Global Naval Stack in the Pacific



  • So my dad and I are going to play a global game pretty soon but we’ve noticed that while there’s a lot of variation on the Europe map in our games (at least enough to be interesting, in the Pacific it often becomes a few island snatches while two increasing navies stare at each other from one too many spaces away.

    I think we last played with Alpha 2 rules or something like that (yeah, a while), but has anyone found an edition that might encourage something else? Or maybe a strategy that encourages something else? I have heard of something called “Balanced Edition” or whatever that was.

    Anyways what helps avoid the big naval stack (other than one player choosing not to do it and putting themselves at a disadvantage for variety’s sake)?


  • TripleA

    The Mexican standoff doesn’t seem to happen as often.

    It is rare.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    So if you have a Mexican standoff in the Pacific, that means you’re both building defensively-oriented navies, i.e., lots of carriers, fighters, and destroyers. It also means you’re both spending similar amounts on your navies. Otherwise, it would be in somebody’s interest to attack.

    So, if you don’t want a Mexican standoff, you have to change at least one of those two factors. Let’s say you’re playing America, and you’re at war. You can spend 100% of your income on navy. After about 3 turns, Japan will no longer be able to keep up with you, and will have to retreat. Or, you can spend only 20% of your income on navy. Japan will be able to slowly make progress east across the Pacific, but now you have big money to spend in Europe. Either way, no standoff.

    Or, you can build an offensive navy: build mostly subs and bombers. You can force Japan to either retreat or send out lots of destroyers to ‘screen’ you from attacking their main fleet. So instead of sitting and staring at each other, you’ll be trading subs for destroyers every turn, and maybe even getting creative with some can-openers.

    Same thing with Japan: if you don’t want a standoff, either spend less on your navy, or have Germany/Italy do something in Europe that will force America to spend less on its navy, or build an offensive navy that’s designed to attack and win instead of just for holding steady in a sea zone.

    Balanced Mod creates a few additional opportunities for breaking the stalemate because the NOs give you more islands and sea zones to fight over. Japan wants to take Wake Island and Fiji, the US wants to take back Guam, Britain wants to keep Japanese subs out of the Indian Ocean, Australia really needs to hold the Solomon Islands … so there is more going on in the Pacific, and that makes a perfect stalemate less likely. If nothing else, you need to spread your navy across more sea zones to maximize your income, which increases the odds that there will be a favorable attack to make in at least one of those sea zones.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Balanced mod: https://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=37883.0

    I don’t know what stand off you are referring to. In my Axis games, it’s usually IJN in SZ42 (Java) with the Allies in SZ54 (Qld). This stand off is very favourable to the Axis. Only Celebes is able to be assaulted from the East Indies, and The Philippines. Japan will send down extra CVs and DDs via SZ36. The Allies rely on ANZAC forces and the scramble to be able to hold on in SZ54. Smart allied players will take the Carolines which gives them a few more options for amphibious attacks, but that just means Japan relocates to the Philippines.



  • I just ended a navy build up by manuevering most of Japan’s airplanes into position on Japan, carriers, and the Philippines and annihilated the U.S. at the Caroline islands.

    My planes from Japan mainland had to land on the carriers and the others landed on one of the little islands next door.

    I find carriers to be the best overall navy buy since they’re great for soaking hits, planes are great defense.  Other than making sure I have a couple of destoyers, it’s all I buy, since Japan already has the planes for them, it’s 16 ipc but the same as the U.S’ spending 37 ipc



  • Another option to force splitting is to keep the Allied navies separate.  If the United States stack near Midway, ANZAC near Queensland, and maybe even UK around India, Japan will be forced to split equally to stop you, or else face assault in one of these directions.  It is usually in the Axis powers’ favorite if a standoff occurs.  The Axis want to be able to concern strategy in one area.  As the Allies you must do your best to stop this while simultaneously keeping important centers protected.



  • Thanks for all the replies. It sounds like in our games USA may have been playing a bit too timidly, just trying to keep the Japanese from getting the needed cities while committing the rest to Europe.

    I also like the idea of some island NO’s, it might reward some aggressivity or at least incentivize a few more picket battles.


  • TripleA

    Japan is usually the one to build the attack fleet. Hawaii is the last NO and you got to attack to get it.

    USA builds the attack fleet if it is going kjf


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @Cow:

    Japan is usually the one to build the attack fleet. Hawaii is the last NO and you got to attack to get it.

    USA builds the attack fleet if it is going kjf

    That’s true after India has fallen, not before.



  • I think you first need to decide what the ships are for. Then you can build accordingly.

    Are you planning a full scale invasion of Japan or just trying to sink ships to stop japans expansion towards australia or hawaii. Another strategy might be convoy raiding or island hopping across the pacific.

    Depending on your goal you will end up with very different patterns.

    In my most recent games as us i have bought almost entirely subs and destroyers and very few capital ships. The subs convoy raid while the destroyers escort my transports. I try to avoid a full scale confrontation foe as long as possible


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