USA "crushing" Japan?



  • I’ve read on multiple posts here that America going after Japan is arguably the most effective use of American resources, as Japan is the most vulnerable member of the Axis (Germany and Italy are generally considered impregnable).

    I’m wondering specifically how this effective KJF is accomplished, as I and my group in general finds it hard to do anything game-changing in the Pacific as America.
    How it usually plays out is Japan balloons their income to 60s and 70s (turn 4-6 following a J1 usually) before America can overcome the initial naval advantage that Japan has and get a sizable navy in position to counter the Japanese. Following that it’s just a massive fleet standoff/arms race between the USA at the Carolines and Japan at the Philippines or FIC.

    So, what can the USA do to overcome this and execute a successful KJF? Is it purchasing 100% in the Pacific? Buying transports and taking islands from Japan? Buying subs and choking Japan’s income? Positioning the US fleet somewhere besides the Carolines? Something else?
    Your thoughts are much appreciated, and if there have been previous threads discussing how to do a KJF in detail, please point me to those.

    Thanks!


  • 2018 2017

    Howdy!

    I guess crush is a bit of an exaggeration, maybe “put Japan in a chokehold” is a better description.  Even in a death lock, Japan can still and has still won several games.

    The USA/ANZAC part of the idea is that you interfere with Japans “interior lines” of communication by making SZ 6 either too dangerous to hold, or too costly in terms of how many units have to sit there standing off with the USA instead of growing the empire.

    The UK/CHINA/USSR part of the idea is that you have “Five Spicy Powers”, four of which are pretty wimpy, but you’re using all 5 together to pressurize the situation such that Japan’s war effort collapses before he can reach threshold income (60) and is calling all the shots.

    How to do it

    First, you’re going to need a ton of USA fleet.  100% KJF, no splitting.  Subs have become my preference, but carriers or strategic bombers work too, you’ll need all of that.

    If Japan J1s or J2s, he’s going to be really busy and this is when he may leave SZ 6 relatively empty.  If he does, take Iwo, position your fleet such that it cannot be screened out.  Each turn worth of units will increase how much potential attacking power you can deliver while Japan is distracted.  Provide the ANZAC planes with extra carriers, in fact, to avoid getting kamikaze’d, I try to bring a completely empty extra carrier.  ANZAC transport and planes can clear blockers and just 1 transport can use the USA for cover to take key zones away from Japan.

    If he leaves substantial forces behind to protect SZ 6, then its a standoff, and you may have to divert to Queensland.  This leads to a longer game, but by turn 6-8, the USA and ANZAC will be able to filter so much through this area that they constantly stymy the Spice Bonus and threaten any ships that leave the coastal area.  Eventually you should be able to take one of the islands in such a way that Japan cannot take it back (for example its covered in planes so even if your fleet is lost they can’t capture it)

    You can combine either idea with bombing him from Russia, or Iwo.

    If Japan decides to J3 or J4, then you may be tempted to send some forces to the other front, sometimes I do but I usually regret it.  You’ll sit around waiting for several hours, but again, you can just keep piling on units 3 at a time and if that’s not enough, then the others can be built on the other two factories and sent over later.  Then, you have a gigantor force of stuff on Hawaii, so he can’t threaten that or ANZAC.  You take Carolines because this opens your path to Phillipines, which you can ploddingly take.

    Usually no matter how this goes down, Moscow is about to fall while you are throttling Japan.  This is the hard part because you can’t sit on SZ 6 all the time, you can’t load any troops there (its always a hostile SZ).  Once you are able to pass through SZ 6 for the first time, it becomes a crossroads for tons of USA action and on turn 5-7 a big group of transports can cross the “slow way” (via SZ 4 usually) which adds even more headaches for Japan.

    Like all allied strategies, you have to be ready to win slowly or quickly–I ensure you that even against a strong Japanese player there will be at least one opportunity to “step up” to 4, 7, 16, 17 such that he cannot block you.  If you don’t ever get the opportunity to take or blow up SZ 6, you divert south and try to force him into a giant fleet-to-fleet confrontation.

    Last point here–even when Japan wins the TUV trade on the water, it still loses its fleet.  One time we had a huge furball battle in SZ 22–I attacked with Japan and had quite a bit of stuff left after I blew up the USA fleet.  Then, dave hit me with every remaining US, UK and ANZAC unit in succession and killed what was left, when both of us have lost our fleets, the USA is now at a powerful advantage (because they had 1 further, transport laden follow on fleet left.)



  • Thanks for your reply, very helpful.
    Just so I don’t get anything confused, let me make sure I get everything you said straight:
    100% Pacific. Not 80, not 90
    Try to get Iwo Jima then occupy SZ 6 if you can, but if not go to Queensland/Carolines and land on DEIs
    Purchases should be subs & carriers?

    A few random follow-up questions:

    Usually no matter how this goes down, Moscow is about to fall while you are throttling Japan.

    Shouldn’t the Siberians go west in this case?

    you divert south and try to force him into a giant fleet-to-fleet confrontation.

    How can I force japan into a large-scale battle?

    ANZAC is buying the transports and landing on the DEIs if you go that route, right?

    Let’s say Japan has most of their navy on the Philippines by turn 4, and the USA wants to go to SZ 6 from Iwo Jima. How can the US fleet be large enough to survive an attack from Japan’s navy and air force in SZ 6? I think (not completely sure) that even with max Pacific building the first 3 turns the US fleet is still too small to occupy SZ 6. Plus if you’re buying subs those defend at 1 which is not good. Or do I have the timing wrong, and a SZ 6 move should be later?



  • Hi,

    Here’s a few of my ideas to add in.

    I wouldn’t say that a crush is the right idea. The Japanese air and naval units are just to strong initially. At most the first 5 turn would turn into a stand off or major battle with both sides taking huge losses. The end result would be unpredictable as Japan can always run back to sz6 and build 5-10 extra subs/dds as fodder and add in scrambles. My idea is more of a Japan strangle from all directions.

    US.
    Build subs and convoy raid. Since the Japanese player wants to take his fleet south I usually start at the north and keep adding subs till each zone is revenue neutral for the Japanese player. I factor in 2 IPC per sub so a 14 ipc sea zone needs 7 subs.

    Lend Lease.
    Sending tanks/inf /art across from alaska to russia can also create major headaches for the Japanese.

    Russia.
    Use the 18 infantry defensively to reinforce attacks on China by the US forces. This works because of where Russia comes in the turn sequence. Just a small number of us troops backed by us air can pinch Korea some of the other Chinese territories and 18 Russian infantry walk in to hold it.

    China.
    Defend until destroyed and then wait for the allies to liberate.

    UK.
    Factories in Iraq or Persia can send occasional units from UK Europe’s production to help out in India or moving up into central asia to snipe at Japanese units.

    Anzac.
    Defend at first, try and activate the NOs then try to shut down Japans bonuses by hitting indonesia malaya or even phillipines when Japanese player is overstretched dealing with threats from all directions.

    Japan is strong in Air and Naval but has too few infantry to win a war of attrition. You want to be constantly sniping from all sides so they end up taking casualties from fighters to stem losses of ground units.

    If you do this you can keep the income down to about 40-50 not 60-70. Eventually you will overcome them.



  • I think that a US invasion of Japan itself is nearly impossible. The problem that I see with Japan is its monster income: even if it has lost every single Pacific island, it will still have nearly 30 IPCs per turn. I think that for the first few turns, the US should focus chiefly in Europe, since Japan has a huge advantage in the ocean campaign. The only major IPC spending that the US should do here is keeping a large enough navy to protect Hawaii. Building an IC in Alaska might work, but only if you can hold it.

    A better strategy is to starve Japan of income, so that even if Japan can muster a huge defense in Japan/sz6, you (alongside with the UK and ANZAC) can build a large force to attack every turn, while Japan cannot replace its losses.


  • 2017 Customizer

    As mentioned it isn’t difficult to starve the Japanese with convoy/sub every turn.  The Japanese have to build destroyer(s) counter sucking up valuable IPCs.  The US can start build 52 worth of subs until turn 3.  Once it hits 72+, game over.  The Japanese cannot hold high IPC islands, control the Chinese, take India and prevent an ANZAC build up.  If Russia attacks even a little forget it.  The Mongolian pact is not that important or much of a deterrent for either side.  There needs to be some lessening of the American IPCs pre-war.  52 is too much.



  • @sjelso:

    As mentioned it isn’t difficult to starve the Japanese with convoy/sub every turn.  The Japanese have to build destroyer(s) counter sucking up valuable IPCs.  The US can start build 52 worth of subs until turn 3.  Once it hits 72+, game over.  The Japanese cannot hold high IPC islands, control the Chinese, take India and prevent an ANZAC build up.  If Russia attacks even a little forget it.  The Mongolian pact is not that important or much of a deterrent for either side.  There needs to be some lessening of the American IPCs pre-war.  52 is too much.

    But if you are building all subs the first three turns then you aren’t building carriers and destroyers which are important to ensure japan can’t take full control of the pacific. Japan can easily kill your subs if there’s nothing else keeping their navy in place.



  • @sjelso:

    As mentioned it isn’t difficult to starve the Japanese with convoy/sub every turn.  The Japanese have to build destroyer(s) counter sucking up valuable IPCs.  The US can start build 52 worth of subs until turn 3.  Once it hits 72+, game over.  The Japanese cannot hold high IPC islands, control the Chinese, take India and prevent an ANZAC build up.  If Russia attacks even a little forget it.  The Mongolian pact is not that important or much of a deterrent for either side.  There needs to be some lessening of the American IPCs pre-war.  52 is too much.

    You need more then just subs, carrier + destroyers and subs will do the trick though.

    You can even bait out the japanese fleet by putting yours forward. If you attack the japanese fleet with your subs they might lose that battle if they attack they win but your mostly sub counter clears out the remainder of their fleet.

    Anzac needs to work with the US on this as well, a sizable US fleet off queensland ensures that japan cannot attack there and cannot block the money islands. Anzac can attack those every turn while Us clears small naval assets from japan in the area.


  • 2017 Customizer

    Agree…52 to 80 IPCs, buys a lot of navy.  Japan cannot keep up.


  • 2018 2017

    “100% Pacific. Not 80, not 90”

    That’s the optimal approach.  There may be some reason for you to buy or place a few units on the KGF side, some games for me its the occasional transport and 1 destroyer, sometimes more.  But whether UK keeps a fleet or not, its my personal opinion that trying to defeat Germany via the Atlantic Wall/Liberation of France direction is impossibly fraught with disadvantages compared to what I laid out here.  You can of course attack Germany and this may save Moscow from inevitable defeat but then Japan stabs Moscow in the back with tanks built at its new India factory on turns 8+.

    Try to get Iwo Jima then occupy SZ 6 if you can, but if not go to Queensland/Carolines and land on DEIs
    Purchases should be subs & carriers?

    The exact purchases are up to you, and depend on whether you’re at war or not.  A lot of people buy 3 CV on USA 1(48/52$) and I can’t really argue with that since you already the planes to fill them (or your buddies do) and whether you KGF or KJF the carriers help both ideas.    Carriers don’t add any fleet attack, however, whereas subs do and they also destroy $$.  By turn 8, the USA will need to have everything in some proportion (long range air, fleet beef, boots on the ground…all of it) its more a question of what order you build it in (carriers then subs then transports seems optimal against dave).

    Shouldn’t the Siberians go west in this case?

    That’s a super popular idea, but keeping the majority of those 20 pieces in the East;

    A) prevents the Crussia strategy where all 3 Axis annihilate Russian income starting turn 1 so that preserves about $7/PT by turn 5
    b) gives Japan some options regarding the Manchuria garrison, whereas you want to tie all that stuff up.

    If the Russians kinda hang back from the coast, by Japan 5 there will be some opening where all the Russians can join up in Amur without the risk of getting blasted.  From that point, if the other 4 powers are annoying Japan enough, you can take over Korea and Manchuria (keeping in mind that the Mongolians are lost).  If you played China well or saved any of its $ or troops, you can do 1 gigantic buy of units in the backfield (since China can play anywhere) then Japan can never get those lands back.  Plus its all usually dead in China by that point.

    How can I force japan into a large-scale battle?

    Great question, you can’t really force him to do anything, but at some point, his only option left is to flee the Pacific board and head to Africa.  He will likely have something like 2 BB 3 CV 2 CA 4-8 DD 2-4 SUB plus an amazing amount of air power that can hit you once you are close to the Mainland, but your fleet will be even more powerful than that with something like 6 CV, 12 planes, 1 BB 2 CA and 20+ dds and subs.

    Japan is going to be slobbering waiting for his chance to attack you at equal odds, so all of his ships need to be able to reach the same zone.  If he blows that setup, you can defeat his fleet in smaller parts.  Sometimes, you can even block the ability of part of the fleet to reach the key zone (by sticking blockers in SZ 20-23) which is also a total stymy and he has to call off the attack.

    Even if he does attack you and wins, you can still eliminate what’s left and If you’ve ever succeeded in stripping off Japan’s Grand Fleets, you’ll see he’s totally paralyzed because he can’t drop enough stuff at one factory or naval base to start over.  He especially can’t do that when he’s powering 2-3 factories on the mainland.

    That’s what you’re doing here is you’re splitting his efforts.  Japan unmolested will build 1 factory per turn, then power those with 3 tanks per turn.  The only way he can do that is if he spends zilch on the water while you’re dropping 70 PER TURN.

    At some point, he either has to build in naval parity with you to try and stand off your fleet, or try and grab the money and roll over UPAC, CHINA, PERSIA, IRAQ, and then EGYPT and Russias last income by sending in an endless shower of newly built tanks.    He only gets to do one of those two things, however.  When you see him buying things other than tanks, its because he can’t fill the factories and build ships (until he has like 70-80$, and if he’s uncontested in that, you lose).



  • @taamvan:

    Japan unmolested will build 1 factory per turn, then power those with 3 tanks per turn.  The only way he can do that is if he spends zilch on the water while you’re dropping 70 PER TURN.

    In my (relatively limited) experience, Japan doesn’t need more than 3 factories to accomplish its goals on the mainland, and they certainly don’t need to buy all tanks from them, mechs and inf/art usually work just fine. That leaves them much more income to buy boats leading to a giant fleet standoff where nobody can/wants to attack each other which is a win for Japan because America isn’t stopping them from growing even further.

    @taamvan:

    Great question, you can’t really force him to do anything, but at some point, his only option left is to flee the Pacific board and head to Africa. He will likely have something like 2 BB 3 CV 2 CA 4-8 DD 2-4 SUB plus an amazing amount of air power that can hit you once you are close to the Mainland, but your fleet will be even more powerful than that with something like 6 CV, 12 planes, 1 BB 2 CA and 20+ dds and subs.

    I am wondering when this would occur, as it doesn’t seem realistic (at least from my experience) that at the same time Japan has 3 carriers and 8-12 small boats, the Allies have 6 carriers and 20+ small boats.

    But at the same time in my games the USA rarely commits so much to the Pacific especially in the early rounds, so maybe these scenarios are more feasible with a heavier focus on the pacific.


  • 2018 2017

    3 x $12 x $12 is a lot of cash.  12 + 24 + 36 and so forth, because its building a new factory each turn.  But your point is well taken–Japan can build a variety of stuff and ploddingly go after Bombay.  What I’m trying to evoke is that if he builds the 3 factories (or even 2) he will find himself at a point where he has to buy cheap stuff rather than the best, which slows him down and is defensive.

    I suppose that’s what I mean about “making him” attack you.  He has to do it before you grow overwhelming, but after his ships have met their objectives.  If the Japan ships pass SZ 37, they can’t come back in time to rescue the homeland and so they’re out of the picture.  If they sit in SZ 37, he can’t give the deathblow to India.  If they sit in SZ 6, they can’t really do anything but protect transports.

    Japan has had as many as 6! carriers at that point, but if he has that many, its pulling planes off the mainland so again, he cannot deliver the killing blow to India.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have tried to enumerate all the stuff in each fleet, they are usually very close to equal in terms of total hits and if I have an advantage of at least 4 total hits (with either Japan or USA) I typically attack.

    Once he’s got india, the tanks just flow.    Since its pretty hard to stop him from taking India without using the ANZAC planes (when they could be with the USA fleet), the better way is to make him think twice about “turning his back to the US” by attacking India.

    If he accomplishes all this stuff (blast china, take spice, annhiliate India) then he’s about to win the game.  But to do it, and quickly, he has to turn away from USA with critical units (usually 2CV 1 BB 1 CA 1 DD and most of his planes and transports).

    Japan needs the Air units to be on Kwangsi in order to attack India, but any of these air units cannot reach further than SZ 6/SZ 33 (even with the airbase and empty carriers) and this is out of range to hit a lot of good meeting up spots for the USA.


  • 2018 2017

    Short Version;  Japan is always running his game plan (no matter what turn he DoWs), focused on his objectives–there needs to be a moment where you force him to either

    #1 stick to the script and lose control of SZ 6 or
    #2 abandon his original plan and react to your threat.



  • Agree with taamvan’s approach and thinking.  I only have had time to play limited table top versions with my group, but have come to the conclusion with the KJF strategy for the U.S. for the allies to hope to win.  But I don’t go 100% Pacific.  I bleed off destroyers as needed to sweep subs in the Atlantic for Brits so they can concentrate on land/air builds in mid-east to support Russia or India (i.e., YG’s middle earth), and a sub or two each round for the Med to convoy and take out any surface ships protecting transports if Axis goes that route.  If not, to eventually pile those in SZ97 and convoy Italy.

    Pressure on Japan has to be applied simultaneously from all directions as they have such a large perimeter to protect (not the case for Germany).  If not, then they can rotate the air force (and fleet) in sectors to clean up, then move on after secured.  First focus on China then to take India and eliminate UK Pac.  Once those are secured along with spice, they are earning 80+ with NO’s, and the force can then pivot back to go east or SE.  By the time U.S. pivots back in later rounds to Pacific after helping to bottle up Germany, Japan is too massive.

    By U.S. applying pressure early with fleet/air builds, along with minors (ANZAC, UK PAC, Russia, China), Japan is forced to either split their concentrated force, or be exposed in one of the sectors.  That includes keeping Russian force in full in waiting at Buryatia, to pin Japan land forces there or allow Russians to advance to Manchuria.  Also, much of the Japan income is open to convoy, so lots of subs to be built between U.S. and ANZAC.  If Japan counters with destroyer builds, that helps mainland Allied forces.  And if China is able to build artillery with regularity, say goodbye to China for Japan and its income loss.

    Also, initial fleet builds are in Atlantic as contingency against Sea Lion.  But after R2 (maybe R3 depending), then move fleet through Panama over to Pac once Sea Lion threat is past.  Yes, Germany will probably take down Russia with no pressure in W. Eur.  Then the race is Egypt.  By then, Japan should be contained to a level where U.S. can go 100% Eur.

    Knowing focus is Pac for U.S., I concentrate any bids to Eur, save one Inf for ANZAC for DNG NO.  If bid is sufficient, to pull off both Taranto and Tobruk to allow Brits to secure Africa and relegate Italy to be nothing more than Eur mainland can openers.  Brits can then focus on mid-east builds while completing Africa cleanup and securing that income.



  • US should not go 100% pacific.

    At minimum US needs to do a few things to help out uk.

    1. Clear German subs from atlantic.
    2. Land in Gibraltar / Morocco to knock out italian NOs.
    3. Provide an aircraft carrier or something to help control french coast.

    Without help uk will really struggle. Effectively giving germany italy an easy job to ward off uk ships and concentrate on blitzing russia.


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