Somebody brought up the question: Can the UK prevent a Pearl Harbor attack J1?
In my opinion the UK that plays before Japan can discourage Japan from doing a Pearl Harbor. They do that by using all their Pacific fleet in a position to threaten the IJN. You think that Japan can easily repel this thread! That is true, but if it doesn’t the IJN can get into trouble. So Japan will respond by taking out the threat of the UK Pacific fleet. Doing so he does not have the units to do a Pearl Harbor attack. That is the basic philosophy. Now players can make different decisions. So lets explore what are the different possibilities for the Allies and Japan.
The opening from the UK will be as follows:
The ANZAC sub will attack the sub in SZ45 together with the fighter from SZ35. There is a big chance they will kill it with no losses.
The ANZAC transport will take 2 inf and attack New Guinea. Also this battle has a good chance of success with at least 1 inf left.
The destroyer and carrier of SZ 35 will attack the lone transport in SZ59.
In the non-combat move the transport in SZ35 will go to SZ36 as a blocker.
The fighter attacking the IJN sub will land on the Pearl Harbor carrier.
The bomber will fly to Novosibirsk.
The fighters from London could fly to Moscow.
Walk 1 inf to India.
Now it depends on the dice how successful the UK will be. It is possible all battles are lucky, but more likely one or two will fail in various degrees.
In the Russia turn you could have walked all 6 possible inf to Buryatia. Though I would only do this if you are convinced that Japan will not attack it. Because I do believe that the only correct response by Japan should be to crush Buryatia. If you are willing to take the risk and Japan goes for a Pearl Harbor instead, you’ll be very lucky! If Japan ignores all the bait and takes Buryatia, Russia will have a very hard time! But if you do, then land at least 1 fighter in Kazahk! This will give you the option to attack Manchuria R2.
But lets analyze the situation for Japan. First of all he need to make a choice what to buy. As Japan I always suggest to buy trannies! They double as sea defense in an Allied KJF strategy and can ferry units onto the mainland. Alternative choice would be factories on the mainland. If Japan buys transports you need to consider where to place them. SZ60 is the best place because it is the shortest route into Russia. The other option is SZ61. But there are UK ships lurking in the Pacific within reach of those two building locations. SZ60 can be reached with 1 sub, 1 destroyer, 1 carrier, 1 transport, 1 bomber and 3 fighters. If Japan does nothing, SZ60 is not a safe place! SZ61 is more protected by distance. Only the destroyer, carrier, transport and bomber can reach. For unprotected transports that is enough to be destroyed completely! So, if Japan has build transports he need to take out the threat of the UK Pacific fleet. Also if Japan builds factories he need to be careful. There is at least the threat of India. With 4 Inf and 1 bomber the UK can take FIC if Japan does not defend it well. It could be that even Russia is posing a threat to Manchuria. Remember that if Japan builds factories it only has extra units in Asia at the end of turn 2. Which is 1 turn lost opposed to transports. So if Japan does that you already have an advantage regardless other events. So lets consider Japan does want to build transports.
So the least Japan should do is take out the UK carrier and destroyer. With those taken out the UK can not do so much anymore against the Japanese transports in either SZ60 or 61. But all units that can reach are the battleship from SZ60, the destroyer from the Caroline Islands and all planes, but that are also the units that are needed to for a Pearl Harbor! You wish you could use the battleship of SZ37, but that one is blocked by the transport in SZ36! So you would at least need the SZ60 battleship, take the transport as fodder and 1 fighter for good odds. Though the transport is not really necessary according to the battle calculator.
If the attack on New Guinea was successful then the ANZAC transport should be taken out immediately. Otherwise it is advised to take it out. If left alone, it can pick up more inf and attack again or somewhere else. So, either 1 fighter or the battleship should take care of it.
The transport in SZ36 can reach SZ60 and serve as fodder in an attack on transports. So, it is better to take it out, or build your new transports in SZ61.
China need to be taken care off. I suggest to use at least 2 land based fighters for that.
Now it depend on whether the IJN sub survived UK1, whether Japan has the odds to do Pearl Harbor! If they don’t, then they should forget Pearl Harbor, or be prepared to loose serious amounts of units in the process and in the counter attack from the US! Japan has at most 3 fighters available of which 2 have 1 movement left. That means that if they don’t loose them, they need to lend them on a carrier within reach of a counter attack. The chance that you leave a blocker is very small, or you need to sacrifice fighters. But then they don’t need to land them! The best would be if they only use the fighter with 2 movement left, but that will give them less then 50% chance even with the sub left! If Japan has the sub left, it need two fighters to get the right odds. On average Japan has 1.5 units left after the battle. So that takes care of the landing problem With all 3 fighters Japan has good odds, but with high chance of loosing 1 fighter. So, that still leaves the problem of the counter attack. The chance is high that in the counter attack Japan looses the carrier and 1 or all fighters. That leaves 3 fighters for Japan. If it is smart it will land them all in FIC together with 2 inf. Then still the UK has a 7% chance to wipe them all out, and a bigger chance to loose some! That will leave Japan crippled!
So, can the UK prevent a Pearl Harbor? not for 100%, but if played well, then Japan will have to take great risk in doing so! If he is very lucky he can, but a reasonable player would rather find an other objective and be more successful.
Let me know what you think!