Game Report 166: The Limitations of JDOW J1

  • '21 '20 '18 '17

    I love a good JDOW J1 because its a canned play with set moves that you don’t have do a lot of planning on you just hit the playbook and run it.  I was strategizing for the Allies but its my turn to play Axis–so I need something simple cause its my turn and I’m on my second beer.  To briefly recap how I use his opener,

    CA FIG SB – BB in SZ 37
    2 transports, 1 grand fleet or so, 1 carrier = Phillipines
    2 units = Kwangtung
    4 units 3 air = Yunnan (short 1 SB from normal)
    2 units = Borneo
    No Hunan, no guys in position to do it.

    Advantages;  Takes down UK PAC income from 17 to 10 to 7 (+4) the fastest way possible
    Disadvantages; America is all over you.  The open is locktight and you’ll win all your battles but all your Asia land army is zilch.

    I’ve used this quite a few times and it works great, but last time I did it, USA (played by the Professor) imm. stepped up to Iwo, took it, and then moved up air and sea stacks, blew me completely apart  Because I left too little on Japan to ward him off, I didn’t want to repeat the mistake.

    This game I bought 1 CV 1 TT 1 INF on J, the buy is up to you.    On J2, with 41~ I got subs, a destroyer, MiC etc.  Since UKPAC income destruction is my goal, I SB’d him and lost 1 SB, and took Malaya, which he promptly took back.

    The game is on G1 and things aren’t looking so great.    China (Squidburns) is strong, USA (Maphead) is KJFin’g with the ANZAC Fighter combo.  My ground units are dead–and the J1 didn’t give me any time to get land units built up.    US used Anzac ships to screen me off USA island hopping fleet so Carolines is down.

    I do have a chance to kill 5 allied ships this turn, and get my counterstrike on SZ 6 looking really nasty.  By retaking Malaya, I can’t use the seabase to get home.    My factory goes on HK instead, because I’m on the defensive right away.

    J1/J2 are really popular, but its making me go back to the J3/J4 prospect to reduce China the old fashioned way.  Any suggestions?  Taam

  • '21 '20 '18 '17

    Note that the suggested opener is simplified and that I didn’t list uncontested takes or extra air support that you can add per your preference just how many land units can come

  • '17


    I’m experiencing Japan being taken out often now regardless of a J1-3. People just shove everything and it overwhelms Japan too quick.

    If I know my opponent is going KJF no matter than maybe you consider to just say f’ it and either go north to take Russian IPCs to help Germany, or go balls to wall towards getting India and killing the West India stack if he tries to do the take and re-take India thing. Getting India early on is hard, but if you do, all of India and Burma gives you 11 IPCs. From there you can swing back to the islands, charge the middle east or South Africa. This is the advice the better players have recently giving me.

  • '19 '18 '17 '16

    As the Japan player I have experienced “the professor” using the USA to take Iwo Jima and loading it up to reduce me to ashes.  It is less than fun!

  • '16 '15 '10

    You only need 1 inf to take Borneo, so the other one inf can go to Hunan, supported by 2 fig 2 tac.  The 37 attack is too risky–you need both SBs to prevent occasional disaster there.  As for the buy, rapid expansion is paramount, so I would recommend 3 tpt 1 mech (or art), although some people prefer 1 mc 2 tpt.

    As Allies, I do better in the Pacific if Japan waits till after J2 to declare.  Anzac and UK get good income during the first 2 turns–especially the 2nd turn when I will (usually) declare UK2 for the extra NO money.  Japan gets the +11 bonus on J3 if they don’t declare, but they don’t get much benefit from this besides keeping USA out for another turn, since they’ll be forgoing Phi and FIC (6 ipc swing) and USA gets the Phi NO bonus (+5).

  • I think building a naval base at Sz36 and maybe also a air base is a good idea. It allows you to move your forces fast between Japan and the south. ISo you can attack the US fleet, i the case that the US positions a fleet to take Japan in SZ6. But it is expensive.

    Positioning your air force in Kwangtung also allows you to reach Japan and Sz6 without an air base while using your planes to attack Chinese ground forces.

  • I go J1 most of the time and it is important to set up your crucial second turn right away. I consider it a successful J1 when I complete the following.

    1. Take Yunnan.
    2. Take Philippines with force.
    3. Wipe UK battleship with both Strats a fighter and cruiser. Take casualties in a manner that leaves your cruiser to block for the lone transport you took to Borneo with 1 inf. (Block the south with Carolines destroyer) Take Hong kong and FiC.
    4. Position enough transports and ships to take and hold all money islands turn 2

    I have to accomplish these 4 things no matter what. This is all pretty basic ���� and Japan has enough units to accomplish all 4. (If Russia wants to mess around up north, let him. Those 18 inf can be dealt with if they decide to invade. I leave just enough inf in manchuria)

    Anyone who does a J1 would agree that 2 thru 4 are musts, even if you don’t protect the Borneo transport in the same manner, but I’m not sure everyone thinks smashing Yunnan is vital to a successful J1. If you don’t take those 4 dudes out and the Chinese player moves them back to Szechwan and builds artillery, Japan isn’t cutting off the Burma road for another couple of turns and by then it’s too late. Entice him to bring all of his units back to Yunnan in reach of your air.

    There’s even enough left for Pearl Harbor when the top 4 requirements are met.

    Lately I have been buying 3 TTs turn 1 and setting up an eventual shuck from Tokyo to FIC where I purchase a minor factory and a naval base. Those men on Japan get right into the fight and I can use my extra transports to take and hold the money islands turn 2 and Mayala and Dutch New Guinea Turn 3. Even with just 1 factory on the mainland I can use the shucked men to threaten Calcutta as early as J5. Especially if I had 3 loaded carriers sitting at Wake left over from pearl harbor attack turn 1, and if lucky, a leftover destroyer blocking at Hawaii. Another advantage of this positioning is I can focus heavily on buying ships to stave off the US and still push hard against UKPac and China. Again, none of this matters as much as taking Yunnan turn 1.

  • '19 '17 '16

    Disclaimer: I haven’t had too much success with J1s. Perhaps I’m not across the nuances.

    I really wonder how it is better than a J2, with stepping on FIC though. Japan is spread incredibly thin, USA get the income boost sooner and so do ANZAC. UK_Pac are hit pretty hard by it but is it worth it?

    I’m also confused by the 3TT buy J1 that so many people do. I’d rather have an IC on Shantung than the third TT. That third TT is no use for getting on the money islands. You don’t need it to hit Guam. It does bolster the Philippines attack but in the 1 in 9 scenario that both inf there hit, you can lose a plane. It is useful for attacking India later of course, so long as you can put troops on it.

  • '16 '15 '10


    I’m also confused by the 3TT buy J1 that so many people do. I’d rather have an IC on Shantung than the third TT.

    The transports aren’t just for the islands, but to unload stuff from Japan.  Having 6 at the end of J1 makes it possible/easier to achieve certain early game objectives (money islands, malaya, deny dutch and uk nos, land in Siberia) by the end of J3.

    I know I’ll be able to place these transports on j1, while I’m less sure I’ll be able to place them on j2 or j3.  Following the J1 declaration, oftentimes the plan is to place 1-2 ics on J2, along with perhaps a fighter and some more ground units for the transports.

  • '19 '17 '16

    I think I’ll keep buying the IC J1.

    Back to topic, J1 vs J2+FIC on J1.
    J1 income +9
    US1 income +20 (+25 in BM)
    UK_Pac1 income -11  (Let’s assume they stepped on Sumatra in the J2 scenario but not the J1)
    ANZAC1 income +6 (assuming they step on DNG rather than Java), otherwise +5

    In the both scenarios, Japan might attack all remaining money islands J2 but can’t quite reach Malaya.
    J2 income +11
    UK_Pac2 income -4
    ANZAC2 income -4 (Java)

    By round 3, the scenarios reach parity.

    Those numbers are hardly game changing although there is a swing towards Japan economically with the J1. If any of those attacks go badly, that can be more significant for Japan. In particular, there is a strong chance that China will be able to retake both Hunan and Yunnan, with the latter then being reinforced by the UK. So China would be able to get some artillery C2.

  • '21 '20 '18 '17

    Thanks for all the input guys.

    Transports aren’t going to work.  I bought a combination of carriers and subs because I knew what was coming–a brutal USA KJF sea response with the ANZAC fighters on board so both of us had 5-6 carriers each.    TTs and Factories can’t be fueled by the very low income, and they have to be able to move under Grand Fleets to work.  And since USA moved up and took carolines U2, you cant maneuver or spread out you have to set up to confront that.

    Taking the money islands at all is extremely ambitious in this J1.  After losing most of my ground forces and re-arranging the rest, there aren’t 6 guys to work with–more like 3.  If I spread out, the TTs are dead.  In fact, the only thing that gave me any hope at all was that the USA moved everything to the Phillipines U3 or U4 and I was able to attack with abs everything, and with some of the Anzac landing on the philipines to make a re-take impossible (we traded phil the whole game)  it was a pretty even battle, and I won it quite well–keeping most of my air , 2 damaged BBs, 1 damaged carrier and 1 intact carrier with 2 fighters.      I also annihilated most of the Russian men.    However, as in 42.2, defeating these two nodes cost me the initiative and the USA follow up mopped me off the sea.

    I needed air to live to protect HK base, which was under substantial pressure from UK and China because there wasn’t a land reinforce wave…no time.

    Overall, the J1 is simply too thin.  KJF works very well during a J1.  the US might find other things to do as it bides its time to enter the war, but if you J1, its path is abundantly clear–marry ANZAC and USA fleets and cut Japan in two.  Without the extra turns (J2, J3) of income and maneuver, the USA can exploit its advantage and by using the other 4 powers, defeat Japan even when it wins battles and gains odds.

  • So you would say that you would rather do a J3?

  • '19 '17 '16

    I’m sure he’s saying a J2.

  • '21 '20 '18 '17

    I’m sort of on the fence– of our last 4 house games (164-167) the allies have won each time without a bid.  It feels like KJF is more effective the earlier Japan declares war, KJF is better than KGF or KIF, but that some splitting is desirable to interfere with the axis on both sides of the board.

    Instead of just grabbing the money, key territories, and bases, that means getting ready to ward off the USA and building a longer-game Asia army.  I have a lot of ideas, but not sure how I compare the J2 vs J3 choices right now.    Waiting to attack UKPAC only makes it impossible to take over.

  • @taamvan:

    Overall, the J1 is simply too thin.   KJF works very well during a J1  …  Without the extra turns (J2, J3) of income and maneuver, the USA can exploit its advantage and by using the other 4 powers, defeat Japan even when it wins battles and gains odds.

    The Yunnan stack strategy showed me that perhaps I would support J2+ attack: to have a stronger India for exchange for a weaker China.  J1 gives an opportunity for the four minor powers in Pacific to stack together in Yunnan, which can be detrimental for Japan.  Especially in face-to-face games, in J1 attack, sometimes the Axis might not attack Hunan because of risk-adversity.  That makes the Chinese force even more ready to form a Yunnan stack.

    Also, J2/3 attack preserves a flexibility for Axis to hold America out of war by turn 4.  This gives the Pacific allies players headaches in face-to-face play!

  • for j1 to work imo you have to take out pearl harbor…
    pot shot at Anzac destroyer in sz62…
    take out Philippines…
    take out uk battleship…
    no allied ships when done…really nice
    just means money islands turn 3

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