Fortress Hawaii & "Pacific Light"


  • 2017 2016 '13 '12

    Assuming that the US goes heavier in the Atlantic and doesn’t “go after” Japan very aggressively (e.g., going into costly builds to contest DEI), how about slowly stack Hawaii using a “Transport  shuttle”?

    This is accomplished with starting transports, some of the starting infantry, mechs and AA guns. The transports ferry back and forth, certainly when US is at peace and also later as the opportunity arises.

    The idea is that the US Pacific fleet will be harassing the enemy with its starting units but not forcing a big naval race or building a very long supply line to fight in the money islands.

    A large contingent of fighters adds on to the projected threat in the Pacific. These fighters can be used on land or at sea and therefore cause a significant problem for Japan who needs to spend enough to overtake these planes at sea (defensive sea units), but also deal with them on the land battles (transports + land + their own fighters).

    Eventually Japan will secure India (hopefully not too quickly if Russia helps in the land war while US is going heavier Atlantic) and be one victory city short. At that time the US will have Hawaii stacked with a very large contingent of land units. Planes and remaining navy can be used to help defend Anzac if necessary, and might even fly to India in some cases.

    I find it very hard to go after Japan at sea and it’s correspondingly fairly hard for Japan to project decisive threat at Anzac and Hawaii if proper preparation is done. Moving around the fleet and stack of fighters can buy precious time until a resurgent UK or China start put enough pressure on Japan to prevent a victory.


  • 2017 2016 '13 '12

    In addition, a number of deceptive moves can be done while using the strategy as to keep Japan guessing.

    The US can put early naval builds in the Pacific to add pressure to Japan and make the strategy look like a KJF (and slow down their land build) but move them to the Atlantic instead.

    Correspondingly later in the game (once the strategy looks like KGF) you can build your fighters in eastern USA but move them to Hawaii in one round instead.


  • 2018 2017

    Bringing in land forces into Hawaii is good for defense, but until your fleet can wreck the Japanese fleet, there isn’t much for the invaders (infantry and artillery) to do in the meantime but defend.

    Fighters are ok, they are good on defense.  But in the Pacific, you usually won’t be able to strike offensively with land-based fighters (even with an airbase) because you will almost always be one move short of being able to land unless you have a carrier.  This limits your attacks with tactical bombers and fighters to the number you can support with your existing carriers.  This is also why the US loves strategic bombers, as they can strike more freely.

    If you sit on Hawaii, you can easily be blocked from being able to attack SZ 6 with one blocker in SZ 16.  However, if you have a naval base on Wake or Midway, and hang out there, you cannot be blocked out so easily.

    It is true, that if Hawaii is strong, and Sydney is covered by your air, that obtaining 6 victory cities will be difficult.  However, most players tend to agree that the VC for the basic game are a bit unreasonable, and that in order to win (in a tourney, or according to more logical victory conditions), that the Allies cannot simply sit and wait for the Axis to fail to obtain its VC and let the game run out of time.  Even if you play until “capitulation”, you will not have “won” the game simply by turtling Sydney and Honolulu.  This means that US (with ANZAC help) needs to actively stop Japan (or Germany) and to do that, you have to crush his money.


  • 2017 2016 '13 '12

    You make valid points and it does depend on whether you play with victory conditions. Most players on this site play with the victory conditions so this is my assumption.

    The idea is to spend only about 20 a turn in the Pacific: fighters, subs + some infantry from time to time. This goes on for a while until the US has to turn to Pacific to face the threat (e.g., with large fighter purchase). It’s much easier to pivot with proper pre-positioning of troops (done as cheaply as possible) and planes in the area.

    With 50 per turn in Europe, the US will have a very significant impact. The goal is to focus on Germany and Italy first (other than having Russia focus on Japan to slow down their expansion on land) without letting Japan take the victory for the Axis.

    Key goals for the US (with UK support).

    Take Norway and establish a robust presence there (can include minor complex to replace your landing units, airbase and potentially naval base). This may require clearing the German navy from the Baltic. This and the subsequent Finland takeover denies 10 IPC to Germany and gives 5 IPC to US, a key swing of 15 per turn. A good German player will defend Norway with a land / amphibious and air counterattack. In this case a build up in 91 can threaten multiple locations and forcing additional investment to defend Norway will slow down Germany’s advance on the Eastern front.

    Clear Italian navy from the med and maintain a surface presence in it (e.g., destroyer covered by Gibraltar air base is ideal since it forces Axis units to commit significant air to neutralize)

    Once Italian navy is cleared, convoy what can be convoyed in the Med. Also convoy Normandy, if feasible.

    Once above is accomplished, continue to steadily build air power (including bombers to bomb the German complexes), trade Normandy / Holland / Denmark and eventually Southern France. Work to weaken German air power by adding British starting AA guns to your infantry stacks or create situations with scrambles, naval battles, air raids and so on to force attrition of German air (you can tolerate slightly negative trades in that because German air is so valuable).

    The next phase is to up the investment required for Germany to retake Denmark, Holland and Normandy and to potentially hold Normandy with a combination of American and British units. This works especially well if German air power started to fade as it requires German units (often fast units) to be commited to retake these territories. When doing this, keep in mind that US land units are harder to replace / longer supply lines than the British units. If you have Normandy + Norway you can produce 6 infantries a turn to make your landings (which are heavily supported by air, as needed).

    Keep sufficient units to threaten a “1/2” punch landing on Germany, potentially with help of US air to do a suicide run (you do not need to do it, but the existence of the possibility makes a difference) allowing the UK a great chance at taking the German capital. The 1/2 punch threat ties down significant German units and may lead to abandonning of Western Germany (taking that and destroying the major industrial complex there is also a major accomplishment). Always keep US and British destroyers handy around Norway / the UK which guarantees that you can perform the landing you want.


  • 2018 2017

    Fortress Hawaii sounds like you want to try and attack or at least confront Japan.

    Kill Germany First sounds pretty good, so does taking Norway but its happening at US5 or later.  An early entry into the Atlantic War isn’t necessarily good for the US because they only get their base income on the first turn.

    At least against the players I play with, attacking Germany with America simply doesn’t work.  It is way too easy for Germany to stop you, they can hold off everything the US and the UK can throw at them with a stack of about 10 infantry (plus a few backing planes and armor), some of which were not even purchased.

    It would be great to take Norway, but its virtually impossible to hold.  If you try to take it in force, they can bring all their air and as many troops as they can amphib across;  you cant destroy his fleet if its hiding behind his AB.  Holding it would be key to breaking Germany’s bonus and getting a minor complex built there…but it doesn’t work that way in practice.

    The alternative is then to divert, and attack Spain or Italy somehow.  Italy still being within 2 squares of Germany doesn’t help either;  you may destroy the Italian army at the cost of your own army but it will always be retaken.  If you take Spain, that’s great, but Germany can grab Sweden and Turkey and Switzerland, unless you have some plan to deal with all those as well he gets 5 more income and 16 more troops.

    Since you cant really suppress Italy by taking all his income and holding his territory (and, even if you did, it still has zero effect on Germany), your only alternative then is to bomb/convoy Italy into submission and then force the Germans to use the resources to defend it.  It amounts to them spending about 10 IPCs a turn to buy a few units to push you off the coast.

    KGF …isn’t.  Its more like “annoy Germany”.  Unless they make some kind of giant mistake fighting Russia, or refuse to do it and Russia is a raging monster on their east, it is simply too hard to transport troops across the atlantic or build them with UK’s pathetic income as compared to having Italy build a few blockers and attackers and let Italy run the Atlantic Wall.



  • @taamvan:

    Fortress Hawaii sounds like you want to try and attack or at least confront Japan.

    Kill Germany First sounds pretty good, so does taking Norway but its happening at US5 or later.  An early entry into the Atlantic War isn’t necessarily good for the US because they only get their base income on the first turn.

    At least against the players I play with, attacking Germany with America simply doesn’t work.   It is way too easy for Germany to stop you, they can hold off everything the US and the UK can throw at them with a stack of about 10 infantry (plus a few backing planes and armor), some of which were not even purchased.

    It would be great to take Norway, but its virtually impossible to hold.  If you try to take it in force, they can bring all their air and as many troops as they can amphib across;  you cant destroy his fleet if its hiding behind his AB.   Holding it would be key to breaking Germany’s bonus and getting a minor complex built there…but it doesn’t work that way in practice.

    The alternative is then to divert, and attack Spain or Italy somehow.   Italy still being within 2 squares of Germany doesn’t help either;  you may destroy the Italian army at the cost of your own army but it will always be retaken.  If you take Spain, that’s great, but Germany can grab Sweden and Turkey and Switzerland, unless you have some plan to deal with all those as well he gets 5 more income and 16 more troops.

    Since you cant really suppress Italy by taking all his income and holding his territory (and, even if you did, it still has zero effect on Germany), your only alternative then is to bomb/convoy Italy into submission and then force the Germans to use the resources to defend it.   It amounts to them spending about 10 IPCs a turn to buy a few units to push you off the coast.

    KGF …isn’t.   Its more like “annoy Germany”.  Unless they make some kind of giant mistake fighting Russia, or refuse to do it and Russia is a raging monster on their east, it is simply too hard to transport troops across the atlantic or build them with UK’s pathetic income as compared to having Italy build a few blockers and attackers and let Italy run the Atlantic Wall.

    Germany only starts with 1 transport, so unless they buy extra there isnt much they can amfib in there to start with. And if they only have like 4 land units landing a few AA from the UK can seriously hurt his airforce and his ability to pressure russia.


  • 2018 2017

    That’s a pretty good idea, to land AAA in there.  But taking Norway has some serious problems.  The US transports are on a one-way trip, one that takes them so far from the US that they’re never heading home.  The germans can easily defend Norway (or Denmark, Italy, France or any other part of the wall)> Yes they only have 1 transport, but with just one more, they can consistently re-take whichever squares the US and UK decide to grab.

    Germany and Italy are 1 or zero turns away from being able to build defenders with any of their 3 major or 4 minor complexes.  They can build infantry for 3, and supplement either on defense or counterattack with planes they already have.

    The US on the other hand, can only cycle fresh troops in every other round if it dedicates all 70 income to this and takes Spain.  Otherwise, the transports are on a one way trip.  You have to buy a whole turn’s income worth of transports, along with a destroyer and carrier to defend them–and against a cagy or bomber equipped Germany, you’ll need much more to defend the stack from an air attack.  You’d want the UK to help, but they don’t have the money it takes to buy a navy, transports, and then fill them with troops and supplement them with tacticals so that you have a tactical and a fighter making each assault.

    The allies have such poor ability to broadcast power against the atlantic wall, there are many times where I wonder how Germany and Japan seem to do it so easily;  its because it doesn’t take them 4 turns to get ready, 2 turns to get there, and Germany and Japan start with 30 planes.  UK and the US don’t, and if they build planes to support atlantic efforts, well, there is no middle east and no india and a raging japan to deal with.    So what will happen is that I have a huge stack of infantry, ships, and artillery ready to attack the European axis but it cant roll worth crap on offense or defense because none of that junk helps during land battles like tanks and planes do.

    Germany and Italy can just leave a few pieces in France and counterattack you at their leisure.  They are counterattacking a wildly overpriced and overprotected one-shot invasion force with backup units—the volksturm essentially.

    I wish there was a KGF…but it doesn’t work very well.  Right around the time that you are making progress, Germany gets the Russian $$ and that is enough to end your invasion no matter how it starts.


  • 2017 2016 '13 '12

    @taamvan:

    That’s a pretty good idea, to land AAA in there.   But taking Norway has some serious problems.   The US transports are on a one-way trip, one that takes them so far from the US that they’re never heading home.   The germans can easily defend Norway (or Denmark, Italy, France or any other part of the wall)> Yes they only have 1 transport, but with just one more, they can consistently re-take whichever squares the US and UK decide to grab.

    Germany and Italy are 1 or zero turns away from being able to build defenders with any of their 3 major or 4 minor complexes.  They can build infantry for 3, and supplement either on defense or counterattack with planes they already have.

    The US on the other hand, can only cycle fresh troops in every other round if it dedicates all 70 income to this and takes Spain.   Otherwise, the transports are on a one way trip.  You have to buy a whole turn’s income worth of transports, along with a destroyer and carrier to defend them–and against a cagy or bomber equipped Germany, you’ll need much more to defend the stack from an air attack.   You’d want the UK to help, but they don’t have the money it takes to buy a navy, transports, and then fill them with troops and supplement them with tacticals so that you have a tactical and a fighter making each assault.

    The allies have such poor ability to broadcast power against the atlantic wall, there are many times where I wonder how Germany and Japan seem to do it so easily;  its because it doesn’t take them 4 turns to get ready, 2 turns to get there, and Germany and Japan start with 30 planes.   UK and the US don’t, and if they build planes to support atlantic efforts, well, there is no middle east and no india and a raging japan to deal with.    So what will happen is that I have a huge stack of infantry, ships, and artillery ready to attack the European axis but it cant roll worth crap on offense or defense because none of that junk helps during land battles like tanks and planes do.

    Germany and Italy can just leave a few pieces in France and counterattack you at their leisure.   They are counterattacking a wildly overpriced and overprotected one-shot invasion force with backup units—the volksturm essentially.

    I wish there was a KGF…but it doesn’t work very well.   Right around the time that you are making progress, Germany gets the Russian $$ and that is enough to end your invasion no matter how it starts.

    The US can mount a pretty serious threat to several points at once. The key is to build up the threat of holding a territory while trading the territories with Germany. Dump UK AAA gun, cheap infantry and other fodder.

    As for Norway, sometimes there are 2 transports in the Baltic. Force Germany to protect these as you can use your air against land and sea while they can only use their Navy at sea. Don’t forget that you have 1/2 punch and can bomb airbase to prevent German scramble. Sending troops to Finland through Leningrad takes time and usually Mechanized units are on standby. As you build up a strong American landing force in 91, Germany will have to abandon Western Germany at some point. Once abandonned, you can land lightly, pick up the IPCs and dowgrade the complex.

    My sense is that you try to take the coast and hold it too early as opposed to projecting threat with the US for a massive landing / do the easy landings and using larger UK “bridge landings” to cause real attrition on the Germans.

    Add to that strategic bombing, the sub convoys and the pressure can be quite effective. The issue is that Japan can grow very strong which is what the Fortress Hawaii strategy is trying to counter.

    Sometimes the German player will respond to Americans in 91 by dropping a destroyer in 110 via Normandy to buy a turn. You can kill that destroyer (8 IPC) at zero cost (battleship of carrier damage). It’s obviously better to take and hold Norway but it’s a costly move on the German’s part to delay Norway falling by a turn. Meanwhile you are also forcing them to take care of holding Southern Italy (which is often done with costly mechanized units).

    Once Norway is taken, the Germans will often build a destroyer in 112 to prevent US transports from loading and invading Denmark.

    One tip, keep the Russian sub in 104, it is often forgotten, has a chance of Killing the destroyer blocks and can cause Germany a big surprise.



  • The French fighter that starts on the UK is also a great way to remove those blockers and give Germany a nice surprise.


  • 2018 2017

    It was clarified in earlier posts that you cannot strike the airbase before the scramble can occur.  You can attack the airbase with tacticals or bombers, on the same turn as you attack the sea zone, but the scrambling occurs before the results of the damage to the airbase are tallied.  It is therefore impossible to stop the scramble in this manner.

    It sounds pretty good to hold off with a big American attack until its in force.  If Japan permitted you to enter the war early, this opportunity is often wasted because you are rushing to get the forces together without 4 turns of preliminary building.  If you do it late, it is so late in the game that by US6 it is Russia that is in trouble, not Germany.  Using your US forces piecemeal is a waste, sure, but unless you grab Spain, it is your transports that are stuck wasting time and resources by not returning for a second load.  I guess no game I’ve played lasted long enough to get a second load of guys back to the continent (in the same transports) but even if it happened, it happens way too slowly.    In any event, every euro space is two spaces from every other euro space, so that armor and mechs can counterattack any square the turn after they are built.


  • 2017 2016 '13 '12

    @taamvan:

    It was clarified in earlier posts that you cannot strike the airbase before the scramble can occur.  You can attack the airbase with tacticals or bombers, on the same turn as you attack the sea zone, but the scrambling occurs before the results of the damage to the airbase are tallied.   It is therefore impossible to stop the scramble in this manner.

    It sounds pretty good to hold off with a big American attack until its in force.   If Japan permitted you to enter the war early, this opportunity is often wasted because you are rushing to get the forces together without 4 turns of preliminary building.   If you do it late, it is so late in the game that by US6 it is Russia that is in trouble, not Germany.   Using your US forces piecemeal is a waste, sure, but unless you grab Spain, it is your transports that are stuck wasting time and resources by not returning for a second load.  I guess no game I’ve played lasted long enough to get a second load of guys back to the continent (in the same transports) but even if it happened, it happens way too slowly.    In any event, every euro space is two spaces from every other euro space, so that armor and mechs can counterattack any square the turn after they are built.

    Regarding the airbase. Bomb with US and strike next with UK.

    Since you seem confident about your ability to fend off the Allies in Europe, are you up for a league game with average bid in the league (something like 20 IPC?)


  • 2018 2017

    Ah gotcha.  thanks for clarifying Mr. Omega.  I’m not into Triple A and I’m headed to Gencon this year!  G42 scenario


  • 2019 2017 2016

    Regarding the airbase. Bomb with US and strike next with UK.

    Since you seem confident about your ability to fend off the Allies in Europe, are you up for a league game with average bid in the league (something like 20 IPC?)

    Hey, Professor Omega. I’ve felt your wrath enough times when you’re the Allies that I think I would only play you as the Axis if you gave me a bid!  :lol:


  • 2017 2016 '13 '12

    It’s true that StuckToJo you’ve been victim of this tactic more than a few times!  😄


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