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US Pacific Strategy… The Big Gulp



  • Thoughts sparked by another thread…

    If you are confident of the UK and USSR being able to handle Germany IF you can keep Japan from assisting, then perhaps you need to try The Big Gulp.

    The Big Gulp is a massive Pacific push by the US, named by a gamer from Punxsutawney, PA many, many years ago.  Originally designed for Classic, what follows is an initial modification (feel free to tweek as needed).

    US1:  After being blown away at Pearl, US builds 1 AC, 1 FIG, 1 TRN, 1 ARM, 1 INF.  New FIG and Hawaii FIG to new AC.  Other FIGS to Europe as needed.  Panama DST to SZ55 with the new fleet.

    In US2, both trannies are loaded (3 INF, 1 ARM) and the fleet sets sail for the South Pacific.  First stop Solomons.  Take the island, probably w/o loss.  This has a fair chance of saving a small piece of the UK navy in the Pacific (the Australian navy) and allowing them to harass Japan also.  In US2, US builds a DST and loaded trannies that will follow the initial fleet across the South Pacific.

    In US3, advance and take New Guinea as above.  US2 build reaches Solomons.  US3 build is the same as before.

    In US4, the US hits Borneo with the BB, AC, 2 FIG, 1 DST, and 3 TRN’s loaded (the US1 and US2 builds meeting up at Borneo).  US 3 Build is in Solomons, US4 build is off California.

    If Japan has not by now started some serious naval builds, forget the escorts and go all loaded trannies.  Otherwise keep building the DST and loaded TRN’s.  Or if Japan went HEAVY on navy builds, do 2 subs instead of DST.

    In US5, US hits East Indies with 1 BB, 1 AC, 2 FIG, 2 DST’s and FOUR PLUS trannies.  Initial and US1, 2, and 3 builds are linked up.  US4 build is in Solomons, or perhaps hit Wake…

    In US 6 you attack FIC if weak, or Phillipines, or re-takes India…

    By now Japan sure as hell is paying attention to the US, meaning their drive on Moscow has not been well supported in preparation for US Navy.

    With the extra IPC’s on the islands of the South Pacific, The Big Gulp make smore sense than it did in Classic, and could be a devastating strategy for the Allies.  You can grab 9 IPC’s from Japan by US 5, and threaten almost everything else that Japan holds… IF your UK and USSR are up to the task of handling Germany on their own.



  • Your strategy is sound and is nearly what I would do if I thought the US could spare the effort away from Europe. It’s unfortunate that this very usually isn’t usually the case especially if the German navy was reinforced or linked up, which means Africa is in dire trouble and the UK is hardpressed to land anywhere.

    Also island hopping takes a fairly long time to execute, and by the time you start to get Japan’s attention, he has already probably unloaded 3-4 sets of land troops which is a mess to do deal with. I’m sure you know this, but for those of you who don’t, the US cannot win against Japan alone. Japan will have more IPCS than the US unless the other two nations have been working since turn 1 to help kill Japan first. Japan will take 4 IPCs away from the US in sinkiang/china, as well as eat up India and a number of Russian territories. I would also note that it’s actually very difficult to take advantage of Japan even once you manage to take some of his islands. You still have to clean out his navy to do anything, and you still somehow need to get a number of land troops into action which is very annoying over such long distances and can be hung up if the trannies get killed.

    Usually the second I see the US start a naval build, I will include 1-2 subs with every Japan purchase while still pipe-lining troops to Russia, and up the number of subs if a serious naval battle becomes imminent.

    I think you also have to be very careful of where you’re sending your recently built equipment. Sending them to Solomons naked isn’t usually a good idea past turn 1, since Japan has a number of transports, 2 bbs, and planes to strafe/kill an isolated fleet that was recently purchased. Well I don’t know, maybe there is some value to it since if the Japanese did send their navy out, they would have to watch for a counterattack as well as they wouldnt be funneling land troops with transports, but I wouldn’t dare to send an unusually weak navy like a bunch of transports out to solomons naked. I would also be very careful about invading Borneo first, because the navy in SZ60 can reach it in one move. I like to invade the East Indies first because it’s nearly immune to counterattack unless the Japanese navy has moved.

    And I think if your goal is to create a navy that Japan is going to worry about, focus on subs, not destroyers. Subs have the same attack/defense power per IPC that destroyers have, except that you will have numerically more subs than destroyers so subs have the advantage because they can take more hits. Subs can’t hit air, but a stack of fodder subs with a carrier + bb should be more than Japan is willing to try to strafe with just air units.

    IF your UK and USSR are up to the task of handling Germany on their own.

    Even if the UK/USSR can handle Germany on their own, I would still be tempted to send the US to help them out. For one, it’d help Germany go down faster, and for two, you can reinforce the Russian capital with plenty of defense units from the top from Archangel with your transport system when needed.

    My own personal style of island-hopping goes like this:

    US1: buy 2 carriers + 1 transport. There’s 3 planes to land on 2 carriers, which will give you immense defensive value and highly dissuade the Japanese from strafing you idly. Also planes can help you invade islands. Send everything westward (one or 2 fighs/bomber alone aren’t going to help much in europe).

    US2: buy mass subs (much needed fodder and attack value for your fleet) and perhaps 1 or 2 transports. Invade solomon islands.

    US3: from here on out, play it by ear. I like invading East Indies and throwing up a complex there so I can reinforce my navy on the spot. I don’t buy any land troops with the US unless I have a lot of transports since you already have quit a bit of equipment to move that’s in the US, plus stuff you can grab from midway on US1 and hawaii as you go along (not like you need much offensive land equipment since you have bb shots and fighters and are fighting against low numbers of infantry). I tend to build subs early on, then switch to battleships if I’m really trying to kill Japan.

    I’ve tried this a couple of times, and it works just fine if your point is simply to delay/annoy Japan. But if the German player is somewhat enlightened and has achieved a skill level where he can manage both Russia and UK alone, then this really isn’t a good idea as Japan still has had about 3 full rounds to drop troops against Russia and still can maintain a small pipelin as the US comes in.



  • I started the other thread I believe you were discussing here.  I like these ideas.  I may try yours with the 2 carriers instead of the other suggestion.  :evil:



  • What about just attacking Japan navy on sz60?
    Turn 1
    -Buy AC+3subs/2dest
    -merge fleets on us coast.
    -Move US bomber to Yakut, hawaii and western fighter to new carrier.
    Turn 2
    -Buy Bomber + boost German front, you just can’t leave it alone for UK and Soviets.
    -Move to harass Japan, Alaska seazone is good place to be on turn 2, because you can stop the flow of troops to russia, watch carefully how the Japan keeps it’s fleets, will they merge to sz60 and sit there.
    Turn 3
    -Buy Destroyers or subs
    -Attack sz60 if it’s weak enough to be attacked with 1BB 1AC 2figs 3subs/2dest 1trans 2Bomb, bombers land on Yakut. This is really powerful attack on the Japan fleet, only way to really Japan to survive this is keeping all of it’s fleets in sz60.

    For KJF this move is really powerful, because Japan have to boost it’s navy or fear of losing their transports. You could even use the UK navy in india as diversion for moving the East Indies Japan fleet away from sz60 so that on turn 3 it won’t be sitting there and you have the option for really devastate Japan. Most likely this forces Japan to flee to sz61 from fear of attack, but that is ok for you. Just move south after that, but keep in range of sz60. Turn 4, Boost German front with purchase. It’s really stupid to use all your purchase to Pacific, you have to go 50/50 to slowdown Japan, but still help UK.



  • Any skilled Japanese player should have no problem with US fleet that is specifically aimed at killing the Japanese navy. The Japanese fleet starts at a strength of 2 carriers (which can be loaded with 4 fighters) + 2 battleships, which is already an enormous barrier to overcome, not to mention a 3 transport buy which brings their navy to a very strong defensive position. It’s very easy for the Japanese to slowly add submarines to their navy.

    If you were to take out the Japanese navy in SZ60, it would require something like 3-4 rounds to properly build up enough fodder (start with 1 carrier, then mass subs since subs are the most efficient anti-navy unit) before you could damage it sufficiently. Even then, you have to realize that Japan should be more than able to grab enough IPCs to bring their economy to a level on par with the US, which means you can never defeat him alone in the waters.



  • And again I’ll point to my current game with Ezto to support Tri’s last statement…

    US has a huge fleet in the Pacific:  2 AC, 4 FIG, 2 BB, 3 SUB, 3 TRN, 1 DST
    And has as yet (as of J5) been unable to attack and defeat the Japan Navy (now at 2 AC, 4 FIG, 2 BB, 1 DST, 1 TRN, 5 SUB in SZ60).

    Japan is building at 50 IPC, US at 38…
    Do the math… a pure naval fight against Japan is a losing proposition.



  • How about building an IC on Borneo or East indies after taking it instead of building that many transport. This way you could fill out 2 trannies a turn and use the already built trannies. The money saved could be used to support UK and Russia in the east.



  • Because at SOME point, Japan’s fleet IS going to counter your moves and sink your advance forces.

    That is why you keep the defensive pieces (the DST’s) in the mix with the trannies… so that you have the offensive firepower to attack the Japan fleet, and the defensive power (once he strikes, you then swarm Japan’s fleet with everythign else you have in the area… ots of fodder trannies, lots of DST’s for offense).

    In the end, you wipe out the Japan fleet after grabbing SOME of the islands… then you start the direct ship, isolate Japan proper, and start taking everythign with trannies.

    Maybe at that later stage an IC would be a good idea (though better in FIC than on an island), but not in the initial salvo.  Never invest THAT heavilly in a forward position until you KNOW it is well defended and secure from counter-attack.



  • That is why you keep the defensive pieces (the DST’s) in the mix with the trannies… so that you have the offensive firepower to attack the Japan fleet

    The math doesn’t support destroyers as your best bet for good offense/defense. Subs are the best buy (after you have a carrier or two to shield from air attacks).

    24 IPCs in destroyers yields you 2 destroyers that attack/defend on 3. Their total attack/defend value is 6.

    24 IPCs in subs yields you 3 subs that attack/defend on a 2. Their total attack/defend value is also a 6, but with the very important distinction that 3 subs can take more hits than 2 destroyers before being wiped out.

    You can run a dice simulator and it shows you that equal IPC counts of subs will win against equal IPC counts of destroyers.

    Sub hits are also forced onto sea units, which is usually advantageous as it means the opponent will be losing battleships/carriers and can’t take hits on fighters to shield something else they want. As for air units, your 2 carriers/btl and initial destroyers can hit them so you’re fine. Subs also get a preemptive strike in the offhand that your opponent was dumb enough not to include one destroyer or lost it somewhere in battle.

    Also, subs get a last ditch tech that significantly improves their offense/defense. If you have a stack of 15 subs that you’re going to move out from the west coast, you may as well roll for super subs that turn so on the next turn you have 15 very buff subs ready to kick the Japanese fleet’s ass.

    A battleship is the worst buy for an all-out fight, but is really great for strafing and helping take mainland Japan; if you can afford to delay the game long enough, a stack of btls will be incredibly tough for Japan to deal with if it even gets one chance to strafe and then retreat and heal. The battleship way to go is build a complex in Alaska (!). The reason why is that naval units built there directly threaten the Japanese seazone, and because it really doesn’t have production limit problems as battleships are very expensive and the US won’t have the cash to build more than 2 anyways. You’d still start with 3 subs for fodder and add 1 carrier somewhere, but then mass btls and watch the fun.



  • Tri, the reason for DST’s is that the tranny fleet si spread all over the South Pacifc at various times in 4 or 5 different sea zones.  And the most likely initial attack will be Japan’s AF.



  • Whoah. I wouldn’t have trannies spread out all over in 4-5 different seazones! If you split up your fleet like that, Japan can make use of battleships to absorb hits and eat up your little split navies. I don’t think you need to operate in so many seazones simultaneously; you can take one island then move on to the next which generally is safer.



  • Tri, you missed the method of The Big Gulp…

    US starts out moving into the South Pacific, moving to a new island each round.  California built re-inforcements move in, but catch up to the advancing fleet at different times.

    Initially you have forces in Solomons and California.
    Next round, in New Guinea, Solomons and California.
    Third round in Borneo, solomons and California
    Fourth round in East Indies or FIC, Borneo, Solomons, and California…

    Your “supply line” behind you is what is spread into so many sea zones.  Your defense, as the US, is the existence of Destroyers and TRN fodder (you always offload your ground units at the end of each non-combat move) and the fact that as soon as Japan strikes, you counter with your ENTIRE supply chain.



  • I sorta see what you’re saying, but your none of your navies are that fantastic at attacking or defending.

    What if Japan “breaks the speartip” by attacking your car/2 figs/btl/2 trans after it hits Solomons? He can do it pretty easy with 2 btls, 4 figs + bomber + 4 trans. Your initial few supply chains according to your first post consist of, what I would say are pathetic naval combat builds - 1 destroyer and a few transports. If you go heavy on transports in the early rounds, Japan can pick off whatever the strongest navy is (the first one) and not be worried about a weak counterattack by 1 or 2 dest and some transports. You’ll have lots of ground troops stuck with nothing to do once your fluffy transports are broken as well.

    I go just the opposite way - low trannies built at first so you have a significant naval combat force. I don’t like the idea of getting so many loaded trannies because first I don’t need that many land troops to take over the islands (bombardments + fighters), and because many transports early on compromises defense and offense in the waters. Yeah, it’s nice to have a lotta ground troops so you can invade Japan, but if he has a big navy then a lot of your build is wasted until you get rid of his navy since many ground troops don’t help kill the navy, and many early transports compromises your fleet strength.

    Destroyers are indeed a good option when you’re building more fleet to follow-up, since they provide good defense against fighters, but my point is that getting many transports and loading them early on is hurtful to your effort is the Japanese exploit the weakness in your ability to wage naval combat.



  • Again Tri, consolidation is the key… Once you draw Japan out of home waters, your supply chain kicks in.

    Using your example, Japan hits the “spearhead” around East Indies.  They go heavy to make sure of the kill (it is a rather significant US fleet afterall).

    Now you have 3 DST’s and 6 loaded trannies in the supply chain behind that spearhead.  They are in Borneo, Solomons and California.

    Borneo can make a grab for FIC, Phillipines, Kwang, or even Japan
    Solomons can link up with Borneo for a Japan invasion, or take Wake, Oki or Carolines
    California can move on Wake, stage to Alaska for a northern landing in Asia, or position for a follow-up wherever needed.

    The thing in this case is that, when Japan hits that fleet, Japan has already lost Solomons, New Guinea, Borneo, East Indies.  9 IPC moved from the Japan ledger to the US ledger…  So Japan in the 40 range, US in the 50 range…  Guess who wins?



  • Using your example, Japan hits the “spearhead” around East Indies.

    No, my example was breaking the spearhead right in Solomons, not waiting for the US to advance and grab IPCs. This should be quite doable if you’re doing a standard strategy. Your fleet is consolidated in SZ60 on J2, and your carriers are loaded since you see the US coming. Attack on J3 into solomons (this is only as far as the US has gotten by US2) with 4 tran 2 btl 4 fig + 1 bomber at the least.

    Your counterattack force is an innocuous 1 destroyer + 2 transports after your strongest fleet died, while the Japanese probably lost only transports. Guess who wins?



  • So you pull your TRN’s away from Asia to deal with that fleet.

    US Fleet:  1 AC, 1 BB, 2 FIG, 2 TRN, 1 DST
    Japan Fleet:  2 AC, 2 BB, 4 FIG, 4 TRN, 1 BOM

    Also, with UK knowing what US is going to do, add 1 TRN and 1 SUB of UK moving into SZ45 from SZ40…

    Against THAT fleet, Japan has a 1 in 3 chance of winning if they do not bring their carriers, with the most likely result being that US holds SZ45 with a BB, AC and FIG and Japan’s navy AND air force is destroyed.

    If you bring the AC’s with you, Japan has a 76% chance of winning, with 2 BB’s, a fig and a bomber left.

    But if you pull ALL of your fleet to deal with the US spearhead, then Japan’s other tasks are shorted…
    4 FIGS and 1 BOM not being used in Asia this round (and 3 won;t be alive for later use)
    No land units trannied to Asia this round
    Trannies built in J3 are defenseles in SZ60 or 61 and subject to UK bomber (since UK can forward stage the bomber to reach by UK3)
    Or, if you built a replacement AC in J3, then you have not been able to fully restore your TRN fleet, weakening you in Asia again NEXT round.

    While in US3, I build another AC, FIG, SUB to add to my existing DST and 2 TRN off Western.

    End of the Turn 3
    US FLeet is 1 AC, 1 FIG, 1 DST, 1 SUB, 2 TRN minimum in SZ55
    Japan fleet is 2 BB;s in SZ45; and 1 AC, 1 FIG, 2 TRN in SZ60

    You can consoldiate those fleets again in J4, and US can start moving back into the South Pacific with another spearhead.

    But your forward Asia forces have no re-supplies in Bury from J3 landings to support them, and 3 FIGS are dead that can no longer provide offensive punch to support the existing Asia forces…

    In R4, Russia pushes BACK…



  • You make the assumption that the UK sub/trans are alive, which they aren’t if you chase them like you normally do. This means the surviving Japanese fleet is much more significant than you say it is.

    Let me ask this another way: why do you think you need so many transports as the US early on? Where is this going to get you once you claim his islands? I would rather have a lot more combat navy so I can wipe the Japanese navy out and completely stop any flow of troops to the mainland. There’s no need to overdo it on the islands; you have bombardments and fighters to support small numbers of land troops (2-4) to overpower the 1-2 infantry on the islands. So why? What if the Japanese navy doesn’t break your spearhead but sits there and drops tons of troops? It will take you longer to build up a good offensive navy since you spent so much into transports when you could have been getting more subs instead.

    I don’t think there’s much more we can discuss about; almost any strategy that you do with 100% of US income going towards Japan is going to screw him up, but this usually leaves Germany free in Africa. But, the premise of your strategy is that Germany can’t handle the UK/Russia, so I have nothing further to say.



  • The reason for the mass of troops is FIC.

    Japan can dump forces into Asia while the US floats across the South Pacific.  Japan either comes out and attacks the fleet, pulling their trannies of bridge duty to serve as fodder, or Japan stays put and ferries troops.

    If they do the former, then you have taken a LOT of pressure of Russia.

    If they do the latter, then the US lands HEAVY in FIC:  10+ divisions of mixed INF/ART/ARM
    … behind the Japan front in Asia
    And with a piece of property that can be reinforced immediately by UK AF before Japan can counter (maybe even FIGS from Russia itself).  Drop an IC…

    Allied HARD point in south Asia, with massed fleet heavy on transports, which is a lot of defensive fodder, and a rapid threat to India, Africa, and even Japan itself in a few rounds.

    Japan has to take the bait and move out on that fleet, otherwise they get pierced in their underbelly, with no way to remove the spearhead.

    Eitherway, it stops the flow against Russia from Japan.

    Now if you want to fine tune the specific naval builds… do an AC and FIG with 1 TRN one round, a BB and TRN the next, that is up to you.  But the more TRN you have in the mix, the greater the land and IPC threat to Japan.


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