I have a somewhat different approach to Great Britain.
I’m going to make a distinction. Some posters say that I just don’t like anything different to what I write, which is the same I say of certain other posters. But you’ll notice I don’t hesitate to break down the numbers and the details (which others don’t do, not really), and even when I do disagree with something “different” to how I would play, I make a distinction between “different wrong” and “just different”.
Recent example, I think it was “1baddude” on Steam, said he split a German Atlantic sub off to hit the UK cruiser. And this is NOT something I would do, it IS different. But I do not say it is WRONG; I can build out a mathematical line that shows that there are solid reasons to do that exact play. It isn’t something I would normally do, it’s “different”, but I don’t say it’s “wrong”.
But for the unquoted parts, building UK1 3 fighters and the planned usage, mmm . . . well, I hesitate to say “wrong”, but I’m certainly going to say it all is described completely different to what I’d think reasonable to expect.
“3 fighters which get dropped into India. Ideally, by the end of round 2, you’ve consolidated the other two fighters with those 3 in India, creating a hornet’s nest to warn off the Japanese fleet.”
. . . except that doesn’t happen, I think.
First, Allied defense of West Russia is by no means a certain situation. Can you really afford to have a “hornet’s nest” at India? Considering even German attack and withdraw actions could be profitable, considering Japan could kill the US fighter on Szechwan even if USSR reinforced with an infantry. Second, why do you need five fighters on India? Even if Japan’s Kwangtung transport survives, even if you transported units out of India (which you said you did to attack Borneo), you still won’t need five fighters on India, Japan simply shouldn’t leave anything in range for UK to get a good battle - why would Japan do otherwise?
If you are playing out-of-the-box setup instead of the LHTR setup then you could maybe make a case, but I assume the LHTR setup is used as that’s what’s standard for ladder. Which, by the way, if you DO assume out-of-the-box setup, that’s perfectly valid, but I think it would be good to make that clear, yes? Makes a lot of difference.
But either way, let’s think about what really happens.My assertion is India is NOT immediately threatened by Japan. I say UK1 build of 2 fighters on London 3 infantry on India means, if West Russia isn’t broken, that UK2 can land those UK1 London fighters on West Russia then by UK3 they make it to India. More specifically I’m saying UK overcomes its local production limits of 3 units on India by building on London and shifting those to India.
If you claim UK1 3 fighter build on India has a use, I could go with that. But you’ll need something better than a vague “hornet’s nest”, got to have some very specific usage that makes the unit count loss at India worth it (compared to UK1 2 fighter 2 infantry 1 artillery or some other combination of 3 UK ground on India).My assertion is UK does NOT have a hornet’s nest to warn off the Japan fleet. J1-J2 consolidate control of the Asian coast, then J3 Japan starts dropping to Yunnan. This is what happens even if the Allies push KJF (Kill Japan First). UK fighters on India simply don’t have the range to hit any important Japanese fleet elements at any sort of favorable odds for those first few turns, and probably UK will never be able to use its air effectively against Japan, barring possibly threat on Burma, but there again, compare UK1 3 fighters on India to UK1 3 ground on India and 2 fighters on London. The application for UK fighters at India is very specific. It’s not all bad, but I don’t know that I’d say it’s worth the opportunity cost.
Remember, 1942 Online (unlike in 1942 Second Edition) you can’t land UK fighters on US carriers. If you COULD then mass UK air is a whole other story (and how), but you CAN’T. Supposedly it’s been about a year and a half and no official announcements as to their intending to put it in, so I figure it’s probably not in. Anyways.
“After R1, it’s 3 infantry every round to India until Japan has fully committed in Central Asia, then maybe build some armor”.
Disagree. If you said infantry or artillery and maybe a tank somewhere, then I’d be like yeah. But pure infantry cuts your options.
Theoretically you build infantry because you don’t want to spend on artillery which you’ll lose to a counter. Theoretically you have a glut of UK air. But in practical terms that isn’t the case. If you must use your air to get favorable odds to hit a target, then you must use that air for that attack, which means you can’t use your air for other actions. Your opponent knows your options are limited, so then they can hit you with multiple threat options and force you to choose. Whatever you don’t hit they then have the advantage at, and why? Because you went pure infantry and limited your options. And remember, you specified UK is fighter-heavy, not bombers. UK fighters aren’t bad at all, but what do UK fighters on India really have range to do? Sitting on India all they can do is defend. Yes, UK1 mass India air does threaten off J1 battleship/carrier/2 fighters south of Persia, but on the flip side those UK fighters aren’t on West Russia defending there either so Germany has better options. From India, UK fighters can fly to West Russia but there’s not really room for any other action; UK fighters can also help stave off German incursion into Africa etc. etc. but again and again the issue is UK fighters don’t really have a load of flexibility for a long time. And when you do have openings, I assert that often you’ll want cheap UK artillery so you have better options.
Maybe in the back of your mind you’re thinking those UK fighters threaten the Borneo sea zone. But if Japan recaptures Borneo, which it has excellent chances at (unless UK lucksacks on the capture and again on the defense) - but at the outset of the UK action, UK can’t know it will lucksack. So the expected outcome is Japan recaptures Borneo then UK fighters on India don’t have range to hit the sea zone.
But moving on, suppose Japan tries to capture and hold Burma. There’s going to be a turn where it’s awkward for Japan; all UK units on India can hit Burma then retreat, potentially killing a load of Japanese units for a few UK units, and Japan won’t be able to land fighters if it just captured Burma. But in that scenario, if you want to inflict a chunk of casualties, cheap artillery is going to boost UK’s options. But you can just use a UK fighter to make up for the lack of UK artillery? Not really; that’s why I made the point that UK fighters aren’t terribly flexible. If you want to use a UK fighter to help defend West Russia, you can’t have that UK fighter hit Burma, it won’t make it. So if you want to make up the difference, you will want something else. Make sense? And 1 IPC for changing an infantry for an artillery buys two attack pips; 10 IPCs for three attack pips on a fighter you can see isn’t as efficient. (The mathematics works out a bit differently to what I’m implying but in effect 1 IPC for 2 pips or 10 IPCs for 3 pips, it’s just a lot.)
As to late tanks, I sort of disagree. UK can get some very interesting and nice things off early tanks between Africa and even later in Europe, just opens up a lot of options. But is that really worth trading off sheer early unit count? Maybe not. So maybe you don’t build early tanks. But late tanks? Assuming the Axis are competent, probably late UK tanks are way too late to do anything useful. So if you do want gains off tanks, early can make a big difference. Late tanks, it’s sort of too late and UK’s economy gets tied up with units at London anyways.
The rationale on UK tanks early/late? Okay, obviously if you have a UK tank at India then you can blitz towards Africa, and maybe depending you can capture Morocco, Algeria, Libya, or at least deny German income in the south and at Egypt. Or if you have a UK tank at Europe, maybe you can use it (there’s a lot of complicated shenanigans UK can pull) against probably Germany, sure. But it must be early. If UK delays too much at northwest Africa, then Germany is sitting on uncontested income, probably US wants to step in, then US gets the income and UK never does. So it’s early or never there. Or if Germany somehow managed to sneak a tank into undefended south Africa and for whatever reason UK’s South Africa infantry and air can’t do anything and US didn’t do anything, then again, IF all that happens, then if UK builds a tank late it’s going to be too late; Japan can drop to Africa to secure German income even if that means bypassing India, then Germany is just impossible to dislodge. If you have a lone tank racing west, maybe it doesn’t get cut off by Germany from Caucasus because Germany didn’t capture Caucasus yet, maybe Japan doesn’t blow it up because Japan’s still developing at Yunnan and the Asian coast - but late? Late, Japan will be in the area or even if Japan’s dealing with KJF, Germany will have secured the early income. Late is too late.
" transport goes to Borneo with 2 infantry. It’s a suicide mission for all concerned, but it succeeds about 75% of the time"Less than 68%.
Also there’s other considerations. You drain two infantry out of India which seems to be compensated for because Japan has to use its Japan transport to recapture Borneo. If you get super lucksack with UK1’s attack maybe you have two defenders on Borneo and it can get awkward for Japan, but there’s no guarantee at all that you can use those planned 5 UK fighters on India to hit Japan at Borneo, and regardless J2 recaptures.
Maybe you’re thinking that the load of UK power has got to mean something, but it doesn’t work out that way against decent Axis. Think about the pie-in-the-sky projection, you capture Borneo, mass UK fighters on India, Japan doesn’t hit the US fleet at Hawaiian Islands, US captures Solomons. Even off a stock J1 opening that ends its turn with 4 transports, Japan has a counter of 8 ground 4 air and bombards easily against Borneo against perhaps 8 defenders, UK and US trade their whole air for cheap Japanese ground. But that doesn’t happen, and UK doesn’t buy an IC on Borneo as it can’t defend it? All right, Japan recaptures Borneo with little trouble, defending with two battleships, two carriers, four fighters, destroyer, and cruiser; US can ramp up pretty fast but hitting Borneo sea zone on US2 is still too fast, so that doesn’t happen, right? And if US doesn’t press a hard response to Borneo, then Japan can commit less fleet, J2 can still start building 2 subs a turn against KJF, etc.
What I’m getting at is, Allies can have a load of power in the area but it’s very hard to leverage against competent Axis. Especially with 1942 Online’s rules changes. Remember also, if US1 builds Pacific fleet, Germany probably has a load of freedom at Europe and Africa, and that’s going to be trouble.
Anyways you start looking at the pros and the cons and it comes down to UK has less at India, UK’s India stack makes less impact when it pushes into Europe as it retreats from Japan, the loss of UK flexibility contrasted to ease of Japan’s response - my opinion is Borneo shouldn’t be the “stock” UK move. Even if UK1 capturing Borneo without using a cruiser bombard was 75%, even 80%, I would question it.
Don’t get me wrong. I like playing greedy, even when it’s mathematically wrong. So would I hit Borneo? Sure, yeah, I’ve been known to do it. Yay UK income. But that’s not the same as recommending it.
But if someone says to park the UK transport east of Africa I’m not going to say that’s wrong either. There’s reasons for that too.
“Whatever you do, though, don’t camp your India/Egypt fighter on the Indian Carrier,”
Considering you said to send UK’s Indian Ocean carrier and cruiser against Japan’s destroyer and transport off Kwangtung, sure.
But players - especially UK players - need to THINK, not just accept, but to think, run the numbers, etc.
Such as? Say Germany parked its battleship and transport south of Italy and built a Mediterranean carrier. Depending on other Germany moves, maybe UK doesn’t have any good options to hit the German Mediterranean fleet. So then what does UK do? Probably UK still wants to destroy Japan’s Kwantgung destroyer / transport, but now UK can use air to do it, as UK doesn’t have any other good targets for its air near India anyways.
So then what happens with UK’s India carrier and transport? If Germany didn’t hit Egypt or Trans-Jordan then you can potentially have east of Africa UK destroyer, carrier, and fighter. Japan can only hit that with two fighters. But does Japan do that? Probably not. So there’s a decent chance that UK can preserve some fleet to head around South Africa to join up in Atlantic.
Which doesn’t seem like such a big deal maybe but as I’ve written elsewhere, I think Japan should push big air to Europe against KGF, then believe me the Allies are scrambling through the couch for pocket change. A destroyer and a carrier even late is pretty nice.
“The Aussie fleet has a choice in round 1- grab an aussie and a kiwi infantry and head for Africa, or try and sink the Japanese sub”
Or hit New Guinea. Usually I would say UK Aus fleet heading towards Atlantic and eventually Europe (not Africa) is the way to go. Specifically, if UK can capture Morocco UK3 and push east, that’s ideal; UK wants all the income it can get. But normally I expect UK to make a play for Morocco on UK2 anyways. As to dropping to southwest Africa, I think US is better for that. Yes, UK air in the India region means UK ground in India has better options, but UK fleet in Atlantic is so much better I don’t know that I would want to delay. But anyways though UK Aus to Africa is something to keep in mind, I think UK Aus often ends up northeast Atlantic.
“Meanwhile, in England, other than the 3 infantry going to India, it’s Destroyers and a Carrier in round 2 if it’s safe enough, otherwise a bomber and a few infantry/arty for the eventual attack on Europe”
That sounds pretty optimistic to me.
A lot of players say “yeah you can just buy whatever!” but if you’re really looking to squeeze the last bit of efficiency out of every IPC, think on this.
UK is starving for income, always. London can place 8 units, India 3, combined 11 units, pure infantry buy requires 33 IPCs. Yes, UK transports in Atlantic can drop to any number of territories but still, infantry aren’t terribly flexible. You want some artillery in there to free up your air to hit other targets of opportunity, you want air, you want transports, you want naval escorts. 33 IPC will not be enough, and if you’re looking at UK income after India falls, you’re still looking at 24 IPC just for infantry. If UK wants any sort of tactical flexibility at all, it needs more than just infantry, so UK is absolutely starving for income, always.
You do UK1 3 fighter buy, then follow up with excess navy and bomber buys, and UK’s going to be low on unit count. You really have to think about the tradeoffs. If you go a bomber (just one) I’d say probably you could make something of that between Asia, Africa, and Europe, but you throw in a bunch of fighters and destroyers too? UK fighters and destroyers don’t have much tactical flexibility, throw in low unit count and I expect it to be an issue. Well, against decent players.
“By round 5, the Germans should be knocking on Moscow’s door and the Japanese will probably be poised for an all out assault on India (which England won’t win in all likelihood)”
That doesn’t happen with competent Axis players.
See what you think.
G1 infantry/artillery buy, G2 infantry on Berlin, then depending either G3 infantry to start building stack defense against Allies (Germany doesn’t want to endlessly trade) or G3 tanks to push the timing on USSR. The G2 Berlin infantry/artillery build push into Ukraine on G4, if Japan is running late it grabs India right around then (it isn’t “poised” to start threatening India on J5, that’s just way late), and Japanese fighters reinforce German stack pressing in towards USSR and/or Karelia.
From G4 capture and hold of Ukraine, both West Russia and Caucasus are threatened; probably the Allies can’t defend both so fall back from West Russia, Germany moves into West Russia in force on G5, then USSR has to defend Russia or Caucasus so defends Russia, then Germany presses into Caucasus on G6, and only on G7 does Germany seriously threaten Russia. And in that there’s some threats and timings I didn’t detail, like Germany moving its Western Europe stack into Berlin to defend it while moving its Berlin stack into Baltic States, freeing Germany to build bombers to hit Russia with, German tanks on Karelia threatening to hit Russia immediately provided certain things, any UK/US pressure into Karelia possibly being crushed by Germany’s stack on West Russia.
OK? Everything makes sense so far?
So the question is if the Axis player is competent, then why is Japan screwing around with India? First, why is Japan so late with its pressure against India? Second, if Germany is developing pressure against Russia, that should be obvious to Japan, so Japan should be trying to bleed off USSR units and income in the east. If UK has a stack at India that gets cut off after Germany grabs Caucasus, too bad for UK, it can’t unite with Russia. Then after Russia falls, Russia has 8 local production and Caucasus 4, plus Japan’s 8, 20 units against about 3 units a turn on India, India falls for sure.
What I’m saying is the Axis know all this, so if Germany is SERIOUSLY threatening Russia, then Japan is NOT seriously threatening India, because that’s like Japan being off picking flowers and watching the pretty birds while the war is lost or won in Europe. And Japan should not do that.
If it’s a G5 threat against Moscow, probably that came off a G1 West Russia break, which was all calculated before Germany’s first turn purchase phase. So Germany is racing to choke Russia out, and if Japan is on its back foot screwing around with India - you see?
So I’m saying with competent Axis, either you probably see G7 pressure against Russia at earliest and Japan capturing India J5 (if not earlier), but J5 is kinda late. But if you have G5 pressure against Russia, Japan is trying to choke out Russia ASAP instead of sitting uselessly near India. And real talk, if G5 pressure against Russia was all calculated and projected, then probably UK lost India anyways early because UK had to abandon it early to send reinforcemetns ASAP to Russia. That’s why I’m saying that scenario where G5 is going to hit Russia but ends up failing while Japan is screwing around against India, none of that remotely should be happening.
Don’t get me wrong, if the Axis aren’t competent then it all plays out as was described; UK air is a hornet’s nest against Japanese navy because Japan plays completely incompetently, Germany overcommits to early tanks and air and runs out of steam against Russia, Japan makes a late and bad attack against India. Sure.
Or even if the Axis are competent, considering different player decisions and dice outcomes, some of that could happen. Kind of.
But if making the case for usage, you can see where I’m saying it’s appropriate additional details be provided. Instead of simple and dogmatic “always do this”, it ends up being more “under specific conditions XYZ and ABC, THEN you do this”
But even if you attach conditions to the actions, UK1 3 fighters on India followed by UK pure infantry on India is, I think, going to be tough. Like yeah you can get away with it against the meta, maybe, but I don’t know that I would say it’s “solid”.