The Japan Playbook


  • TripleA

    The Korea fighter should go to Japan, Japan fighter used to battle.

    These days I do things a little different. Overall it is basically the same thing. I used to flip out everytime FIC gets attacked by uk and the 2 inf go down, combined with the whole anzac 2 inf 3 fighter on java. I do not worry about it so much anymore.


  • 2019 2015 '14

    I think some of this stuff should be scripted for the hardAI.  😄

    Or at least, give the broad strokes for it, so the JapanAI can have some early teeth on occasion.
    Right now a discussion of how to handle DoW stuff going down…

    http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/AI-Development-Discussion-tp7585227p7588842.html



  • Hi there, I’ve been using a J2 DOW for quite some time now and would like some feedback before a game next weekend. Here are my J1 moves:

    PURCHASE: 2 transports, 1 bomber

    Combat Moves
    1 infantry, Jehol -> hahar
    1 Infantry, 1 Artillery, Jehol -> Anwhe
    3 Infantry, Shangtung -> Anwhe
    2 Infantry, Kiangsu -> Anwhe
    1 Mech, Manhcuria -> Anwhe
    3 Infantry, 1 Artillery, Kiangsi -> Hunan
    2 Fighters, 2 Tacs, Manchuria-> Hunan
    3 Infantry, 1 Artillery, Kwangsi-> Yunnan
    2 Bombers, Japan-> Yunnan
    1 Fighter, 1 Tac, Kiangsu-> Yunnan

    Non-combat moves:
    2 Fighters, 2 Tacs, Hunan -> Kwangsi
    2 Fighters, 2 Tacs, Japan -> Kwangsi
    1 Fighter, 1 Tac, 2 Bombers, Yunnan-> Kwangsi
    1 AC, 1 fighter, 1 tac, 1 sub, 1 transport (JPN: inf + tank) SZ6 -> SZ37
    1 BB, 1 destroyer, 1 sub, 1 transport (inf + art) SZ19 -> SZ37
    1 AC,  1 fighter, 1 tac, 1 destroyer, SZ33 -> SZ37
    1 cruiser, 1 transport, 1 transport (inf + art) SZ20 -> SZ20
    4 infantry, Korea -> Manchuria

    I believe this sets up for a nice J2 DOW, though I know some people won’t like splitting the fleet in 2. In my experience, even with less ships sailing south, the UK and ANZAC aren’t willing to engage you at sea and you have the advantage of protecting the waters around Japan. My group likes to park huge Allied fleets in SZ6 if it is left undefended, as it invariably is when you put every boat south.

    J2 buy: 1 carrier, 1 tank, 1 artillery, 2 transports

    On J2, I like to use the transports in 37 and 20 to grab Malaya (with 2 transports) and Borneo (with 1 transport). I also like to grab Kwangtung with both the transports in SZ6 bought on J1, which puts India down -10. I also like to start bombing raids on Calcutta J2 to really cripple their ability to build stuff. For the Yunnan counterattack you should have what’s leftover in Hunan, plus the mech infantry in Anwhe and all the aircraft in Kwangsi parked there on J1. J3 you should be able to land all your planes on Yunnan, with a J4 takeover by sea with 5 transports.

    I don’t usually take the Philippines with this opener, nor do I typically grab all the money islands before taking over India, as I like to focus 100% on obliterating UK pacific. I would like to know what the community thinks of this strategy though.



  • This is a great post creeping-deth87, I look forward to going over it in detail after work. After a quick skim through I see that there are no IC purchases in the first 2 rounds, but rather lots of transports… I assume that you plan on supplying the mainland with mostly naval landings, not sure if this is wise, but I look forward to learning more and studying your blue print



  • Thanks for the enthusiasm Young Grasshopper! You are correct that there are no complex purchases in the first 2 rounds. I have never, in any version of Axis and Allies, thought that buying factories was worth it except for REALLY late game, play-to-world-conquest scenarios. I am much more a fan of transports for getting my units around, another reason why I split off into distinct North and South Pacific fleets with my Japan play.


  • 2015

    I have but one big question:

    What does this do that you can’t also do with a J1 attack the same or better?

    Japan trades with America, for +10, but at the expense of not slamming the hell out of UK Pac. It’s also not getting 2+4+3+2 = 11 IPCs from FIC/Borneo/Kwangtung/Philippines, so you’ve really managed to actually cost yourself an IPC, not gain any. You’ve also delayed your possibility of putting a mIC facility in FIC by an entire turn (and therefore any new units wait until J4 to be useful). I know you said you don’t build mIC, but that’s a whole other subject. You also can’t build a naval base there J2, meaning using it to threaten SZ 6/Carlines must wait until J4.

    UK Pac gets one whole extra round of full income, including their 5 bonus (edit-actually, do they get this if not at war?). They could take a money island/Dutch New Guinea (I say could because I usually use the UK Pac TT to take Iraq UK1 and their transport gets to live until the next round for a continued botherance). UK Pac gets to keep their battleship, which, while very possibly is not useful in the pacific all that much, can be in the med 3 turns later and is useful there, or it can suicide into some JP fleet later with the other boats, or a crafty UK player might keep it alive long enough to stack with with the US/ANZAC invasion force.

    ANZAC can grab a money island/Dutch New Guinea, just like in a J1 so no difference, but since you’re not at war they don’t make their extra 10 IPCs on round 1. This might make up for the gift you’ve given to the UK, because I’d argue that I’d rather see the UK Pac make money, and ANZAC not, since UK Pac is easier to shut down and can’t meet up to reinforce the Americans the way ANZAC can. So here, the situation with ANZAC, is the first piece (and only), that I can see working a bit better than a J1.

    And as for the US, at the start of US1 they’re going to have 52 IPCs either way, war or no war. They can also move their fleet basically anywhere they like to position it. All you’ve done to the US is delayed them from getting 30 IPCs on US2, but those 30 IPCs wouldn’t have been a threat that you had to consider, at the earliest, until J4. But you’re potentially not even doing that, costing them 30, because you allowed 26 IPCs (fighter/sub/DD/2 IPC) from the Philippines to live. You may very well kill the two US boats on J2, mind you, but a crafty US player can scatter them or send them the long way to Hawaii to make doing so absolutely unappealing.

    Is the bomber purchase only to be able to bomb Calcutta on J3? I don’t understand why you’d need it on J1, so early, otherwise.

    China is in basically the same position as it would be in a J1 attack, maybe slightly worse off. Or am I missing something?

    Do you really need to take Calcutta? Is it not basically enough to put them down to 5 IPC/turn? With just one cheap submarine to convoy, that’s now 2-5/turn, with the odds heavily favoring closer to 2. The money islands give you the economy to fight America ASAP, and not sending pieces of your fleet so far west to India allows you to continually threaten ANZAC (so that it builds land units instead of navy) and to keep America the hell away.

    Is the point of this more to allow Germany some breathing room before a US entry, and if so, how do you imagine that plays out? Or is taking Calcutta and then pushing into the middle east from two Indian mICs churning out units the ultimate goal?

    As it is now, it seems like you’re slowing Japan down by 1 turn with little, nothing, or worse, to show for it. And if the 18+2 Ruskies stack Amur and you must go up there and kill them, this strategy doesn’t apply.



  • Cow I was wondering why you don’t also take out the US Hawaii fleet in your J1 attack (sz26 sub, destroyer, cruiser transport). If you use the sz6 transport to take Wake Is it allows you to park your 2 sz6 carriers and battleship there to pick up surviving planes (or to fly new planes out from Japan if you lose one). Attacking sz26 with 4 air units, and sub/dd’s (maybe a cruiser) should be minimum risk, and leave you a blocker in sz26 so the San Fran fleet can’t hit you at Wake (must have dd left to block even at expense of air). On US turn if he does do a suicide flyby on your Wake fleet you can take the first 3 hits on the BB and carriers and land the planes on Wake.

    You still have plenty of ships to take out the Phil navy, and using sz33 carrier/planes and your other 2 transports take the Phil Island. Killing off 5 US support ships sets them back, and will give you some breathing room.

    On J2 I prob buy an IC for FIC, and take Malaya using the transports that took Phil Is (Anz NO). Then NCM Wake fleet to Carolies and bring my 3 new transports from Japan (loaded) to Phil to go for the money islands J3. At the start of J3 I had 1 transport at Caroline, 2 transports at Malaya, and 3 transports at Phil. You have a couple options at this point, the smart conservative way to use 4 transports to take all the DEI, and maybe Burma if its safe (pushing towards India). Option 2 is you also have 6 loaded transports in range that could hit Queensland and the fleet and air to back it up depending on what the US has done which puts some pressure on Anz (maybe they buy ground instead of navy?)

    Anyway just wondered if you sometimes change things up a bit and smack the Pearl fleet?

    Sorry if this was addressed already, didn’t re-read the thread WB


  • 2015

    I’m not cow, so disregard everything below this line:

    But “smacking” the pearl fleet puts you pretty far east, and you must sacrifice, at minimum, a destroyer block to do it.

    What it does do is smack of overextending yourself for comparatively little benefit. Also, the carriers that are needed to do this are used to recover the fighter used against the UKPac BB, to cover your transport off of borneo, and to catch the planes that fought on the philippines. Because of this, you necessarily do not have the option to do what you’re proposing in addition to what is in the OP.

    I would also say hitting the meager forces off of hawaii simply aren’t worth your time compared to what you can do elsewhere.



  • I personaly agree with Teslas on that part.

    I have not found a way to take phili, kwatung, kill the BB, take borneo and cover that fleet in addition to the normal attacks on china.

    Those few ships are nice to kill but there is a limit to what japan can do round 1.
    It would be great to kill them but it just cannot be done in a safe way 😞



  • @teslas:

    I have but one big question:

    What does this do that you can’t also do with a J1 attack the same or better?

    Japan trades with America, for +10, but at the expense of not slamming the hell out of UK Pac. It’s also not getting 2+4+3+2 = 11 IPCs from FIC/Borneo/Kwangtung/Philippines, so you’ve really managed to actually cost yourself an IPC, not gain any. You’ve also delayed your possibility of putting a mIC facility in FIC by an entire turn (and therefore any new units wait until J4 to be useful). I know you said you don’t build mIC, but that’s a whole other subject. You also can’t build a naval base there J2, meaning using it to threaten SZ 6/Carlines must wait until J4.

    UK Pac gets one whole extra round of full income, including their 5 bonus (edit-actually, do they get this if not at war?). They could take a money island/Dutch New Guinea (I say could because I usually use the UK Pac TT to take Iraq UK1 and their transport gets to live until the next round for a continued botherance). UK Pac gets to keep their battleship, which, while very possibly is not useful in the pacific all that much, can be in the med 3 turns later and is useful there, or it can suicide into some JP fleet later with the other boats, or a crafty UK player might keep it alive long enough to stack with with the US/ANZAC invasion force.

    ANZAC can grab a money island/Dutch New Guinea, just like in a J1 so no difference, but since you’re not at war they don’t make their extra 10 IPCs on round 1. This might make up for the gift you’ve given to the UK, because I’d argue that I’d rather see the UK Pac make money, and ANZAC not, since UK Pac is easier to shut down and can’t meet up to reinforce the Americans the way ANZAC can. So here, the situation with ANZAC, is the first piece (and only), that I can see working a bit better than a J1.

    And as for the US, at the start of US1 they’re going to have 52 IPCs either way, war or no war. They can also move their fleet basically anywhere they like to position it. All you’ve done to the US is delayed them from getting 30 IPCs on US2, but those 30 IPCs wouldn’t have been a threat that you had to consider, at the earliest, until J4. But you’re potentially not even doing that, costing them 30, because you allowed 26 IPCs (fighter/sub/DD/2 IPC) from the Philippines to live. You may very well kill the two US boats on J2, mind you, but a crafty US player can scatter them or send them the long way to Hawaii to make doing so absolutely unappealing.

    Is the bomber purchase only to be able to bomb Calcutta on J3? I don’t understand why you’d need it on J1, so early, otherwise.

    China is in basically the same position as it would be in a J1 attack, maybe slightly worse off. Or am I missing something?

    Do you really need to take Calcutta? Is it not basically enough to put them down to 5 IPC/turn? With just one cheap submarine to convoy, that’s now 2-5/turn, with the odds heavily favoring closer to 2. The money islands give you the economy to fight America ASAP, and not sending pieces of your fleet so far west to India allows you to continually threaten ANZAC (so that it builds land units instead of navy) and to keep America the hell away.

    Is the point of this more to allow Germany some breathing room before a US entry, and if so, how do you imagine that plays out? Or is taking Calcutta and then pushing into the middle east from two Indian mICs churning out units the ultimate goal?

    As it is now, it seems like you’re slowing Japan down by 1 turn with little, nothing, or worse, to show for it. And if the 18+2 Ruskies stack Amur and you must go up there and kill them, this strategy doesn’t apply.

    Lots to respond to! I will admit I’m no expert with Japan, so your breakdown of what I’m giving up definitely has me second guessing myself. I’m not sure where the 2+4+3+2 = 11 is coming from, I imagine that’s Philippines, Borneo, Kwangtung, and… sorry I don’t know what that last one could be. As for the FIC complex, this was never part of my plan so there’s nothing I’m really delaying. I much prefer to shuttle my troops over by transport. Is the FIC complex a standard play?

    UK Pacific does not get their objective while not at war, so I’m not gifting them with the +5. My group rarely ever uses the UK fleet in the Indian Ocean for anything but bothering the Italians, so I don’t really place any value on sinking the battleship. I suppose it would be worth it if for nothing else than stopping them from doing that though.

    The bomber purchase is to increase the damage from bombing raids on Calcutta, and it’s nice to have in case UK gets lucky with an AA gun roll. China is probably about the same, but UK doesn’t get to help them stack Yunnan in the opening round. The Russia stack on Amur doesn’t undo the way I play, it’s why I move the infantry from Korea to Manchuria so I can sit on it with 10 men and the AA gun. I’ve never had a problem with the Russian troops after doing that.

    I’ve mostly done this J2 strat because it doesn’t feel ‘right’ to me to attack J1, just feels like wild thrashing in every direction. You definitely offer some compelling points though, maybe I should give J1 another look.



  • The other 2 is probably FIC, which you’d forego on turn 1 to collect the +10 NO. Some players move the British battleship to Queensland to help defend the ANZAC/American fleet, and it can also be used along with some planes as part of a 1-2 or a 1-2-3 against portions of the Japanese fleet that split up.


  • 2015

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    The other 2 is probably FIC, which you’d forego on turn 1 to collect the +10 NO. Some players move the British battleship to Queensland to help defend the ANZAC/American fleet, and it can also be used along with some planes as part of a 1-2 or a 1-2-3 against portions of the Japanese fleet that split up.

    Exactly.

    I’d even argue that if you were hellbent on wanting to do J2, that taking FIC J1 might even be worth losing the +10 NO in some instances (effectively only a +8 NO at that point), because that territory with a naval base on it can be pivotal to control of the south pacific. But then again, I wouldn’t ever J2 in the first place unless I was gonna kill me some Ruskies.

    I said the part where you don’t build minor industrial complexes is a whole other discussion. I’m bored at work, so I’ll jump into that, too:

    As far as the FIC mIC, I don’t know how common that is, but I’d guess pretty damn, and I personally see it a lot. I can’t think of a game as Japan (after my first trainwreck of a try, which we all probably have :p) where I haven’t done it. Again, to be clear, it is incredibly useful. You’ll likely already have a naval base there, so any boats you build are immediately useful on the next turn to go damn near anywhere, be it Calcutta, Western Aus, the money islands, Carolines to smack Americans, up to SZ6 to drive out a convoy party, etc. Basically 1/2 of the pacific and the eastern half of the Indian. You never have to worry about it being destroyed, unlike a mIC in china. Chances are you also have an airbase on Kwangsi, meaning any planes on that can scramble to protect any naval buys.

    If you only have your Japan factory, and the Americans do come over and start the convoy party, you can’t build navy off of Japan before your next turn (when you’re likely swinging your fleet back around and getting everything in position to kill the convoy fleet). But with a factory in FIC you can pump out a very cost-effective three submarines to have on the subsequent round(s) of smashing.

    If you only have your Japanese factory, a transport has to go a long damn way to pick up some replacement units. If they can stop to pick up a new unit or two in FIC, you’ve saved yourself two entire turns of that transport going up then coming back down. Two turns in A&A is enough for your entire campaign to crumble or come into fruition. Having your transports, that you can’t afford to replace, disappear for two turns instead of threatening ANZAC (again, so it must build land units), or Calcutta, or there to pick up some cash islands is a huge detriment to the glorious cause of the IJN. Taking land units out of China to do it harms your efforts there.

    I always build a mIC in FIC, and by J4 I often have one or two more on mainland Asia, depending on what all has happened. If America has twiddled too much in the Atlantic, then it’s very often four factories, and a Pacific win is nearly unavoidable.

    Eventually, the US is going to come over and break your boats. You can’t help that. Either he’s going to make you attack him or he’s going to crash into you. If you still have some capital ships, your navy is still vulnerable and anemic for a turn or two. Or, worse yet, you’ve got nothing. Having the ability to immediately splash down some more boats in the South Pacific can get you back up to running speed much more quickly. If the US does win, and is parked on SZ6, without Japanese mIC elsewhere… game over man: You Lose. Having the mIC on the mainland means that you can, always, definitively, kill china. It also allows you to send (fast) units across china and into Russia. If the Americans do make a suicide dash into China to liberate some things (more effective than you might think), then the factories let you contain the issue before it gets too far out of hand, while not requiring your transports stop threatening (or killing) Calcutta or ANZAC.

    List of territories, in order of likelihood, that I place a mIC in:

    1: FIC. Always. J2. See above.

    2: A mIC in Kwangtung is good for keeping a lock on China, and, like FIC, will have a (free) naval base on it. Can reach sz6 (two routes, making destroyer blocks a bit more difficult) as well as all of the money islands, and the Carolines, but only the Northern Territory of AUS. Depending, either J2 or J3, rarely J4.

    2: Malaya! Just as close to Calcutta, land-wise, as FIC. With both you likely don’t need transports to go west any longer, and can slowly prep for the slow burn on Calcutta or to restock for a hit on ANZAC. Or, with both mIC and transports, Calcutta cannot stand, no matter what they do. Very close to money islands, and once again, the UK was nice enough to plant a naval base here for you already. Those guys are swell. Can’t reach SZ6, but it does reach 4/5 sea zones around Australia, and at times it being able to reach West India can be nice. J3 or J4.

    The above two tie for the second one that I build, and it’s sometimes both, depending on what’s going on in the game.

    4: A mIC in Korea, or actually better Manchuria unless you’re worried about it getting burned down by snarky americans liberating it, can be useful for activating Mongolia for the Russians and then killing them all and taking all of the far east territories from Russia. Depending on when this is done, this is of huge benefit to Germany. While the far east isn’t as good of a time/money investment vs. reward as other pursuits can be for Japan, it is not too awful, and helps out the European theater a good little bit. Think good and hard about this to make sure it’s not likely to be threatened in the next 2-3 turns, however, since if you ever lose it, the Manchurian factory is gone forever (though maybe it was still worth it anyway!), or you just built a factory for the Americans in Korea. Manchuria can also build in SZ19, which can be useful if SZ6 is, or will soon be, hot.

    5: Shangtung/Kiangsu I almost never do, but I have seen it done. There are edge cases where building destroyers to block destroyer blocks can work out, and early game mICs here can be used to push into Russia/Mongolia very hard (IE: in the “strategy” where you chase down and kill those 18 Russians even if they do try to run back to Moscow).

    If you’re ever in a position to build another mIC in another place, like Western India or Queensland, the game is too far advanced to be able to talk about much, and you’re likely winning (or are losing and are very desperate) anyway.


  • 2015

    Wild Bill, I thought I’d let you know that I was inspired by this, and decided to try it out.  Still waiting on the US response, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s going so far.  The only big difference between this attack and the usual Cow J1 is that in my case, I chose to leave Hunan alone.  Didn’t want to risk losing planes over a pointless fight.

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=36392.new#new

    @WILD:

    Cow I was wondering why you don’t also take out the US Hawaii fleet in your J1 attack (sz26 sub, destroyer, cruiser transport). If you use the sz6 transport to take Wake Is it allows you to park your 2 sz6 carriers and battleship there to pick up surviving planes (or to fly new planes out from Japan if you lose one). Attacking sz26 with 4 air units, and sub/dd’s (maybe a cruiser) should be minimum risk, and leave you a blocker in sz26 so the San Fran fleet can’t hit you at Wake (must have dd left to block even at expense of air). On US turn if he does do a suicide flyby on your Wake fleet you can take the first 3 hits on the BB and carriers and land the planes on Wake.

    You still have plenty of ships to take out the Phil navy, and using sz33 carrier/planes and your other 2 transports take the Phil Island. Killing off 5 US support ships sets them back, and will give you some breathing room.

    On J2 I prob buy an IC for FIC, and take Malaya using the transports that took Phil Is (Anz NO). Then NCM Wake fleet to Carolies and bring my 3 new transports from Japan (loaded) to Phil to go for the money islands J3. At the start of J3 I had 1 transport at Caroline, 2 transports at Malaya, and 3 transports at Phil. You have a couple options at this point, the smart conservative way to use 4 transports to take all the DEI, and maybe Burma if its safe (pushing towards India). Option 2 is you also have 6 loaded transports in range that could hit Queensland and the fleet and air to back it up depending on what the US has done which puts some pressure on Anz (maybe they buy ground instead of navy?)

    Anyway just wondered if you sometimes change things up a bit and smack the Pearl fleet?

    Sorry if this was addressed already, didn’t re-read the thread WB



  • The one issue with a Malaya IC is that the Allies can hit it from the Queensland sea zone, and since I usually have my fleet in the Philippines, I don’t want to move it to 37 to stop the Allies from liberating Malaya.


  • 2015

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    The one issue with a Malaya IC is that the Allies can hit it from the Queensland sea zone, and since I usually have my fleet in the Philippines, I don’t want to move it to 37 to stop the Allies from liberating Malaya.

    This is definitely a detriment, and at best, an annoyance you must look out for. That, along with its ability to hit the Carolines, is why I usually do Kwangtung a little bit more often.

    This risk can, however, be somewhat mitigated by keeping ANZAC scared, so they don’t buy many boats. And you can also buy mostly land units there, which means they have to kill 3 units to take it, and even if they do, the units you bought the round before are likely able to turn around and take it back from them.

    If the US comes to sit on Queensland, you’ll have an entire turn to figure out what to do, and that thing to do might even be to go down to Queensland and murder everything there.


  • TripleA

    I don’t always bump myself, but when I do it is after a year. 🙂

    Edit: I am glad to see the Pacific half of the board being more prominent in games, on par or slightly less than Europe instead of ignored. The bid for the allies has increased and settled to what it is now. It is good stuff.



  • This thread revolutionized Axis strategies which shifted the balance from the Allies to the Axis with an average bid of 20 IPCs to take the Allies… Therefore I have stickied this thread.


  • 2015

    Have you played balanced Mod, Cow?


  • TripleA

    Sure have. I am still a proud axis player and a proud Trump supporter.



  • @Cow:

    Sure have. I am still a proud axis player and a proud Trump supporter.

    Make America great again.



  • this is helpfull


  • 2019 2018 2015 '13

    I would love to see this strategy updated for the BM 2.0 ruleset. With the Allies often going Atlantic-heavy to start with, how does this change the opening J1 gambit, or even J2?

    I’ve had varying degrees of success as Japan in BM 2.0, and I’m still developing solid strategies that take advantage of US “pivots to the West.”

    Anyone else?



  • So has it been determined whether J1 DOW or J2 DOW is better? I’ve seen a lot of stuff for a good J1 DOW, but very little for how to set up for a J2 DOW.



  • Ah you mean that playbook where you do not leave a Battleship or even 1 extra plane in Japan so that you can drive all over Australia and India every 8 games but ragequit ever 2 games? Cute.

    (And that’s a ragequit where he didn’t lose a single sub south of the UK vs an Allied 13 bid, roflmao!)



  • Cow, I have used some of your Japan strategies in my latest game and won after knocking out India, Australia and China in succession, then rolling up Russia from the east bailing out the Euro-Axis who were feeling pressure from Anglo-US forces stacked in France (though Italy did control the Middle East and most of Africa). Thank you for making the Axis powers great again!


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