How I Defeated J1 DOW


  • 2015

    Fellow board member Ike and myself play on a pretty regular basis and recently dabbled in the J1 DOW strategy to see if there was any way to combat it.  On a second try as the allies I was able to do just that and figured I’d share the story.

    Let me preface by saying that I don’t see this necessarily being the “definitive” counter to J1 DOW but it worked this one time so I wanted to put it out there and see what you guys thought, how it could be improved or if it sucks and I just got really lucky.

    First, here’s the general idea of what I did: went all out in the East and raced to take out Germany, while doing just enough in the Pacific to delay Japan as long as possible.

    Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

    G1 was pretty standard (something like a sub, bomber and a couple units); took out most of the UK fleet, Paris, etc.  UK rolled below average so they were off to the races.

    R1 was also standard; 9 inf and a fighter, bunched up the Eastern troops in Buryatia, started to consolidate.

    J1 DOW has been detailed beautifully by Cow, everyone knows it.

    So once America got rolling here is what I did (unfortunately I didn’t take notes or anything during the game, so I’ll just have to speak in general terms and it’s possible I’m not recalling every detailing exactly right.  Also, rather than go turn by turn I’m going to give the breakdown of how I handled each Allied Power).

    Bought a carrier, DD and four transports.  Activated Brazil, sent my WUS transport and carrier with planes to SZ 89, sent my bomber to London and in the Pacific I put my fleet together in Hawaii.  I placed all my units in the EUS waters, complete with a couple of fighters on the carrier.

    So at the start of US2 I’m now able to send 6 loaded transports over to Gibraltar (dropped some in Morocco to ensure Germany had no place to land it’s fighters and tacs in Western Germany), along with 2 loaded carriers, a cruiser and a DD.  Thanks to some help I received from the UK (including an air base in Gibraltar) I was well protected.  I spent most of my money on some more loaded transports, a bomber and a couple of ships in WUS

    US3 buy was pretty much the same as the US2 buy.  I wanted to build a massive force in the East so that I could have Norway on lock as early as possible.  Germany has a lot of units and can make money quickly, but they can’t fend off USSR, UK and an at war America spending all its money in the East (at least not that early into the game and with America able to get to Europe so quickly given the J1 DOW).

    I successfully took Norway, while bringing another 8 or so units to Gibraltar, and from there on out was able to squeeze Germany.  The next few turns included a complex in Norway, capturing Western Germany, bombing raiders of Berlin, reinforcement by the UK and heavy spending in the Pacific to hold off Japan’s 6VC bid.  The game is currently at G6 and, although Moscow has fallen (I will get to that shortly) it was done at the cost of leaving Berlin open to invasion.  USSR will take back its capital and the US or UK will take Berlin and hold it.

    What I’ve been doing in the Pacific this whole time is obviously aiding Anzac and using transports to chip away at islands and taking out any ships I can with the two nations.  India fell on turn 3 (still trying to figure out how I can hold onto India for another turn or two).

    London ignored the Taranto raid (which I think was a mistake).  Their main focus was building up navy, air force and getting an air base in Gibraltar all to support the US effort.  Early naval building (made more difficult by the fact that they had some awful rolling against Germany turn 1) was done out of Quebec and eventually I was able to build up enough that Germany couldn’t wipe everything out with its planes, at which point I was able to just shuttle units into Europe (no new info there).

    The one other thing I did with them was back the Med fleet out and use it to harass Japan a bit.  I completely left Italy alone this game.

    USSR was played aggressively.  Knowing that I wanted to gang up hardcore on Germany I beefed up Leningrad (as opposed to my usual retreat) and attacked Germany where I could.  This thinned me out but of course meant Germany had to reinforce the front lines.  Had I not missed a blocking move I actually would’ve held onto Moscow.  Since you have to crush Germany as early as possible for this plan to work it’s important to be aggressive as the USSR.  Sitting back and holding out isn’t going to do you all that much good if Japan wins the game on the other end.

    On RUS2 I moved all my far east units into Amur and pressured the Japanese.  Looking back on it, and after reading some board strategies, I believe moving into Amur turn one would mean Japan would have to think a lot harder before a J1 attack.  I marched them down and tried to work as best I could with the Chinese.  They at least made life a little tougher for Japan.

    Not much to review with Anzac.  Stack units, try to steal an island or two and make life hard on Japan if possible.

    On the Axis side we’ve already covered Germany.  They aggressively pursued Russia and couldn’t handle taking them out while also competing with the UK and an all out US surge, especially Gibraltar already having a fleet, loaded transports and an airbase with scramblers by turn 2.

    Japan carried its plan out well, it just couldn’t win the game fast enough.  Between Russia advancing its troops, the Med fleet causing them some headaches, China playing a decent game (in all fairness China did get some favorable rolling early on but I’d argue this was a break even for the horrible UK rolling during Germany’s initial attack).  The one black mark I could give Japan was that it left a mini fleet open to attack by US and Anzac.  US hit it first and while it was a coin flip battle, the allies had the advantage because they could hit with the US, retreat with minimal losses, then Anzac was able to come in with a few ships and five or six fighters and clear out Japan easily.

    Italy was beastly, no doubt.  They controlled most of Africa and were marching into the ME, while acting as a can opener for Germany.  But it was still too little too late and I believe that would’ve been negated by London hitting them hard round 1 (and then still ignoring them the rest of the way).

    Again, I’m not claiming this to be a definitive counter.  The Axis made a few tactical errors and I’m confident if (and when) we play again Ike will have something to fire back with.  But that being said the Allies certainly didn’t play it perfectly either and, with some fine tuning, there may be some meat on the bone.

    Questions, comments, thoughts?  I’d like to try this again in the near future and see if it sticks.



  • I too like to press hard on Europe as US vs a J1 DOW, but I’m not yet convinced you can do so for more than 1 1/2 buys. 1dd/2ss/2AC (stealing Pacific planes to fill) into Europe on US1 is usually enough to complete the allied Med domination, depending on G1 and Taranto success. Add another carrier/dd if necessary, otherwise, 100% Pacific navy for the next 6-8 turns. I call this the “Kill Italy First, but also Kill Japan First!” strategy. Patent pending 🙂

    My theory is that US cannot afford to build transports until the late game against a J1 Dow. Your job is to be Death, the Destroyer of Navies: AC/dd/ss/fig only for the first 8-10 turns, and swap in some bombers if Germany really wants a Sealion. Have your allies do the dirty work with land units: submarines for days, baby.


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