IC in Manchuria



  • I have come across a lot of articles on this board and getting a mixed bag of answers when it comes to this question. Is it worth butting an IC on Manchuria, and if so, what turn? My usual buy with japan is 1 DD, 2TP, spend the rest on infantry and save 2 bucks, but if the US just decides to go after me with his entire budget, its going to be hard to ferry troops with the US usually on my back door, so Ill build a factory on either french indo china, or Manchuria depending on who i’m pushing for.

    So I would like to know what are your opinions on this topic?

    Sincerely, Hitler



  • I usually build one once I reach the cap in Japan. Before that I would def. go with transports instead.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I build one for Manchuria on J1.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    It depends on what you are trying to do with Japan and the opportunities and threats posed by the allies:

    1. If J is driving west across Asia to help G with the defeat of R then a mainland IC - or even two! - is probably a must.

    2. If capturing India then a mix of land and sea builds may be required (it depends on what the enemy do) so one mainland IC at least likely. Capturing India then provides the second mainland IC for going west.

    3. If Pacific first - capture US islands / Australia and threaten the US west coast (it is hard to do more than threaten) then naval builds will dominate.

    If trying to do all three then you’ll probably fail at all of them. Options 1 and 2 are more likely to contribute to axis victory than option 3. Even with a J navy focus the US can still send some resources to Europe, while J is not helping G against R. Options 1 and 2 more directly target the strategic fulcrum of the game - the survival of R.

    Transports do allow the investment in a mainland IC to be delayed and are essential for defence of the money islands. However, if J is pursuing option 1 then minimal fleet builds may lose Pacific naval dominance until R has been eradicated.

    So - in conclusion - an IC in Manchuria asap, with a second elsewhere depending on whether India has been captured without it.

    But the problem with any strategy is that events and enemies conspire to derail it!

    While I was typing this I see that wittman has posted a more succinct reply! But the same answer. As he usually beats me I would listen to him! 🙂


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    Manchuria is a potential good spot though it’s usually not my first choice when it comes to factory placement.  I like to wait a bit until I find it necessary.



  • Sometimes you can put an IC in Kwangtung its quicker to get troops to India



  • That’s a really broad question. Deciding whether or not to buy a Manchurian IC has a lot to do with your long-term strategy with both Axis powers. It is clearly the most superior factory you can buy (other land options like Kwangtung or French Indochina are not even worth mention). Regardless, I would advise against it.

    First of all, a Manchurian IC can really backfire on Japan if you’re not careful, because America can possibly take it over. If America spends a lot of money on a Pacific Fleet, they can successfully cow the Japanese navy to huddle around defend Tokyo, but leave the backdoor open for America to pass a small force into Manchuria just to get control of the factory (or at least ferry units in Northern Siberia). This shouldn’t really happen, but it should be known that you have to be especially careful that nobody will ever take it from you. Undoubtedly though, an extremely wily, smart America can take it from an unviligant Japan.

    Anyway, the only thing an IC in Manchuria essentially guarantees is control over central and northern Asia. It also is very useful to crank out fast-moving, powerful threats (tanks) to the dismantle the Russian periphery from the beginning of the game, coupled with serious pressure from Germany on the Western Front. Finally, it allows you to build more than 8 units in the rare occurrence that that is a good idea for Japan. However, it takes a long time for this investment to pay itself off, and a factory doesn’t actually give you any more power over Central and Southern Asia than you would have alternatively have been able to muster with just a transport fleet. You have to make a huge commitment to a large landforce for many rounds of the game, and every turn you do not put three units in Manchuria is not using your factory to its fullest extent. If you ideally buy three tanks per turn, you are deflecting 18 IPC’s per turn to other causes that may need your money more, like a Japanese navy if America decides to build a big fleet. The Manchurian IC doesn’t really contribute to your victory in India (or Asia, for that matter) anymore than a transport fleet does. Ferrying troops from Tokyo to Yunnan and back takes literally the same amount of time as driving down tanks from Manchuria (two turns from the purchase of transports/factory to get a force into Yunnan). Additionally, even though from a mathematical standpoint you would make the most back on your investment by buying tanks every turn there, this can be financially hazardous and the longevity of a Manchurian factory is seriously questionable. Whenever India is taken, a Manchurian factory may not be as useful anymore, especially if Japan starts needing to turn its attention towards America and defending its fragile assets like the money-maker islands.

    My final verdict is really to not buy the IC. It can be clutch in certain situations, but a flexible network of transports makes Japan more unpredictable, opens up your options, most effectively utilize’s Japan’s starting forces that otherwise go inactivated, and generally just makes Japan a lot more adaptable to different threats and scenarios. Anyone can feel free to counterargue.

    I don’t have time to finish my post but here is the barebones below:

    TL:DR;
    +Permanent fixture in coastal Asi
    +Cannot be “sunken” like transports can
    +Cheaper in the short-term than building 4 or more transports
    +Allows for tanks to threaten Eastern Russia much earlier
    +Useful in a KRF Axis strategy

    -Cannot make use/activate the large land army spread around useless Pacific islands.
    -Not as unpredictable or flexible as a large, mobile transport fleet
    -Requires Japan to throw income at Asia for rest of the game
    -Mostly serves a single, temporary purpose and becomes obsolete after India is taken
    -Not a dynamic threat; cannot be used to defend Japanese territorial possessions in the Pacific, nor threaten the US/ANZAC in a meaningful way
    -Transports can take India out directly, avoiding a land route and making it harder for Britain to defend India from the sea
    -Can be taken over and used against you
    -Does not afford you faster movement of troops around Asia
    -Does not make capturing India any faster than a transport fleet



  • So I had a game last night with my friends and of course i was japan (drew lots) and on round 4 the US had 3 fully fleshed out fleets in the water (he spent all his money in the pacific for a few turns) took Borneo, and now has my fleet huddled around tokyo. China somehow screwed me over (don’t ask me how) and now has a factory in Szechwan with a lot of Russian infantry in yunnan and anhwei.

    In this scenario, it is alright to build a factory in Manchuria since the only way for me to actually get a transport fleet going is if the us actually turns his attention to Germany (who is doing pretty good)?

    Sincerely, Hitler



  • I always build a factory in Manchuria on turn 1 when playing Japan.

    In my opinion, using transports to transfer land units to the mainland turn after turn after turn is a complete pain in the backside, because the transports are highly vulnerable to air or sea attack.  In order to keep both transports afloat I find I need to hold back at least two destroyers to escort them everywhere they go and if allied air power is nearby, then sometimes a cruiser too.

    Directing warships to escort transports is something Japan cannot afford to do, if it is to have any chance of matching or restricting the US navy in the Pacific.

    The way I see it, the 15 IPCs a new factory costs is a small price to pay to free up the entire Japanese Navy to focus on blocking the US Navy virtually from the start of the game and until US production eventually overwhelms it (by which time Russia is likely to have fallen anyway).

    But other more experienced players may have worked out a better way to put pressure on eastern Russia and hold the western Pacific for as long as possible.



  • It depends on the overall axis strategy.  Japan will need IC eventually and Manchuria is a great spot.  However, in my opinion, an IC anywhere on J1 is counterproductive because of the opportunity cost. There is a lot of territory available for the taking the first few turns but Japan needs more boots on the ground to be able to take it.  Spending 15 of your 10 IPC on an IC is tough to swallow especially when you consider that Japan has TT available and doesn’t have enough IPC to build all the things is really needs like more INF, Ftr and some ships.  Waiting is also good because it gives the Axis a chance to see what the Allies are doing, particularly the Americans.



  • @Fuhrer:

    So I had a game last night with my friends and of course i was japan (drew lots) and on round 4 the US had 3 fully fleshed out fleets in the water (he spent all his money in the pacific for a few turns) took Borneo, and now has my fleet huddled around tokyo. China somehow screwed me over (don’t ask me how) and now has a factory in Szechwan with a lot of Russian infantry in yunnan and anhwei.

    In this scenario, it is alright to build a factory in Manchuria since the only way for me to actually get a transport fleet going is if the us actually turns his attention to Germany (who is doing pretty good)?

    Sincerely, Hitler

    That is the kind of situation where you do not want an IC in Manchuria. I cannot be defended against an Allied KJF.  Instead build in Borneo or East Indies to prevent them from taking.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    All these different opinions and scenarios! Isn’t that what makes this a great game!  🙂



  • Yes, it is.  😄


  • 2019 '15 '14

    I still have difficulties with this one. In the older games the choice was pretty clear because transports bolstered the defensive capabilities of the IJN, so I’d always go 4 transports and wait on the factories until I had enough money to fill them with tanks each round. But now that transports are defenseless an early IC can be rather more attractive. J1 is hard to plan for though. You can get a pretty good idea of which direction the Allies will go based on the UK opener, but it’s hard to really know what you’re up against until the Americans make their first purchase. Usually if I want to expand production, I like to do it somewhere that will allow another sz where I can drop ships to give the IJN more mobility. In that respect Manchuria doesn’t do you a whole lot of good, since you already have the coastal production out of Tokyo. Sometimes it can be nice to activate Kwangtung, just so you can drop a carrier or destroyer in your shuck zone directly, and keep the fleet consolidated somewhere safe. But you give up a production point doing that, so its not as solid an investment as Manchuria, but if you’re trying to shuck 8 ground out of Japan every round, often you won’t have the cash to fill 3 more production slots anyway. If the Allies are building there air wall on India, and the US is gunning for the Pac, expanding production is dangerous. On the other hand, if the Allies get stalled up for a round, it could give you the initiative to start an early drive against the center. India can be a tough nut to crack though, and you really need a pretty decent transport capacity and a lot of air to push south. I think I’d rather have a pair transports, another carrier deck, or another bomber or fighter early on, for a similar amount of money on the line.

    I’ve seen Manchuria work, and there are few games where I kicked myself later on for not slamming into the Russian north earlier, so its not a categorical no for me. But on the whole I think there are better ways to use the cash in the opening rounds.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    I think all comments above are valid as it really depends and it’s so true that is what makes a great game  😄 Generally speaking though, my personal favourite of factory spot in descending order is East India,  Kwangtung/French Indo, and then Manchuria.



  • As I have been playing (mind you not with any worthy opponents such as yourselves) I always buy the IC/Manchuria on J1.

    Just playing the game by myself it still seems like a good move, but perhaps I’ve been missing something.



  • I’d recommend 2 transports 2 destroyers. The destroyers will help you keep the allied subs at bay, and later on can help you have two seperate fleets against UK’s airforce that will be in India. Two transports are the perfect amount to pick up the remaining units that will be in Japan after turn 1.

    You could also buy 3 transports and a destroyer. This depends on your opening move and your later transport movements. If you intend to move your starting transport in 60 down to 36 the first turn and then want to take India the next turn you will need 3 transports to maximize your moves.

    If your opponent bid a sub for UK and destroyed your carrier, battleship, and two planes you should always build 2 transport 2 destroyers. If he killed your transport destroyer than you can do either build, but you should never build a factory turn 1. This is just too risky and transports can do the same job better in the early game.



  • I’ve never played with a bid and I think the game is balanced. But again I haven’t played many people yet.

    I will setup a game tonight and play some of your options and see how it goes.



  • My standard buy on J1 (assuming all transports are alive) is 1 Transport coupled with some air, usually a fighter or two and remaining IPC on ground units to make sure transports are filled. Fighters just seems like the most flexible unit since it can both work in an all out Asian invasion but also help protect your navy if need be. Having 3 transports in total just seems like the maximum to me. Even with 3 I struggle to maintain all transports fully loaded each turn and also building enough navy to keep a US player who invests heavily into a pacific fleet. Buying more transports and sending them on far away missions like Australia or Africa on early rounds doesn’t seem to be worth it in my opinion. But somehow with this build I struggle to keep enough pressure on north eastern Russia and India if US pressures my navy. Anyone has any bright ideas?



  • @InViriconium:

    My standard buy on J1 (assuming all transports are alive) is 1 Transport coupled with some air, usually a fighter or two and remaining IPC on ground units to make sure transports are filled. Fighters just seems like the most flexible unit since it can both work in an all out Asian invasion but also help protect your navy if need be. Having 3 transports in total just seems like the maximum to me. Even with 3 I struggle to maintain all transports fully loaded each turn and also building enough navy to keep a US player who invests heavily into a pacific fleet. Buying more transports and sending them on far away missions like Australia or Africa on early rounds doesn’t seem to be worth it in my opinion. But somehow with this build I struggle to keep enough pressure on north eastern Russia and India if US pressures my navy. Anyone has any bright ideas?

    If the US is using enough money to pressure Japan, then Germany should have some breathing room in which to take down Russia. If America pressures one country, then hammer Russia hard with the other!



  • Ignore this post.



  • @Charles:

    One thing to clearify: someone earlier said that the US could capture an IC in Manchuria. Impossible. 1 US won’t capture Manchuria but instead China will assume control(liberating a territory) 2 Any IC in China is immediately destroyed if an Allied power liberates that territory or China simply captures it.

    Now, my advice:
    Only build an IC in Manchuria if you are threatening Russia. If you aren’t threatening Russia build an IC in Shantung or Kiagsu(for anti China) or Undo China or kwangtung or Malaya for anti India. Several ICs can be good. I personally like to buy an IC in Shantung J1 and (j1) attack) an IC in Indochina J2 and an IC in Kwangtung in J 3.

    Wrong game. This is 1942, where China isn’t a country.



  • Ah, very sorry. My bad, I thought it was 1940.



  • @InViriconium:

    My standard buy on J1 (assuming all transports are alive) is 1 Transport coupled with some air, usually a fighter or two and remaining IPC on ground units to make sure transports are filled. Fighters just seems like the most flexible unit since it can both work in an all out Asian invasion but also help protect your navy if need be. Having 3 transports in total just seems like the maximum to me. Even with 3 I struggle to maintain all transports fully loaded each turn and also building enough navy to keep a US player who invests heavily into a pacific fleet. Buying more transports and sending them on far away missions like Australia or Africa on early rounds doesn’t seem to be worth it in my opinion. But somehow with this build I struggle to keep enough pressure on north eastern Russia and India if US pressures my navy. Anyone has any bright ideas?

    this is precisely why i like the complex on first turn in manchuria.  you no longer need a navy to produce 3 tanks a turn to start harrassing russia and uk (preferably you’d be attacking India first turn and taking it, otherwise ASAP)

    you need your navy playing chess in the pacific with the US.  meanwhile any transports would be easy targets for stray allied fighters, so why not remove the risk or need for more navy just to defend them.

    japan’s navy WILL die at some point, you can’t afford to replace it, so you have to put pressure on Russia.


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