Which direction in Japan's multi-pronged approach?


  • 2007 AAR League

    Ok, so I’ve read almost every strategy on here about which direction Japan should take in her march west.  Switch’s mini-essay on the many directions Japan can take (found here http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=5849.0) is a good start.  However, my problem is, what direction should Japan actually focus on?  She doesn’t have enough men to go all 3 avenues (Northwest, Straight West, Southwest).  So, w hat do you do?  Do you set up tight ends to block/protect your flanks and drive straight up the gut through China, or do you plug the gap and send either or both tight ends north and south and hope to meet in the middle?  B/c it takes a lot of Japan resources to create 2 or 3 big battle groups that won’t get wiped out by someone strafing you!  :oops: :oops: :oops: :roll:  So is there any consensus or sound method b/c I might want to play Japan this weekend.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    It all depends on what Russia and England do before Japan’s first turn and what they do on their second turns.



  • Yeah, what Jen said, but also include the US in that.

    If the Allies are going KJF (it’s pretty obvious by J1 usually, typical signs include IC at India, Russian infantry at Ssinkiang and massed Russian infantry at Soviet Far East, Burytia, and/or Yakut, plus Russian tank and fighter placement) - Japan should focus on transports, fighters, infantry, and tanks.  Fighters to fend off the eventual Allied naval battle, infantry to defend the Asian coast, and tanks to switch direction.

    If the Allies are NOT going KJF, what I do is push at all three places with infantry.  Depending on the Allied moves, Japanese tanks can switch from one front to another.  Japanese fighters and bombers add another threat by J3.  If the Allies bulk up at one place, Japan pulls infantry back (the Allies can’t catch them with infantry, and tanks are rarer and expensive), and sends the Japanese tanks to another front.  Combined with fighters and bomber, this means the Allies have a very difficult, if not impossible, job of defending all three fronts.  Late game, when you have captured Novosibirsk, Evenki, and/or Kazakh, transported infantry from Japan won’t reach the front in time - so you either run infantry to French Indochina to defend against aggression from India, or if India is pretty weak, you run infantry from Tokyo to Western Canada and/or Alaska, where the US must deal with them.


  • 2007 AAR League

    i Allways go southwest, and punch yhrue china, sinkiang with a small force (to prevent a sinkiang IC)


  • 2007 AAR League

    I usually go through China and Russia for two reasons …

    1. You can take 8 IPCs from Russia which helps Germany and if they are doing their job right that will leave Russia with only Moscow,Cauc,WRU, and archangel … 16 IPCs a turn
    2. I usually build ICs in Manchuria and Kwangtung so by going through China I can have tanks in Moscow in 2 turns


  • Hhhmmm… tough for me to follow up on my own essay.

    First off, if the Allies are going KJF, throw that essay out the window 😄

    Now… Based on my game experience since then…

    You INITIALLY have to push in Asia on all 3 avenues of attack.  You need to take India, China, Sinkiang, Bury, SFE, and Yakut.  You do that to push all the way to the far end of the bottlenecks between the neutrals, and to get your income up.  Once you reach all of those, you are now at an income of $40 and can actually AFFORD to continue working on TWO avenues.

    The question of course is WHICH two.  That depends on your goals…

    If you are doing w ar of attrition against the Allies, then you do CENTRAL prong in Asia, and AFRICA via TRNs.  Or you do Central Asia, and do a mixture of Africa.South Pacific.  The idea being that you take 8 IPC from Russian, and 10 or so from UK.

    If you are going KRF, then you are probably going almost 100% Northern, with some forces via China/Sinkiang.

    If you are going for an Axis unification before you strike Moscow, then most of your effort will be SOUTHERN, with some via central, and perhaps even a bit on to Africa…

    If the US Shuck is a problem then the dual Alaska/WCan landing many be just the ticket you need.

    Match the avenue of attack to YOUR personal style, and to what your ally is doing, and to what the enemy is trying to do to you.  The previous essay was a borad outline, general pros and cons.  But only YOU can decide what is best for the game you are playing NOW.  And that may well be different from your NEXT game, or the one after that.



  • IF you cannot do all 3 attacks you should focus on US and UK assets there.

    Russia only loses 4 ipcs if you take 4 countries. Uk will lose 3 just for taking india. Us will lose 4 when you take 2 countries. These troops are also hard to reinforce. so more IPC gain.

    India opens up the door to afrika and caucasus if you take out a lot of UK property they are basicaly out of the game.
    You cannot take out US property to take them out of the game and russia property is not that valuable and decent defended.

    Instread of focusing on killing russia you can try to focus on depleting the UK income to a point where they are a non factor anymore. You cant take the capital but without enough IPC’s to build a decent amount of units they cant do anything either.


  • 2007 AAR League

    How, exactly, though, can I threaten/take the Caucasus if I first have to take Persia and then wait another turn with Russia up to bat before me?  They can/could easily crush/strafe my stack and then I’d be really in trouble and not be able to do anything at all.  Is there an easy or simple way to attept to threaten the Cauc without first being annhiliated on the run in?


  • 2007 AAR League

    @General_D.Fox:

    How, exactly, though, can I threaten/take the Caucasus if I first have to take Persia and then wait another turn with Russia up to bat before me?  They can/could easily crush/strafe my stack and then I’d be really in trouble and not be able to do anything at all.  Is there an easy or simple way to attept to threaten the Cauc without first being annhiliated on the run in?

    You could transport troops right into Africa without worrying about Persia until you are ready



  • @General_D.Fox:

    How, exactly, though, can I threaten/take the Caucasus if I first have to take Persia and then wait another turn with Russia up to bat before me?  They can/could easily crush/strafe my stack and then I’d be really in trouble and not be able to do anything at all.  Is there an easy or simple way to attept to threaten the Cauc without first being annhiliated on the run in?

    No.

    If it were easy or simple, Axis would win a lot more.

    You can hit Caucasus with Germany by piling up in the Ukraine, assisted by TWO German Mediterranean transports (note that two Mediterranean transports don’t do much for the Germans early game; it is usually better to build at Africa to leave your Mediterranean fleet the option of sailing west to take Gibraltar to threaten a united German navy on G2, and build the second Mediterranean transport only if the Allies push you back, if the Allies don’t have air in range of the waters near Southern Europe, and around turn 3 when your first turn massive infantry/artillery build is marching into Caucaus (G1 place, G2 Eastern Europe, G3 Ukraine).

    If Japan played aggressively, by J4, Moscow should have to be defending against a moderately sized threat from Japan, and you can force the Allies to abandon Caucasus.  Of course, the UK will probably be funneling troops into Archangel, so the game transposes to Germany attacking West Russia . . .

    Or you can run transports from Japan to hit India very hard and fast (although the rest of Japan’s position will severely suffer as a result), put an industrial complex there, and start churning out infantry.

    Either way, the ideal country to take Caucasus is Germany.  UK is usually not strong enough to counterattack and take, and Japan can then fly in reinforcing fighters.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Hmm, looks like I’ll have to play much more aggresively this time around then.  IT seems even when I play Germany I have a tough time hitting and taking the Caucasus.  Maybe I should just stack in EEU for a couple rounds with tanks and inf and art, then next round stack EVERYTHING in Belo to try and take out Russia’s WR stack.  :?  HAve to try it sometime i would imagine.  But as for Japan,  pressure I suppose will ahve to come from somewhere else.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Personally, I like to hit Africa with Japan.  Geramny’s going to loose it anyway and it’s SO easy to tie up Allied resources there allowing Germany to do Waltzing Matilda right into Moscow.



  • Search the game boards for some of Octo’s games when he was still here.  He was quite fond of the Southern Strike on Russia via Caucuses as Japan


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    It’s effective because the trail is worth more ph@t l3wt.  But the northern trail has it’s benefits too, chiefly a reduced Russian pressense and it’s harder for Russia to defend Moscow and Stalingrad then just Stalingrad.



  • @General_D.Fox:

    How, exactly, though, can I threaten/take the Caucasus if I first have to take Persia and then wait another turn with Russia up to bat before me?  They can/could easily crush/strafe my stack and then I’d be really in trouble and not be able to do anything at all.  Is there an easy or simple way to attept to threaten the Cauc without first being annhiliated on the run in?

    My reaction is with what ??
    Russia is not powerfull enough to fend of 2 groups with just 1 stack.
    Also you dont do it only but when you dont have power in 1 turn focus on either central or south prong first, they give more ipcs and remove units that cannot be replaced at that side. Also depleting UK income ( possible with taking australia + NZ ) can effectively remove them from the game, taking affrika + india + australia + NZ makes the UK a 12 ipc country.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Actually, a joint threat from Ukraine and Persia, without significant threat from another avenue, is to Russia’s benefit.  It’s much easier to defend one zone then two or three because you can use more infantry and less armor/fighters.



  • But it is not a single threat.

    Germany can divert and go via West Russia.  Japan can divert and go via Kazakh… or just float forces into Africa from Persia.

    Add in a few Germans in Karelia, a few Japs in Sinkiang and Yakut, and you have a pretty pickle for Russia… they can easilly counter any ONE or even a couple of smaller threats, but they can’t kill them ALL…


  • 2007 AAR League

    Juicy targets are along Southern route, including Africa.



  • And a Jpan fleet slipping into the Med, along with a couple of German TRN’s being built makes for a NASTY time for the Allies to defend Moscow.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Japan fleet in Med = American fleet moving into Pac for island hopping, IMHO.  Unless you do it really late in the game (like Turn 8 or later).



  • @Jennifer:

    Actually, a joint threat from Ukraine and Persia, without significant threat from another avenue, is to Russia’s benefit.  It’s much easier to defend one zone then two or three because you can use more infantry and less armor/fighters.Â

    But a strong japanese presence there forces the russians to at least have a proper defence there.
    That also frees up german troops to take the north route and since uk will have lost afrika and the azia contries they are at 15 a turn ( hardly a threat ). russia cannot attack a stack in archangle and defend caucasus and at the same time defend VS a attack through the center and keep you at bay in the north. And if they pull back in the north it is just easy ipc gains.

    If you can crush the south prong the other 2 will collapse because they need to defend the russian capital making the north prong basicaly a walkin. If you crush the north prong the UK can still stay in india and even opt for more forces there.


  • 2007 AAR League

    What I think I mght do, if i get Japan, is to plug up the middle and make end runs north and south.  That way, I won’t have to worry (too much) about trading Sink and China, and instead can make Russia come to me through the north, which is a bit harder since tanks have to come farther than just through Novo and into Sink, and mebbe make feints or bigger threats south.  IIIIIttt’s a work in progress. 😄



  • My standard strat, subject to change of course based on game conditions, is the following (obviously, assuming allied KGF)-

    Build to a total of two ICs and six transports. One IC in India, one in either Kwangtung or FIC (my preference). Once you get to 42+ IPCs, the following efficient and beautiful Japanese chain can be set up- one transport in SZ60, one in SZ61, two in SZ36, two in SZ34 with the rest of the Japanese navy. Each turn the two transports return from SZ36- splitting one inside to SZ61 and one to SZ60. Two infantry are picked up from Japan and dropped in Manchuria, two are picked up and dropped in Buryatia. The two original trannies in SZ60 + 61 pick up four infantry and take them to FIC. This sets up a flow, excluding builds from the factories, of two infantry over the top to keep a steady flow of pressure on Yakut, then Evenki + Novo; of two infantry from Manchuria pushing up the gut through China to hold Sinkiang and combine with the northern forces to harass Novo/ Kazahk; four infantry in FIC push along the southern route to pool in Persia or be used on transports in Africa.

    The units built on the ICs would include any artillery being built in India as they are closest to the front, and armor builds in FIC or Kwangtung, depending on where you built it. With the armor builds in the rear, you can choose to go up the middle or push along the south depending on needs. I usually end up with two units (always infantry) over the top, four units (mostly infantry, maybe an artillery now and then) up the gut, and the other eight per turn (mix of inf/art/arm) along the southern route.

    What I’ve found to be the most effective is staging in Persia, as it threatens both the Caucasus and Kazahk, as well as controls Transjordan and the southern tip of Africa with navy. Staging in Persia allows the potential to control the suez more easily than a staging in Sinkiang, and therefore the ability to slip into the med to help Germany if needed.

    The overall philosophy is that only light infantry forces are needed over the top (two units), slightly heavier up the middle (two to four per turn), and the heaviest along the southern route. The key is that the flow is steady- as switch mentioned some time ago any gaps in the Japanese chain can be exploited by an allied strike that hits and retreats the next turn before they can be countered. The key is to make sure the pressure is continuous. Kill Russians as often as possible on the front, using your superior air power to devastating effect. Four fighters can be staged in SZ34, and two can hit all the way to Novo and trade places with fighters parked in Sinkiang.

    There really is no fear of a concentrated attack on Japanese hodings through either the northern or central routes- the further the allies manage to get in either direction the closer they get to Japanese factories and their own destruction. And it’s not in Russia’s best interests to go heavily through the middle- it reverts to US economy not Russian when retaken, and Japan will claim it again before the US collects on it. The top of the board is not worth enough to make a concentrated attack upon. The Japanese player shouldn’t be concerned if they saw it coming.

    Finally, the goal should be killing Russia- I’ve fallen into the trap before of slugging it out with the allies in Africa, because it’s so compelling to be able to use two battleship shots per turn and your air superiority. Just be a pest in Africa unless an obvious chance to turn the tide presents itself and hold Africa’s economy- keep using one infantry to take an unguarded territory, or pick targets of opportunity- killing a lone armor that just cleaned up South Africa is a good example.

    Any US threat built in the Pacific can be dealt with by swinging part of the navy around, or perhaps building one or two units in SZ60 to protect the chain. The US player will be spinning their wheels unless completely dedicated, which means Europe is being left to Russia and Britain to handle. Which makes Germany happy.

    Hope this helps- it’s evolved over quite a few games for me but I use it whenever possible. It’s been pretty effective against good competition.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Forcing Russia to trade in North Asia is pretty good strat for Japan.  It splits Russia’s forces between Russia and Caucasus allieviating a lot of pressure on Germany.  And they trade units for almost worthless land. (1 IPC territories, primarily.)


  • 2007 AAR League

    Good point Jen, good point.  It seems when I play, I get back-handed whenever I go up the middle, usually because Novo is so close to both Russia and the Cauc, so a few armour and some inf along with airpower comes and strafes me or destroys me.  Going north where only units from Russia can come to play ball works for me.


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