Optimal Japanese opening move



  • This is going to be some theory-crafting so just come along on this mental journey with me for a moment. I know this game is fantastic due to the fact that there are at least 3 or 4 different openings for each country whereas in 1942 you had 1 or 2.

    It seems to me that the optimal German opening would be a g1 1 CV(Carrier?) and two Trans build. Attacking whatever sea zone with whatever ships and air you choose. The important part being taking france and southern france. SO. Fran.(it’s what all the cool kids say these days) just so you have the option to build a small fleet in the med or just a trans to try to get a guy into egypt. The CV/trans gives you the flexibility to sealion or just hit Novgorod. Cool

    So what is the optimal japanese opening. Now if you are doing a J1 it is pretty obvious, no need to spell that out. But what if you don’t do that. I was thinking that the optimal opening would by to buy 3 trans 1 art and move every single sea unit to Japan(sz6) making sure to pick up the infantry in okinawa with the trans there.

    Now the reason behind this move, is that it opens up the possibility to attack hawaii or even Alaska/British Columbia(sz1) or move down to Hainan and placing a harbor and airfield for Calcutta crush Or a push into western australia(sz56). Or you could just take the money islands with your 4 transports and hit malaya with 2 trans. This is a J3 of course but the whole idea behind the pulling of the whole fleet to japan is having the maximum strategic options.

    This can also include dow russia by hitting the far east and moving 12 units towards Russia while building 10 more units on japan. I feel this is probably the most versatile opening move you can do and this is especially powerful if you can do a successful sealion.

    Thought and comments appreciated.



  • That idea is actually one of two J3 strategy’s I use when I don’t J1. Adding those 3 extra fully loaded transports is key early on and going on J3 allows you time to empty all those 1 Inf islands. I’ll usually stack in the Caroline’s with maybe 1 or 2 transports and the rest go off the coast of Hainan with a naval base on Hainan. I like to add a 7th transport fully loaded just in case because the money islands, Phillipines and Malaya all have to fall on your attacking turn. Worst case the UK or Anzac puts up a blocker to stall this conquest and when this happens just go an extra transport more on the Malaya invasion and get your 5 IPC bonus on the next turn.

    One pitfall to this is the fact that you want to make sure all your transports have two units on them (7 TT = 14 land units) on J3 so those are all units that aren’t attacking China. If you don’t J1 then the Chinese and maybe the Russians are your only responsibility combat wise for your first 3 turns. Sure if you island hop correctly maybe a couple Infantry can join the mainland fight but if the dice rolls hurt you on a few occasions China might stay alive a lot longer then they should. Especially if the eastern Russian stack or any other Russian unit joins the fray. The TT stack on Hainan should keep most of the UK units close to or on India. But if the UK player isn’t smart or is doing something they aren’t supposed to then take those TTs and your planes and smash Calcutta.

    I would not however, advise this type of J3 with Germany going SeaLion in Europe. SeaLion would give the Russians the opportunity to send even more units into China because they have breathing room on the front lines with Germany. If I’m doing this type of strategy, I’m going G1/G2 Barbarossa in Europe as I want the Russians to be forced to bring every unit they can to the front lines and to Moscow. I don’t want those Russians in China making it harder for Japan to clear China and sack Calcutta. This also probably wouldn’t work against a KJF strategy from the US but if America is going full board against this strategy then that means a full force Barbarossa on the other side of the world might win the game for the axis anyways.



  • What is the possibility of hitting Hawaii or Alaska/British Columbia(sz1)? I know that US could just stick a DD in some sea zones and stop that but you could do something crazy and send your fleet on J2 to park in the Hawaii sea zone. I would think this would give the US pause as far as pushing Germany. Which was why I was thinking sealion would be a good bet since the US would have to commit more forces to the Pacific leaving Russia(if sealion was a success and I’m assuming it was) to fight Germany alone.

    I guess Im trying to think of crafty ways to put the hurt to the US early on in the pacific. Or if you can take out Hawaii turn 3, quickly slip down and knock out Australia or push into the panama canal.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    I actually don’t like the 3TT buy J1. Without putting down an IC on Kiangsu, China gets too strong and the third TT achieves so little. If you don’t take Calcutta J3, what’s it for? If you do, UK normally retakes it turns 3&4. And UK should be able to stop the take down.



  • The U.S. has enough planes and navy to combine with a US1 buy to destroy Japan’s attack on J2 if you go after Alaska or Hawaii and now Japan has missed out on a LOT of money AND chances are ANZAC and UKPac will gobble up the money island income Japan so desperately needs. No threat of J4 Calcutta crush means UKPac can be more aggressive, China will keep Burma Road open for another +6 ipcs for them.

    A strong J1 should have you at 39/40 ipcs and not lose any ships.
    J2 at 55-57 ipcs
    J3 at 60+ ipcs
    J2 and J3 are the only turns your fleet is out of position to return to sz6 for a counter attack, but sz 6 can keep a large enough fleet, enough planes, and new carriers to keep U.S. at bay.


  • 2018 2017

    Japan’s POV
    J1 = Bad for UK West, but really good for USA
    J2 = Good for taking India faster, but we will need bases.
    J3 = UK will declare war preemptively on you, so that gives them (and ANZAC) 15 but denies US 20
    J4 = Do you have an actual plan other than taking China and letting the US win?

    Germany’s POV
    J1/J2 = Bad for Sealion. USA can join early and often and so can either threaten the invasion or relieve UK
    G1 = G1 leaves a choice between advancing early, and not attacking 110 or 111. If you G1 AND attempt the 110/111 strikes, you’ll usually blow at least one battle, and get pushed back from your G1 takes such that there is no net gain from that. If you leave the UK with any navy, KGF is much improved.
    G2 = Pretty standard, any further waiting just makes Russia and USA more and more powerful and wastes time that Germ/Italy could have been moving the line forward.

    Allies POV;
    G5 This is the earliest strike on moscow. With G1, optimal.
    G6, G7 Good enough, with the can opener, the game will come down to VC fight over egypt (or sometimes london in a late SL).
    G8 G9 Axis are going to lose if UK has 4 factories pumping and you dont (thats persia, iraq, sA, egypt vs lenin, moscow, volgo, ukraine plus it can build more though it can only really power 4 and still fight off the western allies)


  • 2019 2017 '16

    @taamvan said in Optimal Japanese opening move:

    Japan’s POV
    J1 = Bad for UK West, but really good for USA
    J2 = Good for taking India faster, but we will need bases.
    J3 = UK will declare war preemptively on you, so that gives them (and ANZAC) 15 but denies US 20
    J4 = Do you have an actual plan other than taking China and letting the US win?

    J4 - yes
    J3 - probably but doesn’t deny US any money - in fact, they’ll the Philippines NO and 2PUs
    J2 - Huh? J1 takes India faster than J2 if done right. J2 only really makes sense if you can’t stomach the risk of battles going badly in a J1 scenario. This risk should be taken, I’ve discovered.
    J1 - Not sure why this is bad for UK Europe?


  • 2018 2017

    because you take all their money away, starting on turn 1 (and give it to the US)



  • @taamvan said in Optimal Japanese opening move:

    because you take all their money away, starting on turn 1 (and give it to the US)

    Exactly.

    Japan’s goal is to earn more IPCs and reduce threats. Attacking the U.S. first doesn’t do either of those things, but shifting money away from UKPac (and China and ANZAC) does.



  • @taamvan 507CED5A-67B7-43A6-BDE4-BC2DC3E81641.jpeg this is all I got to say for a J1 atrack.


  • 2020 2019 2018

    @lil-germanz heh heh nice

    actually a J1 does have some merit, although not without risk. In case you haven’t seen it, this explains it pretty well

    link text



  • @barnee your absolutely right! I have had a lot of games in which a J1 has been very effective. Especially if you do a Pearl Harbor attack and win. You severely cripple the US. Yeah they get the money right back but they basically have to take a few turns rebuilding. So there is a lot of merit to a J1 atrack.



  • @lil-germanz said in Optimal Japanese opening move:

    @barnee your absolutely right! I have had a lot of games in which a J1 has been very effective. Especially if you do a Pearl Harbor attack and win. You severely cripple the US. Yeah they get the money right back but they basically have to take a few turns rebuilding. So there is a lot of merit to a J1 atrack.

    Is there a way of doing a J1 Hawaii attack without putting your carrier at risk?

    Let’s say you use 3 destroyers, 1 sub, and 2 planes to attack, giving you a 65% chance of winning if U.S. scrambles and 1-2 unites survive. This protects your carrier by letting you park in sz 31 for your planes, but you NEED a destroyer to survive to block the U.S. fleet from destroying you on US1.

    So do you commit a cruiser, too, and save a destroyer for non-combat moves?

    And even if your carrier survives US1, its 2 turns to return to a naval base and help, meaning US1 they can destroyer your blocker at Hawaii, J2 your carrier moves to Caroline Islands or Iwo Jima where US2 you can still be hit. So now either you have to hold back ships from going down to Money Islands, or spend on warships J1 or lose a carrier, 3 destroyers, 1 sub (maybe a cruiser and 2 planes, too) to sink a sub, destroyer, cruiser, transport, 2 planes

    Of course, thinking that through means U.S. has to put more ships/planes at risk to chase you, but to sink that you’ll be left using Japanese air, which is usually better served elsewhere, and spending money on attack ships J2


  • 2018 2017

    Yes, though YG declines to do PH on top of other JDOW goals because it spreads him too thin. I think you can do all the battles if you like, with good odds–the problem is that getting diced on this proposed PH attack means there is no blocker and they can smash your fleet when it goes wrong–so you are taking too many risks during the opener and at least 1 of the battles will go wrong.

    Another aspect of this is that Japan’s forces are limited from game start so while theoretically we can draw on all these forces, allocating a measly 3 destroyers is all of them that can reach (i think you only get 4 total before you buy any), for the whole theatre.

    Back to Simon’s point, I didn’t double check my chart—J3 would be equal income for US, war or not, so taking phillipines does deny them 7.



  • If the USA is pumping all this money into the Pacific from US1 and on, and Japan is paying the price for bringing them into the war on J1. Then what is stopping Germany and Italy from winning the game?



  • @DCWhat the US. Bc they get brought into the war early, a smart player will not pump all its money in the pacifc and will separate between the 2 theaters. However If japans attacks are successful thanit really crippled the US in the pacific. A smart player will not try to pump all their money in a losing fight. I would just play defense at that point and let japan own the pacifc bc Germany rolls Russia every game if Russia does not get help.



  • @DCWhat said in Optimal Japanese opening move:

    If the USA is pumping all this money into the Pacific from US1 and on, and Japan is paying the price for bringing them into the war on J1. Then what is stopping Germany and Italy from winning the game?

    If the U.S. doesn’t press Japan relatively quickly, then Japan can very easily over whelm China, UKPac, and ANZAC (combined IPCs go from 39 to 27 very quickly while Japans jumps from 26 to 39 to 50+ on J3)

    So, about Germany/Italy…It depends. If they’re going hard at Moscow from the start, U.S.’ involvement is, what, bombers to fly to Moscow at hit soakers? Dropping U.S. subs on that side of the board doesn’t need a response from the Axis (sure it can help with Italy, but slow down Germany? Nope).

    Fastest U.S. fighters can reach Moscow is US4 for the 1 fighter on Eastern U.S. and US5 for anything purchased US1 (or flown to E.USA on US1), or it takes 4 turns to bring fighters from W. US across Eastern Russia (3 turns if Russia has Korea) . Any help is useful, but at the expense of all other possible moves?

    UK can put a factory in Persia to send fighters up to Moscow in 1 turn. If Italy is under control I’ve had games where that was literally all their 30 ipcs bought a round. (Persia factory UK2, then 3 fighters a round land in Moscow on UK4+. If Japan can’t take Calcutta J4/5, then you can even spare the 2 UKPac fighters for Moscow.

    Stacks of US bombers can open for UKPac forces or sink Japan’s fleet at sz6, take Iwo Jima, then occupy sz6 with your subs to convoy him and dare him to come in range of 6-12 bombers? Make a larger fleet and meet up with ANZAC at Caroline Islands to threaten the Money Islands and sz 6?

    I find it tough to exert U.S. power in Europe with anything except bombers before Germany can take Moscow, so I choose to keep Japan from earning 50/60 ipcs for more than 1 or 2 turns.


  • 2018 2017

    I agree, wedding. Crippling Germany is difficult, it requires factories in Norway and Finland and a clear path to Norway. Germany’s productive zones cant be threatened as easily as japan, and the units needed to take Moscow are mostly built before USA comes to bear. J1 or the India Rush are foolish against a strong US player and Japan needs to carefully balance factory production against US threat. And, in Balanced Mod, it needs those facs to put inf down against China.

    The play against Germany by UK west is as you said; Persia UK 1, build factories, get Iraq, get another factory, build anything you can. Threats to that include a strong Italy and breaking the UK integrity bonus. South Africa should be bringing up mechanized all game. London can easily be taken if the US is concentrating on killing Japan later in the game.



  • @taamvan though I agree that crippling Germany is challenging you really can slow it down if UK builds up a fleet in Canada and Air Force in London. Than you convoy any where possible and continuous bomb the factories. You will take loses but your spending your income delaying and slowing down Germany’s offensive which buys Russia more time and allows US to get involved. That’s about the only ways that I know that is effective against a powerful German player. You have to keep your fleet off the GB coast line to protect against a air assualt. Need to be able to scramble.



  • @lil-germanz said in Optimal Japanese opening move:

    @taamvan though I agree that crippling Germany is challenging you really can slow it down if UK builds up a fleet in Canada and Air Force in London. Than you convoy any where possible and continuous bomb the factories. You will take loses but your spending your income delaying and slowing down Germany’s offensive which buys Russia more time and allows US to get involved. That’s about the only ways that I know that is effective against a powerful German player. You have to keep your fleet off the GB coast line to protect against a air assualt. Need to be able to scramble.

    My issue with that is you can’t hit Germany, only W. Germany from London and Germany can leave 4 fighters there to put make repeated bombing runs unlikely.

    Also, typical is Moscow being threatened about G6. Its tough to build a fleet that can worry Germany at all with UK when UK1 is building inf and a fighter, then a lot of your air power shifts to the Med to sink Italy’s fleet, can make it back for combat on UK4. So buys on UK2 and 3 are around 60ipcs. Do you really devote that to transports and ships to keep them afloat?

    I’m usually a factory in Persia and UK3 and UK4 I spend 60 ipcs on fighters for Moscow. So UK1 is a London buy so no Sea Lion, UK2 you spend 12 ipcs on a factory and then maybe 25 on… it depends. Fighters? Bombers? Troops and a transport for S. Africa? UK planes can land on Russia’s Karaellia if its safe to make it to Moscow in 2 turns…Or shift South if Italy’s a problem.


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