GW36 Japanese Strategy, Refusing the Dragon.



  • Interesting strategic play by Japan, I’m not sure if it has been brought up before now. But if not, I will call it Refusing the Dragon.

    In essence, it entails a Japanese ignoring of China, the Nationalists KMT, Communist CCP, and all of the Chinese Warlords. This limits the KMT to its few provinces and a war with the CCP.
    If the KMT cannot be a threat to Japan, until they first eliminate all of the Warlords and the CCP.

    KMT is left with two options:
    Remain Dormant. Recruit 6IPP worth of troops per turn and wait. While at war with a CCP that might not be as dormant as the KMT, and may have begun to take over the Warlords.

    Go Active. Push into Chinese Warlord territory to gain IPP and territory. Pushing further away from the coast and fighting in the mountains, while watching the rear against the Japanese, and the flank against the CCP.

    This allows Japan to focus its war effort on India, Australia, America, or Soviet Russia.

    The big downside from this strategy is missing out on the wartime bonuses gained from holding certain Chinese territories. But you also retain a 3 IPP Peacetime Bonus for not attacking China, and that door to attack is still open at any time when an opportunity presents itself.

    This tactic was employed successfully before, with Japan striking early against India, taking all of India, Australia, and when China moved away from its coasts; taking all of China as well. Australia was eventually recovered, but most of India, Persia, Indo-China, and most of the Indonesian islands where never liberated. Japanese Marines ensured that Italian Somaliland remained Italian, and a British landing in India did not progress sufficiently before the end of the game.

    All in all. I think Refusing the Dragon was a viable strategy. Forcing the Dragon to eat itself, weakening its might, or to wait, and never becoming a threat.



  • When did you time the attack on India? Did it coincide with the start of hostilities in Europe?



  • I wrote this little article for a friend to sum up the progression of events. I’m taking the liberty of posting it here in an elaborate illusitrative answer to your questions:

    In January 1938, Japan declared war against the British Commonwealth and France. It stated the buildup of fortifications and industrial complexes in Culcutta where a threat to its national interests and its sovereignty in Southeast Asia.

    It was a threadbare cause. But nonetheless, this is how the war began.

    In fact, it was the Italian State and its interests in Africa that brought about the
    War.
    In January 1936, the charismatic Italian dictator Daniel Poliziotto struck a plan with the Japanese empire, who would smash into India, Australia and New Zealand, and use its fleet into pushing the outnumbered Allied Pacific Fleet into the Mediterranean and allow the Italian Fleet anchored in Somaliland harbors to dominate the African coastline and capture Cairo and South Africa.

    World opinion at the time felt that in its desire for expansion and resources, Japan would invade China, and the Chinese Nationalist Government began preparing for this inevitability.
    But in fact, Japan began to repositioned themselves into the waters of Formosa and waited.

    In January 1936; the Japanese Soviet Non-Aggression Pact was signed, it could not be broken unless sanctions are paid. 5IPP. Japan had gained peace on its northern border.

    Peace does not reign everywhere in the world; Communist China, at war with Nationalist China, builds forces and attacks Chinese Warlords in Tai-Yuan.
    Spain is in Civil War, with the Republicans achieving an upper hand by blocking all lend lease access to Nationalist Ports and achieving military supremacy.

    It was in July 1937 that Prime Minister Benjamin of England watched developments across the globe and realized that the Japanese where planning an attack against India, and began preparing. Fortifications began to be build and infantry mobilized in India. Allied Pacific Fleet weighed anchor and sailed away from Japanese reach towards Cairo.

    Then, in January 1938, the Japanese struck. It was a lighting strike, too soon for England, and Culcutta Fell, the Japanese suffered minimal casualties. The Far East Command crumbled.

    In response the Commonwealth Pacific Navy joined the British Mediterranean Fleet, the British Atlantic Fleet hastened to join them off the coast of Egypt.

    In July 1938, Australian Queensland was invaded by the Japanese while in Africa; Italy began its push into British Africa, and the Japanese moved to block the Allied Fleet in Red Sea, joining the Italian fleet off the coast of Somaliland.

    The Comintern declared war on Finland and marched into its northern wastelands. Finlands requests for military lend-lease are ignored by Fascist Germany.

    Germany declares war against the British and French, followed by Italy shortly after.

    January 1939, Sydney fell to the Japanese. The rest of India’s provinces where captured. Aden and and Italian Somaliland saw Japanese Marines land.

    The British Pacific Fleet, British Mediterranean Fleet, the British Atlantic Fleet and the Canadian Navy formed in the Red Sea, presenting a formidable force equal to the combined Italian and Japanese fleets blocking them in the Red Sea.



  • I too skipped China in my last game as Axis/Japan. I agree that it is a good strategy for the Japanese player.

    If it happens (obviously pretty quickly), the Allied player needs to counter with attacks from Russia & China. This did not happen in our last game, so the Japanese Navy became a monster.

    We haven’t played with Manchukou Exp. yet, so this might change things.



  • China can not declare war on Japan. If Japan ignores china there is nothing China can do until they defeat the CCCP and warlords.

    Russia can do nothing but border skirmishes until 1939.



  • Russia can actually take out a lot of IPP in Japanese units doing border clashes.

    Yes, at some point KMT needs to kill all other fractions if Japan ignores them.



  • I almost always attack Chita on the first turn as Japan since most of my air force can reach and I am not doing anything else. Even if the Russian hedge hog (5INF 1 MIL and 1 Lt ARM) Japan will typically drop 1 MIL and 3 INF for 2 CAV. This eliminates 1.25 turns of USSR prewar builds. This leaves 1 MIL 4 INF (Kwantung Army/Imp Guard/MOT/INF) along with 3 FTRs in West Manchuria. (The attack on FEC can only support 3 aircraft due to carrier constraint) Coupled with the 19 IPP per turn Japan seems that they could well support a bleeding border with the USSR. I do not think the USSR can handle the 6 IPP losses per turn they would endure to execute this campaign.

    This Refusing the Dragon variant does cost the Axis from a VP standpoint. All china need do is overrun Peking and they will score 2 VP for the allies at the end of the game while Japan while have trouble pulling out the Colonialism condition without access to the china coastal areas. That is a 3 point swing towards the Allies (2 to the allies and -1 to the axis for Calcutta but not getting Colonialism)



  • The attack on Calcutta is entirely under the control of the allies, especially in 1938. By the end Jan 1937 UK can have 2 BB, 2 Lt CVs., 1 FTR, 1 TAC, 4 DD, 4 CA, and 1 Coastal SUB along with French assets of 1 CA, 3DD, 4 SUBs. The French will have a trailing fleet of 2 BB, 1 CA, 2 DD, and 1 SUB on the way. If the allies ignore Calcutta then take the free victory point and knock the FEC out of the pacific. However given the overall uselessness of the French navy in 1939 stationing them in the Bay of Calcutta get some value out of them.

    These naval movements will leave the Italians the sole owners of the Med but they only receive a bonus when at war. Also once the French are on station the UK forces can return to the Med.



  • I think you misunderstand the concept of this strategy. The basic concept is that Japan is not obligated to attack China immediately, and since China remains neutral until Japan chooses or until China effectively eats itself by attacking the warlords; means that Japan can choose when and who and where to attack first without an ongoing war leaves many options available.

    In the long run, Japan should eventually attack China, to gain victory points as well wartime bonuses. But it is also is a viable strategy to keep peace on that front while focusing on others.

    As an example: I just finished another game as Axis, where Japan again ignored China, and instead sent its strength into the Soviet Far East. That became combined with a 1-2 punch against the Soviets, when the Germans blitzed into Russia instead of France in its Lightning War and took out Moscow before they could even spend their IPC from first turn in Wartime Income, giving a massive boost to German funds, then the Japanese managed to take Novosibirsk and then Soviets where Finished and Done. It could not have been possible if Japan had been fighting a two front war with China and the Soviets.

    Refusing the Dragon is not a strategy to win the game, but it is a Strategic Option.

    This strategy can, of course, be expected and defended against, but because I did it in Game #1 and took Calcutta, the Allies expected it in Game #2 and poured resources in protecting it, and instead; Japan took out the Soviet Far East.

    That is what I like about Global War, there is no one strategic play or military buildup plan, there are many many options and each can be expected and countered, but doing so detracts from resources elsewhere.

    For my personal enjoyment, either if it is good or if it is bad, I chose to name this Strategic Play, Refusing the Dragon, a strategic reference to Refusing the Flank, and the Chinese Dragon, I found it fitting. Employed it twice successfully and I like it.  😛
    Cheers!



  • Would refusing the dragon work from the 39 start perspective? I’m intregued with supporting the Germans on a blitz into Russia. Taking the bear out woud alieviate a lot of stress. Once done, I’d imagine the Japanese could concentrate on India and Australia with a lot of funds coming in from the Russian land grab.

    Also, wondering about how you can keep USA from an early entrance if France or Britain are attacked? That 512D roll brought the USA into the war on turn move for us last game and, in the end, that was it. USA really put a hurt on the Japanese and also shuffled a ton of units into North Africa way ahead of the historic precidence.

    All ears as I default to the experts. …This game is a ball.

    Bill



  • @billinjackson:

    Would refusing the dragon work from the 39 start perspective? I�m intregued with supporting the Germans on a blitz into Russia. Taking the bear out woud alieviate a lot of stress. Once done, I�d imagine the Japanese could concentrate on India and Australia with a lot of funds coming in from the Russian land grab.

    Also, wondering about how you can keep USA from an early entrance if France or Britain are attacked? That 512D roll brought the USA into the war on turn move for us last game and, in the end, that was it. USA really put a hurt on the Japanese and also shuffled a ton of units into North Africa way ahead of the historic precidence.

    All ears as I default to the experts. …This game is a ball.

    Bill

    Hey Bill! I’m not familiar with the rules for the 1939 setup for Japan. I imagine Japan starts at war with China (and therefore all Chinese warlords are united), this would mean that it wouldn’t work to Refuse the Dragon.

    But perhaps a refusal to engage the Chinese forces would bring a similar result in 1939, perhaps.

    I tried ignoring China in my last game in 1936 and went all out into Soviet Far East as Japan.
    It was a one-two punch timed with Germany, combined with the German lightning war, that defeated the Soviet’s before 1940. But it was at the expense of France surviving, and resulted in a brutal slogging match on the west front, reminiscent of WW1.
    Finally, the Axis outmaneuvered the Allies and pushed into France via Switzerland. Forcing the Allies to pull back, and reading the wind, capitulated.
    A major advantage in this fight was that Italy did not join the war, and even Greece and Yugoslavia where not initially attacked. Germanys soft underbelly was safe and its active fronts where confined to only a few territories on the western front.
    I want to write up that tactic sometime. The Italian Abstinence or something.  :lol:



  • @SS:

    Get your answers at HBGing and there facebook page.

    Kindly knock it off SS, you’ve been posting this everywhere. If I have questions; I ask it there, which I’ve done many many times when I needed clarification.

    Please allow me to freely say what I like here, especially since much of what is written is not even a question, and questions that are asked on this specific thread are not even pertinent to ask elsewhere.

    I mean this with respect, and don’t mean to offend you, I just feel it really is unessesary to repeat yourself.

    Have an awesome new year! 🙂



  • Great point on China being at war in 39. I didnt think about that. That said, I think it could still work. If Japan punches through and gobbles up the south eastern pointed areas of Russia, it could greatly add income. Just guessing at this point. My oldest son and I are going to try this Friday from an Axis perspective while a few other sons try their hands at stopping us. Fun!

    Thx



  • @billinjackson:

    Great point on China being at war in 39. I didnt think about that. That said, I think it could still work. If Japan punches through and gobbles up the south eastern pointed areas of Russia, it could greatly add income. Just guessing at this point. My oldest son and I are going to try this Friday from an Axis perspective while a few other sons try their hands at stopping us. Fun!

    Thx

    Hehe! A fantastic reason to have many sons!  😄
    Worth a shot! It would put a lot of pressure on the Soviets, but its hard going in the mountains of the Soviet Far East. Also there are not many Wartime Bonuses for Japan up north.  😛



  • Game two is over - Axis won with myself with Japan and Italy and my oldest Germany. Three of my other boys and my oldest best friend made up the allies. (We had the experience advantage which was big I have to admit though).

    1. Germany hit Russia early but was pretty thin because of it.
    2. Saving grace was Brits taking the med fleet out of the med and bringing it up the the english channel. I (Italy) dominated the med, took Yugo, eventually took all of Aftrica and pressed into the middle east, finally taking Transcaucasia, etc. Big mistake by the Brits.
    3. With my suprise attack bonus combat move coupled with most ships moving 4 from a naval base I actually pulled off a San Fran grab with the Japanese. Again, inexperiene by the USA player and not seeing this bonus of, what would be 5 spaces in some cases, made this possible. The USA split their fleet so not too many ships would be hurt with the suprise attack but left only four ships in front of San Fran - it was beautiful but a bit like a heavy weight pounding on a light weight, lol.
    4. With this, too much was lost and they aggreed the game was lost by the end of 42.

    It was a learning experience for all of us in trying to learn the new system (which is amazing) but more of a learning curve for the young lads.

    Bill



  • @Jinx1527:

    I think you misunderstand the concept of this strategy. The basic concept is that Japan is not obligated to attack China immediately, and since China remains neutral until Japan chooses or until China effectively eats itself by attacking the warlords; means that Japan can choose when and who and where to attack first without an ongoing war leaves many options available.

    In the long run, Japan should eventually attack China, to gain victory points as well wartime bonuses. But it is also is a viable strategy to keep peace on that front while focusing on others.

    As an example: I just finished another game as Axis, where Japan again ignored China, and instead sent its strength into the Soviet Far East. That became combined with a 1-2 punch against the Soviets, when the Germans blitzed into Russia instead of France in its Lightning War and took out Moscow before they could even spend their IPC from first turn in Wartime Income, giving a massive boost to German funds, then the Japanese managed to take Novosibirsk and then Soviets where Finished and Done. It could not have been possible if Japan had been fighting a two front war with China and the Soviets.

    Refusing the Dragon is not a strategy to win the game, but it is a Strategic Option.

    This strategy can, of course, be expected and defended against, but because I did it in Game #1 and took Calcutta, the Allies expected it in Game #2 and poured resources in protecting it, and instead; Japan took out the Soviet Far East.

    That is what I like about Global War, there is no one strategic play or military buildup plan, there are many many options and each can be expected and countered, but doing so detracts from resources elsewhere.

    For my personal enjoyment, either if it is good or if it is bad, I chose to name this Strategic Play, Refusing the Dragon, a strategic reference to Refusing the Flank, and the Chinese Dragon, I found it fitting. Employed it twice successfully and I like it.  😛
    Cheers!

    I understand the concept and support it. My response regarding the lost VP is based on the strengthen position of China and a late stage (US active) invasion. Against strong opponents this type of invasion would be difficult, especially since regardless of direction (Soviet or Dutch) you will be in an inferior IPP position. (The +1IPP per coastal zone in china is hard to make up.) Further a move against the soviets elevates them to 48 IPP which is certain defeat if Germany is not ready to invade Russia in tandem with Japan. Since Germany can not effectively invade Russia until after Paris falls this would leave Japan sitting on its hands for the first 4 or 5 turns. In that time Japan could secure the coastal regions and move against Russia with a 33 IPP economy instead of a 19.



  • Warwick,
    I suppose time will tell, and the you regard this as the intellectual and civil theorizing I believe it to be, without rancor or arrogance.

    Personally, the fact that China is effectively neutralized until it “eats” itself or Japan declares war is of significance to me.
    The IPP Japan could gain by sinking resources into that backwater doesn’t justify prioritizing it over the DEI, India or Australia. Against a skilled Chinese opponent and generous Allies, China becomes a festering wound in which the Japanese must devote proportionally greater resources, chase the enemy into the hills, and extend its borders in a long flank.

    I’m of a mind that those Wartime Bonuses in China can be plucked whenever Japan desires to, China will not grow any stronger, while the FEC, ANZAC, and the Soviet, will.
    I think it is feasible in the early to mid game to safely ignore China, because:

    • A. Initially Japan needs a turn or two to prepare to attack China.

    • B. The initial butchers bill does not equate to IPP from territorial gains.

    • C. The initial territorial gains are negated anyway due to the loss of the Peacetime Bonus with USA.

    • D. The Chinese will be rendered safe (by its not attacking warlords) or stagnant (by its attacking the warlords, killing units that would be theirs, and losing Units in the process.

    • E. The Chinese can be dealt with at leisure. Japan can declare war on its terms, at any moment of its choosing.

    • F. By ignoring China, Japan becomes a greater threat in the pacific, putting more enemy resources in the pacific and away from more lucrative territory in Europe.
      If players put the war ahead of their specific national gains…this in my mind is what separates the mediocre players from the excellent.

    • G. If China is neutral, Japan can range and strike in force anywhere it wishes. Pearl Harbor, Calcutta, Sydney, Vladivostok. While still threatening to strike China at any point. Every enemy unit gaurding a coastline, is one troop less firing its weapons, at Japanese or at fellow Chinese.

    • H. Japan, through all this, can still make sizable income from the DEI as well as the income from wherever it chose to send its strike force.

    • I. With a sufficient strike force (built from the money you havn’t poured into china), Japan has a chance at capturing either Sydney or Calcutta, which means a stolen IPP and a dead Power. That alone makes up for missed income from China.

    • J. Lastly, It’s fun being off the history books!

    These are my opinions of course, and my games also have modified rules which may effect vanilla strategy. Chiefly tweaked air combat, and sea movement limitations.

    In regards to what you said Warwick, about Germany not ready to invade Soviet’s in tandem with Japan…what’s the point in that case? It would be stupid for Japan to go to war if not in lockstep with Germany. Historically that is what allowed Soviet’s to rush troops over to the West

    Germany cannot invade Russia until after Paris falls? Im not sure why you think that! Germany can invade anytime it likes.
    In fact, I’d be willing to say it’s easier to go into Russia before setting foot in France!
    France and Germany share a single border with a strong French Fortification. Even if Germany goes through the Lowlands, France can mobilize a sufficient force to halt a Germany that splits its force between Poland and France. With only two territories to be concerned with, France is ready.

    But, with Germany’s Lightning War, it can Blitz through Poland and into Soviet lands across a wide front, and stab deep into Russia. Germany can even reach Moscow. Soviets cannot bring a significant force to bear for at least one more German turn. At which point it is limited by factory production.
    If you have a map handy take a glance: If Germany can Blitz twice in Lightning War, that means any tanks and Mechs in East Prussia can be in Moscow on the turn Germany is at war. Combine that with a $14 purchase by the Soviet, the Soviet’s border clashes with Japan, perhaps the Soviet’s out of position, the Soviets surprised -1 defense, and an additional German round before the Soviet’s can spend their now less then $46.
    The Soviet’s are on the ropes.

    Germany has probably gained more then the IPP value of France.

    Meanwhile the French have only one border with Germany, and the British are probably concerned about Italians. The USA is too far away. Combine this with a good few border clashes by the Japanese, and perhaps an outright war when Germany declares war, and I think France fades a little in importance.

    But this is just my experience and thoughts. Everyone has different experiences and strategies, and apparently there is more then one way to skin a cat.

    Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    Cheers!



  • Damn, I write a lot…my work has a lot of waiting around for stuff to happen. I get carried away. My apologies.



  • I like this. My son is going to try this with a 39 startup. I think they stand a chance of taking Calcutta and Sidney with a run through the Dutch colonies on the way back. Thats a huge IPP pick up.

    What do you think?

    Bill



  • Bill,

    Note in the '39 setup, Japan is already at war with both KMT and CCP. It would be interesting to hear if people have tried this in that scenario though.

    In our last '39 game, Japan took over all of China, but had limited ground forces afterwards. Then came in FEC and the Russians…



  • Munck,

    We’re gonna go for it. I know they are at war but who says we can’t be bold and focus on the brits and Anzac. I too am wondering what this will mean in the end, but that’s what makes this version of the game so much fun - there’s so many ways you can tweak your strategy. Fun, fun, fun!

    I’ll let you know if we get our butts bitten with this, lol.

    Bill



  • Do any of you by chance play with the Manchuko expansion? and what time frame are you looking to start war? also do your groups play with the optional  terrain rules? I also tend to use tech for Japan but I don’t invest more then 4 ipp perturn. While ignoring China do you still go with infantry build? or do you invest in more ships? or planes?



  • @Whitshadw:

    Do any of you by chance play with the Manchuko expansion? and what time frame are you looking to start war? also do your groups play with the optional  terrain rules? I also tend to use tech for Japan but I don’t invest more then 4 ipp perturn. While ignoring China do you still go with infantry build? or do you invest in more ships? or planes?

    I play with it (Manchuko Expansion), I like it. It’s very advantageous to Japan, but less so for the Soviet because often players forget the partisan side of things. All in all it’s a flavor adding expansion that puts Japanese factories on the mainland and enables Partisan uprisings.

    In regards to starting war; every game isn’t different, and it really depends on a lot of factors.
    If Japan attacks China, that war usually starts on the second or third turn. Everything else is too vague to say.

    Optional Terrain rules? Like mountains, rivers, and cities? Yep! Wouldn’t be same without it! It’s part of what makes it hard to attack China or Soviet as Japan.

    What do you usually do for Tech? 4IPP is roughly what I do too.

    Yeah, again, every game is different and it seems to hinge with what the USA does. The last game I played as Japan. Because Germany did not even attack France and rapidly began crushing Soviet Russia, there was a greater USA buildup in Atlantic theater trying to pull German pressure from Russia. About 60-70% USA built in Atlantic.
    So Japan had a little wiggle room to build.



  • They need to put out a China expansion also. I know they are working on one but I’m curious to know how it will effect this strategy.



  • Seems US being able to do tech out of the gate is broken. Them starting the war with whatever they want is a little nuts.

    What do you guys think?


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