Should Japan ignore China?



  • What are your thoughts on Japan ignoring China and instead focusing on southeast Asia and the money islands to push towards India? My buddy played this strategy against me but I haven’t played as much as him so I may have been less prepared for it. It seemed that Japan was still making a good amount of money by ignoring China.


  • 2017

    It’s not just about the money, it’s also about securing the Victory City win.


  • TripleA

    Sometimes it has to happen. You take India with heavy costs and China is too big to contest with  usa coming in the pacific. So you turtle India/malaysia/FIC and hold those spots with inf…

    Why? Because India is the second Russia that can stop the Europe win. Taking a fortified India usually means allied air died defending it (which would be able to defend moscow).  So Yeah it is good to take India. It puts more pressure on the allies for both Europe and Pacific.



  • China is like a speedbump to India. You don’t have to flatten them you just have to go ‘over’ them. If Japan can hold a portion of the Burma road, preferably Yunnan, China becomes irrelevant through good infantry positioning. Alternatively, if you can secure Shanghai and Hong Kong, you can focus on the southeast and make more than you lose in Northern China.

    Regardless, Japan starts with its VC for China. You’ve already won what you needed there, you just have to stop their ability to effectively harass you. You can eliminate their fighter and men or keep your positions well defended with transport resupply.

    I almost never build a factory in a chinese territory unless I’m doing a delayed Japanese attack. A factory in FIC is so much better.

    In conclusion, Japan can quickly make China irrelevant which is more effective and less time consuming than defeating them entirely.



  • Yeah, you don’t need to eliminate China, just eliminate the threat of China, and they can do some serious damage to Japan if they’re not neutralized.

    They’re also an avenue to India, as others said, but also Moscow.  If victory on the Europe side is your actual goal, you can cut through China and use Japan to attack Moscow if the German attack fails, or if you’re willing to go full suicide mode… use Japan’s air force and some ground troops to soften Moscow a bit before Germany attacks.

    My philosophy regarding India is often the same… you don’t need to take it right away, but you do need to shut them down.  Take their income, bomb their factory, and post 2 subs off their coast and they will be effectively shut down and Japan can worry about the U.S. and ANZAC and keeping the money islands.



  • Good feedback all, thank you! It was something he hadn’t done before and I was just curious what others thought of the strategy. One thing I did not think of was using Japan to attack Moscow if Germany fails in its attack. I will have to consider this option in a future game.


  • '16 '15 '10

    Japan needs Chinese victory cities to get the Pacific victory.  If China is strong enough to fend for itself and hold the coastal victory cities, USA could devote all its resources to Germany.

    So if your opponent literally heads north and attacks USSR, the counter is target Germany with the USA.  Open fronts in Western Europe, North Africa, Scandinavia, etc.

    Alternatively, you can go for Japan and probably succeed (strong China means weak Japan).  But in that case you need a strong defensive strategy to hold Moscow and Cairo as long as possible.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    I wouldn’t recommend the last play though, having tried it. Japan itself is only an 8IPC territory. It’s full production can be convoyed off with subs and/or surface fleet. It is perfectly good enough to neutralise it and then have USA focus on Europe.

    It’s a good question the OP raises. I find if I ignore to the degree that I only hold the starting territories, Anwhe, Kweichow and Yunnan that China becomes a real thorn in the side of Japan and starts the threaten the coast or at least force back the Japanese troops to around their ICs. That is not good.

    On the other hand if you attack it as a priority, then you aren’t fighting India which is more of a problem/prize. As for convoy disruption of India with subs, most players will put a UK DD in SZ80 so they can sink those subs.



  • Japan should go on an all out offensive against China but keep constant pressure on them, eventually they will collapse. Once war breaks out it’s better to spend resources against ANZAC and India than to keep pumping units into China (unless there’s some to spare).


  • 2017 Customizer

    China is an endless money pit.  Japan cannot hold China and the oil islands, etc.  Push them as far back as one can early before war then they will rapidly begin building again anywhere they wish.  Japan cannot planes in China forever.



  • @Moffett:

    China is an endless money pit.  Japan cannot hold China and the oil islands, etc.  Push them as far back as one can early before war then they will rapidly begin building again anywhere they wish.  Japan cannot planes in China forever.

    Nah, they’re not so bad.  And if you leave China alone they make WAY too much money and can steal a lot of Japan’s (easily 10 ipcs or so).  After a strong J1, starting J2 you reinforce the mainland with 2 inf/2 art at Kwangsi brought from Japan (so they can attack Yunnan on J3) and every turn you build 3 mechs or tanks from the mIC you build in Shantung (I start with mechs but as I move more of my planes to Japan or Philippines, I buy more tanks).  Sometimes the guys from the mIC in French Indo china have to help if UKPac or Russia goes all in to save China, too, but as Japan I’m earning 60+ ipcs on J3 and later and buy a carrier every round J2+ for a bit with any leftover money after mainland troops because you’ve got plenty of planes to protect them.  Most of original fleet goes south, new stuff helps you keep SZ6.

    typical for me, depending on U.S. and Russian actions is the bulk of the original Japanese fleet goes to
    J1 Borneo, Hong Kong, Philippines (buy mIC and 2 transports, collect about 40 ipc)
    J2 rest of money islands (buy mIC, 3 mechs, 1 carrier, collect about 55 ipc)
    J3 Malaya (buy 2 inf/1 art for FiC, 3 mechs for Shantung, 1 carrier, 1 plane, collect about 60 ipc)
    J4 fleet back to Philippines (buy inf/art for FiC, 3 tanks for Shantung, buy subs and or planes for SZ 6, collect 60+ ipc)

    This keeps the original 3 transports alive (on J2 is the hardest), 2 subs go convoy UKPac (which I bomb J2), and SZ 6 is usually just a destroyer and 1 carrier on J1 and by J4 I’m up to 3 or 4 carriers, 9 planes, 1 destroyer and on J4 I’ll buy a bunch of subs so I can absorb hits or join my Philippines fleet in destroying the U.S. fleet.

    As for all those land troops, once you’ve got 2 mICs in place its easy enough to close the Burma road J3 or J4 for good (or annihilate UKPac’s army if they help China) and once you’ve got a few fast movers you can even invade Russia to gobble up with IPCs (J4 or later for me) and China is down to 5 ipcs or less a turn you turn all your attention to India.



  • Under current G40 rules, I actually argue that it is worth Japan not taking over China: There is no point capturing the entire nation. You just need the cities in China and you already are in great position. Burma Road is the only key objective in China regardless if Japan is going after India or not. You can isolate the Chinese military and force them to react against Japan 100%.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @KGrimB:

    I almost never build a factory in a chinese territory unless I’m doing a delayed Japanese attack. A factory in FIC is so much better.

    In conclusion, Japan can quickly make China irrelevant which is more effective and less time consuming than defeating them entirely.

    Agree with most of this but I disagree that a factory in China isn’t needed. I do agree that one in FIC is more important. If you are doing a J1 and putting a factory in FIC J2, one can go into Kiangsu J2 or J3. That’s much better for restraining China and reinforcing the victory city.

    Shantung is in some ways better because it’s closer to the Russian front but that can be a disadvantage too. If it’s built in Kiangsu it’s easier to hold the victory city against a determined US invasion.



  • @simon33:

    @KGrimB:

    I almost never build a factory in a chinese territory unless I’m doing a delayed Japanese attack. A factory in FIC is so much better.

    In conclusion, Japan can quickly make China irrelevant which is more effective and less time consuming than defeating them entirely.

    Agree with most of this but I disagree that a factory in China isn’t needed. I do agree that one in FIC is more important. If you are doing a J1 and putting a factory in FIC J2, one can go into Kiangsu J2 or J3. That’s much better for restraining China and reinforcing the victory city.

    Shantung is in some ways better because it’s closer to the Russian front but that can be a disadvantage too. If it’s built in Kiangsu it’s easier to hold the victory city against a determined US invasion.

    I am kind of in the FIC boat on this one because you can beat up China with the Japanese navy by building transports and just bring them to the mainland and then factory FIC for the invasion of India.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Not completely sure what you mean by the FIC camp - we’re all agreed that an FIC factory is very important for Japan.

    One of the problems with using transports instead of an IC to put troops on Asia is that you have to defend them and it isn’t much of an IPC saving even if you have transports doing nothing. Really, avoiding an IC in China is radical penny pinching!


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I always take down China first and place an IC in Shanghai.



  • You need transports and another fleet for Japan if you want to go after ANZAC, Dutch, or India anyways so building transports is a must.



  • @Caesar:

    You need transports and another fleet for Japan if you want to go after ANZAC, Dutch, or India anyways so building transports is a must.

    True.  If you can keep the original 3 afloat then the 2 more bought on J1 end up being plenty, though.  Those 2 new units get what you need to close the Burma road south quickly enough for J4 attack on Yunnan.

    Then, if you lose too many inf/art in the Philippines attack on J1, You can replace them for the attack on Malaya J3 using a new transport picking up from FiC, for example.



  • Yeah which is why FIC is key but adding any more minors in China seems pointless with a transport fleet.



  • @Caesar:

    Yeah which is why FIC is key but adding any more minors in China seems pointless with a transport fleet.

    I think it depends.

    If you get lucky and don’t lose much of anything during attacks on Philippines and Malaya (or on the Money Islands themselves, if UKPac/ANZAC occupied some), then the FiC factory is all about the mainland, but often at least one if not 2 buys over rounds 3-7 are for transports to reload and retake.

    My 1st factory that I put in Shantung is useful for fast movers that can be in Yunnan or Burma in 2 turns, more attacks on western China, or on J4 or J5 I usually have China and UKPac under control and invade Russia (+1 ipc for Amur on J4, +5 ipc on J5 with the help of 1 tank).  Another valid option is a lot of fast movers on the main land headed straight for Moscow (you can hit those 6 Russian infantry that have been coming from Siberia before they reach Moscow) or the Middle East to help clinch things for Germany.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @Caesar:

    Yeah which is why FIC is key but adding any more minors in China seems pointless with a transport fleet.

    The Japanese fleet has enough to do without shielding transports ferrying troops to the Chinese mainland. To save 12IPCs?


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