To Pearl or not to Pearl, that is the question . . .


  • Has anyone NOT gone to Pearl Harbor and found that they had an advantage? For example in establishing a faster beachhead in Manchuria and having more support in CHI/SFE/YAK/IND?

    What are the fewest forces you would bring to a Pearl fight if you wanted to ramp these up?


  • 1 or 2 hit BB?


  • @theduke:

    1 or 2 hit BB?

    1

  • Moderator

    I don’t think you have to go to Pearl. It may be easier to win if you do, but maybe you can bait the US to go with a Pac first strat, while UK focuses on Ger.

    Sort of divide up the Allies making them weaker.

    Last time I went no Pearl, I took Aus on rd 1 with Japan. I think I did very well that game but it was a long time ago.


  • If India gets an IC, I’ll forgo pearl and move on India, possible building a mainland IC myself. Once I take India, or get a second IC running, I could care less if the US has a navy, mines already headed to Afrika. If i’m planning on maintaining a trn fleet, I’ll hit Pearl, then send the fleet home to pick of any Ruskies that wander to close to the water. By turn 2 or 3 when Japan has pushed back the asian defenses, I’ll leave the trns to fend for themselves, and send a modest fleet of the Afrika to cause havok.


  • Well keep in mind that the decision is more than just to attack pearl harbor or not. You can do what is called a Pearl light (with most but not all your navy) and still do other things with the remaining forces.

    Still, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t do some sort of attack on Pearl Harbor as Japan - its just to tempting to me to not attack the US navy there on J1. Also, the US can be dangerous in the Pacific if allowed to consolidate their navy - and this doesn’t have to distract too much from their shipping of forces to Europe as well.

    As a minimum, I would bring to Pearl at least two capital ships (BBs or BB and carrier) fighters (with carrier) and submarine. If I have just the BB’s, I will also send the bomber. I will generally only do without the carrier if playing 2 hit BB’s as I want some defensive muscle against a retaliation by the US.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    The idea of tempting the US to remain in the Pacific by not attacking Pearl is strong. However, what happens to Europe if the US has an AC and a BB starting from round 1?

    Germany has a hard enough time living long enough to see Russia fall (no bid games) without also having a strong American Navy to bolster the British navies.


  • what happens to Europe if the US has an AC and a BB starting from round 1?

    By the time the Pacific fleet can get to the Atlantic, the Allies will have full control of the Atlantic. The only advantage to a second (or more) capital ship is that the Allies could split their forces, perhaps sending some to Africa and some to Norway. But the Allies do not need more than one capital ship in the Atlantic (if that) for defense from the German fighters because there won’t be any German navy at this point, nor should Germany be able to afford any more navy or even additional fighters (at least in a no bid game).

    The only thing to watch out for would be if Japan tries to send its navy to the Atlantic to disrupt the “shuck-shuck” of Allied forces to Europe. But the Allies should see this coming for several turns and be able to either build sufficient capital ships, or sink that navy with bombers and fighters before it can do any serious damage.


  • @Jennifer:

    The idea of tempting the US to remain in the Pacific by not attacking Pearl is strong. However, what happens to Europe if the US has an AC and a BB starting from round 1?

    Exactly, especially if that fleet then moves into the Atlantic


  • Exactly, especially if that fleet then moves into the Atlantic

    I still don’t see what this fleet gains the Allies in the Atlantic by the time it arrives. The Allies should already dominate the Atlantic and have taken (or should be taking) Africa back by then.


  • Not too much … apart from another coastal bombardment. It might save the UK some cash if they see that the fleet is on its way though and they do not have to focus on securing the Atlantic on their own but maybe wait a bit (and use the money to build a bomber fleet to strat bomb germany or buy fighters to support the russian defense).

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    @221B:

    Exactly, especially if that fleet then moves into the Atlantic

    I still don’t see what this fleet gains the Allies in the Atlantic by the time it arrives. The Allies should already dominate the Atlantic and have taken (or should be taking) Africa back by then.

    If America does not loose it’s fleet, and Brition uses the no purchase strategy, this means that Brition does not need to build a fleet.

    However, let’s assume Brition does build a fleet. With an American fleet the Germans have no chance of sinking British fleets for a couple of turns and thus have a reduced ability to survive until Japan can crush the Russian resistance to German occupation.

    Furthermore, as this is really free kills for the Japanese, it reduces the Axis ability to catch up to deployed IPCs on the board AND it gives the Americans a free fighter, which is invaluable in my opinion.

    However, as I said before, if you think you can sucker the American player into going for the Pacific instead of moving to the Atlantic, then this would be a good strategy to employ. Japan can more then hold it’s own in the Pacific given typical allied play.


  • Jen,

    Not sure if you will be able to respond, but here goes:

    With an American fleet the Germans have no chance of sinking British fleets for a couple of turns

    With good play and without strange dice, the Germans have no chance of sinking anything in the Atlantic after UK2 anyway (G1 both navies destroyed and UK rebuilds - a good move, G2 UK rebuild navy destroyed and Germany aircraft destroyed - perhaps not as good of a move). This is well before the US Pacific will reach the Atlantic. If Germany doesn’t attack on G1 or G2, the Allies will just have a stronger navy there (more transports for cheap defense) and it becomes even harder for Germany to do anything.

    Falk does have a point, that UK doesn’t need to necessarily buy its navy on UK1. But I think (and maybe I’m wrong here) this will slow down the Allied reinforcement into Russia too much, this play being an advantage to the Axis.


  • @221B:

    But I think (and maybe I’m wrong here) this will slow down the Allied reinforcement into Russia too much, this play being an advantage to the Axis.

    Depends on the UK builds …. the UK could go “all fighters” and send them to Karelia, or it could build bombers and start to strategically bomb germany.
    I think the “all fighters” option, together with “all Inf” builds of the Russians, should hold until the the US fleet arrives … i never tried it out though, just a gut feeling.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    @MagicBoot:

    If India gets an IC, I’ll forgo pearl and move on India, possible building a mainland IC myself. Once I take India, or get a second IC running, I could care less if the US has a navy, mines already headed to Afrika. If i’m planning on maintaining a trn fleet, I’ll hit Pearl, then send the fleet home to pick of any Ruskies that wander to close to the water. By turn 2 or 3 when Japan has pushed back the asian defenses, I’ll leave the trns to fend for themselves, and send a modest fleet of the Afrika to cause havok.

    BTW, if I see the Jap fleet leave the Pacific, I’m liable to send a few ships in there to collect islands.  Either you’ll waste valuable resources stopping me, turn your fleet back to stop me, or loose the islands.  In any event, the US usually has the cash on hand to blow.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    @F_alk:

    @221B:

    But I think (and maybe I’m wrong here) this will slow down the Allied reinforcement into Russia too much, this play being an advantage to the Axis.

    Depends on the UK builds …. the UK could go “all fighters” and send them to Karelia, or it could build bombers and start to strategically bomb germany.
    I think the “all fighters” option, together with “all Inf” builds of the Russians, should hold until the the US fleet arrives … i never tried it out though, just a gut feeling.

    Exactly.  If America is bringing an AC and a BB to the Atlantic, then there’s no need for Britian to build another AC.  That means they could build 2 bombers so they have 3 attacking German manufacturing, or they could build 2 fighters and 2 infantry to aid in Russian defense even more, etc.  Basically, with no Pearl it opens Britian up to more opportunities….of course, Japan goes AFTER the United Kingdom so they wouldn’t exactly know that there’s an American AC headed their way…  But that’s just another reason Britian should hold onto their money for one round before spending it.  (The other’s being to make sure the American player is smart enough to go to the Atlantic to help and so that Britian can make a big enough fleet - assuming the American player is an idiot - that the German’s can’t just come out and sink it on their next turn.)


  • @Jennifer:

    BTW, if I see the Jap fleet leave the Pacific, I’m liable to send a few ships in there to collect islands.  Either you’ll waste valuable resources stopping me, turn your fleet back to stop me, or loose the islands.  In any event, the US usually has the cash on hand to blow.

    I usually will not pull my Japan fleet out of the Pacific until J3 or so in most cases.  By this time, the US has made a comitment already to either send their fleet to the UK, or to come out after Japan.

    In the early rounds (J1 and J2) those BB’s help out with amphibs taking Russian territories (or taking back Manchuria and/or Kwangtung).  Once the coast is secure, I split the fleet, send part of it south to take Australia and NZ, then either moving to South America, Central America, or the Central Pacific.  The other half heads for the Indian Ocean to raid in the Middle East and Africa.

    If, after the US moves out of the Pacific, they build new naval forces, the Australia fleet moves back to Japan, as do the capital ships from the Indian Ocean.  US builds the fleet on a given round, Japan sees it and on next round starts moving their fleet back.  Next round US moves toward Japan, and then Japan finishes moving back (or stikes the US ships enroute, supported by land based bomber(s) and possibly even land based fighters.

    If the US does not initially go into the Pacific heavy, they surrender it to Japan until such time as Germany falls and all 3 allies turn on Japan.  This of course assumes the Allies do take out Germany before the Axis gets Russia.  If Russia falls before Germany, then the Pacific is OWNED by Japan, and the US will be in a war of attrition that they cannot win.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Yes, but in this case you havn’t pulled your fleet out of the Pacific, NCSCS.  All you’ve done is put one half in Australia/New Zealand and the other half in India/Suez Canal areas.  While these are foward positions (as in not around more traditional ports of call such as Japan, Hawaii, Midway, Alaska, SFE, etc) they are also not the English Channel or West Indies, if you catch my meaning.

    Basically, if I see Japan with it’s entire fleet around South Africa or Southern Europe (depending on if the Suez is open or closed to the Axis) then I, as America, might make the judgement call to build a transport or two and put an escort around them to collect a few islands just to annoy the Japanese player into bringing that fleet back.

    Then again, I might decide to attack their fleet with the Amero-British fleet and possess complete ownership over a majority of the Earth’s surface.


  • Haven’t played for a while, but here are my 2 cents…

    The first question to ask yourself. Why wouldn’t you want to attack Pearl? I can’t answer that one, because you can archieve every other goal on J1 without your forces you spend on Pearl, actually you only have 1 goal. Taking Chi with as much force as possible.

    But IMO Pearl should always be attacked! Sole on the basic fact that the USA loses more IPC’s in the attack than you do. Please correct me if I am wrong, but USA losses 18 (car) + 12 (fig) + sub (8 )= 38 IPC’s. Most of the time I try to take Pearl with minimum force. Most of the time I rather sacrifice my BB insted of a fig so I would lose 24 + 8 (sub) = 32 IPC’s. Losing the BB woyuld not really hurt Japan and you have a minimal profit of 6 IPC’s. With this move you force the UK to buy a fleet creating some time for the Germans to organize their defense and strenghten their possition in Africa.
    So IMO the Pearl attack is mandatory…

    Falk does have a point, that UK doesn’t need to necessarily buy its navy on UK1.  But I think (and maybe I’m wrong here) this will slow down the Allied reinforcement into Russia too much, this play being an advantage to the Axis.

    If I play the UK (hate playing UK tho) I buy either a fighter (to help Russia defend), a Bomber or an IC on India to slow down the Japs. Say I would buy the fighter I would have 48 IPC to spend on my fleet in Uk2 => 1 Car + 3 trans. USA will land 2 fighters on the Carrier and your fleet is save from the Germans. I can already send an extra fig to Kar or Moskou if needed in UK2 while I could not if I bought my fleet on UK1.
    I don’t see why I should buy my fleet on UK1 because it won’t do much. You can buy a Car and a tran and they will be waiting for the USA trannies (which probaply will be build in US1) for a full turn. IMO buying your fleet on UK1 is a waste of rescources.

    Just my 2cents.


  • @MagicBoot:

    If India gets an IC, I’ll forgo pearl and move on India, possible building a mainland IC myself. Once I take India, or get a second IC running, I could care less if the US has a navy, mines already headed to Afrika. If i’m planning on maintaining a trn fleet, I’ll hit Pearl, then send the fleet home to pick of any Ruskies that wander to close to the water. By turn 2 or 3 when Japan has pushed back the asian defenses, I’ll leave the trns to fend for themselves, and send a modest fleet of the Afrika to cause havok.

    By the way building an IC on J1 is prolly one of the worst strategic mistake you can make if the UK build an IC on UK1. Even if the UK didn’t build an IC building an IC on J1 is still an tactical mistake.

    By the time that the units produced by a first turn factory are ready (only 3 tanks, which is usually the Japanese purchase), they have virtually little capability to do much else but defend themselves from an onslaught of suicidal British tanks from an ever increasingly potent Indian factory which was built first, and whose pieces have the capability to attack first.  With a factory on the board, the Japanese are left in a position to defend it, too early in the game. By turn one, British India may have a factory in place, producing units in front of you, attacking you before you get your turn. Now, you have to deal with scarce availability of resources to defend against it. Then, you are subsequently forced into a defensive situation with scarce resources and little mainland offensive capability, when you should have been on the offensive, sweeping towards Russia and easily crushing any possible British-built Indian factory by the 6th or 7th turn.

    A factory on the mainland, no matter where you put it, starts the major part of the Japanese offensive by Turn 3, which is far too late and too weak and too slow for any realistic purposes. Instead of this, Japan should be potentially threatening Evenki and Novosibirsk and West China with a “push” force by now, cashing out higher and higher every turn, forcing the Russians to respond to this front earlier in the game (taking pressure off the Germans).


  • Bashir,

    The reasons to NOT pearl are…

    1.  For BB support shot on invasion of SFE.  Or, if Russia invaded Manchuria, to BB and amphib Manchuria.

    2.  To invade Australia, and then New Zealand.

    3.  To move your Capital Ships to the Indian Ocean to support amphib landings in India, Persia, Syria, Africa…

    I ahve asked this before, I’ll ask it again…

    So WHAT if the US pools their Pacific fleet and comes after Japan.  They will probably LOSE when they attack the consolidated Japan fleet.  And if they do not, they will lose to the land AF of Japan.  Either way, the US is without a Pacific Fleet, and they took themselves out fighting a Japan fleet that was 33% stronger on defense than on offense.

    LET the US attack me.  After those ships are dead, I can builds trannies unhindered to blast Russia’s backside…


  • Switch,

    The danger lies in the threat to the Japanese transports.  IF Japan sends the AC to Australia (and whatever with the BB’s) and the US consolidates its fleet off Alaska on US1 then:

    1. Japan cannot attack this combined fleet with their own combined fleet since the AC is too far away.  Therefore it is likely that at least some of this fleet, and probably most will survive until US 2.

    2. on US 2, this fleet can then move to the Jap sea zone and kill any transports that are there.  Or if the transports are moved, this can simply park there in an attempt to prevent Japan from moving any troops to the mainland.  Of course the Japanese AC and landbased fighters will then arrive (too late, J3 at the earliest for the AC), but Japan is likely to lose its capital ships, a few landbased fighters, and perhaps a turn of sending troops to Asia.

    3. on R3, UK3, … the Allies can send many fighters and bombers to parts of Asia to further harass the Japanese transports which might well (if the US is lucky) still be threatened by the US fleet (i.e. the US sub which can retreat) on US3.

    This can be a real pain for Japan (especially coupled with an aggressive KJF strategy to take away Japanese possessions in Asia) and does have the potential to slow Japan down considerably.


  • But a KJF straegy would be evident from R1 and especially UK1 moves, so Japan would know it was coming.

    In which case, you ice the allied ships, Take out China HARD, and do max damage to India (in that order of priorities), then consolidate your remaining ships back to Japan ASAP, and start the ferry service to Manchuria…

    My theory assumes no evident KJF based on R1/UK 1 moves.

    And even with the AC gone, the BB provides good defense rolls against the 2 figs, 1 AC, 1 sub that can reach Japan on US1  (assuming China is taken out and Manchuria re-taken if sezied by Russia)


  • Always go to pearl.  Are you really going to let them keep an aircraft carrier which is so vulnerable (the best unit in the game)?  Moving to pearl not only rapes their navy, it forces them to build heavily in the Pacific now or risk losing the remainder of their navy and having the western U.S. permanently blackaded by the Japanese navy so that they can no longer build units on the west coast.  Always go to pearl.  The U.S. HAS to by an A.C. plus two subs or lose the game.  You completely determine their first move and prevent them form purchasing transports or a navy in the east to assist in Africa giving Germany the time it needs to get more trrops into Africa.  Take the Submarine from Solomon, the A.C. from Caralina along with the plane on it, send a plane from Phillipines, and the Battleship from the Caroline Islands.  The U.S. has to build a fleet or be up a creek.  When they do retreat out of range.  It’s like taking two turns, your and the U.S. turn.


  • @ncscswitch:

    Bashir,

    The reasons to NOT pearl are…

    1. For BB support shot on invasion of SFE. Or, if Russia invaded Manchuria, to BB and amphib Manchuria.

    2. To invade Australia, and then New Zealand.

    3. To move your Capital Ships to the Indian Ocean to support amphib landings in India, Persia, Syria, Africa…

    I ahve asked this before, I’ll ask it again…

    So WHAT if the US pools their Pacific fleet and comes after Japan. They will probably LOSE when they attack the consolidated Japan fleet. And if they do not, they will lose to the land AF of Japan. Either way, the US is without a Pacific Fleet, and they took themselves out fighting a Japan fleet that was 33% stronger on defense than on offense.

    LET the US attack me. After those ships are dead, I can builds trannies unhindered to blast Russia’s backside…

    Ok NCS, first of all I would like to point out that I was referring to a RR-game.

    1. SFE should be defended by only 1 inf. That is if the Russians played well and are stacking their inf at Yakult. So taking SFE would not be a problem. It would be a waste of your BB to use it for that 1 inf that is left there.

    2)Invading Australia and New Zealand is out of the question. It is a waste of rescources(BB, AC transport and 2 inf and possibly a fig), because you will only win 3 ipc’s with it. While a single Russian hearland is also worth 3 IPC’s. You can go after Australia or NZ after turn 3-4 because you are moving into the Russian heartlands and you don’t need your fleet for that anymore. Another point is that if you go after Aus and NZ your fleet will be hopelessly out of position. It takes 2 turns before your fleet is back at the borders of Asia.

    1. You will get those territorias anyway… Africa should be hold by the Germans for at least 2-3 turns so they don’t need you there yet.  Syria and Persia are only worth 1 IPC and again it would be a waste of rescources to go after that. India is a different point, but if the UK builds a IC there you can’t take it on the first rounds anyway.

    So all your options look inferior to the attack on Pearl IMO. The JFK strat is also inferior to the atlantic strat. So the Pearl Harbor attack is mandatory!

    @limitedwhole:

    Always go to pearl. Are you really going to let them keep an aircraft carrier which is so vulnerable (the best unit in the game)? Moving to pearl not only rapes their navy, it forces them to build heavily in the Pacific now or risk losing the remainder of their navy and having the western U.S. permanently blackaded by the Japanese navy so that they can no longer build units on the west coast. Always go to pearl. The U.S. HAS to by an A.C. plus two subs or lose the game. You completely determine their first move and prevent them form purchasing transports or a navy in the east to assist in Africa giving Germany the time it needs to get more trrops into Africa. Take the Submarine from Solomon, the A.C. from Caralina along with the plane on it, send a plane from Phillipines, and the Battleship from the Caroline Islands. The U.S. has to build a fleet or be up a creek. When they do retreat out of range. It’s like taking two turns, your and the U.S. turn.

    I would not say that you the US has to buy an AC and 2 subs… Why? The Jap fleet is not directly threatning the US. So just build some trannies at the atlantic coast and you are good. If the Japanese want to go after the US they will just throw the game away, because everything they throw at the US means they cannot throw at the Russians… Rusland is the main target for the Axis not the UK or the US period. So anything wasted on those two will weaken the Russian front.

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