I’m fairly consistent on J1, and like to expand transport capacity first. On the other hand, if the destroyer and transport survive in sz61, the need isn’t as pressing, since Japan can’t really use more than 3 transports effectively on J2 for shucking anyway (you got the dudes on the home island, and the dudes in the Philippines usually, but beyond that you have to start buying ground to set up your shuckd). If Japan gets a pass in sz61, that’s 15 ipcs they don’t have to spend on a transport and destroyer fodder for the IJN in the first round. This might have me considering the J1 factory spam, or some kind of fleet expansion to shore things up.
Trading Japanese fighters for Allied ships in the first round can be rather dicey sometimes. But once you’ve seen the sz53 play, and figured out how the carrier rules works, many people like to hit pearl. It’s a bit gamey, and does put your bomber and surviving fighter somewhat out of position for a round, but the payoff is solid.
I think the dilemma with Japan is that, if you work the Allies too hard at the outset, and just totally crush them, this has a way of cementing the KGF in the opponents mind, and the KGF endgame is more dangerous for the Axis overall than the KJF endgame. So its a bit of a balancing act. Considered purely from the perspective of a self-interested Japan, you should do everything you can to beat back the Allies and sink their ships at every opportunity, but from the perspective of the Axis team as a whole, it might be better to draw the Allies into to a protracted Pacific war that it’s fairly easy for Japan to manage defensively. If the Allies are spending the majority of their money vs the Pacific, as opposed to Atlantic, the likelihood of a rapid German conquest of Moscow increases. This is really the only reason I can think of for letting the Americans escape at Pearl, otherwise picking off that fighter in sz53 just seems like sound strategy for the trade.
Some of this probably comes down to knowing your opponent, whether they are likely to concede at the fall of Moscow, or if they’re the sort who will play on into the deep endgame. If its just a matter of Japan holding out until G cracks the center, a dramatic pacific game can be enjoyable. Its really up to Japan whether they want to allow this as a possibility. The ball is in their court, whether they want to slam into the other guy’s nose as soon as the whistle blows, or just dribble and look fancy with it, like a GlobeTrotter, to taunt them into a long brawl! haha
The pressure of destroying the combined UK fleet in sz30 is pretty intense. All the targets right there, in reach on J1, primed for the slaughter! haha I think most players would be hard pressed not to take the bait. But the problem is whether you can actually spring enough of a trap out of thing to make the UK sacrifice worth it?
I like a Russian bomber on balance, and the sz61 strike is a pretty wild gambit (risks the whole bid in one attack, but could be very decisive if it works). Usually I see it used against Germany on the eastern front instead of Japan, but at least you got an option if you go for the Red Bomber. OOB and its pretty hard for Russia to have much of an impact on any potential KJF. The set up seems all UK oriented OOB.
The best plays I’ve seen KJF-wise, (just like the best KGFs), usually involve a UK bid of some sort. The Brits are balancing on the razors edge in 1942.2, and there are a lot of ways to screw the Axis openings if you’ve got another UK sub at the ready. Which is one of the reasons I like to give the bid to the Russians instead.