Well, without being too specific (obviously, certain accommodations must be made for dice luck, opponents’ tactics, etc.), I’ll give you a three turn summary of a typical J1 attack:
-Buy 3 trans., save 5
-take CHA with one Jehol inf.
-take ANHWE with 1 Jehol art., and all SHA/KSI forces save for one trailing art. (which will fill a transport against PHI later on)
-Use 2 KSI inf. and Manchuria air to take Hunan (the amount of this air can vary, depending upon what you’re dealing with against Russia)
-Use KWA land (3 inf., 1 art.) and KSU air vs. Yunnan (if you decide to leave sz37 alone, you can augment this with your 2 Japan bombers)
-take FIC with your Siam inf.
-send 2 bombers and Formosa f. vs. sz37 BB (Formosa f. can land in Siam)
-use Ok f., 2 tac. (Japan), a 1 inf., 1 tank (from Japan via trans.) vs. Hong Kong
-send your entire navy SAVE FOR 1 dd (sz33), 2 dd’s (sz6), all planes on sz6 carriers vs. sz35
-fill 1 transport with 1 inf., 1 art. from KSI, one with 1 art. (Manchuria), 1 inf. (Okinawa), plus sz33 planes vs. Phillipines. Be careful with what you take for hits, as it may be more advantageous to win with 1 inf., 1 art. rather than 2 art., since it’s nice to have 1 full, 1 empty transport rather than 2 with an art. each
-IF Russia sets its stack in Bury, invade Amur with your 6 Man inf. and 4 Korean inf. Always invade Amur; if necessary, you can augment the 10 inf. with Man planes (you don’t need all four for Hunan), or anything else you can figure out
-take 1 Jehol inf. and move it to Manchuria (as there are now 2 Mongolians on your doorstep, and you’d rather hand them Jehol than Man.)
-land all your mainland planes in KWA plus sz37 bombers (put the sz37 fighter in Siam if you’re lucky enough to retain it)
-put your Korean and Ok fighters in Japan (you should have three to scramble now)
-fly all your sz6 planes (2 tac., 2 f.) to Carolines
-3 trans. in sz6
26 + 5 + 4 (China) + 2 (FIC) + 3 (HK) + 2 (PHI) = 42 IPCs
J2 - 42 IPCs
Obviously things get a little more nebulous now. If UK allows you to retain FIC, than 12 IPCs for a minor there. To pressure them fully, and perhaps entice them to use their remaining navy to block rather than stack, 15 IPCs to a naval base on Hainan isle.
Ideally, you want to end up with ICs in FIC and Malaya to kill Calcutta nice and slow while your navy and transports storm ANZAC… but this strategy is designed to beat anyone, not just fools.
Anywhoo, let’s examine our situation in the Ocean.
We have air that can reach sz62 (off the Sydney Coast), and carriers that can catch them in sz54. If ANZAC is not extremely cautious, we can crush them good and hard:
-If they leave a good amount of troops in Queensland, we can use those Carolines planes + Phillipines land + sb (remember, almost your entire navy is in sz35) to invade Queensland. In NC, we send 3 loaded Japanese transports to the Carolines and on J3, invade Sydney (which won’t have any land left to defend itself).
-If they are more careful, and hole up in Sydney + make land buys, we can still park a carrier or two and a dd from sz35 in sz54, and send part/all of the Carolines air to sink whatever they have in sz62 (at best, it’s 2 dd and a cruiser).
We basically abuse ANZAC in whatever way they let us. If they use their sole 2 warships to block us in sz’s 45,34,46, we destroy them even more easily.
You may be wondering; where is the US in all of this? Well, for US1 they are almost entirely benign, stacking up in Hawaii. On J2, no matter what, we end the turn by putting a dd ring around Hawaii (sz’s 30, 31, 25). If you are looking to poke a hole in this strategy, this is it: the US can avoid being penned in like cattle if they see it coming.
Without a solid screen on the US, ANZAC attacks usually spell doom. Like I said, we’re not whipping newbies here; this strategy is designed to crush India while offering Japan the opportunity to crush ANZAC instead IF it presents itself.
In the end, those loaded sz6 transports go to sz36, possibly retaking FIC if necessary. 1 full trans. from PHI goes against Malaya, and the second one grabs the PAU inf. and takes Borneo (or perhaps Celebes, with your sz35 subs being used to convoy raid Borneo). Either way, your enemy is Britain, so focus on squeezing her income. This means Malaya, Borneo, and any of the DEI they may have taken UK1.
The big one is this; UK usually pushes a stack into Burma UK1, to help China hold Yunnan. Fine. Your PHI transports can reach Burma, along with carriers to catch aircraft and sb (make use of your sb’s!), so whip that stack. Strat. bomb Calcutta. Kill any remaining navy you can. If he’s been dicking around in Persia, there should be no screens or infantry stacks present to stop you from taking Calcutta on J3. If he’s been responsible… J4.
Anyway, at this point I’d rather wait and consider any counterpoints some of you might make rather than spell this whole thing out. There are too many variables to give a single static recipe; I do, however, maintain that by “taking what the defense gives you,” and having the flexibility to adjust and whatnot, your J1 attack will be successful.
Here’s the big thing: People play A&A because it approximates WW2, and they apply what they know about WW2 to the game. The US players want to storm Normandy. Axis players want to invade Moscow, and will submit Japan and Italy to achieving that end. This is all fallacy. The game is not WW2. In the game, Japan can be and, I believe, should be treated as the primary Axis actor.
Obviously though, I wouldn’t be writing all this if I wasn’t interested in some feedback.