Bunnies’ KJF/counter strategy article! (or sort of anyways - I’d do more editing on a proper article . . .)
US1 builds carrier, minimum, and probably destroyer, leaving it 20 discretionary IPCs. If you don’t build at least a carrier, US can’t count on going anywhere useful on US2 because of a Japan air threat. If you don’t build at least one destroyer (even considering the destroyer US starts with), you won’t be able to set up destroyer blocks. The idea is to move to Solomon Islands on US2 to threaten Japan, Borneo, and East Indies. This is why a transport or two extra on US1’s build is so useful; it allows a 3-transport threat to Japan, or attacks on a lot of high IPC islands.
It isn’t normally possible to set up a drop into Buryatia via Alaska with US - or at least, I should say, to do it quickly enough to help Russia. The problem is there is no pressure against Japan’s fleet, so it can move its entire fleet plus air into range, plus US has no mobility as it’s locked to just a few sea zones to maintain the drop. (The Solomon Islands US2 move at least threatens multiple targets).
Counter KJF - Germany sends a fighter to a Japanese carrier to stop US destroyer blocks, Japan builds subs and infantry. Japan doesn’t try to take on the US fleet head on; it typically is setting up its counterattacks, like “oh, okay, you can HAVE Borneo and East Indies and whatever, then I’ll just kill your whole fleet and retake the islands - if I even want to bother retaking the islands instead of just crushing Moscow” The one thing Japan should not do is to try to sit at Borneo building up defense. Just no good.
UK1 India IC is usually icky. Just remember this slogan - “If you build a UK India IC, be prepared to trade Moscow for Calcutta”. I did say it MIGHT be possible to do things with the threat of a UK2 fleet (not necessarily an actual fleet, mind you), but there is no doubt that there is little point in building an India IC in the first place if it can’t be defended long enough to make a real difference in the game. Considering the threats Germany poses against both Moscow AND LONDON, things can get nasty quick.
Australia and South Africa ICs are not worth building. Too far from the action.
The problem with a UK Atlantic fleet is if Germany starts building air, and control of Africa. First, if Germany locks up Karelia/Archangel with German fighters, UK will typically not be able to drop to the northern route to quickly reinforce Moscow. (In fact, UK will have a tough time dropping to Europe at all). Second, Germany can typically snatch control of Africa early, which cuts vital UK income early (and late). Sure, it pulls away from Germany’s operation in Europe, but if Germany maintains control, it’s quite a bother.
A US Atlantic fleet typically solves both problems one way or the other, with US and UK potentially combining fleets.
Strategic bombing is a dicey strategy. If you luck out, great. If you don’t luck out, too bad. But you really need to luck out. With German tanks pushing for control of territory on a permanent basis, and Japanese infantry pushing from the other end, things get ugly for Moscow really fast.
Shuttling British troops through Africa leaves Russia vulnerable, plus so long as the German fleet survives in the Mediterranean, things will remain problematic for UK in Africa.
Conclusion: (Bunnies’ puts on serious academician face)
There are a lot of different flavors of KJF, each of which has its own problems if the Axis counter appropriately. A big big problem is maintaining UK income (aka Africa). There’s a bunch of possible Allied fixes, the easiest of which is use of UK transports in the Indian/Pacific to grab control of high IPC Jap islands.
P.S. I almost always send Jap fighters to Europe, even against a KJF. If the fighters die, Germany should be in such a great position because of the added Russian casualties needed to kill the Jap fighters that Germany will be able to heavily pressure Moscow. If the fighters don’t die, Japan can retreat them after Germany has established a strong position at Caucasus.
In fact, (Bunnies gets all teary eyed reminiscing about games past and starts speaking in old crochety rabbit voice) in my last multiplayer game, I sent four Jap fighters to Caucasus, figuring they would die, but would account for about seven additional Russian infantry OR would allow Germany to keep Cauacasus (allowing Russia to establish a better economic position at Archangel). It turned out Russia killed all the Jap fighters; Russia even got a little lucky and kept one more unit than projected. Germany then smashed the Russians at Caucasus (Russia didn’t have enough to retake it, in part because Japan industrial bombed Russia) and moved a bunch of tanks up to Ukraine. In the meantime, Japan had been kept mostly to its starting territories thanks to Allied pressure, plus US had a large fleet at Western US (it had just built it), but with a J1 2 IC build, Japan was about to send a chunk of tanks plus infantry off its islands to start grabbing territory in Asia. The game progressed with moderate pressure from Japan from the east (pure tank builds coming out of the ICs) and plenty of German pressure on the west. Allies ended up resigning. They could start grabbing islands, but Germany would certainly crack Moscow and be along in plenty of time to maintain Japan’s territories on the coast, plus Japan’s main fleet was still intact.