US Strategy. (Pacific)



  • Hi all,

    Here’s my latest plan.

    The goal of this strategy is to release some pressure from Russia Anzac and UK Pacific through aggressive US play towards Japan.

    I would like to share some thoughts for how I came to these ideas as well.

    1.  Boots on the ground in Eurasia is the key to winning. Over the long game the side that has the most men and tanks in the centre of the board will reap the economic benefits of cost efficient battles. Battles involving Naval and air come at a steeper price and usually dont generate income.

    For this reason the US must get men ashore as quick as possible.

    There are several routes the US can try to achieve this.
    West Coast to South Pacific
    West Coast to North Pacific
    East Coast to Africa
    East Coast to France
    East Coast to Scandinavia

    Looking at these choices we can work out the cost of getting 10 troops ashore each turn. I chose 10 as the number because thats equal to 1 german factory.

    1. South Pacific 40 Transports (WC - HAW - CI - PI - China)
    2. North Pacific 5 Transports (Alaska - SFE)
    3. Africa 10 Transports (via Brazil)
    4. France 15 Transports (via UK)
    5. Scandinavia 15 Transports (via UK)

    Even though US has lots of money I would rather be building ground troops not transports. Now the clear winner is North Pacific. Considering US starts with 3 already only 2 transports need to be produced before the fun can begin.

    Obviously the Japanese Navy needs to be dealt with in some way to protect the transports. We will start with 2 CVs on turn 1 to make use of on board starting air units. and be spending 20-24 per turn building 4subs/ 2 DD 1 Sub or 3 DD.

    Our goal with the Navy is primarily to keep out transports safe over the first few turns. We will initially hit sea zone 3. This spot is out of range of all Japanese land based air. Later we can move to 4 which is only in range of the bombers.

    There is very little the Japanese can do to stop this. Even if they pulled their entire fleet back to SZ6 they are only reaching parity. If they want a Naval arms race they can have it. Because while they are holed up in Japan the ANZAC and UK pacific are busy gobbling up all their islands and china is cranking out infantry and artillery that Japan isnt.

    The first 5 turns of production orders might look like this
    T1. 2 CV    1 TRN  4 INF.
    T2. 3 DD,  1 TRN  2 TKS  2  ART  2 MEC  5 INF 1  FTR
    T3. 2 SUB  1 TRN  4 TKS  2  ART or MEC  6 INF
    T4. 2 SUB  1 DD  4 TKS  2  MEC    6 INF
    T5. 2 SUB  1 DD  4 TKS  2  MEC    6 INF

    By T3-5 a steady stream of 12 units per turn will be pouring into Korea and a factory will go up there. This will add 3 more TKS (or art) to the mix.

    From there the US will push in three directions.

    1. Send Fast movers to central asia/russia
    2. Clear the Coast down to French indo China 
    3. Clear Yunnan and on to India.

    At some stage there will be a major naval confrontation. There are a couple of things that will tip the balance to the US.
    1. Keep out of range of Land based air
    2. Stay next to friendly land territory so fighters can rebase after carriers hit
    3. Lots of Subs and DDs to soak hits.

    While this is going on ANZAC will be building up so that when Japanese are weak they can strike. Maybe 3 DD 3SUB 3 FTR or something like that.

    When UK pacific feel the heat coming off they will switch to building FTR ARM + MEC and head north to release some pressure off Russia. They will not go after Islands. Leave that to ANZAC

    UK Europe will basically try to hold as much ground as possible. T1 they will try to sink as much Italian ships as possible and build 1-2 units a turn in SAF. The rest will be based around holding London and possible nusiance attacks.

    Obviously Germany will rampage against russia but there is a chance that either the Siberian Troops, US tanks and planes or UK pacific (or all three) will reach them in time.

    The last game we played using this strategy the axis were completely unprepared. They  launched a counterattack against the 2 US troops backed by 18 russians in korea and lost big time, China was blown wide open. Jap fleet was near India / Indonesia and couldnt get back to save Japan from invasion.

    How should japan defend against this?



  • It is a long walk from the Soviet Far East to Korea/China.  Japan can get some additional aircraft to defend that area since you will have negligible pressure on the Money Islands.  Add in some additional troops that are build in a mainland factory and I don’t think that you will easily break through.

    Your plan can be effective against inexperienced players, but later on you will find that the key to breaking Japan’s economy is in the South instead of the North.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    I like your analysis and your strategy is intriguing, but you are effectively treating the Soviet Far East as the “same value” target as Normandy, Norway, Morocco, or the Philippines, which is not accurate. The Soviet Far East is typically a 0 point ipc swing, because the Soviets usually keep it until late in the game. Morocco is 6 ipcs (11 If you station ships inside the med), Normandy is 8 ipcs plus a factory, Norway is 8 ipcs, and the Philippines is 8 ipcs. The second or third territory on each of those other routes is also high value, e.g., Paris, Borneo, Novgorod. But the second and third territory in the north pacific is still worth 0 ipc, or maybe 1 ipc.

    So the north pacific route is faster, but also less valuable. You only get the efficiency of a land battle if Japan bothers to come and fight you. As Japan, I would let you have Korea…by the time you can build a factory there (turn 5?) and build your first three units on the mainland (turn 6?) I will own Malaya, Hong Kong, Yunnan, and all of Indonesia. I will be collecting 70 ipcs per turn and seriously threatening either India or Sydney. Honolulu may also be in trouble if you didn’t reinforce it. What can you do with your Korean factory that’s worth losing both India and the South Pacific?


  • 2019 2017 '16

    I’m curious if you’ve had much success with this strategy against experienced players? This strategy could work if Japan is silly enough to not DOW but otherwise I’m skeptical. Presumably you are reinforcing with USSR once the troops reach Korea but even so, I think it will take too long. Why wouldn’t you suicide a transport into SZ6 to take Korea if that is your strategy? I’ve done that a few times.

    I don’t get the focus on getting US troops onto Asia in these quantities. There are already UK_Pacific troops waiting to walk up if the seas are secure and Japan’s economy is damaged enough.



  • Hi, thanks for replies.

    While I have been playing for over 30 years we have only upgraded to Global in the last few weeks. I always find when we change editions we always spend the first few games playing the tried and true strategies from older games, until we work out its not working. So I decided to do some thinking and try out new strategies with this one and not just bring over the anniversary tactics or revised etc.

    I noted the following.
    Both sides start with about the same IPC value of troops on the board.
    Allies have a huge income advantage
    Allies lose about 2-300 points worth of units on the first few turns.

    Axis advantages really come down to momentum gained by

    having factories closer to battlegrounds
    greater airforces and mobile units
    units in better position to attack
    less units that are out of the battle (eg stuck in canada)

    On the average game we were playing the turning points were coming between turn 5-8.

    The European map Axis would wear down the Russians while the Italians termited wherever the Allies were weakest.
    In Asia, The allies (UK/China) and Japan would grind each other down in China. The US and ANZAC would also tend to stalemate, both building fleets and staring at each other.

    Given a stalemate in the Pacific and Axis win in Europe I went looking for something different.

    The first element of the strategy is Naval Power. The first goal of the US is to achieve Naval Dominance. Naval battles can be devastating so I did some maths and figured out the best fleet structure for the Americans would be to achieve parity in CV (T1). Then mass produce damage soaks (6 DD + 6 SS). The existing 3 Cruisers + BB is sufficient. With this in place (T2) it should be possible for the US to bully the Japanese into reacting.

    The second element is ground forces. There are about 6 key battle grounds in the Asia map

    1. Northern (Korea to SFE)
    2. China
    3. South East Asia(Hong Kong to Malaya)
    4. Islands
    5. Australia
    6. India

    First I looked for the safest and easiest to reach, this was Northern. But this has flow on effects into the others.

    Assume for convenience that the Japs have 3 carrier battle groups. Lets day on T3 they want to hit Sumatra/Java and Malay. With 3 US Battlegroups (3CV + 3CG + 6SUB 6DD + BB) backed by troops and planes ready to go what does Japan do.

    Also ANZ and UK have been busy building DD/SUB as well.

    If the three Japanese groups go South. US can Japan T3 or 4 with decent chances of winning. If the 3 go North then UK/ANZ take the islands. If the fleet splits UK destroys half while ANZ/UK hits the second half and US mop up later.

    The key is speed. The US will be in position to do a lot of damage before the Japanese can get the Islands and return. If the Japanese spend T2-4 building ships then this just worsens their already stretch infantry shortage.

    Playing aound with which turn the DOW happens doesn’t seem to help much either.


  • '16 '15 '10

    I think this kind of strategy would make more sense in the Revised ruleset, where transports are a useful fodder unit.

    While USA does need some transports in both the Atlantic and Pacific (if for no other reason to compel Axis to be vigilant and defend against potential landings), I would argue that it’s suboptimal for USA to focus on a land strategy while the Axis powers still have a significant fleet(s).  The USA’s advantage is that they can outspend all other powers which means no naval power should be able to stand up to them.

    The specific problem with this strat (assuming Japan’s fleet remains intact) is that it would be hard to defend the SFE landing if Japan has sufficient strength to mass their fleet in 6.  This forces USA to retreat and it takes them 2 turns to get the fleet back to Hawaii.  An expert Japan will simply ignore the USA offensive until they have secured all the money islands (and possibly until they’ve taken India) and then move their entire fleet to 6 where they can challenge the USA landings.



  • Hi all,

    Been playing around with this strategy for a while now and have found a few interesting results.

    After about 6 games, Japan had tried different strategies to combat it

    India Crush, land in WA, Massive fleet battle in 6, Split defensive fleets. With the US flee stacked in 4 and ground troops streaming south the Japanese player was put under great pressure. When they tried to hold China, Islands and Attack ANZ or India they were stretched so thin that their entire front collapsed.

    1. Fast Units.  US tanks and Mech have much more impact in the game in China than artillery or Infantry.
    2. Transports. The results seemed to be the same irrespective of how many transports the US built. About 3-4 seemed sufficient to take Korea/ Manchuria by T4.
    3. Japanese planes are still very dangerous, but cant be everywhere at once. Japan could either use them offensively against India/ANS or defensively against US but no both.
    4. Once the US got powerful enough a complete Naval blockade of SZ 6 then branched out into capturing Islands etc. By the time Japanese fleet had gone to India and Back again US was in total control. 3CV BB 3CG 8DD 10SS + land based air.

    In a sense though none of this is a surprise. Its like playing Pacific map only with us on 70 income. The things I found frustrating about the strategy were as follows.

    China.
    You cant capture the factories that Japan builds and you cant build new ones.
    You cant us Chinese troops to help India

    India
    US activities don’t really help them much if Japan goes hard.

    ANZAC. Still to weak to put up a decent fight to really help India.

    Overall the strategy doesn’t really offer that much to take the pressure off Russia. The US troops flooding into Asia might help in a long game and maybe Russia can pull back the 18 guys from Siberia. But to have a major impact on Russia or Liberating India will only really happen around turn 10 or so.

    So in conclusion I would probably still see a landing in SFE as a potential strategy to send a moderate force to Korea to set up a factory right under Japan’s nose, and then help clear China. The threat of further Amphibious assaults and convoy raiding can make life difficult for Japan, but this has to be combined with other ideas, such as strategic bombing or sending troops to Europe as well.


  • TripleA

    If you can convoy japan and take korea directly… that is always a good thing… but that rarely works out because of naval bases and airbases, usually it is best to attack the money islands (easier and more reliable) from ANZAC you can hit everything you need to. You start with two transports in the pacific, I recommend buying your naval pieces round 1 and maybe getting a transport round 2 (you start with infantry on the mainland so you don’t need to buy that until after 2 or 3 more boats).


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