  • @Alsch91:

    lolwut

    Alpha broken, and OoB Pacific balanced?   :?

    exactly



  • @Alsch91:

    lolwut

    Alpha broken, and OoB Pacific balanced?   :?

    Pacific/Europe together. Yes it is quite balanced. Not perfect that Anniversary was, were 3 ICP bid was to much for the Allied.

    12 Japan ICP with 4 inf or 3 mech inf makes China and all Asia totally unbalanced. Closing Burma route and attacking Russia without even reinforcing.

    I have never played only the new version of Pacific. So i can not tell how balanced it is by its own.

    Japan can get 50 IPC by taking 5 in Russia, 6-7 in China. Hong Kong(3), Malaysia(3), French Indochina (2) and Philippines (2) and one of the Dutch islands. With there 28 planes i takes US a long time to build a fleet to be strong enough to sail away from Hawaii. Japan can easily build 2 carriers every turn with start of J2. When Japan in J5 have 9 Carriers (36 hp only these) to move around the US fleet have a huge problem. If US builds maximum attack it will take them 5-6 turns all in in the Pacific to threaten that Japanese fleet. This will be a very logical result if Japan have 12 more IPC in the right position at the beginning. Personally I would prefer 3 mech inf in Manchuria reaching all key Japanese territory in J2.

    It will be possible to save 12 IPC with Japan the first round and collect 32 IPC to build IC in French Indochina in J2 and build 2 Carriers.

    12 IPC at the start is very much.

    If Japan gets 8 new HP on in the fleet every turn (2 carriers + existing planes) it takes heavy US IPC reinforcement in the Pacific. 8 (48 IPC ) sub is a minimum to build the same HP and FP, but with only sub the surface fleet is easily sinkable to airplanes.

    This is playable even without the 12 extra ICP in the start but becomes a little to week in China and against India.



  • Work out a plan with Germany to ensure that both are prepared for war with the US and ensure that you capture the DEI asap as that is were your economy is really going to boom.



  • Ya, I’m doing a face to face game this sunday, this thread is helping me alot in planning what to do if I’m japan.



  • Threads on Japanese stratgey are always intresting to me as opinions tend to fall into the same to camps that existed in Japan historically.

    The Hokushin or “Go North” camp that favored expanding Japans war’s on the Asian mainland and attack Mongolia and the Soviet Union which was championed by the Imperial army. Players who champion the early strike on the Soviets and building and IC in Manchuria and Korea best reflect this in game. Much like the Imperial army of the day, they favor a massive expansion and modernization of Japans existing ground forces. The objectives are to crush, once and for all, Russian influnce in the far east and keep the monarch-murdering bolshvicks from posing a real threat to his imperial majesty and his relms. It also nicely secures Japans northern flank so they can later concentrate on the US and Europeans to the south.

    The Nanshin or “Go South” camp favored attacking the resource rich and weakening European colonial position in south-east asia and Indonesian archipelago which was championed by the Imperial navy (though famously not their commander Yamamotto). Germany’s war in Europe has created opertunities for Japan and she can take advantage of this situation by expanding into the void left by the collapse and weaking British, French and Dutch empires. This requires the seziure of the Phillipines to secure Japans left flank in the push south which means war with America. Players who focuse on taking the DEI and Japans necesscary victory cities best repreent this faction in the game. Like the their Imperial navy counter-parts, they favor having a strong naval presence on the board and expanding Japans transport fleet and naval bases to help rapidly delpoy Japanese forces where they need to be to do the most damage to the allies and expand their own economy. The game mechanics themselves actually favor playing this way as the player will not only be capturing victory cities but all of Japans NO bonus IPC comes from following the historical option.

    So when you play you first need to decide which of these two camps you fall into and play to that. So, will you fihish off Japans old regional rival in the Soviet Union and Hokushin, or will you choose to not “miss the bus” as they called it then, and take advantage of the weaking Europeans and Nanshin? Best of luck either way!  😄



  • @Clyde85:

    Threads on Japanese stratgey are always intresting to me as opinions tend to fall into the same to camps that existed in Japan historically.

    So when you play you first need to decide which of these two camps you fall into and play to that. So, will you fihish off Japans old regional rival in the Soviet Union and Hokushin, or will you choose to not “miss the bus” as they called it then, and take advantage of the weaking Europeans and Nanshin? Best of luck either way!  😄

    This is easily the best articulated comment I’ve read in any of the forums regarding the strategies of various countries. I couldn’t agree more

    C



  • @Tistel:

    @Alsch91:

    lolwut

    Alpha broken, and OoB Pacific balanced?   :?

    Pacific/Europe together. Yes it is quite balanced. Not perfect that Anniversary was, were 3 ICP bid was to much for the Allied.

    12 Japan ICP with 4 inf or 3 mech inf makes China and all Asia totally unbalanced. Closing Burma route and attacking Russia without even reinforcing.

    I have never played only the new version of Pacific. So i can not tell how balanced it is by its own.

    Japan can get 50 IPC by taking 5 in Russia, 6-7 in China. Hong Kong(3), Malaysia(3), French Indochina (2) and Philippines (2) and one of the Dutch islands. With there 28 planes i takes US a long time to build a fleet to be strong enough to sail away from Hawaii. Japan can easily build 2 carriers every turn with start of J2. When Japan in J5 have 9 Carriers (36 hp only these) to move around the US fleet have a huge problem. If US builds maximum attack it will take them 5-6 turns all in in the Pacific to threaten that Japanese fleet. This will be a very logical result if Japan have 12 more IPC in the right position at the beginning. Personally I would prefer 3 mech inf in Manchuria reaching all key Japanese territory in J2.

    It will be possible to save 12 IPC with Japan the first round and collect 32 IPC to build IC in French Indochina in J2 and build 2 Carriers.

    12 IPC at the start is very much.

    If Japan gets 8 new HP on in the fleet every turn (2 carriers + existing planes) it takes heavy US IPC reinforcement in the Pacific. 8 (48 IPC ) sub is a minimum to build the same HP and FP, but with only sub the surface fleet is easily sinkable to airplanes.

    This is playable even without the 12 extra ICP in the start but becomes a little to week in China and against India.

    Holy crap I can’t understand ANY of your posts in this thread. Not 1.



  • @Carnage:

    This is easily the best articulated comment I’ve read in any of the forums regarding the strategies of various countries. I couldn’t agree more

    Oh my, you’ve made me blush  :lol:

    I am bit of a history nut (if you couldnt tell :roll: ) so I appericate the compliment



  • I agree with Carnage, an excellent post Clyde. Bravo!!

    When I play Japan, I favor tha Nanshin tactic… but I also kinna apply a little Hokushin view too. Since Russia need to regroup those infantry, I think it’s good tactic for Japan to take those 5-6 Russian territory for economical purposes. Plus it’s 1 more (little) pressure on Russia and deny landing for USA.

    But overall, if I have to choose one primary objective, it’s clearly DEI. In most of my games Japan’s income almost matches USA’s. 20 IPC income with those 4 territories!!


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