What are the basic strategies of Axis and Allies Pacific 1940?

  • I think it would be helpful for everyone to know these first before considering asking a question. Some of these ideas that we can come up with could be beneficial to stopping people from asking questions. I don’t know any game plan strategies for both sides. That is why I am asking. In fact, I’ve only played Japan because I like playing as the Axis Powers. It’s actually kind of boring since you have to wait for the Allied players to make four turns, which is what makes the Global edition so exciting. I can introduce a strategy I know of for Japan that I’ve been employing lately but continuously seems to fail each time I’m trying because in total, the allies have enough money to completely overwhelm Japan. Here is my typical strategy for Japan as the allied side is usually played by my brother.

    Turn 1: buy four transports
    - Attack Chinese Territories, but replace the armies that were there with new infantry and artillery shipments from the transports that I bought on turn one on turn two.
    - Plan to move the Warships towards the money islands and hope ANZAC doesn’t try to capture them.
    - Capture Hong Kong (Turn one or Two) and place a MIC (Later) on either Kwangtung or Hong Kong (Hong Kong is favorable because it has a NB on it).
    Turn 2: Buy Lots of Infantry and artillery on three to one ratio
    - Transport remaining Units on Japan to China.
    - Send all air units to China.
    - Totally rampage China while keeping all captured territories defended (assess Manchuria if playing global).
    - Send spare transports down to capture Phillipines and Guam
    - Strategy bombers to Hainan or Palau Island.
    Turn 3a: Buy Major Industrial complex on Kwantung.
    - Fight US? Or Capture Money Islands.
    - Capture Malaya.
    - Invade China unless destroyed turn attention to Shan State and stuff down there
    - Use Aircraft against China.
    - On turn four use turn 3b
    Turn 3b: Buy Lots of Infantry and artillery
    - Use Everything to capture Money Islands and Malaya
    - Rampage China with remaining Units
    - Taunt The US with your air units
    - On Turn four use turn 3a.

    Is this possible or reasonble? Thoughts or your ideas for Allies and Japan? I don’t really know any strategy so I figure I can use your help on one thread.

  • 2024 2023 '22


    Attacking first has never been a favoured strategy for me, but I never tried doing the opposite either.


    I like to buy one minor industrial complex in Shanghai to smash China. I buy 1 destroyer and 1 submarine.

    The Japanese navy is definitely short of transports this way, so you can swap the warships for transport of buy them in turn 2.

    Main thing is buy the complex.

    You also cannot buy a major industrial complex in Kwangtung, because it is a captured territory. Japan’s not having major industrial complexes anywhere on the Asian mainland, and can indeed only build more in Korea (not recommended).

    I can’t predict from there, but in turn 2 don’t attack the Allies and smash China.

    Turn 3 proceeds the same as turn 2.

    I usually like to attack the Soviet Far East. It is torturously far from Europe, and if Germany is lucky the Soviets won’t have the men to kill you.

    This has several drawbacks though:
    China is closer to Europe, so the Soviets can send aircraft and tanks to China. This reinforcement is enough to knock Japan out of China, and it’s hard to salvage the situation after that. Best thing to do I destroy the Soviet units before that happens.

    Also make sure to destroy Mongolian units later and be wary if the Soviets don’t defend Amur. The Soviets are still strong enough to destroy you and you can’t recover from the loss of the Kwantung Army.

    Now for the Allies:

    For the Pacific, the UK should send as many units as possible to China. This has the same effect as the Soviets, overwhelming the ill-supplied Japanese units and push Japan out of China.

    One time I was playing as Japan against a bad US and Chinese and good British and ANZAC player. ANZAC destroyed a disproportionate amount of units and Japan only conquered Sydney by sheer mass.

    So ANZAC should just do what he did, attacking weak and isolated Japanese units. Their navy should stay within fighter cover unless attacking.

    China should just hold out as long as possible. Keep the Burma Road open and move the Flying Tigers to Burma when you’re almost dead.

    The US should just do what they did, defending Australia and the South Pacific, whittling Japan, protecting Hawaii and striking once your superior industrial power can be brought to bear. If Japan gets a comfortable margin above the Allies and isn’t breaking their navy and air force doing so, things don’t look too good.

    Important for all nations:

    Aircraft carriers are important when venturing outwards against superior naval forces.

    On the same note aircraft carriers are crucial to support when operating deep in enemy territory.

    Japanese goals:

    The main cities Japan should capture to win are Manilla, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Calcutta, Shanghai, and either Honolulu and Sydney. Here are the benefits of each:

    Honolulu is closer to Japan.
    It might be less well defended because there isn’t a minor industrial complex.
    However, the US might be able to launch a counterattack more quickly.

    Sydney is more isolated from major Allied centres of power, but can defend itself better initially. It’s much harder for the Allies to capture back though.

    Overall if Japan has time and dominates the mainland, Sydney is the better choice. If things are tight, Honolulu might be worth a gamble.

    Finally, get the Philippines, grab the Dutch East Indies, and cut ANZAC’s bonuses quickly!

    Generally, always fulfill your National Objectives and deny your opponent’s National Objectives.

  • Hello. I drifted away and lost interest in the forum. I decided to come back and kick things off again. I find that skill in this game may be important for unknown reasons. Your advice is very helpful. Thank you. I have one thing to point out to you: it appears that Honolulu does not appear in the rulebook as a victory city that is able to be captured. Unusually, it appears on the board. Is this historical significance, or is it merely a mistake or simply decoration or literally a victory city? The rulebook says nothing. I also figured out I mixed the 1940 Europe first edition old with 1940 Pacific second edition brand new and a 1942 game I guess. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with buying new games since mine are in rough shape now. lol. It seems the discussion in the forums has died down quite a bit, no?

  • @The-General-0

    A little, yeah. It’s never been extremely active in the first place.

    Honolulu is indeed a victory city. Just a mistake in the riles. @Panther and/or @Krieghund can clarify further.

    I’m glad my advice was useful.

  • @The-General-0 said in What are the basic strategies of Axis and Allies Pacific 1940?:

    … it appears that Honolulu does not appear in the rulebook as a victory city that is able to be captured. Unusually, it appears on the board. Is this historical significance, or is it merely a mistake or simply decoration or literally a victory city?

    You must have quite an old print. Maybe download the latest versions of the rulebooks from

    Yes, Honolulu is a victory city.

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