Turn 1 Japan Attack?



  • So I normally like to attack America as Japan the first turn and get started in the Philippines by moving the Japan navy there as well as taking Hong Kong, Shan State, French Indo China, attacking the lone battleship by Malaya. I build 3 transports as well. In Japan turn 2 I like to attack Burma or Shan State with the three transports that attacked Phillipines J1 depending on where there are more guys to kill. In my games I can take over India by turn 3 but only if I build a sea base in Hainan so that my transports built in Tokyo turn 1 reach Calcutta by turn 3. I usually take heavy losses in Calcutta and even lose some air force but it destroys the Burma road permanently. By the time I take those four islands that get Japan the 5IPC bonus (usually turn 4 if I am lucky but can take longer depending on ANZAC) the USA navy is usually in Japan’s main sea zone and invading Korea (not Japan since I build infantry J2 to protect Tokyo) since my whole navy went to India. I can fend off the navy without losses too high and have a lot of money since I took India and have 10 IPC’s in national goals alone.

    I am writing you guys this because I want your opinion on these moves. I will give some more background so you guys can assess whether or not this is good.

    In my games the USA player spends majority of money on the Europe side (bad for Germany and Italy) this however makes it easier for Japan to get victory cities.

    China gets a little out of hand and threatens victory cities even but once the USA navy is out of the Pacific or at least quelled than Japan can fix that.

    Germany decides that England is too difficult to invade and chooses to fight Russia G2 but sees Allied pieces in France as soon as Turn 4. Italy often gets kicked out of Africa and has their navy destroyed. Italy then spends the rest of the game preparing for invasion of their spaces.

    To sum it up I have always had this philosophy about Global that it is in Japan’s favor to attack USA ASAP and for Germany and Italy to wait for their normal declaration of war so that they can fight England and Russia only for the beginning. With my Japan strategy as context I would like to know your opinion and ask if you think it is worth it to have Japan attack turn 1.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    I would normally put down a blocker in SZ37 to prevent the TTs off Hainan reaching Calcutta J3. Frees up your infantry to be active rather than stuck on Garrison duty, which sucks. Another turn of production makes a real difference to the ability to get into Calcutta with the 3+ TTs.

    Don’t you find the USA in SZ6 slows down Japan massively? Do you build a DD to force the navy out or face a Kamikaze? That really only works if your navy can come in the next turn to hold the space.

    Consensus is that Sea Lion is a poor option unless it’s too easy. Many players buy 6inf + fighter UK1 to make it difficult, which is serious commitment.


  • 2018 2017

    As you may have noticed, once Japan moves south of SZ 33, 35, 36, it is out of position and unable to respond to the US move.  Once Japan moves to SZ 37, the game is up;  it is going to need 2 turns to either cap the islands or kill india (this should be nearly impossible to do a quick india kill in a global game because you can bring figthers to india via the middle east).

    You may also have noticed that if you take ALL of the Japanese stuff down there, the road against india/Anzac is pretty easy.  This is because of overkill.

    If you don’t leave at least one core grand fleet (loaded carrier, BB, destroyer), plus scramble planes, up north, then you are going to simply lose SZ 6 and therefore the game.  In many games, Japan can re form up its southern force and use a sea base on Kwangsi or Hainan to get back to SZ 6 just in time to defend against the US or counterattack it.

    Just remember, you get like 3 “core fleets” to start the game with japan, and can easily build a 4th.  If you cant spare at least one of these formation to defend japan or somewhere close, you are using overkill in the wrong area, and by J5, America will be able to split your navy and empire in half using screens and air.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    Yes. That is why I was surprised to read that the OP expected the US to be occupying SZ6.



  • I like to do J1 attack as well, but as of late in addition to the stuff you mentioned, I also sink the US Hawaiian fleet. I hit sz 26 with SS, 2 dd and 4 air units (making sure that a dd survives the Hawaii battle to block out the US San Fran fleet from counter attacking me). I then NCM 2 carriers, cruiser and BB to Wake to pick up planes. You can also use a tpt to take Wake if you fear an ill advised US air only strike (allows you to take hits on carriers and land planes safely on Wake). I also like to buy 3 transports J1 to finish off the DEI J3.

    The US is really hard pressed to come out and play US1 having lost the Hawaiian mini fleet with you at Wake (plus some more planes in Japan that can hit Hawaii sz26), so they will generally stay put in SF sz10 on US1 and build Pac (which is great for your German counter part when you do a J1 attack).

    J2 I move the Wake fleet to Caroline Is (may add ships/air to it) to keep pressure on the US and Anz (is also in range of DEI for J3). J2 I take Malaya because it takes 3 IPCs away from UK and is an Anz NO. I generally build an IC for FIC and Kwangtung to support my Asian/India campaign (some fast units). At the end of J2 I’ve got fleet and loaded tpts at Car, Phil, and Malaya all in range of hitting sz 54 Queensland so the Anz are also in a pickle (rather have them buying inf instead of planes and navy).

    On J3 hit the money islands, and the allies in the Pac are still playing catch up. India won’t have much income because you did a J1 attack and they weren’t able to claim any money islands, plus you are taking things from them. On J4 your newly built fast units can be in Yunnan/Burma ready to help take down Calcutta on J5 (or keep smacking China). May add some fleet along the way depending on if the US is still spending Pac.

    I agree that you need to keep part of your fleet in the central Pacific in range of your home sz6. Caroline’s and/or Phil are good staging points to project power and play defense at the same time (especially when you smack the USA hard on J1). You don’t need your entire fleet to take down India.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    @WILD:

    I like to do J1 attack as well, but as of late in addition to the stuff you mentioned, I also sink the US Hawaiian fleet. I hit sz 26 with SS, 2 dd and 4 air units (making sure that a dd survives the Hawaii battle to block out the US San Fran fleet from counter attacking me). I then NCM 2 carriers, cruiser and BB to Wake to pick up planes. You can also use a tpt to take Wake if you fear an ill advised US air only strike (allows you to take hits on carriers and land planes safely on Wake). I also like to buy 3 transports J1 to finish off the DEI J3.

    I reckon I’d scramble to this attack. It’s still a loser, just less of one.

    If you’re losing a DD and the sub round 1 while killing all my ships, chances are you are losing at least one of your planes to keep the DD.

    The whole USAF can reach SZ26 US1. If the SZ33 force has gone for the Philippines, which is presumably the reason for not sending 2 more planes into the attack then unless your Wake force is larger than I am thinking, it doesn’t seem to be enough to take down Pearl Harbour, even with the plane being replaced from Japan.



  • Yeah, your assumption is right, the Caroline’s carrier is needed to get air into the Phil land battle.

    As you said, it is still a losing battle if the US scrambles (90+% in Japan favor). Just not so sure about being less of a loss if US scrambles?. So it would be a bit bloody and we basically trade a couple planes. As Japan I will have replacements ready to cover loses to fly out to my Wake fleet (and I generally take the island). The US starts with 8 planes (including bmr), if they scramble they prob lose 3 ftrs (1 Phil, 2 Haw) on Japans first turn. If I lose 2 planes, I still have 19 left (as ridiculous as that sounds) .

    Wake would have the 2 loaded carriers, BB, Cr, DD (didn’t list DD in orig post, but they have 3 DDs in range of Haw and Wake). Depending on air losses if USA scrambled, and planes Japan kept in reserve they could have up to 4 planes that could hit sz26 plus the carrier planes (up to 8 planes in all). Japan would still have overwhelming odds if they attack, but would they?

    I agree that the US very well could call Japans bluff and move everything to Hawaii (navy & air), especially if they built a counter attack. Worse case scenario US moves to Haw, Japan to Car. The US still lacks the strength to push much further unless it builds Pac. BTW the Germans will love the entire US starting air force being in sz26, and most of the spending going Pac for the first couple turns. To the Euro axis it would be like Japan waited till J3 to attack.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    No scramble, TUV swing around 20: http://calc.axisandallies.org/?mustland=0&abortratio=0&saveunits=0&strafeunits=0&aInf=&aArt=&aArm=&aFig=2&aBom=2&aTra=&aSub=1&aDes=2&aCru=&aCar=&aBat=&adBat=&dInf=&dArt=&dArm=&dFig=&dBom=&dTra=&dSub=1&dDes=1&dCru=1&dCar=&dBat=&ddBat=&ool_att=Bat-Inf-Art-AArt-Arm-Sub-SSub-Des-Fig-JFig-Cru-Bom-HBom-Car-dBat-Tra&ool_def=Bat-Inf-Art-AArt-Arm-Bom-HBom-Sub-SSub-Des-Car-Cru-Fig-JFig-dBat-Tra&battle=Run&rounds=&reps=10000&luck=pure&ruleset=AA1942&territory=&round=1&pbem=

    Scramble, TUV swing, perhaps more: http://calc.axisandallies.org/?mustland=0&abortratio=0&saveunits=0&strafeunits=0&aInf=&aArt=&aArm=&aFig=2&aBom=2&aTra=&aSub=1&aDes=2&aCru=&aCar=&aBat=&adBat=&dInf=&dArt=&dArm=&dFig=2&dBom=&dTra=&dSub=1&dDes=1&dCru=1&dCar=&dBat=&ddBat=&ool_att=Bat-Inf-Art-AArt-Arm-Sub-SSub-Des-Fig-JFig-Cru-Bom-HBom-Car-dBat-Tra&ool_def=Bat-Inf-Art-AArt-Arm-Bom-HBom-Sub-SSub-Des-Car-Cru-Fig-JFig-dBat-Tra&battle=Run&rounds=&reps=10000&luck=pure&ruleset=AA1942&territory=&round=1&pbem=

    But the Triple-A calculator suggests a TUV swing of 16 with a scramble and 18 without.

    The other point is that the USA should be ecstatic to trade plane for plane (or ship for ship) with the Japanese. The USA can replace its loses quickly particularly in the early stages of the game. Even losing 1.3 planes per plane would be good enough for me in many situations.

    I don’t see where you get those three extra DDs from? One from SZ33, yes, but one of your DDs would have been lost assaulting SZ26 and a second would have been lost in it being retaken. Your only other starting DD is in SZ19 and would likely need to stay with the Islands’ force.


  • 2019 2017 2016

    @WILD:

    I agree that the US very well could call Japans bluff and move everything to Hawaii (navy & air), especially if they built a counter attack. Worse case scenario US moves to Haw, Japan to Car. The US still lacks the strength to push much further unless it builds Pac. BTW the Germans will love the entire US starting air force being in sz26, and most of the spending going Pac for the first couple turns. To the Euro axis it would be like Japan waited till J3 to attack.

    That’s probably a fair point but the US can’t mount much of an attack in the Atlantic with its starting units anyway. It normally needs a turn to consolidate unless the Kriegsmarine is completely toast. No DD in the Atlantic? Not much it can do.

    And ANZAC can come in and help. 2 fighters and a cruiser in New Zealand can reinforce SZ26 ANZAC1; also the Queensland fighter.



  • Japan has only 3 DD in range of Hawaii to start. 2 go into Hawaii battle, the 3rd NCM to Wake.

    That’s kinda the point.
    The Germans prefer the Japanese to wait to attack so they don’t have to deal with the US early, but the Japanese find it beneficial to attack early to put the Pac allies on their heals. If the US builds pac the first 2 - 3 turns to get up to par with Japan mission accomplished. Japan has killed a lot of stuff, is pressuring India, and can play defense staging at Phil once the US is up to speed. Just saying it takes longer for them to come gunning for you if you kick them in the teeth. If US scrambles, thy loses 53 IPCs in units (mostly support units) that otherwise wouldn’t get hit. That is about the equivalent of their first round buy (52 IPCs). The difference being that they don’t have the support ships (maybe ftrs) that start in Hawaii, so they can’t just buy 2 carriers and a BB on the first turn, because they need to replace some of what got sunk. Yeah, the Japanese will have to buy back a couple DD’s with in the next couple turns, but can still concentrate on the land battle, and islands as the US gets up to par.

    Plug in the Hawaii battle on Battle Skelly’s calc 93% odds in favor of Japan, losing 1 sub, 1dd, (and 1-2  two planes if US scrambles) ave betweeen 25-35 IPCs worth of units to keep dd alive.

    Japan 1ss, 2dd, 2ftr, 2tac

    USA 1ss, 1dd, 1cr, 2ftrs (if scramble)

    http://www.dskelly.com/misc/aa/aasim.html


  • 2019 2017 2016

    Two planes downed? Cool. You’ve only lost two planes and some ships you would have lost anyway.



  • Again, that is roughly the US entire first round buy, now it takes them another turn to get to where they would be if you didn’t attack them (stalling them from the money islands an extra turn). And that is if they do indeed buy Pac the first 2-3 turns.

    Germany  😄


  • 2015

    @simon33:

    I would normally put down a blocker in SZ37 to prevent the TTs off Hainan reaching Calcutta J3. Frees up your infantry to be active rather than stuck on Garrison duty, which sucks. Another turn of production makes a real difference to the ability to get into Calcutta with the 3+ TTs.

    Don’t you find the USA in SZ6 slows down Japan massively? Do you build a DD to force the navy out or face a Kamikaze? That really only works if your navy can come in the next turn to hold the space.

    Consensus is that Sea Lion is a poor option unless it’s too easy. Many players buy 6inf + fighter UK1 to make it difficult, which is serious commitment.

    Two fighters and save 8 IPC is a better buy. You still deter Germany from a Sealion, while giving yourself more flexibility in terms of units and available IPC if they don’t.



  • Before I never even considered an attack on Hawaii the first turn. It seems like a good way to really knock USA back a notch to attack Hawaii.

    The reason I send the bulk of Japan’s navy to India is to deter scrambling fighters from defending against the unloading transports. 2 battleships can do that but I lose off shore bombardment which isn’t a huge loss if I come into the land with enough. You guys seem to feel however that taking India J3 is unreasonable? Or am I mistaken?


  • 2018 2017

    It wont work if they block SZ37, Japan player.  Only one ship is needed to stop japan from moving there on J3.

    Also, if they scramble (and they can do this with or without an airbase if you are amphibing them) you lose all your support shots.  One plane or one destroyer is enough to scrub ALL shots.

    Attacking Hawaii is an ok way to put America back a notch, but it is pretty dangerous to move your whole fleet there if you don’t’ control Hawaii land, because then they can bring all their fighters and tacticals, hit you, and then land.  The other guys suggested that you hit it with a partial force (but a blocker must be left behind).

    This seems dangerous to me, because unless you are committing %70-%100 of your navy to threatening the north pacific, you risk an arms race with America that you can only match (without having attained threshold income of 50+).

    If you kill Philippines J1, it requires about 40-50% of what you’ve got to seal the deal and kill the BB.    You can’t take Borneo and Philippines AND kill the Hawaii ships because you wont have enough up north/near wake/Hawaii to threaten the Americans.

    If you leave Philippines alone, America gets like 77 money…you’re gonna get walloped if you J1-J2 and America turns on you while you’re down south.

    And if you keep your fleet up north, whether we mean SZ 6 or warding off America in the north islands, it really cant do much but threaten and wait…not being put to active use

    Overall, I’ve seen several good “Hawaii first” strategies, but they require that you

    1. bring America into the war early and big
    2. take it in force the turn after you defeat the fleet (J2)
    3. put a crapload of fighters on it so it cant be retaken (J3)
    4. then shift and kill ANZAC
    5. Japan’s money is going to be limited under this scenario <40 until J5

  • 2019 2017 2016

    @taamvan:

    Also, if they scramble (and they can do this with or without an airbase if you are amphibing them)

    Bolded part is not true. Unless I’m very much mistaken.

    Airbase means you can scramble with or without a naval battle when they are amphibing.


  • 2018 2017

    “They can also be scrambled to resist amphibious
    assaults from adjacent sea zones, whether or not the
    territory being assaulted is the territory containing the
    air base.”  Page 16 Eur 2ed.

    Usually its me who omits the small stuff…but don’t forget about this little gem.


  • 2018 2017

    “whether or not the
    territory being assaulted is the territory containing the
    air base.”

    you do still have to have an airbase, somewhere.  That’s where I was off.



  • I see what you are saying. The Calcutta scramble is really bothersome. So assuming India makes no mistakes, three turns won’t happen. All in all you guys would say Turn 1 Japan attack is best though?


  • 2019 2017 2016

    @JapanPlayer:

    I see what you are saying. The Calcutta scramble is really bothersome. So assuming India makes no mistakes, three turns won’t happen. All in all you guys would say Turn 1 Japan attack is best though?

    There was a poll not long ago on this forum. The J1 DOW lobby is quite loud but it doesn’t appear to be the majority.


  • 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    J1 is a very different animal in Balance Mode


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    What difference does BM make to the J1 DoW Variance?


  • 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    Japan gets rewarded for taking Wake (denies USA a NO) and on turn 2 you can use marines so you might build some.  That makes Wild Bill’s pearl harbour attack much more worthwhile.  China is still going to be a problem if you do this but its a better deal.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Thanks for answering Variance. 🙂


  • 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    I like the 3 transports + 1 marine build


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