I'm playing as Japan for the first time next Sunday - any suggestions?

  • So my friends and I are starting up a 5 player game the day after tomorrow using the regular Alpha +3 rules plus the recent “Sea Lion” changes made by Larry and Krieghund this past week. I’m playing as Japan for the first time in AAG40 - I played as them a couple of times before in the 2nd Edition and original Pacific games but it never went very well for me.

    Is it better to focus on taking as much of China instead of making a b-line for the East Indies? I’ve heard people talk about a “Kill India First” strategy but I never quite figured out how that plays out. Should I attack the US preemptively or keeping them out of the game as long as possible? Is it better to draw all of your ships and planes into the sea zones and territories near Japan, or is it worth trying to maintain a strong defensive perimeter? Is it futile to attempt an invasion of Australia?  I feel like there are just so many things to take into consideration with Japan - at least for me, they’re the most challenging to play.

    I’m open to any suggestions!

  • '12

    Get the allied players drunk.

  • It really depends on your german player actually.

    If he is going barb, focus on china and russia (don’t take amur untill you feel its safe to do so), till like turn 3, and turn 4 attack the western allies in the DEI and SE asia.  Bascially, you will need to keep the US out of you business with naval builds while using your land forces as much as you can to criple china and eventually take india.  After that, your builds can be all naval to muscle the US around to threaten VC win.

    If its sealion, either attack the DEI on turn 3, or collect your 10 ipc peace bonus and delay it till turn 4, focus on taking the money islands while keeping china at bay, and either starving, or taking out india as soon as possible would be good.  Never try to take all the DEI in one go because the allies can pick off your lightly defended transports, and Always be rdy to move back to sz6 the next turn if US is in range even if you block.

    Japans role really is to support the germany player anyway possible, whether if its taking the focus of the US, or helping to pick off russian money.  Only if it looks like germany can’t win/your income is in the upper 60’s at least, would I say you should go for the VC win.

  • @oklahomasailor52:

    using the regular Alpha +3 rules plus the recent “Sea Lion” changes made by Larry and Krieghund this past week.


  • '12



    using the regular Alpha +3 rules plus the recent “Sea Lion” changes made by Larry and Krieghund this past week.


    There was a recent change to the Alpha 3 ruleset this week that apparently makes an operation Sea Lion (attack on UK) more viable in the early game for Germany.

  • @JeffM:



    using the regular Alpha +3 rules plus the recent “Sea Lion” changes made by Larry and Krieghund this past week.


    There was a recent change to the Alpha 3 ruleset this week that apparently makes an operation Sea Lion (attack on UK) more viable in the early game for Germany.

    You mean less viable.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    it never went very well for me.

    trying to maintain a strong defensive perimeter?

    Dear goodness man! slap Get ahold of yourself!

    Don’t be -maintaining- anything.  Attack! Attack! Attack!  Move every piece you’ve got, EVERY turn!  You’ve got to rout those allied basterds off of your map!

    You’re in HQ now, not the NAVY.  You’ve got REAL WORK to do if you want to win, and it’s going to be ALOT difference then second edition and original AAP.

    You’ve come to the right place to ask for help,  but I don’t know that you have enough time to learn what is needed.  Perhaps you should get some of us on speedial or text.  I don’t live in OK  but if you PM me, I will offer advice during the game.

    Focus on your national objectives, and MAKING MONEY.  And remember that you also make money when you destroy your enemies pieces for less then it cost you to kill them.


    and put all your effort into ONE enemy capital FIRST.  Don’t flip flop between australia or india.

    IF you only do ONE thing in China, know that the best way to neutralize China, is to hold YUNAN.  Without EVER giving back up to them.

    I hope those tips see you through.  PM me if you want a #.


  • oklahomasailor52, one thing you can do to really put some fear into your opponents on round 1 is to build 3 transports and 1 artillery, and move all ships and planes that can reach to z33 and Caroline Islands; all other ships and planes go to z6 & Japan (you should also take yunnan to deny China the NO, plus Hunan and a couple walk-ins just because its easy money).  You should wind up with 3 fighters, 3 tacticals, and 2 bombers in Kwangsi.  Now the other side doesn’t know if you’re going for Hawaii, Australia, or India.  Fear is your ally.

    The India Crush thing you mentioned is when you move all your loaded transports and fleet from z6 and z33 down to z36 on round 2, and build an airbase and naval base in Kwangsi to give your ships and planes enough range to reach India.  Don’t attack anything owned by UK/ANZAC or USA.  Round 3 you either take India outright, or if your opponent cleverly put a destroyer in z37 to block you ships movement, then you sink that ship, move your fleets to z37 and z41, and land your troops in Sumatra (again just for easy money; don’t get distracted into taking the DEI).  You can also strategic bomb India and land tacticals or fighter escorts on carriers in z41.  Round 4 you take India.  Don’t fret about losing planes - you have plenty; just make sure there is 1 ground unit left standing to occupy Calcutta so you get your big payday!  The big advantage of taking India is that UK pacific wont be around to help throw mechanized units in to support USSR.  Istead, you get to build 3 mechanized units per turn and drive them up into Kazakhstan to threaten Stalingrad.

    After that, I like to float my fleet over to the Mediterranean to protect Italy, and the fun part is when the American fleet in the Pacific just sails around with no one to attack because you are long gone!  If you go that route, then you are giving up any idea of a Pacific win and you MUST build 10 infantry every turn to protect Japan.  Keep a destroyer and 3 fighters there for the scramble threat (+ kamikazes).  You can also go into Amur and slowly march across the NorthEast of USSR just for easy money and to deny them the easy money.

    Anyway, that’s one way you can handle Japan and your Germany buddy will thank you.  Good luck!

  • Vance, Gargantua, ghr2 - I appreciate the feedback. This gives me a lot to mull over before the game tomorrow. I’ve decided to focusing on taking out India. Vance - I really like the idea of massing around the Caroline Is. on J1. ANZAC will probably feel compelled to build land units, and I might be able to lure that British battleship out of sz 37 if he feels an Australian invasion is imminent.

    In fact, I feel like if the UK and ANZAC start preparing for an Indian invasion I might be able to change course and just take Sydney on J2, especially if some of the ANZAC planes move to the East Indies. Does that seem unrealistic?

  • yeeah, you will likely see USA spend everything on the Pacific side and UK/ANZAC build all infantry if you stage off carolines.

    As for going for ANZAC, you can do that too but it wont be until round 4 that you actually land in Sydney.  Your transports are in z6, then z33, then z62, then sydney.  The delay is because he will put out blockers, but you can use your air units to sink those ships on round 3 and then NCM to z62.  If the USA fleet is there, then all the better because it will be too small to stop you and it is good to sink it.  One thing to keep in mind is that if you have a big fleet to protect the transports (which you will), your land units are perfectly safe on the transports and there is no need to land them in Queensland just to be slaughtered without air cover.  Leave them on the ships in z62 for a turn and then you can plop them directly onto Sydney with shore bombardment and air support round 4.  You can also use the air units to knock out whatever is staged in Queensland so he can’t just take Sydney right back from you.  You will want to get a bunch of planes to carolines on round 2 so that any air losses can be replaced and you keep all 3 carriers full.  A good trick to do on round 2 is to NCM the 6 planes from the 3 carriers in z33 onto the island and NCM the 6 planes in Kwangsi onto the carriers.  That little switcheroo give you 6 more planes in range.

  • That’s seems like a pretty sound strategy - I appreciate you taking time to write it all out for me. Would it be worth landing at least one infantry on maybe New Britain or the Solomon Islands in order to deny ANZAC its NOs? Or is it really not going to matter much since New South Wales can only produce 3 units per turn?

    In your personal opinion, am I better trying for India instead?

  • I would just let them collect the NO if they have taken Dutch new guinea - that way you will inherit the $5 when you take Sydney.

    Taking India is better if the grand plan is to win on the Europe map.

  • You have so many options with Japan, because you have up to 5 nations to contest with (If/when you go to war with Russia).

    I prefer handling China first, which means ferrying in units to Kwangsi early on so that you can continue to deny China the Burma Road.  I’ve yet to build an IC on the mainland, but I hear that helps.

    The longer you wait to take the Philippines and DEI, the worse off your situation becomes.  Each round India and Anzac are collecting IPC, the worse the economic disparity becomes for Japan.  Taking and holding those locations make it increasingly difficult for the allies to reclaim them from Japanese hands (Generally the US has to get deep into the south pacific for that to change).  In one fell swoop you can make more IPC by going to war, than relying on the 10 IPC for being neutral - WHILE cutting off their IPC income.  Usually J2 seems to make sense to start the South Pacific Island war, so that you minimize the IPC gains of India and Anzac.

    You don’t want the UK stack of Infantry sitting in Yunnan, because you’ll be hard pressed to reclaim it once that happen(Read lose lots of Fighters to retake it).  That is why the threat on India becomes so important and why Kill India First helps two fold:  Kills off China and keeps the Burma road cut off.  Last thing you want is Chinese Infantry backed by artillery reclaiming all those IPC’s you gained in China on J1-J3.

    The only real issue is dealing with the US advancing on Japan - so don’t forget to keep a solid garrison on Tokyo.  Allow the US to sit in SZ6, you can lose up to 11 IPC.  Sometimes placing DD blockers between Hawaii and SZ6 can buy you one less round of Convoy.  8 IPC to prevent losing 3 IPC is the net-net effect.

    However, the US will never get enough units there to take it if you head for Hawaii and cut off their transport supply lines while you up your stack of units in Japan.  Besides, you’ll make enough IPC from taking India to weather a round or two of Convoy until the US realizes its aggressive move into SZ6 left them as sitting ducks until your aircraft from India get in range of SZ6 and its supply lines are cut off.

    This is why it sometimes makes sense to put the IC Kwangsi and a NB on Hainan.  You can put some extra fleet units at a minor there, and they are in range to hit SZ6, but the US fleet can’t reach them in one turn.  That NB in Hainan also allows you to get back to SZ6 from India in 2 rounds instead of 3 as well as to get to the Caroline Islands in 2 rounds instead of 3 if you decide to ignore the US convoy raiding in SZ6 and head straight for Anzac.

  • Spendo02 - Appreciate the feedback. I honestly never even took the US disrupting my convoy zones into account!

    Vance - sent you a message if you don’t mind checking it.

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