• Love this! This will give me the flexibility I need as Japan.

    One thing I like to do is steamroll China and Buryatai J1 and then shuck 6-7 troops per turn to Yunnan, mostly inf and art. This frees up Japan to purchase one fighter or one ship per turn. Usually, Japan maxes out production right when India is about to be taken. If America decides to casually build in the Pacific a few turns in, simply buy a fully loaded aircraft carrier, and either he is goaded into a naval war and let G go, or he is too intimidated and stops trying.

    Of course, if UK ignores India, there’s always the possibility of a Buryatai ferry service, especially with a Manchurian factory throwing out tanks.

    By the way, is there any way to safely maintain Indochina when India is maxing out tanks every round (assuming killing India ASAP is #1 priority)?

  • 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Thanks everyone! Glad you like the post. :-)

    Herr Rommel, I’m having trouble understanding why 3 tanks per turn in India would be a special problem for Japan, even if you want to hold on to Indochina. On turn 1, the most Britain can put into Burma is 4 infantry and 1 AA gun. You can attack Burma using your starting transport to carry (1 inf, 1 tnk) from Tokyo, plus a pair of battleships for bombardment, plus the (2 inf, 1 art) that start in Indochina, plus at least 2 fighters and a bomber. That battle is a 99% win for Japan, even when Britain reinforces Burma to the max.

    Taking Burma on Japan’s first turn means that Indochina is safe from attack on Britain’s second turn.

    On your first turn as Japan, you can build 3 transports without breaking a sweat, and you start off with the extra infantry sitting around ready to load onto the transports – so starting on turn 2, and every turn thereafter, you can match India’s 3 tanks with a naval delivery of at least 6 infantry. You can also land a couple of fighters in Indochina for added protection if you really want to. Six British tanks vs. two Japanese fighters and six Japanese infantry is an 87% win for Japan, and the odds only get better from there – if even one of your infantry from the Burma campaign survived, then odds go up to 96%.

    Meanwhile, Britain is very weak in Europe/Africa, because they are spending money that they don’t have to go nowhere in Asia. Germany will soon vacuum up Africa, leaving Britain without the 18 IPCs/turn it needs to keep max placing tanks.

    Innohub, how do you use the East Indies factory to speed up the India crush? What turn do you usually wind up assaulting India? I’ve never understood how that is supposed to work. Since you need 2 transports just to service the East Indies factory, you’re spending 29 IPCs on logistics. If you crush India on turn 4, that means you get two turns worth of transport deliveries out of your factory – so you’re spending something like 29 + 16 + 16 = 61 IPCs to deliver 4 inf, 2 art, 2 tnk to India, for total offensive power of (2 * 1) + (4 * 2) + (2 * 3) = 16. With that same 61 IPCs, I’d rather buy 6 fighters, for total offensive power of 18. You still need some land units as fodder for your fighters and to hold the territory, but you start out with 13 land units in Asia, and if you build even 1 more transport (for a total of 2), you can ferry over about 6 more land units over the first three turns.

  • '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    Hi Argothair,

    I found East Indies factory seem to help most at the initial momentum(I think the best time is R3, because R1build factory, R2 you get 4 infantries, and R3 you can bring them right to attack), because with that factory and transports you can push additional troops from this factory to India at the same time with other ground troops that are already in mainland.  For example, the two transports from mainland can bring 4 troops to land at Burma.  At the next round, this two transports can carry the troops from East Indies to attack India directly instead of going back to pick up troops that cannot be immediately brought to the fight.  I think this is the best moment.  After that there are some value, like keeping the East India shuck shuck going using 2 transports or use this to attack Africa, and but I think those are secondary in terms of importance.

    But your argument seems valid in terms of logistic, so my initial feeling might not be correct :-D.

  • 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Thanks, Innohub! That makes a lot of sense. I’m imagining something like this:

    J1: Build East Indies Factory and 1 transport, save $8, move starting transports to Yunnan with troops from Tokyo. Start marching troops from Kwantung, Indochina, and Malaya toward India via Yunnan and Burma. Attack Anhwei mostly with troops from Manchuria, leaving 2 inf in Kiangsu.
    J2: Build 2 inf + 2 art in East Indies and 2 bombers in Tokyo, move Burma transports to Kiangsu & Philippines to pick up troops and drop them off in Burma, move new Tokyo transport to Burma with remaining Tokyo troops. March units from Indochina and Yunnan into Burma.
    J3: Use all 3 transports to ferry 4 inf, 2 art from East Indies to India together with support from BBs while also attacking India from Burma and with help from new bombers in Tokyo.

    Total army is approx. 14 inf, 6 art, 1 tnk, 4 ftr, 2 bmbr, 2 BBs.

    If the British build 2 inf, 1 ftr in India on rounds 1, 2, and 3, and they move in every available troop from Egypt through Burma to defend India (minus a loss of 1 infantry to a G1 attack on Trans-Jordan), that still only leaves them with 12 inf, 1 art, 1 tnk, 4 ftr, 1 AA gun to defend India on round 3.

    Odds on that battle are 98.9% in favor of the Japanese! Even adding in two Russian tanks and one American fighter as emergency reinforcements, odds are still 84% for the Japanese. I like those odds. I look forward to giving it a try the next time a British player gives me the opportunity! Taking India on round 3 would be a great way to accelerate the Japanese expansion – and since it leaves you with 3 transports, some planes, and a decent position in China, you really don’t have to sacrifice that much to get there. Thanks for showing me a new way to look at the East Indies factory. :-)

  • '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    Very clear and convincing analytics! :-D  I think what I do is exactly what you said below.

    It’s a close battle between Axis and Allies and a couple infantries added to the battle make a difference.  To safeguard India from early fall Allies really have to plan ahead and coordinate all resource where possible.

  • Moderator

    Great Article!

    @Argothair:

    POLAR EXPRESS

    In the Polar Express, you set up to quickly ferry troops into Alaska, building a factory there and penetrating as far into the American interior as circumstances allow. This opening won’t let you actually conquer the United States unless your opponents royally screw up, but it can distract the heck out of the USA during crucial turns when they really need to be ferrying troops to Paris.

    There is an interesting variation to this using Germany too.
    G1 - buy AC + DD otherwise normal G1.  Take Gib.
    G2 - Unify G fleet off of France

    G3 - Take Ecan and on J3 take Ala.  (I’m not sure if Wcan is in play on J3, it may depend on transport movement on J2)

    This was a really nasty surprise in Revised b/c J could drop directly into Wcan from the Ala sz (I forget the #).  It’s a little different here, but you can still surprise the US.

    –---------------------------

    I like the idea of the East India Factory, but the problem is the commitment on J1.  It opens Japan up to a US Pac strat, with minor annoyance from any surviving UK ships.  I’m not saying you are going lose the factory anytime soon to the US, just that I’m going to force you to defend it, or at the very least buy navy so you won’t be getting the “planned” troops to Asia.  I’m going to try an make it a “wasted” purchase.

    A lot of this can depend on if Pearl was hit or not and what the Allies did with the UK ships etc., but it is an option for the US since you get to see how all of rd 1 played out.

  • '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    Yes…DarthMaximus made an excellent point.  In fact I was screwed before with exact scenario mentioned above…

    That might be a reason why East Indies is no longer my favorite opening move (I still like this and employ from time to time).   I personally prefer a more fuzzy strategy these days and East Indies is very explicit in terms of purpose and therefore Allies can immediately spot what Japan strategy is, and respond accordingly

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    On the other hand, if your desire is to draw the US into Pacific spending, having 4 subs immediately in sz 37 can go a long way to making the whole area around the money islands into a deadzone. It’s 3 moves from sz 56, so pretty hard for the USA to get there in time. Unless the British went all crazy Pacific with their opening, in which case Japan probably shouldn’t have a bought a factory there in the first place  :-D

    Probably goes only one of two ways. Either the Americans see the factory and say “oh shit, better throw everything at the South Pacific…” or “Oh shit, better stay the hell away from the South Pacific and throw everything at Europe.” Kind of hard to predict which way they’ll go.

    On the upside you don’t have to place the factory until after all the combats are resolved, so if something went wrong, failure at pearl, getting smoked somewhere in China, losing more fighters than you’d hoped, you can always put the factory somewhere safer.

    The downside is that you’re going to be short 15 ipcs in ground units with a one round delay before the factory comes into play. So if the Allies do something you weren’t anticipating, or rush the other theater, it could stall the Japanese impact in later rounds, esp against Russia.

  • 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    I dunno, I don’t think the threat to make me “waste” my East Indian factory is very convincing. As Black_Elk points out, it’s five spaces away, which means that ships built on A1 can’t reach East Indies sea zone until after the J4 build. If you’re worried about getting diced in Pearl Harbor, you can send the cruiser, sub, carrier, two fighters, and a bomber – it’s overkill, but you’re going to win. That leaves the US with only the BB and DD off the coast of San Francisco that can reach East Indies before J4, and it’s very easy to ward them off with your starting 2 BB + 1 CV + 1 DD.

    If you build the factory on J1, you can use it to crank out infantry on J2 and J3, and then switch to naval defense on J4 if America really is coming for you, which you’ll see a mile away. That doesn’t sound wasted at all to me!

    That said, if Britain successfully sank my Caroline Islands BB + CV on turn 1, I would think twice about an East Indian factory, but that’s as much on general principles as it is because I’m specifically worried about defending the factory – an all-out attack on SZ 37 suggests that it’s a KJF kind of game, and while I’ve got some cojones, I usually don’t have quite enough cojones to go for a turn-3 blitz on India while both Britain and America are coming to kill me.

  • Moderator

    Those are certainly good points, but it is not that the US is going to take EI, it is that you are never going to need those (4) build spaces for Japan.  Or more accurately, be able to use them every turn.

    The problem with the factory is you are ultimately going to have to defend either Sz 37 or Sz 60.

    The US can pretty quickly go to Mid or Ala (say US 2).  Then you go to Wake (US 3).  Very quickly Japan sees the US coming at them an must counter.  And once Japan counters with additional ships or air, you don’t need 12 build slots and you won’t be needing to place tons of Navy in Sz 37 at this point b/c the US can have a token threat on Japan.

    Again, I’m not saying Japan will fall or EI will fall, or the US will sink the J fleet anytime soon, what I’m saying is you spent 15 ipcs on something that:
    1)  You won’t be using for its intended purpose (crush india sooner) or using very much at all
    2)  You won’t be needing for added build slots since planes and possibly ships are more expensive than inf and rt.

    I think the safer play is to just to wait until J2.  Yes you don’t get to India any faster, but you also get to see if the US pulls out of the Pac or how they plan to play on US 1.

    Personally I don’t like putting the target out there on J1.  It just invites a scenario where you feel obligated to defend it and you end up not placing a bunch of units down there as the US builds up its navy and moves out into the Pac.

  • 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    You’re also making good points, but I still think you can get good use out of an East Indies factory even when the USA is attacking you as long as your Caroline Island fleet in SZ 37 survives UK 1.

    Innohub and I lay out a plan above that shows you how, with the East Indies factory, Japan can take India on J3. Keep in mind that, according to this plan, there are zero factories in China and zero transports in sea zone 60 – all three of Japan’s transports go west to India and then even further west to Africa. As a result, if the US makes a fast move to the northwest Pacific (Alaska / Wake / Midway / Iwo Jima / Manchuria) with only one or two transports, you don’t have to block that naval move at all.

    Instead, you can just retreat your infantry one step into the Chinese interior. Let the US drop four infantry into Manchuria if they want to. You can just retake Manchuria next turn with two or three Asian infantry and two or three fighters, without any Japanese boats at all in the northwest Pacific. Now the Americans are sitting around on their thumbs, unchallenged masters of Tokyo Bay, with no land units and no good options, while Germany starts camping in West Russia and Japan builds tanks in India to trade for Kazakh and Novosibirsk.

    On the other hand, if America makes a heavy move into the northwest Pacific, with 4+ loaded transports and enough boats to defend them against the starting Japanese navy and airforce, then there’s no way in heck they’re getting to the coast of Asia before US 5 – and when you see that buildup, you have time to bring your fleet back from India to defend Tokyo and to build some extra infantry on the Japanese mainland.

    Will you make use of all 12 builds every turn if America sends everything into the northwest Pacific? No, but that’s totally fine, because the point of the factory isn’t to max out my builds on a regular basis; the point is to take India one turn sooner (turn 3 instead of turn 4) and then to take Italian East Africa and Madagascar one turn sooner (turn 4 instead of turn 5). That’s worth at least 10 IPCs right there just from the income swing, let alone the hit to the British from losing their factory and the boost to the Japanese from gaining a well-placed factory, which has got to be worth another 10 IPCs because now instead of stalling out in Burma and making negative value trades, you can sweep through central Asia and pick off isolated Allied forces at favorable odds. Another 5-10 IPCs of value comes from the fact that America doesn’t want to be in the northwest Pacific; they want to be in the southwest Pacific hoovering up the money islands, and your East Indies factory is keeping them out of there and forcing them to fight over islands that are literally worth 0 IPCs just so they stay out of range of your East Indies factory. Finally, the East Indies factory gives you the option of placing max defense into Japan (e.g., 7 infantry, 1 fighter) while still building a couple of subs or destroyers in a safe location (East Indies). That’s worth another few IPCs. The cost of 15 IPCs for the factory winds up being worth around 35 IPCs in value – it’s a good profit, and under the right circumstances, it’s a better profit than you can make on a fourth transport or on a factory placed in China.

    The way I see it, there are only three good responses to the East Indies factory option: (a) blow up the second Japanese transport on England’s first turn so that the Japanese can’t guarantee a sack of India on J3, (b) blow up the Caroline Islands fleet on England’s first turn so that if Japan does sack India on J3, America can build up naval superiority quickly enough to make Japan pay a heavy price for its Indian adventure, or © abandon India, building 0-2 infantry there over three turns, and focus on building up a great Atlantic fleet that can quickly seize Paris or Rome. The fourth option (send a medium-sized American fleet to Wake Island and hope Japan panics) just isn’t an effective counter-attack.

  • Moderator

    That’s definitely a solid plan of attack for J.

    It’s just not a commitment I want make on J1, without seeing the US plans.  Just personal preference there.

    I should say, I’ve been assuming the UK hits the J trn/dd in Sz 61 on UK 1 and no sz 37 attack.  Ftr/cru to Sz 61.  UK AC to safest spot on eastern afr, the Aus Cru/trn 2 inf to safe spot in South East Pac (either to go to Afr or join up with US Pac fleet).  Also an avg bid 9-12 used on maybe 1-2 inf Egy, 1-2 inf Rus.

    I also think there are some German openings that make the EI IC on J1 a little safer IMO, but I personally like to see what the US is up to before I place any J factories.  I’m a big fan of trns on J1.

  • 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Aha! Well, if the UK hits the J trn/dd in SZ 61 on UK 1, then I completely agree with you! With only one starting transport, the largest army I can figure out how to get to India on J3 is only 13 inf, 5 art, 1 tnk, 4 ftr, 1 bmbr, 2 BBs, which I don’t think is enough to give you good odds if Britain strongly reinforces India.

    And yeah, it is nice to see what the US is doing before you commit. Picking an ambiguous strategy like ferrying troops into China builds your economy while also getting you a little bit closer to India, whereas the US has to make a bold choice on turn 1 – go Pacific, or go Atlantic. If the US just sits in San Francisco, they’re wasting their time, and if the US moves toward Panama, then that becomes much more costly for them to “undo” than for Japan to re-route from China to India.


  • I skimmed this thread:

    1. Japan pressuring Alaska will only work against bad allied players. Fundamentally, US produces 10 in Western US and has shorter supply lines than Japan producing 8. Against bad players, any number of strategies can work.
    In reality, there’s only 1 optimal strategy for Japan vs good players. The priorities are to 1. deadzone the US fleet and 2. deploy land to Asia to pressure India, then Russia & Africa.

    2. Don’t build factories R1. Transports > any factory build R1. For 14 cost, transports can deploy 4 units a turn into Manchuria or Yunan. East Indies factory is good, but Japan doesn’t have the transports to utilize Japan production AND East Indies. Timing wise for India pressure, R2 or R3 factory is ideal.

    3. India falling before R6 represents a huge blunder by the allies. India provides solid income, and Japan capturing the factory accelerates pressure on Africa and Russia.
    India can often can be held indefinitely with a little US pressure on Japan. Even if Japan somehow manages to apply enough pressure, Russia has the option to place enough units to defend India.
    The current best practice is to buy 3 land in India, and 2 fighters in UK. Fighters UK -> WRussia/Russia -> India. By accumulating fighters, UK can start really deadzoning japan navy off africa by round 10 with ~20 fighters.
    To reiterate, holding India is almost completely the ALLIES CHOICE in the first 20 rounds.

    4. UK should almost always send 1 fig, 1 cru to sz 61 and kill the dest and transport. UK fighter lands in szechwan + 1 rus inf makes szechwan safe R1.

    Let me know and I can clarify any of these points.

  • 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Hi, MarineIguana. Please keep in mind that I’m well aware of the orthodox strategies for 1942.2, so when I write about other strategies, I usually either (a) have a niche scenario in mind where given the particular circumstances of that scenario, another strategy can be just as good, or (b) am purposely exploring other strategies that are fun but not optimal. You’re more than welcome to point out where my suggested strategies would go wrong – but please be careful not to just point out that my strategies are different from the orthodox strategies and then promptly conclude that my strategies must be wrong because they’re different from the orthodox strategies.

    1. I agree, Japan cannot defeat America in Alaska and will in fact be pushed out of Alaska within at most five rounds after landing there. The point of going to Alaska is not to seize San Francisco – it’s to distract the USA during a critical window so that Germany can capture Moscow.

    2, 3, and 4) In general, I totally agree with you that transports beat factories for Japan round 1. I also agree that Britain should usually sink Japan’s transport in SZ 61 on round 1. However, if Britain chooses not to, or if Britain gets diced and fails to sink the transport, then I think the round 1 East Indies factory is an optimal strategy that guarantees a round 3 capture of India unless the Allies divert way more troops to defending India then they can possibly afford. Note that even if Britain builds 3 land in India and 2 fighters / turn in London to fly to India, only one round of fighters (so, 2 fighters, total) will reach India in time to defend against a J3 attack. That’s not enough; if Japan keeps both starting transports, then India still falls on round 3 unless you also send massive Russian support. It’s useful to keep Szechuan safe on R1, but by itself that doesn’t interfere much with the Japanese blitz on India – at most you’re saving the American fighter to go to India and defend there.

  • '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    Another thing is Germany can also distract UK/Russia like the way US/Russia distracts Japan, so defending India does need a very close coordination or risk early fall.

    Axis really need to work as  a team in order to break down Allies’ defence…


  • @Argothair:

    Hi, MarineIguana. Please keep in mind that I’m well aware of the orthodox strategies for 1942.2, so when I write about other strategies, I usually either (a) have a niche scenario in mind where given the particular circumstances of that scenario, another strategy can be just as good, or (b) am purposely exploring other strategies that are fun but not optimal. You’re more than welcome to point out where my suggested strategies would go wrong – but please be careful not to just point out that my strategies are different from the orthodox strategies and then promptly conclude that my strategies must be wrong because they’re different from the orthodox strategies.

    Yeah, I am assuming that the goal is to maximize the probability of winning a game. As an alternative challenge, one can try to place a Japanese AA gun in greenland before the end of the game. I’ve done that once and it was amusing.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    Well when you get down to it, there are really only two kinds of Axis and Allies games, the long ones and the slightly shorter ones  :-D

    Self imposed time constraints can be important (whether you are playing digitally or face to face) and also understanding the general disposition of your opponent, like whether they have endurance for the long slog or if they’re more impulsive or inclined to take gambles.

    If the expectation is for a long game against a patient opponent, or a low luck game, or on the computer where it’s possible to play a large number of rounds in continuous sessions, then you pad the odds, and use the scripted openings, and try to trade units at advantage until the center crush is resolved one way or another. Games like this feature huge mountains of ground units at the center of the gamemap and monster stacks of aircraft. In that type of match, anything that distracts from the contest at the center is usually bad for business for the side that deviates first, or else it pushes out the game’s resolution if the opponent follows suit and starts doing deviant stuff of their own.

    On the other hand, if its a short game, or against an impatient opponent, face to face, or a single session with no prospects of a continuation, then all sorts of things can happen that might make it advantageous to double down or make audacious plays.

    It’s helpful to know how risk averse your opponent is. Take Burma as an example. If Japan holds Burma with 1 infantry unit, are they the sort of player who will attack it with 1 infantry and air support (and run a slight risk against your defense for an optimal trade) or are they the sort that will bring 2 infantry, to ensure you can’t stack it with defensive air? Similarly, are you the sort of Japanese player who is willing to take a risk to trade at advantage, or are you the sort who will pad it and bring the extra dude to ensure you take the territory? If they play the risk, then you should probably focus on aircraft. If they like to bring the second dude then you should probably focus on ground, so you have enough units to compensate for the losses you’re likely to sustain over many rounds. The latter requires slightly more production/transport capacity than the former.

    For the most part I see pretty similar UK openers these days…

    The most common purchases for UK are:

    Max Air Builds:
    2 artillery, 1 inf in India and 2 fighters in England (best for India round 3 defense)
    3 infantry in India and 1 fighter 1 bomber in England (fun for an early Med push, and killing German Battleship outright)

    Max Tank builds:
    3 tanks in India and 1 fighter 1 inf in England
    3 tanks in India and 1 bomber in England
    (Both of these builds are best when the tanks are conserved for later use against Germany on the Eastern Front or for the eventual Berlin battle, not against Japan.)

    Often these same purchases are repeated over several rounds to magnify the effect.

    90% of the time, the UK is best served going for the Max Air builds because you get more out of them in the long run due to the mobility factor. The 2 fighter build is the most common by far for the critical defense of W. Russia/India, though the UK can also be very effective with additional bombers especially when trying to hold the IJN at bay.

    Sometimes the UK will get a chance to mix things up in the second round, instead of repeating the purchases mentioned above.

    All the other less common builds usually fall into one of two types, saving to purchase an Atlantic carrier fleet to set up early KGF pressure (usually with US fighters on deck), or else some kind of wily KJF oriented build in an attempt to break the IJN quickly somehow. This latter rarely comes off, unless Japan has a disastrous first round. Saving for an early Atlantic carrier, likewise only really works if Germany had a poor opening, losing a bunch of fighters etc.

    Usually I’ll see the sz61 attack, as outlined by MarineIguana, though whether it involves the cruiser fighter combo, or the carrier fighter combo, or just the lone fighter, depends on whether the Germans expose their battleship. If the battleship is a potential target, sz 61 takes on a new dimension. In those cases it might make sense to use the India fleet in slightly different ways.

    The sz 37 hit is much less common, though not uncommon enough to write off entirely, since the UK can definitely get annoying if they elect to use their bid like that. Going cutthroat with no conditions other than trying to win, I prefer a med bid for the UK, as I know we’ve discussed in previous threads, but if the UK claps down on 37 and does well, it can certainly turn the Japanese opener on its head right quick. But usually I see 61 from UK to kill the destroyer/transport, and most of the time, as Japan, you’re facing down max ground in India with air being shuttled over from the West, every round until the India pocket collapses, when it is no longer possible to hold Calcutta against an all out ground assault from Burma, or if Russia is threatened and it’s no longer worth it to stay in India for fear of losing all your critical air power. Until then the IJN will basically be stuck off coastal China unless it is expanded early on with a third carrier, some defensive DD and the like, because UK will have enough air in India to keep them from making a break towards Suez (or so the British logic goes.)

    My favorite play for the UK pacific sub is to attack into sz 37 with only the sub and dive immediately, avoiding combat. Then clear the destroyer in sz 61 so the British sub cannot be sunk on J1. This can cause some definite headaches for the IJN, especially if the british starting bomber is flown in range for UK2.

    As the Japanese the only truly safe harbors are sz 61 or those sea zones immediately adjacent to the home island. But as long as you preserve your transports or keep them out of range of Allied air, the Japanese don’t really need much to threaten the center. From Yunnan a Japanese ground stack is only 3 moves from Moscow, and only 2 moves from India. That’s still pretty close, even for  slow moving units like infantry.

    If developing an all purpose gameplan for Japan, it would probably look something like this…

    Round 1: expand transport capacity and fleet defense. 2 transports 2 destroyers can be fun. Or 2 transports one carrier. Or 2 transports 1 fighter. Or 2 transports 1 bomber (I consider bombers as part of fleet defense and deterrence, even if they can’t land on carriers, because they can be used to deadzone such a large area of the pacific ocean from Japan.)

    Round 2: buy another air unit and the rest ground to shuck, or one more transport and the rest ground to shuck.

    Round 3: expand production and spend the rest on ground, or just make the same kind of build you did in round two, until such time as production expansion makes sense…

    From round 4 on, you can pretty much just park your fleet in sz 61, dump everything into Yunnan and stack heavily with successive shucks until an opportunity presents itself somewhere. If the Allies come at you, keep your air close to home and build more air to support what you already have. If the Allies ignore you then send that air to cover the German advance on the center, and build more to send their way in subsequent rounds.

    It can be fun to expand your transports up to one more than you actually need for your max production. A transport in your back pocket, can be fun, esp if you break it away from the main fleet with a cruiser say, to pick up some extra income from Australia, or cause distractions in Alaska or Hawaii etc. More than a few times I’ve seen a sneaky transport in the southern hemisphere lurking around, all but forgotten, until they magically reappear from the shadows like a ninja assassin, to royally screw an unsuspecting Allied opponent haha.

    Eventually the center will break and Japan can start to do more interesting stuff, or the center will hold, in which case Japan should probably just concede lol.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    Ps. Couple thoughts on the Polar Express concept as an endgame play rather than an opener…

    A version of this strat can be made to work in the final rounds, provided that Japan is no longer needed at the center, and has sufficiently outpaced the Americans on income. It’s also helpful if the Allied player is a good sport, or just wants to play out a few more rounds before calling it a night.  :-D

    An example might be, if Germany is poised to take Moscow alone, such that Japan has a free hand to redirect early against North America, instead of Africa. Or if it seems like the Allies might be able to trade Moscow for Berlin in the same round, and Japan wants to keep going.

    It requires that you have a large number ground units at the ready preferably in Yakut and Munchuria. The basic idea is to spam transports at the last minute before the planned invasion. So say you have 5 or 6 transports with 12 or more units ready to transport out of sz 60 to Alaska, and several more ground units in Yakut or Manchuria, that can move to Bury at the same time so that they can be shucked the following round. Then you spam 5 more transports to set up the double shuck, from Japan and Manchuria to Buryatia with one transport group, and from Buryatia  to Alaska with the other transport group.

    To pull this off, you have to be able to match US production a full round ahead of their ability to equal your forces from their production centers, and this with already existing Japanese units, which is why you need the Yakut stack at the ready. If you can rapidly amass a large stack of ground in Alaska by using existing Japanese units, it may be possible to walk them to Western Canada without fear of a crushing counter attack from the US, and then you can use your transports to threaten W. US on amphibious, while you attempt to can open Central or Eastern Canada with German bombers for a blitz on DC. Although not a particularly likely deep endgame, it can sometimes be a more direct route to the ultimate Axis smackdown, than taking London.

    Again, I don’t think its something that you can really plan for from the outset, but more of a redirect at the last possible second, where you make as if to threaten Moscow from Yakut, but then rapidly double back for the Alaskan crossing. It’s also pretty simple for the US to cover against this play, if they see it coming, so you really have to catch them with their guard down.

    I think there are only two times I’ve seen it work. Once was in a KGF game, where the Russian player made a strategic withdrawal from Moscow in an attempt to triple team G. And another game where Germany got lucky on their tank drive and smoked Moscow earlier than anyone expected. In both instances the Allies were playing a masochist’s game, fighting on rather than conceding haha

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