J1 latest trend: SZ52 Skipping



  • In more and more games Japan chooses to totally ignore the SZ52 US fleet and use the BB, CC, and the 2 ftr to hit Buratya. Is there a way to punish Japan for this? What are your thoughts? How about US1

    • Assault Wake 2 inf 1 ftr from AC,
    • Move fleet (BB, loaded AC, sub) to Hawaii (SZ52), land 2 ftr, bmb to Hawaii,
    • Buy 1 bmb, 1 AC, 1 IC, place IC in Xinyang, 1 AC SZ 55 and 1 bmb WUS.
      Japan’s fleet in SZ60 is now exposed and needs to be protected: Usually Japan will have there a BB, loaded AC, CC, DD, sub and 3-4 trannies there for a total of 8 hitpoints/20 defence points Vs a US BB, loaded AC, 2 ftr, 2 bmb, sub for a total of 10 hitpoints/27 attack points. The power gap is substantial and Japan cannot risk to lose its trannies so early in the game.
      Possible Japan responces will be either a) to neutralize the threat, b) beef up SZ60 or c) retreat to safety (SZ61,59). Or a combination of all 3.
      a) In order to totally neutralize the threat, Japan has to destroy SZ52 fleet, capture Wake, Soviet Far East and Yakut and block SZ57 (or else the Hawaii ftrs will reach SZ60 and land on the AC SZ 57). Of course Japan can simply sacrifice some units and just kill the SZ52 fleet. 
      b) Beefing up is a lot easier. Just by bringing its second BB and AC in SZ60, Japan overpowers the US.
      c) Retreating is also easy. The whole fleet J2 unites in SZ36, the trannies unload to FIC and everyone (2 BB, 2 loaded AC, CC, DD, sub, a total of 13 hitpoints/34 defence points) is ready to return J3 in SZ60.
      It looks inefficient, delays KGF for a round and doesn t seem to hurt Japan.
      Any thoughts?


  • @Advosan:

    In more and more games Japan chooses to totally ignore the SZ52 US fleet and use the BB, CC, and the 2 ftr to hit Buratya. Is there a way to punish Japan for this? What are your thoughts?

    I seen and used this move with Japan. To me its optimal use is when Germany has a strong first round against Russia and is preparing to put some serious pressure on Russia on the following turns. Then Japan can multiply its effect by eliminating the Buryatia stack and start taking away the Asian territories of Russia. And it also can lure the US away from Europe/Africa and helping the Russians there (where it is most needed, if G had a strong first round).

    Assuming the above situation didn’t apply, then the question is what to do:

    1. Retreat the fleet back to the Atlantic (or keep it on the Pacific to force the Japanese airforce to remain on Asia, while going KGF)
    2. Use it as a basis for a KJF

    How about US1

    • Assault Wake 2 inf 1 ftr from AC,
    • Move fleet (BB, loaded AC, sub) to Hawaii (SZ52), land 2 ftr, bmb to Hawaii,
    • Buy 1 bmb, 1 AC, 1 IC, place IC in Xinyang, 1 AC SZ 55 and 1 bmb WUS.
      Japan’s fleet in SZ60 is now exposed and needs to be protected: Usually Japan will have there a BB, loaded AC, CC, DD, sub and 3-4 trannies there for a total of 8 hitpoints/20 defence points Vs a US BB, loaded AC, 2 ftr, 2 bmb, sub for a total of 10 hitpoints/27 attack points. The power gap is substantial and Japan cannot risk to lose its trannies so early in the game.

    Possible Japan responces will be either a) to neutralize the threat, b) beef up SZ60 or c) retreat to safety (SZ61,59). Or a combination of all 3.
    a) In order to totally neutralize the threat, Japan has to destroy SZ52 fleet, capture Wake, Soviet Far East and Yakut and block SZ57 (or else the Hawaii ftrs will reach SZ60 and land on the AC SZ 57). Of course Japan can simply sacrifice some units and just kill the SZ52 fleet. 
    b) Beefing up is a lot easier. Just by bringing its second BB and AC in SZ60, Japan overpowers the US.
    c) Retreating is also easy. The whole fleet J2 unites in SZ36, the trannies unload to FIC and everyone (2 BB, 2 loaded AC, CC, DD, sub, a total of 13 hitpoints/34 defence points) is ready to return J3 in SZ60.
    It looks inefficient, delays KGF for a round and doesn t seem to hurt Japan.
    Any thoughts?

    Assault Wake is a waste of resources, in my opinion - you’ll lose your transport and will have to buy a new one, otherwise the US fleet will be limited. The IC on Sinkiang is interesting but the question is if it can stand on its own or if it needs Russian or UK help to be defended. Japan can hit both Buryatia and China on J1 and afterwards it can swing its land forces either against India or Sinkiang - place an IC on one or both and you’ve placed targets for Japan to attack that can be only retaken by the Russians (which meanwhile will be containing, or trying to, the Germans with UK assistance).

    For US1 one possible combination would be:

    1. Buy 2 ACs, 1 ftr (save 4 IPCs) or 1 AC, 2 DDs, 2 subs, buy really depends if you need to send the ftr on EUS to a newly build UK carrier or not or your preferences.
    2. Move the SZ52 fleet to either SZ46/47, if possible (be aware that 4 J ftrs may reach it). Keep the BB+trn on SZ56 (with the DD joining them) and the new builds there.

    The Solomons can now be attacked by an US fleet (with the DD going to SZ51 to block) that has over 90% of defending itself against any attack made by the starting Japanese airforce to deal with this threat. What would you do now?



  • I never fully attack SZ52 and I often don’t attack it. The most I am ready to sen there is Sub+Cru+Bom+Fig, and sending everything you can in SZ52 is a mistake (because US going after Japan in the Pacific is a mistake by itself, even if Japan doesn’t go Pearl).

    If Russia stacks 6 Inf in Bur I don’t attack SZ52 at all and take the extra Cru to bombard Bur.

    Sadly any player (Japan or US) starting to beef up navy in the Pacific to attack the other one is making a huge mistake in AA42 since there is just not enough to win there (in comparison to going Atlantic with US and Asia with Japan). Also it is always cheaper to defend against a sea attack then to be the one attacking when you defend by building air (because planes are cheaper then boats).


  • 2016 2015 '10

    The reason I usually go for Pearl is I don’t want USA to have an extra fig (and soon enough an extra AC).  fig bmb ss cru (the latter 2 being expendable) usually get it done.

    I’ll definitely consider skipping Pearl if Buryatia is tempting enough.  6 inf 1 fig is too strong imo.  6 inf is borderline.  Anything less is very tempting.  To be sure, hitting the 6 inf doesn’t always work out for Japan–you get nowhere near the ipc differential you would by hitting Pearl.  But if you’re capable of adopting a more aggressive pace against Russia then an exposed army in Bury could be a big opportunity.



  • @Hobbes:

    The Solomons can now be attacked by an US fleet (with the DD going to SZ51 to block) that has over 90% of defending itself against any attack made by the starting Japanese airforce to deal with this threat. What would you do now?

    The threat for East Indies is obvious,US3 can storm the islands.The problem is that J3 can move both fleet and airforce to FIC and counterattack J4,sending the whole US fleet to Davie Jones’ locker.



  • @Advosan:

    @Hobbes:

    The Solomons can now be attacked by an US fleet (with the DD going to SZ51 to block) that has over 90% of defending itself against any attack made by the starting Japanese airforce to deal with this threat. What would you do now?

    The threat for East Indies is obvious,US3 can storm the islands.The problem is that J3 can move both fleet and airforce to FIC and counterattack J4,sending the whole US fleet to Davie Jones’ locker.

    OK… assume that US2 bought 42 IPCs, 1 ftr + 4 DDs, or the 3rd carrier and ships, assaults Solomon Islands, with the DD block on SZ51.
    J3 sees Japan moving the fleet to SZ36 to sink any attempt at East Indies. 
    US3 - buys 2 ftrs and 1 AC. Invades and takes Wake with its entire fleet.

    What now?



  • USA is too much behind in the Pacific to be able to threaten Japan fast enough so that Germany doesn’t take Moscow way before USA begins to be really threatening.



  • @GCar:

    USA is too much behind in the Pacific to be able to threaten Japan fast enough so that Germany doesn’t take Moscow way before USA begins to be really threatening.

    Yes for most games. However, there can be situations where the US can try to go Pacific. Spring 1942 doesn’t really allow it as a preset strategy but if the opportunity presents itself, Japan starts in a worse position than on Revised due to the new sub and transport rules.



  • @Hobbes:

    @Advosan:

    @Hobbes:

    The Solomons can now be attacked by an US fleet (with the DD going to SZ51 to block) that has over 90% of defending itself against any attack made by the starting Japanese airforce to deal with this threat. What would you do now?

    The threat for East Indies is obvious,US3 can storm the islands.The problem is that J3 can move both fleet and airforce to FIC and counterattack J4,sending the whole US fleet to Davie Jones’ locker.

    OK… assume that US2 bought 42 IPCs, 1 ftr + 4 DDs, or the 3rd carrier and ships, assaults Solomon Islands, with the DD block on SZ51.
    J3 sees Japan moving the fleet to SZ36 to sink any attempt at East Indies. 
    US3 - buys 2 ftrs and 1 AC. Invades and takes Wake with its entire fleet.

    What now?

    I suppose Japan will buy some navy to mach the US and move everything to SZ60, unloading J2 production in Buratia in the process. This buy will vary from one AC to load 1-2 existing ftr, or 2 DDs, or DD and 2 subs. Now Borneo is exposed and ready to be invaded, but the US will have to lose a DD to block SZ 49 (Phillies). But is it worth the trouble? Japan will have taken India by now, making up for the IPC losses.



  • @Advosan:

    But is it worth the trouble? Japan will have taken India by now, making up for the IPC losses.

    Exactly, if USA as no support in Asia it will be easy for Japan to gain early IPC there. And just taking Borneo is not enough, USA needs a long term plan. Only when USA finally matches Japan naval power, usually Japan as pretty much as many IPC then USA and a stalemate happens. During this time UK will have a very hard time building a fleet alone to be able to send boots in Europe and to prevent Germany from taking Africa and getting to 50+ IPC (which Russia would not be able to handle). To beat this, Germany builds Infantry for 2-3 turns then switches to tanks and usually Moscow will fall around round 7-8. The Pacific should still be stalemate at that point (with Borneo taken by USA at worst with no threat on Tokyo)

    On the other hand, if Russia sends help in Asia or UK builds an Industrial Complex in India, Japan won’t get those IPC in Asia. Moscow is weakly protected in this strategy though and a blitz (with a previous 1-2 turn of Infantry) as a very high chance of taking Moscow by turn 6.

    KJF is not a viable strategy against an axis players who knows when to press with Germany and how to balance naval builds with Japan with Asia pressure.


  • 2019 2018 2017

    In response to a US fleet building program aimed at the conquest of the “money islands”, I’m considering that maybe Japan should place its fleet in SZ 49. The US will then, in most cases, need two separate blocking ships to separate its fleet from the Japanese. Also, with so much US money being spent on ships in the Pacific, Germany may be able to afford a bomber in FIC, provided that Japan securely holds that area. The presence of that bomber would make any blocking attempt very risky because the blocking ship may be destroyed on the German turn.


  • '12

    A German bomber in FIC, I like it.  The counterpart to Fortress Europe.



  • @Herr:

    In response to a US fleet building program aimed at the conquest of the “money islands”, I’m considering that maybe Japan should place its fleet in SZ 49. The US will then, in most cases, need two separate blocking ships to separate its fleet from the Japanese. Also, with so much US money being spent on ships in the Pacific, Germany may be able to afford a bomber in FIC, provided that Japan securely holds that area. The presence of that bomber would make any blocking attempt very risky because the blocking ship may be destroyed on the German turn.

    Very good idea indeed that bomber. I’ll definitely give it a try when I’ll face a KJF.



  • @GCar:

    Only when USA finally matches Japan naval power, usually Japan as pretty much as many IPC then USA and a stalemate happens.

    And this might take a while: Japan can hit any US fleet within range with 2 BB, 2 AC, 6 ftr, CC, DD (J1 buy), sub and bmb for a mighty 16 hitpoints/39 attack power armada that costs … 8 IPCs to build (the J1 DD buy).

    To match this in terms of defence power (since the US fleet has to “reach” while the japanese navy can simply “wait” and cannot be spooked away from SZ36, which is imo the Citadel of the Money Islands) the US has to deploy 2 BB, 3 AC, 5 ftr, CC, DD, sub (15 hp/40 defence power) that will cost, even with SZ52 surviving and pulling all navy in the pacific, 44 IPC, more than the entire US1 IPC. For every extra japanese ship or airplane, the US has to add a few more naval units. 
    The question, of course, remains: Who is fighting in Europe.

    So, not attacking SZ52 either changes nothing in the Pacific, or can lure the US in a pacific dead-end. The scenarion changes of course if G1 fails Egypt, UK1 takes FIC (and Guinea) and places IC in India and J1 doesn t go SZ52.


  • 2016 2015 '10

    @GCar:

    @Advosan:

    But is it worth the trouble? Japan will have taken India by now, making up for the IPC losses.

    Exactly, if USA as no support in Asia it will be easy for Japan to gain early IPC there. And just taking Borneo is not enough, USA needs a long term plan. Only when USA finally matches Japan naval power, usually Japan as pretty much as many IPC then USA and a stalemate happens. During this time UK will have a very hard time building a fleet alone to be able to send boots in Europe and to prevent Germany from taking Africa and getting to 50+ IPC (which Russia would not be able to handle). To beat this, Germany builds Infantry for 2-3 turns then switches to tanks and usually Moscow will fall around round 7-8. The Pacific should still be stalemate at that point (with Borneo taken by USA at worst with no threat on Tokyo)

    On the other hand, if Russia sends help in Asia or UK builds an Industrial Complex in India, Japan won’t get those IPC in Asia. Moscow is weakly protected in this strategy though and a blitz (with a previous 1-2 turn of Infantry) as a very high chance of taking Moscow by turn 6.

    KJF is not a viable strategy against an axis players who knows when to press with Germany and how to balance naval builds with Japan with Asia pressure.

    In Revised play, I think it’s misguided to attempt a USA Pacific without an Asian land component (not necessarily an IIC or Sink IC, but at least some Russians committed), except in cases of extreme J1 dicing.   It can work if you can get a surprise 9vc win but in general Japan will outearn the USA while getting no resistance on the mainland, and should be able to hold off the USA down the stretch or survive long enough for Germany to bail them out.  Naturally, if early dice are favorable to Allies, anything is possible, but I would challenge those who think USA-only-to-Pac is a good strategy to try it against an expert in low luck and see if it works in that setting.

    Given that Revised/42 map dynamics are virtually identical, and that Russia can hardly afford to divert substantial forces into Asia, my feeling is the India factory is possibly the key to a viable KJF strategy for Allies, if KJF is viable at all.  But once I got in the GTO ladder I didn’t see the India factory in elite play.  There was one guy (“donaldtrump”) who I thought had developed a very interesting aggressive IIC KJF strategy but I don’t know what his win percentages are against elite players who know when to start buying tanks as Germany.  There’s no question his strategy was predicated on high risk gambles (starting with UK1 Fic) but the tactics were fun to see.

    When the game came out I tried to develop my own IIC KJF Allied strategy but it soon became apparent I couldn’t beat an expert player in low luck, and I needed luck to beat an expert in dice.  So I switched to hard KGF and have been playing that with a much better success rate.

    Maybe if we start getting Allied bids (say, inf to Ind) we might see more KJF attempts.



  • If UK1 doesn 't have to counter AES (1/20 times the UK DD will prove too tought for the BB to crack :)) a FIC amphibious assault, an IIC, 3 Russians in Buratya+fgt to Khazak and a US-Pac can knock Japan out of the game quickly enough for the Allies to turn to Europe. But the Allies must be bold and lucky.

    By J3 Japan will have to retreat its fleet to SZ60 or 61 and spend everything to catch up with the US navy build-up. But if J trannies leaving SZ36 means the fall of FIC (to UK or russian armor), that means Japan will diminish to 18 IPC by J5 and to 9 IPC by J6.

    The question remains essentially the same though: Can Russia stand alone for 5 rounds?
    I think it barely can (R1-2 trade Kar-Bel-Ukr, R3 trade Bel-Ukr, R4 garisson WR trade Ukr, R5 garisson WR, UK5 the IIC can send units to Caucasus). Still, if G1 fails AES a KGF can be so much more efficient.



  • I have not been playing for quite some time, hence I can hardly say what are the latest trends. All I know is that I have won several games for Allies with a strategy of US going full speed after Japan, while UK and Russia where dealing with Germany and slightly pushing japans in asia just no to let them have some cheap gains. Lately I have used the Pacific strategy practically always when I saw japan screwing something R1. If you ask me whether I consider skipping Pearl a case of “screwing something”, my intituitive answer would be yes, even if the price was the inf stack on bury, but since I know Hobbes is using this move too, I am gladly willing to admit I might be just wrong on this first I would have to see more evidence.

    There are two possible approaches: 1. US IC on sinkiang R1 and UK IC on India R2, the rest to the naval builds with US. This is only wise if japan cannot attack sinkiang R2 of course. 2. US combined naval and air build, based an ACs figs, some submarines and bombers, this buy gives you best punch/count/skew ratio per your money and allows you to threaten japanese ships very early.

    The integral part of both strategies is that UK manages to hold Africa, since UK has the most vital role as the balancing factor that on one hand assists russia to withstand the pressure on the other hand adds this tiny bit that helps to tip the ballance to the allies just in time in the Asia/Pacific. For this it needs the africa ipcs and deny them to the Germans.

    Maybe it is just my ignorance but based on my exprience I would say this startegy is easier and safer way to win than classic KGF unless Japan does everything right on R1.



  • Japan is definitely having more worries lately.

    Stacking up Buryatia with the Russians seems to have become a popular option and there’s only 3 options to deal with it: leave to the Russians, keep some forces back on Manchuria or go after it, at the expense of SZ52 or other attacks. I strongly dislike the first option because it slows down Japan on Asia while it allows Russia to get 34 IPC on their 2nd round.

    Skipping SZ52 has come up a few times. It may look attractive for the US to go Pacific but it can be very deceiving. The Japanese fleet will be left intact, the Russians just lost their backdoor and most likely the Germans are getting ready to pounce on Russia, which is the reason why I usually take out the Buryatia stack, to increase Russia’s woes.



  • This thread inspired me to try something new. I don’t ignore 52 but go Pearl Light - sub, cruiser, plane, bomber, but I attacked Bury with 3 inf, tank, battleship hit and Fig, 2 figs if I can afford to send it. Tried it twice and I took it both times.


  • '12

    If there is a brit fighter on that russian stack, then with only 2 jap fighters you lose 70% of the time as Jap.  No brit fighter then Bry gets attacked every time!



  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    If there is a brit fighter on that russian stack, then with only 2 jap fighters you lose 70% of the time as Jap.  No brit fighter then Bry gets attacked every time!

    But if there’s the Brit fighter then Egypt most likely was not retaken by the UK, unless the Brits decide to use the bomber and sacrifice it to the Germans on the next turn, or attack it only with 3 inf and the cruiser shot… risky.

    Or, if there’s no Buryatia stack, then the Japanese can move their starting transport south and position it to hit India/Egypt on round 2. It’s really a matter of where you want to put the speed bump for Japan - it will be squashed but the point is to gain time.


  • '12

    That’s probably why I never see the Bry stack with Brit fighter.  Does that occur often in TripleA?



  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    That’s probably why I never see the Bry stack with Brit fighter.  Does that occur often in TripleA?

    You can land a US fighter there. I’d never do it, but it’s more expendable than a Uk one.



  • @Col.Stauffenberg:

    @MrMalachiCrunch:

    That’s probably why I never see the Bry stack with Brit fighter.  Does that occur often in TripleA?

    You can land a US fighter there. I’d never do it, but it’s more expendable than a Uk one.

    If there’s still any stack left to land…  😄



  • @Hobbes:

    @MrMalachiCrunch:

    If there is a brit fighter on that russian stack, then with only 2 jap fighters you lose 70% of the time as Jap.  No brit fighter then Bry gets attacked every time!

    But if there’s the Brit fighter then Egypt most likely was not retaken by the UK, unless the Brits decide to use the bomber and sacrifice it to the Germans on the next turn, or attack it only with 3 inf and the cruiser shot… risky.

    Or, if there’s no Buryatia stack, then the Japanese can move their starting transport south and position it to hit India/Egypt on round 2. It’s really a matter of where you want to put the speed bump for Japan - it will be squashed but the point is to gain time.

    If G1 takes AES with only one arm, 3 UK inf plus the CC shot is more than enough, especially in LL, but I would also go for it in Dice. The problem of course is than Russia doesn t know in R1 with how many units is Germany going to take AES…
    There is one way to ensure that G1 will attack AES with 2 inf, art,arm, ftr, bmb and still take it with just one arm: R1 kill Ukraine and land a ftr in AES. But can Russia afford not to use a ftr in R1 attacks and risk not having it around altogether in R2? Bear in mind, we always play SZ16 closed.
    So, imho, a KJF initializes at R1 with Russia stacking Buratya, moving 1-2 inf in Persia (for a R2 counter India) and landing ftr in AES, UK1 IC India (since the BB survives), landing ftr in Buratya, leaving 2 inf and AA in India and hoping for J1 to screw something up-China Buratya or India. Japan will be in trouble and will skip India (R2 will retake it anyway), SZ34 and SZ52 and won t be able for a J2 Xinyang attack, that allows for a US1 XIC build, and still risk losing in both China and Buratya.


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