Could Japan destroy Russian units without a DOW?



  • Some time back I played a game as the axis and there ended up being a strange predicament just before I would have achieved victory. Japan and Russia made their nonaggression pact so that a state of war could never exist between them (we were playing A 3.5). The turn before Japan took Calcutta for their 6th VC (with almost no way that any of their VCs could be taken back) the Russian player pulled a slick move and flew a fighter from mainland Russia to Calcutta to stop any takeover possibility. After much debate I persuaded the Russian player that because he could not be at war on the Pacific side of the map he could not move to Calcutta and I ended up winning.

    Since that day I have spent much time wondering what would happen if Japan wanted to attack a territory like a U.K. controlled Persia containing a Russian unit, if Japan and Russia made the same nonaggression pact so that a state of war could never exist between them. I keep thinking that Japan should not be held back from attacking that territory just because of a Russian unit, so maybe Japan could just attack the U.K. units, but then what happens to the Russian unit if Japan takes control of the territory? Does the Russian get destroyed because it is in an illegal territory? Does it get a chance to move out on its next turn? Or can it just stay in a Japanese territory? The way I look at it is like a sea battle, if Japan attacks a sea zone containing units from U.K. and Russia without declaring war on Russia. Japan enters a hostile sea zone kills all of the U.K. units in that sea zone and that sea zone is now friendly for Japan. Russia is not forced out in this battle like I think that they should be in a land battle but you get the idea.

    I would appreciate any thought or answers as to what to do if anything like this was to ever happen again.

    Thanks.



  • It wouldn’t be able to move into UK Pacific territory until a state of war in the Pacific theatre (ie with Japan).  That is as far as I understand it.  Am not sure where you would find the direct reference in the rule book.  Will have a look into it though as I have a copy at work I think…

    From page 36 of the Pacific 2nd ed. Rulebook.

    Due to its separate treaties with Germany and Japan, the Soviet Union is in a unique position in its relationship with the Axis
    powers. As a result, if the Soviet Union is at war with Axis powers on only one map, it is still under the restrictions of being
    a neutral power (see “Powers Not at War with One Another,” page 15) on the other map. In other words, a state of war with
    Japan lifts those restrictions from the Soviet Union on the Pacific map only, and a state of war with Germany and/or Italy lifts
    those restrictions on the Europe map only.



  • Unlike in sea battles, you cannot attack a land territory containing units of a power with which you are not at war, even if there are other powers’ units in that territory with which you are at war.

    This usually only comes up with Italy/Germany because Italy can declare war on Russia and take a Russian territory, then Germany (who has not declared war on Russia) can non-combat move units into an Italian territory (because they are allies and because Germany is at war with the UK)

    The problem you are describing should not be able to happen. When Russia is not at war on the Pacific map they may not move units into territories of other countries (because Russia is technically not “allied” with them).

    From Page 21 of the rulebook, under Phase 4: Noncombat Move, sub section: Where Units Can Move:

    "If your power isn’t at war, you can’t move your units into territories belonging to another friendly power or a friendly neutral.

    That being said, there is literally no reason why Russia should not declare war on Japan on round 1 and vice versa. There is no “binding” rule-legal agreement on whether or not Japan and Russia can declare war on each other unless you create one specifically.

    There is one specific situation where this can occur. If Russia has units on the European side of the map (and is at war with either Germany or Italy), I guess your Persia is a good example, then Japan somehow shuttles over there or drives through India, then once they reach past West India, a single Russian unit prevents them from attacking or moving through to the next territory (on the European side of the map).

    In the European manual on the page 15 blue sidebar you will notice a section called “Powers That Begin the Game Neutral”, subsection “Combat:”

    “A power can’t attack a territory controlled by or containing units belonging to a power with which is it not at war…”

    Note there is a special exception for sea zones but not land territories.


  • Customizer

    I don’t think you can destroy units of any power without a DOW.
    With your Persia example, if Japan was in a position to attack Persia and a Soviet unit was there, I’m pretty sure Japan would have to declare war on the Soviet Union. Then Japan could invade Persia but they would be at war with Russia. So if Russia had a bunch of guys sitting on Amur and Manchuria and/or Korea was not heavily defended, next turn Japan could end up losing one or both of those expensive territories.
    So, the basic answer to your question is “no”. Japan could not destroy Russian units without first declaring war on Russia. By the way, your move of forcing the Russian player to retreat his fighter from Calcutta was a correct one. Since Russia and Japan had the non-aggression treaty, then Russia was a neutral on the Pacific side which means no landing planes on any Allies’ territories on the Pacific board. Calcutta is on the Pacific board so his move was illegal.



  • The rules clearly state that you cannot attack a terretory controlled by, or containing units from a major power you are not at war with



  • @Kreuzfeld:

    for those of you who didn’t read the rules, they clearly state that you cannot attack a terretory controlled by, or containing units from a major power you are not at war with

    It is also pretty clear on Russia not being able to move units into any territory outside of Russia (in this case India) on the Pacific board, without being at war with Japan.  To get the fighter there you could declare war on Japan but then voiding the inability for Japan to attack it.



  • that is also true

    however, the russians can be at war with germany, and take iran, and the japanese cant hit it without declaring war on ussr.

    or UK can take iran, and ussr can put units there, and japan cant hit it without war

    or ussr can take iran, and uk can put units there, and japan cant hit it without declaring on the british.

    or italy can take russian terr, germany can put unit there and ussr can’t hit it without declaring on germany (there should be a rule against this exploit tho, it should be that any german unit on ussr soil counts as a provocation)


  • '12

    @Kreuzfeld:

    or italy can take russian terr, germany can put unit there and ussr can’t hit it without declaring on germany (there should be a rule against this exploit tho, it should be that any german unit on ussr soil counts as a provocation)

    Well I think it would be preferable to just have Germany and Italy linked together just as ANZAC and the UK are.  It doesn’t seem reasonable (in my opinion) to be at war with only one and not the other since it leads to odd loopholes like that- and the ability of Germany to claim the Russian trade NO for an extra round.



  • @Eggman:

    Well I think it would be preferable to just have Germany and Italy linked together just as ANZAC and Japan are.

    You mean ANZAC and UK right?


  • '12

    @elzario:

    You mean ANZAC and UK right?

    Whoops, yes.


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