How to stack Yunnan?



  • Hello all.  I would like to ask for advice to Allies stacking Yunnan in turn 2.

    In my previous game, there is a J1 attack.  In turn 2, Japan positions itself with the following troop.
    Hunnan/Kweichow: 6 inf, 3 art, 1 mech
    FIC: 6 inf, 1 art (or I forget maybe there is 1 more inf+tank come from Philippines)
    sz36: 3 transport
    The 21 planes can attack Yunnan

    I stack Yunnan with Chinese 14 inf; UK 8 inf, 3 aa, 4 mech; Russia 1 tank+1mech
    However Japan still wins with some land units that China is not able to counterattack and retake Yunnan in turn 3.

    As the photo shows a rough replication of what happened in end of turn 2 in the previous game.  America tried to slow down Japan by fully-Pacific build in the first three turns.  And Russia is putting some pressure with 6 inf, 1 tact in the North (it cannot dedicates too many units as Germany is pushing into Russia with dark skies). 
    I wonder if there are better ways to stack Yunnan?  ANZAC basically only takes Java and hold itself back (not shown in photo).  Thank you!
    2017-10-05 22.43.32.jpg


  • 2018 2017

    I think it demonstrates why this isn’t a great plan.  You have all of UK RUS CHINA eggs in one basket, so that Japan should probably go ahead attack you.  If it does go badly his momentum would be reduced and the Allies would have a big victory.  But since this stack is slow to form and telegraphs what you are doing (esp when UK declares war) it should be a signal to Japan to put everything within striking range because instead of hiding all over the place, its actually helping Japan do its job because all the opposition is in one place and pushed up front, and within range of a huge air force.

    Japan still has the luxury of completely ignoring you also and taking India with ease–the planes can help defend and the stack lacks punch power (since the Rus has no cannon fodder and China has no strike and UK has no clean path to reinforce or money).  In that case, the stack gets isolated and not reinforced, so Japan only needs to contain it, not destroy it in detail.



  • Thank you taamvan.

    So might I ask how the Pacific Allies can coordinate to slow down Japan against such J1 attack? I plan to devote the first three turns of American income to Pacific side of the board.

    (J1 builds 3 transports, take Borneo, Philippines, FIC, move all mainland troops southwards for Yunnan, leave HK to be taken by Kiangsu force in J2 - as you can roughly see Japan’s plan in the previous photo.
    J1 also moves main fleets to Philippines, except carriers protecting Japan sea and Borneo transports.)



  • hcp, it depends on how you are going to play with the allies. Different strategies will result in different outcomes in the Pacific. If you don’t plan on bringing your Russian 20 back to Moscow, utilize them in Amur. Make the Japanese sweat a little bit and confront that stack. You should also consider supporting the defense of Calcutta (although this is hard to do). Japan will have free reign during its first 5 turns or so. Don’t be discouraged, the US needs some time to build its fleet, and then you will see a more defensive play from Japan. The US will alleviate some of that pressure from Japan, and then you should be able to begin to thrive with ANZAC and UK forces, sometimes even your Chinese army will begin to grow.


  • '16 '15 '10

    Units that could potentially be on Yunnan include an additional mech/tank and 2 figs 1 tac from Russia, the starting 2 fig 1 tac from Uk, and up to 3 fig from Anzac (these fly to Java anzac1 if possible, and at least 1 can get to Sumatra).  Plus bid units if you’re playing with bids (and you should be if this is standard 2nd edition).

    I can’t see the fleet deployments so it may be that you couldn’t stack as many units as possible in Yunnan because you needed to protect India.  If they are pushing THAT hard against Yunnan and they also have a threat against India, then it may not be feasible to risk the Yunnan stack (your stack was definitely too weak).  On the other hand, if you don’t stack Yunnan, your opponent will probably mass Yunnan and potentially take India by land as early as J5.  So against this Japan strategy I’d still want to try the Yunnan stack.  Even if it’s impossible to get Japan’s odds of success below 50%, it’s still worthwhile if Japan is likely to lose alot of planes taking Yunnan with a net average tuv (total unit value as measured by ipc) loss greater than 20.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    The planes on Japan can’t reach.

    It may be worth losing such a stack if USN can destroy the IJN. Not sure about that, but it’s an idea I wanted to throw into the mix.

    Mostly though, I agree with Taamvan. Such a plan isn’t the best idea. If you can trade Yunnan, that’s still better than expected for the Allies.



  • Utilize Yunnan at all costs when Japan gives you the chance.

    However in case be reinforced heavy as I would also always do as Japan, Yunnan is not the way to go. Against a strong and prepared Japan a reinforced Yunnan is good, as he can concentrate his power. Instead it is better to force him to divide his power. You have 5 flanks you can all put pressure on.

    North: 18 Russians
    China: Guerilla chinese that never die until you hunt them
    South: UK that can become Pacific Russia when not handled
    Money Islands: here is the money for the Allies + Axis, crucial to take fast
    SZ6: Even with mininal forces of USA, Japan needs to defend this zone against Hawaii fleet

    When all 5 zones are well defended + played, so not giving away any free space or battles, it is difficult for Japan to keep reinforcing all areas with sparse land troops, it needs to focus.

    More and more I am realizing that as the Allies, you need to think as the attacker, not as the defender, as the attacker always provides you with the initiative. So not stacking Yunnan, Egypt, Moscow. Instead always be on the counter-attack limiting Axis movement. Axis have so much initi power they will expand no matter what, however as soon they have expanded they become divided, then is the chance of the Allies to counter-attack. Russia + UK are the most important Allies in this play, the USA less important and a more supporting role balancing the Axis.



  • How to stack Yunnan?

    I counter with a question of my own. Why in the name of all that is holy would you stack Yunnan?

    hcp produced a picture of the situation at the critical time of the question. Go back and take a look at it, let it soak in.

    Ok

    So, UK, China and Russia have thrown in all they got into Yunnan. As some posters have pointed out it is a 99% battle in favor of Japan. Sure, it could go side ways on Japan and they have to lose some air force.

    BUT

    Russia losses 100% of their troops.
    China losses 95% of their troops
    UK losses 75% of their troops.

    IN A LOSING BATTLE BEFORE IT EVEN STARTED!!!

    Why?

    Oh, well we have to hold Yunnan to protect Calcutta. Ok, fair enough. Yet, are you not losing all of china to boot? You just threw the entire China army into the defense of holding Calcutta on a losing battle and now China cannot defend it self as a side effect.

    IF your only interest was the preservation of China to continue the war you would tell the Indians they are on their own.

    Wait

    Africacorp said that the foundation of the Allies defense was a 5 pillar defense. Russia, china, Uk, ANZAC and USA. Challenging them on 5 fronts.

    In one foul swoop Japan just knocked out 2 of those pillars in some fantasy land Yunnan stack plan of defense. China falls and so does UK Pacific.

    If you go back to the thumb nail picture of the situation. China is offering 0, zip, nada resistance to Japan. They have given up the ghost in a desperate hail mary attempt on Yunnan.

    This is just bad Allied play.

    China needs to contest every single territory. Make Japan risk land units and disperse their air power over all of China. Japan cannot take China with just land power, they need their air force to project force. If you disperse Japans air force across the entire main land to support these attacks, then, UK Pacific does not have to deal with 15+ planes going into India.

    China gets two builds with the Burma road. They need to build all ART to give them some offense. Make Japan worry about counter attacks on their small stacks advancing with no air power to support them.

    Oh, yes, some back bench guy is yelling about the Calcutta crunch plan of attack from Japan.

    So, be it man. There is nothing China can do to stop it. China just needs to worry about themselves and preserve as much of China as they can to stall or stop Japan from marching towards Moscow.

    BOTTOM LINE

    Contest Yunnan with some China INF but set up a counter attack into Yunnan from China and UK. Japan can ill afford to be losing stacks of ground troops. That is a main point of concern on the mainland for them. Make they worry about that with counter attacks.


  • 2018 2017

    Mr. Painstate,

    Many of the ideas being put forth right now focus on trying to change a very early part of the game, one that is well-traveled by most players.  I think that there is a viable China stack, but its not on C1-C2 and it can’t be a “initiate this strategy no matter what” plan.  Russia is the main issue, not China or India, so moving your best 3/6 units out of Russia only to have them kind of putz around at the edges isn’t going to be worth sending them away from the action either.  I still think there should be a China stack, (likely a space or two west of Yunnan) because unless you have some kind of hardpoint, the Japanese will even use their airforce to kill whatever you do have!  Last game I had Japan attacking 2 ANZAC fighters, 1 fighting tiger fighter and 4-5 infantry with 2-3 guys and 10 planes–-because he knew that was the chance to stop the Moscow reinforce.

    People seem to think that China (or East Russia) is useless because its all men.  They cause constant headaches for Japan, all of which lead them away from the critical path of 100% focus on the next VC/increase money/next VC/…



  • If you insist on stacking Yunnan then let me propose a curve ball you can throw at Japan.

    China can move into Burma. Stack Burma instead of Yunnan with the China forces. Let China stack Burma and UK stack in Calcutta waiting for the counter attack.


  • '16 '15 '10

    @PainState:

    If you insist on stacking Yunnan then let me propose a curve ball you can throw at Japan.

    China can move into Burma. Stack Burma instead of Yunnan with the China forces. Let China stack Burma and UK stack in Calcutta waiting for the counter attack.

    If China does that, their stack will end up stuck in Burma, cut off from the rest of China.



  • @Zhukov44:

    @PainState:

    If you insist on stacking Yunnan then let me propose a curve ball you can throw at Japan.

    China can move into Burma. Stack Burma instead of Yunnan with the China forces. Let China stack Burma and UK stack in Calcutta waiting for the counter attack.

    If China does that, their stack will end up stuck in Burma, cut off from the rest of China.

    Well, ok. I thought the entire purpose of stacking Yunnan was to protect India. Let China bleed in Burma as UK stacks India for the counter attack or inevitable Calcutta Crush. Either way, this is all about India.


  • '16 '15 '10

    It’s about both, really.  If Allies don’t stack Yunnan, then eventually an experienced Japan will take and hold Yunnan with a force that’s too strong for China or India to counterattack.  After that they can either go for China or India.  What I try to do as Japan is time my attack on either India or the main China stack for J5 or J6 (the same time Allied air needs to be covering Moscow).  In my experience, the Yunnan stack is the most reliable means of throwing a wrench into that plan.



  • Thank you for the suggestions and the critical questions on my play.

    I finished a game (30bid, with 18 bid Taranto+North Africa+ 12 bid Chinese inf) to test Zhukov44’s suggestion, in particular, I stack Yunnan with the following units by the end of R3:
    Russia 2tank, 5mech, 1fig
    China: 21inf
    UK: 3AA, 8inf, 4mech, 2fig, 1tact
    ANZAC: 3fig
    This brings down Japan’s winning odd below 50-50.
    Japan can attack with 16inf, 1mech, 7art, 1tank, 11fig, 8tac, 3bomb

    –--------------------------------------

    US1 builds 2 carrier in Pacific, putting maximum pressure on Japan sea, forcing Japan to return its navy home.
    US2 builds 5fig+1tact in Pacific to keep pressure on Japan sea to focus Japan either not to build factory on mainland or to abandon Philippines.
    US3 sends 5fig+1tack to Buryatia, and builds bombers in East coast, so that they can come to Moscow by US5.

    India will keep producing land units; ANZAC will keep producing subs to covey Japan’s coastal money.

    — However, Moscow’s defense is quite weak and probably will fall in G6.

    turn3.2 Yunnan stack before J3 attack.jpg


  • 2017

    Situation dictates of course. C2 may not be the best time to stack Yunnan. Myself, I like to keep shoving everything and hope I slow down Japan’s movement forward of fodder so it flitters away.

    Maybe not on a table top game, but on triplea live games (not the expert league players), Japan is being taken out in KJF strategies by simply just shoving everything. Japan runs out of ground units (cannon fodder) and is forced to decide which direction to go. Japan might take out a stack somewhere with it’s giant air force but it can’t hit everywhere at the same time. For instance, Russia walks into Korea/Manchuria the turn right after Yunnan gets stacked while the US moves into position for islands. China is automatically getting 3 IPCs = 1 infantry due to Russia helping while Japan has lost 6 IPCs in territories unless it gets it back. If Japan doesn’t move it’s starting troops into position to hold Yunnan because of Russia, than China has a better chance of holding Yunnan.

    Also, the amount of units you’re stacking in Yunnan and still losing badly makes me think your dice throwing skills need some improvement. Where are your UK India forces at? Do you have UK mech infantry to clean up in the scenario as described?

    On Saturday 8 October in a table top game, some of my defending dice in a battle (Belarus location) were like 14 infantry. I rolled a complete miss with them the 1st round whereas my opponent rolled practically all hits which was also unlikely. Sometimes a strategy doesn’t matter if your dice are super awful. It’s a dice game, just the way it is.

    Playing table top is definitely a completely different game than triplea where I think the dice software has less outliers than actually throwing dice.

    An example, I bought some of those gimmick battle dice for fun. I threw one of them 100x and counted all of the 6s and all of the 1s with the cool looking Iron Cross on it. Guess what, the 6 came up 20% more often. This has to do with gravity and no influence of other dice. The 6 pip side is not as heavy.


  • 2017

    @taamvan:

    Japan still has the luxury of completely ignoring you also and taking India with ease–the planes can help defend and the stack lacks punch power (since the Rus has no cannon fodder and China has no strike and UK has no clean path to reinforce or money).   In that case, the stack gets isolated and not reinforced, so Japan only needs to contain it, not destroy it in detail.

    When I do the early take down of India, I have a problem of holding it. India gets liberated immediately. I might take it back, but then it gets liberated again because the player keeps enough troops in w. India. But it makes it easier for me to simultaneously get China under control.


  • 2017

    @PainState:

    @Zhukov44:

    @PainState:

    If you insist on stacking Yunnan then let me propose a curve ball you can throw at Japan.

    China can move into Burma. Stack Burma instead of Yunnan with the China forces. Let China stack Burma and UK stack in Calcutta waiting for the counter attack.

    If China does that, their stack will end up stuck in Burma, cut off from the rest of China.

    Well, ok. I thought the entire purpose of stacking Yunnan was to protect India. Let China bleed in Burma as UK stacks India for the counter attack or inevitable Calcutta Crush. Either way, this is all about India.

    It’s not just about India. It’s also about Japan’s coastal territories being overran by China. Once the coastal Victory Cities are liberated, the US can practically switch to spending 95-100%  towards the Europe board.

    If Japan suicides pretty much all of it’s ground and takes lots of air hits to get Yunnan, then it’s also way behind for driving towards India; especially if the US is going after Japan first. You don’t want to just fall back and let Japan easily take territories without losing lots of fodder. Remember Japan has to build factories and mech to replenish. It’s harder than say Germany fighting to re-take Normandy which is just 2 spaces away from a Major IC.



  • @Ichabod:

    Also, the amount of units you’re stacking in Yunnan and still losing badly makes me think your dice throwing skills need some improvement. Also, where are your UK India forces at? Do you have UK mech infantry to clean up in the scenario as described?

    Thanks Ichabod.  There should be 1 tank+mech in India.  I forgot to put them there in UK2.

    Actually my Yunnan stack killed most of the Japanese fighters and some tactical bombers. In my revised game (pic in reply#13) with the huge Yunnan stack Japan was neutralized in Asia.  However I lost the game in Europe.  In the first two turns US fully produced in Pacific (1st turn: 3 carrier; 2nd turn: 2 tact + 5 fighters).  In turn 3, seeing Japan lost most of the force in Asia, US began to produce in Europe.

    However, Germany had already produced 6 bombers (G1 produced 2 and lost 1, G2 produced 1, G4 produced 2) by the end of G4.  Plus Germany’s cruiser (& transport) in sz112, US was just 1 turn behind on sailing to Gibraltar.  Italy mobile forces kept clearing UK units coming up Caucasus, so that Germany could focus on Moscow.  In G6 Moscow fell.

    This makes me reflect that, whether (1) I should devote so many Russian units to stack Yunnan (2tank, 5mech, >=1fighter), but even slightly reducing Russian support units in China can largely affect Yunnan defense in J3; and (2) whether in US2, I should produce a full-loaded carrier in Europe plus one transport despite KJF, so that I can sail to Gibraltar in US3 before Germany gets the critical number of bombers by G4?

    note that UK was heavily producing in Persia and Iraq – UK just produced in Britain to counter Sealion pressure from sz112 in Europe.  The pic below shows the end of round 2 in Europe.

    tun2 end Europe.jpg



  • @Ichabod:

    An example, I bought some of those gimmick battle dice for fun. I threw one of them 100x and counted all of the 6s and all of the 1s with the cool looking Iron Cross on it. Guess what, the 6 came up 20% more often. This has to do with gravity and no influence of other dice. The 6 pip side is not as heavy.

    haha, that perhaps explains why when Moscow gets SBRed, the AA-guns’ “1” usually don’t work well and bombers usually hit “5” and "6"s!


  • 2018 2017

    ok your Yunnan stack is awesome.  I did a J1 (167) and ive got no troops left to oppose a stack.



  • @taamvan:

    ok your Yunnan stack is awesome.  I did a J1 (167) and ive got no troops left to oppose a stack.

    Yes, actually in case it’s a standard J1 attack (where Japan takes HK and Borneo), Japan should have no land force left to take Yunnan in J2.  And China can even move its fighter to Yunnan to increase the chance that Russian air survives the J3 Yunnan attack. 
    Again my problem is how to coordinate Moscow and American purchase.  In order to survive beyond G6, perhaps Russia cannot buy too many artillery in Moscow.  And for US, I am thinking whether I should divert one full-loaded carrier purchase to Europe in the first 2 turns so that US3 move to Gibraltar - it might be beneficial to attract Germany to lose 2 bombers to attack it?

    If Japan doesn’t attack the Yunnan stack in J3, UK can take FIC if Japan doesn’t fly some fighters there, and Shan state is protected by these UK force by J5 (so Japanese planes cannot land there).  If the Japanese force wants to go India by sea, then first they need to abandon Japan sea under American pressure, the Indian British and French destroyers can block them for a turn, then Russia takes FIC, and UK Yunnan force can move to Burma to retake India.



  • @Ichabod:

    @PainState:

    @Zhukov44:

    @PainState:

    If you insist on stacking Yunnan then let me propose a curve ball you can throw at Japan.

    China can move into Burma. Stack Burma instead of Yunnan with the China forces. Let China stack Burma and UK stack in Calcutta waiting for the counter attack.

    If China does that, their stack will end up stuck in Burma, cut off from the rest of China.

    Well, ok. I thought the entire purpose of stacking Yunnan was to protect India. Let China bleed in Burma as UK stacks India for the counter attack or inevitable Calcutta Crush. Either way, this is all about India.

    It’s not just about India. It’s also about Japan’s coastal territories being overran by China. Once the coastal Victory Cities are liberated, the US can practically switch to spending 95-100%  towards the Europe board.

    If Japan suicides pretty much all of it’s ground and takes lots of air hits to get Yunnan, then it’s also way behind for driving towards India; especially if the US is going after Japan first. You don’t want to just fall back and let Japan easily take territories without losing lots of fodder. Remember Japan has to build factories and mech to replenish. It’s harder than say Germany fighting to re-take Normandy which is just 2 spaces away from a Major IC.

    Indeed you want to defend every territory light or strong. China putting 1 inf in the border territories can wreck havoc on japans plans if they manage to hit.

    As japan i gave up games round 3 when round 1 and 2 the allies hit nearly 80% of the time i had no units in the transports and nearly no land units in china.

    Bleed the land forces and japan will be slowed down heavy. Axis cannot afford to lose 2 rounds the massive allied income will overtake them if they dont get economic parity fast enough.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @Ichabod:

    When I do the early take down of India, I have a problem of holding it. India gets liberated immediately. I might take it back, but then it gets liberated again because the player keeps enough troops in w. India. But it makes it easier for me to simultaneously get China under control.

    I’ve noticed this outcome also. My response has been to build some more ICs, especially one on Malaya even when the troops aren’t going to be useful for taking India. The trouble then becomes holding those ICs, particularly from a USN sitting in SZ54. I like to have a fleet off Java because it blocks 3/4 of the money islands from Australia as well as blocking the Malaya peninsula. I don’t like an IC on Kwangtung so much because that mostly fights China and is more vulnerable to an Allied landing than on Shantung. SZ35 normally needs a blocker.

    Knowing you are going to build the IC in Malaya, you might as well do it as early as possible and you may have some extra troops for the India take down.


  • 2018 2017

    Still not sure about the stack R1, but recent G40s are a reminder that this area is critical.  During this last J1 (167.t3) I took my objectives (Malaya, HK, Borneo) but all UK needed to do is push back and they retook Malaya, China holds Yunnan (without the stack!).  This coming turn I get to blow up a lot of stray ships and blockers, but I’ve got nothing left on the mainland and because FiC wasn’t secure, I didn’t drop the factory there (Kwangsi was also insecure, having only planes and 2 land units to protect the bomber base) its in HK.

    Maphead is doing the ANZAC Fighters/American Carriers KJF strategy, he played some awesome blocks on Z2 that are going to prevent me from destroying the US 1/2 fleet at Carolines.    Right away, Japan is on the defense.    Since I’ve blown the J1 several times by leaving insufficient forces on Japan to ward of an immediate-step-up–I bought more subs, extra carrier, etc.



  • I have some reflections on how Japan could counter Yunnan stack: two conditions are required
    (A) the whole Japanese air force annihilating the Szechwan force in J2; and
    (B) taking Yunnan with land force in J2 and holding it before UK2.

    J2-3 DOW will make both conditions easier to attend as all J1 bombers can be directed to Yunnan, and the Kiangsi force can prepare for a J2 Yunnan attack, backed up by the two potential J1 transport forces in Kwangsi if necessary (those forces not attacing Philippine in J1).
    Once China cannot take Yunnan back in C2, UK cannot fly 3 air units in Yunnan against J3 Yunnan attack, and would not move into Yunnan in UK2.  Then the Yunnan stack cannot be formed.  And Japan will have a stronger land force to march to India.

    @taamvan:

    Still not sure about the stack R1, but recent G40s are a reminder that this area is critical.

    I think the Russian 2tank+2mech are crucial in making Japan costly in attacking Szechwan in J2.  
    Say, if Szechwan has 10inf+1fig, Japan only loses 4 fig to take it.  If Szechwan has 10inf+2mech+2tank+1fig, Japan will lose 7 fig to take it.  If there are bid inf units in Szechwan, roughly each bid inf unit will cost 1 additional Japanese fighter.

    Here come some questions that I wish to ask for your comments: assume that Germany persuades Dark skies, Russia moves mechs+tanks to Kaza/Sikang, and withdraws from Amur, and US would probably go for KJF.

    (1)  Would you attack the Szechwan stack with Japanese air (assume China retakes Yunnan in C1)?  If yes, how many Japanese planes are you willing to sacrifice to eliminate the Szechwan force, or at least make sure no Chinese units can retake Yunnan in C2?

    (2)  As UK, once your battleship survives in turn 1, would you move it to Queensland or to Europe?  Since the battleship cannot help in Pacific attack, I am thinking whether I should move it to Gibraltar through South Africa, so US can build ~20IPC more in Pacific in earlier turns.

    (3)  As US, in case Japan stack the fleet on seazone 36 as in standard play, would you take Caroline or go to Queensland in turn 2?


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