How to play as Japan???



  • I’m by no means a beginner to Axis & Allies, I played the '99 Europe version extensively and played AA50 to death. I played a mean Japan in '50, but in global 1940 I feel like Japan has absolutely no chance to do well. Having to fight the Chinese, ANZAC, the UK, and the US simultaneously is just not feasible on Japan’s income.

    I’ve tried a few different strategies as well. It seems like Japan can really only focus on one theatre at a time, so I’ve played games focusing on the south pacific, I’ve tried taking the fight to the Americans, and I’ve tried keeping the US out and focusing entirely on China until round 4 before branching off elsewhere. Yet no matter what i do, Japan gets trounced in the end. It certainly doesn’t help that Russia can send 18 infantry down your throat from the get go.

    So how do the pros do it? I’d love to hear opinions, preferably from those with experience with a US player that goes all Pacific (this is what normally happens in my games).



  • I don’t know if Japan can win if US goes all pacific. But I think that the game balance is setup so that US can’t afford to go all out pacific because Germany/Italy should be able to win in Europe without some US help. You can get trounced and even lose your Japanese capital but still come out on top when Germany takes moscow and then races down for Egypt. I don’t know what you do as the axis, but maybe you should look more towards your German/Italian strats if you’re struggling to win in Europe without US riding in like the cavalry.

    If US is going full out pacific, I play extremely defensive and try not to lose pieces when I don’t need to. I wave goodbye to trying to take India, New S. Wales, and/or Hawaii. Instead my main focus is conserving the Japanese strength, looking for holes in the allied D, and generally resist making any major attacks at all unless I can inflict serious casualties. The only really offensive moves I make tend to be attacks to keep China dead/weak.

    You have a wealth of airpower at your disposal. Don’t squander or fritter it away. Use it to your advantage and get as many carriers into the water as you can while maintaining a good ratio of fodder. If you park your fleet in szs that have islands you control(especially ones with a NB & AB), you can take a massive number hits with the carriers plus your BBs without losing any offensive/defensive punch. Move your fleet somewhere were your air can’t land and you risk a lot by taking hits on the carriers, which means you’ll lose your punch a lot sooner or watch the allies retreat and have your air crash and burn.

    The allies are going to be a lot stronger on defense because their carriers can fire at you, fighters are stronger on D, but most importantly they can defend jointly. They have to attack separately, if at all. So when it comes down to it, position yourself were they HAVE to attack you and make smart use of those kamikazes. It might be better to hold onto them because the threat alone that you can kamikaze can sometimes be as beneficial as the strikes themselves. I know I usually pause and think twice when those strikes are still in play.

    Basically you play a stalling campaign in the pacific, avoid trading ship/air pieces when possible, and force the US to continue to spend in the pacific. The longer and more US spends in the pac, the better your chances of winning with Germany.


  • TripleA

    Well the way I do it is on the forum. If russia is stacked up in amur with 6+ units… i will just hit that first instead of declaring war with japan.

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=26960.0

    from there you take more dutch islands. you take india over round 4 or 5. drop airbase. naval base if you have to. sometimes you don’t need either.



  • If the US keeps investing heavily into the Pacific, Japan has two choices:

    Get all the IPC you can early (per Cow’s strategy) or…

    Play turtle in SZ6 and take the long road into Moscow from the East which generally requires an IC on Manchuria/Korea or both.  In particular you let the US spend its IPC to get a fleet to take out yours in SZ6 and utilize Kamikaze to disable CV so the US aircraft cannot land and have to splash.

    You have opportunities to get the Japanese Air Force into Europe as early as J4 (J1 Chahar, J2 Suiyuyan, J3 place AB on Suiy, J4 fly as far as Leningrad (Kansu - Novo - Volo - Arch - Novg).

    With the AB at Nov, J5 will be a full pummel of Moscow’s MajorIC allowing German Air Force to assist in the advance of its ground units towards Moscow.  You can also open up doors for the Germans to blitz by trading Jap aircraft to open up spaces the Russians thought they had defended.  J6 is a suicide of Aircraft against Moscow to weaken the garrison on Moscow for a G7 attack there.

    You can also decide to rush for an India Crush and instead of turning to face the Allied fleet Post India Crush, race instead towards the Med to assist Italy in taking and holding Egypt with your fleet.  Building IC in Kwang and FIC assist in getting more units on the board once you sacrifice SZ6 to the US.  Realize you can stop the US from loading units onto a TT from an IC in Korea every round by just buying a DD in SZ6.

    I played a version of Cow’s J1 attack where I had the US fleet chase me around the Pacific - sent a TT with a small fleet of CV, CR, DD and TT (with 2 Inf) from SZ6 to Caroline to Line and was in position to land Jap units at the Panama Canal.  I ended up taking NZ instead of Pamana due to a 10 SS purchase by the US when I was at Line Islands.  The US/Anzac eventually chased down and sunk that fleet, but that occurred by the time I got it all the way back to Java and had crushed India - sometime around round 6 or 7.

    Just remember, even if Japan loses Tokyo, the Axis still needs to lose Berlin for the Allies to claim victory.  There are plenty of possibilities for Japan to assist in the European theater for the Axis win in Europe.

    As for the Pacific - I have played Japan the last… 6 or so games and I have yet to win in the Pacific.  The closest I came was with Cow’s J1 attack but I was short 1 TT to take Hawaii which was unguarded.


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