I’m enjoying the conversation, and I think you’re raising worthwhile points, but I still disagree with you on the specifics. Here is why:
As I stated before, you’ll have 4 guys to then send to Celebes, Java, Sumatra and Borneo with your 2 transports and take all 4 of them if you so choose.
That’s assuming you take no casualties in the Philippines, lose no transports before J3, and take no casualties killing off any reinforcements delivered by India / ANZAC. You can take the Philippines plus the 4 money islands with 2 transports and 4 ground units, but you’re spreading yourself thin and it’s not guaranteed.
ANZAC only has 1 fighter. Literally one.
I count 3 – in addition to the fighter in Queensland there are 2 in New Zealand that can land on Java as early as A1. All 3 fighters are close enough to the action to interfere with Japanese takeover of the money islands.
Your transports will be defended by 1 carrier with 2 fighters on it, and 2 battleships.
Sorry, I thought you were sending one of the BBs east to Pearl Harbor. Sounds like both BBs are going south. So what’s attacking Pearl Harbor? Just 1 SS, 2 DD, 2 ftr, and 2 tac? Against that force, I would probably not scramble the Hawaiian fighters, and then counter-attack the Hawaiian sea zone on US1 with something like 1 DD, 1 CA, 4 ftr, 1 tac. That should handily win control of the sea zone against 1 SS, 2 DD, allowing me to reinforce Hawaii with the transport on non-combat. So now Hawaii has 4 inf, 4 ftr defending it against a maximum attack of 1 inf, 1 tnk, 2 ftr, 2 tac, which seems fine to me. If I lose Hawaii at all, it will be very expensive for Japan, and I can retake it immediately. I hear you that you are baiting the main US fleet into Hawaii and that you could sink that fleet if it moves there on US1, but all I have to do is not take the bait, and I should be fine. You’re forcing the US to invest some significant spending in the Pacific on US1 and US2, which could make a Sea Lion attack more threatening. I suppose if I saw a Pearl Harbor on J1 I would adjust the UK1 buy – instead of 1 transport, 1 artillery for South Africa and 2 inf, 1 fighter for London I might do something like 6 inf for London and 2 mech for South Africa, save $1.
And yes you can attack ANZAC’s destroyer and transport with the destroyer you have in SZ 33. Take out the destroyer and transport with no scramble and the cruiser comes after you manage to hit a 1 or 2 and you destroyed the entirety of ANZAC’s navy.
Sure, you can attack 1 DD vs. 1 DD, 1 trans and you might get lucky, or you might not. If you’re sending 2 DDs to Pearl Harbor and 1 DD to Australia, that leaves you with only 1 DD to escort your southern fleet, which, again, will make it tricky to cover multiple sea zones to protect your transports. With 2 BB, your main southern fleet will be safe enough, but the flanks are vulnerable, in my opinion.
I’m not sure what you’re trying to say about the ANZAC cruiser, other than that you expect to both win a 50-50 battle with the destroyers and then also sink the cruiser with like 20% odds when Australia counter-attacks your DD with 1 CA, 1 ftr. So, yeah, 10% of the time you’ll get quite lucky and sink the ANZAC navy. So? That’s dice, not strategy.
Frankly any of my starting navy on the coast of Japan would be overkill in a natural J1 attack which would be a waste of valuable resources.
This is maybe your most interesting point – Japan does start with slightly more navy than it really needs to conquer and occupy the south Pacific, so there’s an interesting question of how to put that navy to gainful employment right away. I’m not sure I like your answer of attacking Pearl and stacking Wake, but I like that you’re asking the question.
What is to write home about is if the American fleet on San Francisco moves down to secure Hawaii from you.
Well, yeah, so, don’t do that. Don’t fall for the trap. You can secure Hawaii without moving the remaining US capital ships there immediately. It’s a good trap, but it’s still just a trap. It’s easy enough for the Allies to avoid.
Unless the British are invading Tobruk, they’d be absolutely stupid in the head not to do the Taranto Raid.
I can do the Taranto raid and still wind up with significant naval assets to send east, if I’ve got a bid. One of my favorite bids is 2 subs for the Mediterranean, which means the carrier doesn’t have to go west to do Taranto.
If I’ve got no bid, that means we’re playing Balanced Mod, which means you have some explaining to do about how you’re going to handle the Chinese guerrillas with zero reinforcements on J1 and at most 3 transports of reinforcements on J2.
Overall, don’t get me wrong; I think your plan of attack is interesting and worth experimenting with. Pearl Harbor plus Sea Lion as you’ve outlined it sounds like a very creative way of shaking things up against Middle Earth, and if you catch the Allied player off guard or if they fall for your traps or if they roll poorly, then you could have quite a nice game as the Axis. My personal preference as the Axis is to play with a more traditional India Crush that focuses on shutting down Indian income as quickly as possible and taking India J4 or J5, with Germany going east to take Leningrad and Ukraine by G5. The idea is that if the US focuses on the Atlantic, then Japan can expand from India to take some combination of Persia, South Africa, Australia, and/or Hawaii, forcing the US to pivot back to the Pacific. Conversely, if the US focuses on the Pacific, then Germany will wind up at the very least being able to push Russia out of the Caucauses and take the southern money. When Germany gets rich like that, they can threaten London while holding the line near Moscow, forcing the US to pivot back to the Atlantic. Either way, the US supply chain gets messed up and slows them down.
Do you want to try out a game? Might be enlightening for both of us.