The Japan Playbook

  • TripleA


    Yeah I like leaving 1 guy on the islands when I can. Sometimes it is not feasible and needed for india.

  • I’ve played the J1 strategy twice now with good results in the pacific, but still looking for the right compliment in Europe… playing axis again tomorrow, and all I need to know is, what’s the best direction for Germany… Sealion or Barbarossa?

  • @knp7765:

    I was wondering if anyone out there playing as Japan has gotten that five island NO for Japan – Midway, Wake, Guam, Gilberts and Solomons? And by getting that NO, I mean when it might actually make a difference to Japan’s income.
    I have gotten it a few times, but that is usually not until Japan has all but won on the Pacific side. They will have taken Calcutta, China will be about wiped out, the Russians pushed back, Australia is being threatened and the US Navy hard pressed to stop more Japanese advances. Or if the US decided to go more for Europe, the Pacific fleet may be sunk by this time. So with Japan on top of the world in the Pacific and making 65-75 IPCs per round roughly at this time, what’s another $5 NO really mean to them? I don’t think I have ever accomplished that NO when Japan was still down around 35-45 IPCs per round.
    If this is pretty much the experience of other Japan players, I have to ask this question:
    What the heck is the meaning of this NO anyway?
    It’s nearly impossible to get when Japan could really use an extra $5 per turn and equally as hard to keep for more than a round or two, unless the US and ANZAC are both just playing stupid. Getting it after Japan has crushed everything is meaningless. It’s like “Oh, another $5. Well, just throw it in the pile with the rest.”

    I think those NOs are there for playing global domination. I got them in a global domination game where US ignored pacific, so japan took hawaii, and these islands the turn after, making japan go up an additional 11, and US down 6. it is a nice 17 IPC swing punishment for a US that is hoping to kill germany, then deal with japan, it gives japan some ability to be strong enough to fight the allies on after germany falls in a world domination game.

  • TripleA

    MMMM good question. I like carrier dd sub round 1 buy. my air on west germ. I always do sz 110 and 111 (I always send the bship into 110). Yugoslavia I usually hit and retreat into romania. Sometimes I take southern france round 1 (3 mech and hungary fighter… it is an easier grab than normandy). 106 usually 2 sub, sometimes I send just 1.

    I just like the naval stuff because even if I end up going barb I like to guard my NO money.

    G2 I throw down all the mech/armor stuff so I can rush toward russia and start taking some spots.

    If you can make sea lion successful on germany 3, do it. Otherwise I like to push the russians back first. Sometimes I do a late sea lion and buy transports on Round 4 or 5 (move finland infantry if they are still up there back to norway, buy a bunch of transports, move armor back to west germany or germany… WA LA). Thing is UK1 is when he collects his +5 bonus and has all his spots (so it can pop out a bunch o guys). Sometimes after germany’s second round… uk will not get anything new for london and fly his stuff off… make less money because of italy and all that good stuff.

    Basically you just do what makes sense for Germany.

  • @Young:

    I’ve played the J1 strategy twice now with good results in the pacific, but still looking for the right compliment in Europe… playing axis again tomorrow, and all I need to know is, what’s the best direction for Germany… Sealion or Barbarossa?

    If Japan declares war J1, then USA could build 4 bombers in Eastern USA with their new MAJOR IC, then send them to reinforce London USA2.  I’m not saying that’s what they will do or should do every game, but that’s one thing they could do.  If they do that, sealion is out for sure and if Germany does not build transports then the bombers are still very useful.  So if you DOW J1 you will want to count on Barbarossa so Germany might build either 10 infantry for a slow march, or 6 mech/1 armor for a fast run to Novgorod.  If you put everything available in Poland and build the tank/mechs, Russia can’t defend Novgorod from you G3, unless maybe the allies put 5 fighters (1 french) in Scotland then send them to Novgorod round 2.  But doing that means no Taranto raid.  You could build tanks/mechs on G2 too.

  • I just used the J1 attack for the first time and it turned out pretty good.  Japan was going to take India and then Germany had Russia at the start of the next round (played by someone else).  It was a nice effort on both our parts to keep our eyes on the prize and not be deterred by the Allies threats.

    Russia was forced to try alternate strats and purchases some sea units incl. transports to drop some units into Germany.  Obviously a mistake as that money could have went to defend Russia.  However, it would have only been a matter of time before Russia fell anyway.  A major IC build by Germany (on G2) really helps with a quick push.  Does anyone else do that with Germany?

    Also, the Americans made a big mistake by leaving sea units (incl. three loaded transports) two spaces off the coast of France.  He thought he would be able to reinforce with UK units which he did.  But instead of bringing ALL his UK units he used two Cruisers to do an amphibious on Norway.  He missed on his pot shots and the Norway attack was a big failure.  I don’t think he expected the Germans to come after the US stuff either now that it was reinforced with UK as Germany would have had to sac their planes by taking two hits on the carrier.  That battle went all Germany’s way with the carrier and both planes surviving.  If the UK had of reinforced the entire fleet with both Cruisers as well it may have been a different outcome.  Anyway, because of that mistake Germany had no immediate threat of a US landing in Normandy and was able to take an extra couple rounds for the Russia push.

    On the Pacific side it played out very well for the Japanese.  With the mistake of overlooking an Anzac Cruiser that took out a Japanese destroyer blocker so the US could destroy three transports being the only real mistake by the Japanese the push into India was quite easy if only delayed by a couple rounds.

    Allies condeded!

    I think I like the J1 attack and will try it again in my next game.

  • Hey Cow,

    Could you update your original post and remove the “/artillery” from the j1 dow j1 purchase. If you don’t capture Hunnan, you only collect 41, and you need 42 for the J2 buys you suggest.


  • TripleA

    Thank you bung.

  • TripleA

    Did more editing to my J1 DoW post. Some of it was convoluted, so I just made it simple and cut some stuff.

  • @Cow:

    airbase 2x minor factory 1 infantry or 1 airbase, 1 naval base, 1 minor factory (this means you are doing J3 calcutta. SHAN STATE or Yunnan hold is a must (this is where your air lands so you would have to kill everything around it). If USA is at Midway -1 MINOR FACTORY + 4 inf.  Kamikaze to prevent bombardments. Also you need all naval units cleared that could block your attack (position a fleet at Java or malaya and/or burma to prevent blockers if necessary). Put all available units in range of India in range. placement. airbase needs to go to french indo china or kwangsi.

    Where would you suggest the airbase/ minor IC’s/Naval base go? I was thinking of trying to take Malaya J1 and putting a Minor IC there. Close to India and Chinese can’t get there. Already has a naval base as well.

  • TripleA

    yunnan fic

    EDIT: Also seen Hunan used in more defensive situations against Russian advancements.

  • Last night I did a J1 Pearl Harbor, man… that was a terrible idea lol.  USA slammed me hard with it’s fleet and planes from mainland, wiped my SZ6 and Carolina fleets.  Had like 1 Carrier left with 1 plane.  😢

  • BTW Cow, you forgot to tally the USA +2 income because of Brazil.  😉

  • '15 '14

    I am quite sure he didn’t:) At least in several posts he mentioned it.
    @cow: First of all, thanks a lot your taking the effort and posting strategy including complete moves. I really think that there are too few people here taking that burden and real discuss and present concrete strategies and not only abstract concepts.

    I tried to read the entire thread, I observed a bunch of games of Tier 1 players, I made few private games myself. I would like to make some comments and ask some questions:

    • I think that your DOW1 move is really good in general. IF you DOW1 I think it is a very logic and well thought through move. Good job! I also tried it out and won, however the opponents were not representative for solid Allied play.

    BTW: I have seen seththenewb making a Pearl Harbour against Gamerman in a running game (
    I guess he will lose it but he had really bad dices in J1 and could not capture Yunnan and the +6 for ZH is a real headache for JP. So I would be interested how the game would have gone in case Yunnan would have been rolled based on low luck.
    –> I am not sure if the Pearl Harbour is better but it seems valid to me

    • I kind of disagree about your statement “The effect of J1DOW in Europe is just 23 extra IPCs thrown by US in the Atlantic”. I mean people do make bids of 10-12 because they think these IPCs are the gamechanger to equilize the game. they have more impact than the 23 US IPCs as the bid-IPS usually always make a significant impact in the first round but on the other hand it is 23 - twice the amount i the J1DOW case.
      Furthermore we all know that such IPCs will be paid off with kind of an interest. The consequences of J1DOW is:

    • US could sustainably go into SZ91 with an invasion force US2

    • US could deploy bombers in UK in US2
      This is creating threats which actually cost Germany money and slows them down. They will either invest in defense or they have to lose some air for clean ups which in addition prevents the air from doing other things. So especially in Europe I am convinced that US involved 1 round earlier can have a significant impact on the success rate of the Axis. How significant? I don’t know but I would say more than you state:)

    • So far you insist (and nobody disagreed so far) that any DOW3/4 is just objectively bad. While I do not clearly disagree here I am still not sure if this must be the case.
      The objective disadvantage is that you allow UKPAC and ANZAC to collect more resources. But on the other side stand 20 IPCs less for US and still 10 bonus for JP and no NOs war related NOs for Anzac.
      Plus - and this is my point - JP also has the option to make optimized operations against ZH (sometimes wiping out TH inf with Air only) and allows you to prepare an even more powerful and unpredictable J3 DOW.

    Allweeneedislove for example even sacrificed the +10 bonus in a current game by taking FIC for the sake of building an IC 1 round earlier.
    Against gamerman he even waited till Round4. the consequence was the threat to drop 14 ground supported by 16-18 Air to India forcing gamerman to leave India and offer it for free J4 (The game btw looks still good for gamerman as he is very strong in Europe that game)

    Plus: Germany has 1 more round they have not to deal with any US invasion.

    However in a nutshell I just state:

    • Minus 20 for US
    • 1 Round of silence in the Atlantic
    • Even more powerful and unpredictable J3/J4 DOW

    I think especially in combination with a max speed Barbarossa a late Japan DOW can indeed make sense and is afaik also played successfully be very strong players.

    BUT I also have to admit that I am not sure whether:

    • …they won despite the late DOW and not because of it
    • … J3/J4 DOW is maybe not a plan you start the game with but a deviation because of certain unpredictable opportunities which can arise during the game.

    So does everybody agree that J3/J4 DOW is just bad or are there also players believing it is a viable and successful strategy?


  • I guess it really depends on how strong they of an India they want to deal with and if they want to pressure russia from the east.  It also depends on the japanese buys and naval positioning for the first 2-3 rounds.  If The US and anzac link up at queensland round 2 or 3, it becomes tricky for japan to keep the money islands secure, even more tricky to protect all of the transports.  The best way to do a J3 or J4, in my eyes, is to try to make it look like you can declare war at any time so the allies don’t prepare for it correctly.

  • '15 '14


    I guess it really depends on how strong they of an India they want to deal with and if they want to pressure russia from the east.  It also depends on the japanese buys and naval positioning for the first 2-3 rounds.

    I think there is no choice in the north to always keep enough ground there that you can wipe off any Amur stack if he dares to come in there.
    regarding the buys there is imo usually not too much of a choice for Japan as you need to my mostly transports and usually 1 IC. I’d say only a small fraction of the JP money can be spend variable on e.g. Naval in case US invests a lot in the Pacfic or rather into e.g. a bomber if US invests more in the Atlantic.

    If The US and anzac link up at queensland round 2 or 3, it becomes tricky for japan to keep the money islands secure, even more tricky to protect all of the transports.

    The best way to do a J3 or J4, in my eyes, is to try to make it look like you can declare war at any time so the allies don’t prepare for it correctly.

    I have to say I do not exactly understand that so far but maybe I am biased as in my current game my opponent threw ALL US money in the Pacific neglecting Europe.
    To my understanding it should be the goal of US to take Caroline and build a sustainable outpost there. This is imo possible with the help of Anzac. After DOW JP usually must clear Caroline. US takes, Anzac secures with 3 fighters for scramble plus some naval.

    But I see that the reach to the money islands is better from Queensland so I agree that US/ANZAC can harass better from there and Caroline is rather the “next” move to increase the pressure on JP.

  • '15 '14

    The best way to do a J3 or J4, in my eyes, is to try to make it look like you can declare war at any time so the allies don’t prepare for it correctly.


  • TripleA


  • bump, this along with German and Allied strategy playbook needs stickied 😉

  • bump… 😄

  • Been out of the loop for a long while. Enjoying this thread, I now really want to try a J1 DOW on the western allies.

    But I’m interested to hear what to do J1 with 18inf and 2 aa on Amur R1.

    Is it better to ignore this stack for now and proceed as usual (ie going south) whilst leaving say 10 inf and 1ftr in Manchuria? Or smash Amur with everything you can J1.

    Seems like if I do the latter, Japan gets set back in the Pacific and out of position straight away since I’m used to going straight for DEI and India. Furthermore the Mongolian inf become Russian which is annoying because more resources need to be directed away from what I really want to be doing in the South.

    Maybe if Japan attacks the Russian stack at Amur on J1, Germany must be ready to go all out on Russia and not bother with Sealion. Japan should then also push on Russia since were now at war and I’ve done the dirty work of clearing them out in far east. I don’t necessarily want play this way, it just seems Russia has kinda invited me to go this route now. Thoughts?

  • When Russia puts everything in Amur R1, I always like to take it out right away. Just delay attacking the allies until J2 or J3.
    Those 18 infantry are all Russia has in the east, and there aren’t any reinforcements likely to be coming, other than the Mongolians, which really aren’t much of a threat. Generally this move hurts Russia more than it hurts Japan in my experience. It definitely makes it easier for Germany to take Russia.

  • War war war.

    Even if Russia doesn’t stack Amur, attack the hell out of them.  You both are going to lose troops, but 6 extra infantry from Mongolia makes very little difference in the long run.  As Japan, you are gaining IPC’s by taking the territory.  You are also making Russia watch its back-side while dealing with Germany.  You are doing J1?  Then kill them J2 or J3.  The earlier, the easier.

    You can leave the road open in China, and still control the islands and push Russia/India.  You just don’t push as far into China and counter-attack their counter-attack.  Eventually, the Chinese have the road as the only territory they own.  I’ve only seen it in action once and it was from a very good player in our live game.

    J1 is a great move.  The only problem I’ve had with it, is the Atlantic Slam.  Germany or Italy (depending on troop placement) usually falls before I can get the VC’s needed to win in the PAC.  Stack Hawaii and Sydney and its better luck next time.

  • TripleA

    shameless bump

  • I do the J1 every time, good chance of getting Island NO round 2, I build up to 4 factories on the mainland, bomb and convoy India til they can’t buy a single unit, and I push China back to their last 3 territories. Everything else after that is all progress for Japan.

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