Say that UK leaves 1 inf in India and kills the Kwangtung transport. Now what do you do? Even saying the UK moves their AA gun out (which I probably would as UK), are you going to send two infantry from French Indochina to India and take on a somewhat risky battle? Or will you devote a fighter to the India battle?
On the other hand, UK can completely abandon India on UK1. If Japan takes India, UK can retake with infantry and air. Japan will not be in turn to retake India on J2, because there probably won’t be ground units in French Indochina. If Japan DOES move its Japan transport to French Indochina, that splits the Japanese fleet and makes it vulnerable to UK air in the area, and in any event, Russia retains control of Burytia.
It’s difficult for Japan to REALLY control Africa early.
Remember, this is after a proposed UK consolidation of 1 sub, 2 trns, 1 dd, 1 ac, 1 ftr in sea zone 30 on UK1. I assume no UK industrial complex in India.
Note 1: If you consolidated the UK fleet in the sea zone southwest but NOT adjacent to Australia, you cannot have used that fighter for any offensive purpose. Pearl Harbor’s US carrier is not bolstered, and the Japanese kept their transport at Kwangtung. Furthermore, with the entire UK navy uniting in that sea zone, Japan kept its Solomon Islands sub.
Note 2: The following pretty much assumes that Japan beat up Pearl quite handily with 1 sub 1 destr 5 fig 1 bomber, consolidated most of the rest of the Jap fleet at Solomons, leaving 1 Jap battleship east of Japan to escort the 3 transports built there, along with the 2 surviving Jap transports for 5 transports.
Note 3: Assume the UK bomber did nothing but fly to Ssinkiang. Otherwise, Japan can use the Kwangtung transport to reinforce Kwangtung, which makes a really big difference both in the early Asia game and the battle for control of the Pacific. (Why Ssinkiang? It’s better than Yakut for helping UK at India.) But this will mean that the UK bomber cannot have been used for ANYTHING else but flying; there’s no other way to get to Ssinkiang than through mostly friendly Allied territories unless UK goes for Long Range Aircraft, which has its own set of risks.
Note 4: Given Scenario 2, most of Africa falls to German control on G2. With two tanks at Anglo-Egypt surviving UK1, Germany can blitz and take an additional 3 IPC of territory. If the UK committed the UK bomber to attack Japan’s Pacific fleet, then Germany can blitz both German tanks to Kenya for 4 additional IPC instead of 3, and claim of Union of South Africa on the following turn. If the UK committed the UK bomber towards Africa, then Japan can take advantage of its additional Kwangtung transport to attack the united UK fleet on J2, and at the very least to make Japan’s initial Asian position stronger.
Scenario 1: UK builds industrial complex in India. In this case, the Allies are going to be slowed down a pretty good deal in the Atlantic, and you signal clearly to Japan what the game plan is going to be BEFORE Japan even decides on its first turn buy. This doesn’t mean it’s easy for Japan to stop. This really deserves its own scenario descriptions, so I shall not enter into further description of a game with a UK industrial complex in India here.
Scenario 2: UK doesn’t build an industrial complex in India. No UK reinforcements. Japan moves to south Pacific. UK immediately loses much of Africa to G2 tank blitzes. (Note that although this isn’t restated again and again, it should be kept in mind for the rest of this article.) UK fleet in Indian/Pacific is quickly forced to retreat around Africa or south around Australia. If south around Australia, the UK fleet bolsters the US defense, but the Allied fleet is out of position for some considerable time during which Japan can capture India.
Scenario 2A: (No pickup of infantry from Australia on UK1): If you do NOT pick up infantry from Australia on UK1, you MUST move the UK transports to pick up the 3 infantry from Australia, limiting their next move to East Indies or New Guinea, or one of the isolated sea zones in the middle of the South Pacific. Assuming a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor consisting of 2 carriers to the Solomon Islands allowing 4-5 fighters and the Japanese bomber to attack Pearl Harbor in conjunction with the Japanese sub and destroyer - since the Japanese sub will definitely be alive if it wasn’t attacked - it is fairly likely the Japanese will have 1 battleship and 2 loaded carriers at the sea zone off of the Solomon Islands, with a good chance for a Japanese fighter on Wake, and the Japanese bomber on Japan.
Scenario 2A1A: (No pickup of infantry from Australia, UK2 assault on East Indies, bomber at Ssinkiang): If the UK fleet committed to attacking East Indies on UK2, given the above move, on J2, the Japanese fleet can attack with at least 1 battleship, 2 carriers, 5-6 fighters, and 1 bomber. When that happens, the Japanese fleet can retreat to New Guinea after minimal losses, leaving 1 battleship, 2 loaded carriers, and a bomber in range of a probable UK fleet of 1 dd, 1 ac, and 1 ftr. With Japanese fleet and air so close, the UK fleet cannot even run south of Australia; the only place for the UK fleet to go is directly west at full speed, or the Japs kill them instantly. In the meantime, Africa will have collapsed, and the Japs will reclaim East Indies on J3.
Scenario 2A1B: (No pickup of infantry from Australia, UK2 assault on East Indies, no bomber at Ssinkiang or Yakut, no infantry in Burytia): In this scenario, the Japanese don’t need to keep their Japanese battleship east of Japan to prevent the UK bomber from strafing on UK2 the newly built Japanese transports placed at the end of J1. Since there is no Allied air in range of Japanese transports, the only thing Japan has to fear after the capture of China and Burytia is long range aircraft - and even then, Japan can minimize the risk by splitting its transports between the sea zone east of Kwangtung, east of Japan, and west of Japan. The problem for UK here is that Japan can end with a transport at Kwangtung at the end of J1; that transport can be used as additional fodder for an attack on the UK navy at East Indies should the UK decide to go there; furthermore, the Jap battleship east of Japan is free to move at the end of J1 with no escort duty needed. Those factors combined mean the IMMEDIATE destruction of the entire UK navy on J2 in case of UK2 invasion of East Indies OR New Guinea, at the cost of a single Japanese transport.
Scenario 2A1C: (No pickup of infantry from Australia, UK2 assault on East Indies, no bomber at Ssinkiang or Yakut, six infantry in Burytia): In this scenario, the Japs can use their two existing transports plus the Manchurian infantry plus a fighter to get 4 inf 1 art 1 tank 1 fighter 1 battleship support shot vs 6 infantry (favorable), while still carrying out Pearl Harbor with 1 sub 1 destr 4 fig 1 bomber vs 1 sub 1 carrier 1 fighter, and China with 5 inf 1 fighter vs 2 inf 1 fighter. In this scenario, the Japanese can’t handle the UK fleet nearly as easily on J2, considering the chancier attack on Pearl putting Japanese fighters at risk, BUT the transport at Kwangtung means that the Japs can still probably kill the whole UK fleet on J2 at the loss of the Jap transport and two or three fighters. Alternatively, the Japanese fleet can pull a hit and run on the UK fleet at East Indies, and stage at Borneo, forcing the UK fleet to run west or be destroyed as described in 2A1A.
Scenario 2A2A: (No pickup of infantry from Australia on UK1, pickup Australian infantry on UK2 then move to seazone south of the seazone around India, or the seazone immediately southwest of Australia, no UK bomber at Ssinkiang at start of UK3 (say UK bomber at Africa)). The Japanese need no escorts for their transports around Japan, so can consolidate 2 battleships and 2 loaded carriers plus 1 transport at Borneo on J2. If the UK fleet sticks around the vicinity, the Japanese fleet destroys the UK fleet with the loss of the Japanese transport. If the UK fleet runs away, the Japanese fleet takes India. In the meantime, Japanese transports have been unloading units into Asia, and German has control of African IPCs.
Scenario 2A2B1: (No pickup of infantry from Australia on UK1, pickup Australian infantry on UK2 then move to seazone south of the seazone around India, or the seazone immediately southwest of Australia, UK bomber at Ssinkiang or Yakut at start of UK3, Japan sends the Japanese battleship east of Japan towards the UK fleet on J2). Japan has to escort its transports or split them between islands (thus allowing the UK bomber to only hit one). If the Japanese are willing to lose a transport, they can split their transport fleet into four or five different sea zones, and use its Japanese battleship stationed east of Japan on J1 to move southwest, to go for quick Japanese pressure on India as described in 2A2A.
Scenario 2A2B2: (No pickup of infantry from Australia on UK1, pickup Australian infantry on UK2 then move to seazone south of the seazone around India, or the seazone immediately southwest of Australia, probable optimal move at that point would, I think, be moving the UK fleet back to sea zone 30 on UK2, UK bomber at Ssinkiang or Yakut at start of UK3, Japan does NOT send the Japanese battleship east of Japan towards the UK fleet on J2, UK sends fleet towards India on UK3). Now, the Japanese protect their transport from a UK bomber attack, but the force at Borneo is only 1 battleship 2 loaded carriers 2 transports. Japan has to commit far more resources to attacking the UK fleet on J3. But the Japanese do NOT have to chase the UK fleet, they can simply proceed with their attack on Asia; either attacking through Ssinkiang and Yakut, or by attacking India on J3 anyways, and using the Japanese transports, forcing the UK to go with 2 trns 1 sub 1 destr 1 AC 1 fighter 1 bomber against 2 trns 2 carrier 4 fighter 1 battleship; if the UK picked up infantry at Australia, UK can’t move to India until UK3, and Australia is weakened, so Japan can opt to attack Australia on J3 while keeping its Japanese battleship and two carriers at Borneo while the Japanese battleship and transports east of Japan to stop Allied air attacks unload into Asia; if UK starts attacking French Indochina, the entire Japanese fleet can conslidate at French Indochina and retake it. The US can move into the Pacific if the Allies commit their fleet towards French Indochina, but the US will not have enough strength to attack Japan. The US will not be able to secure East Indies, Borneo, or Phillipines; any attack on any of those islands can be followed by a Japanese recapture at the latest two turns later, preventing any US industrial complex placement followed by a build. So the UK will probably do best by retreating towards Africa (probably Kenya) on UK4, denying the Japanese progress in India, but the Japanese can then attack weakened Australia on J4 and start consolidating to attack US in the Pacific, while Japanese transports continue to move units to the Asian mainland and Japan starts fighter production to further slow Allied progress in the Pacific.
Scenario 2A3: (No pickup of infantry from Australia on UK1, UK fleet runs southeast of Australia to sea zone 40 on UK2). If Japan attacks from the Solomons then retreats, Japan’s attack is far weaker without the Japanese bomber and fighter in range. Besides that, though, the US can fly its fighter from Hawaii to reinforce the UK fleet, making the Japanese attack 1 battleship 2 carriers 4 fighters vs 2 transports 1 sub 1 destroyer 1 carrier 2 fighters - and in addition, the US can follow with its 1 AC 2 sub 1 fighter US1 build (possibly 1 sub 1 trns or even 2 trns instead of 2 subs). So the turn is, UK1 southwest of Australia, J1 to Solomons, US1 fleet build at Western US, UK2 southeast of Australia, J2 POSSIBLE attack southeast of Australia, US fleet of 1 transport 1 battleship 2 carriers 3 fighters to Solomon Islands, after which UK3 combination with US fleet at Solomons, which is decent for the Allies in the Pacific. THEREFORE, Japan should NOT pursue that line, but should instead move 6 units to French Indochina on J2, and move its fleet west; with the UK fleet southeast of Australia on UK2, the fall of India on J3 is quite sure. The Allies can counter with a very early and strong combined Allied fleet, but with the Japanese air force and navy intact, control of India, German control of Africa, and the difficulty of the Allies in stretching their supply lines, and the ability of the Japanese to quickly reinforce their lines, the game is far from over.
Scenario 2A4: (No pickup of infantry from Australia on UK1, UK fleet runs southwest of Australia to sea zone 39 on UK2). Japan consolidates at Borneo, either chases the UK fleet if the UK fleet comes in range, or secures India.
Scenario 2B: (Pick up Australia infantry on UK1) If you DO pick up infantry from Australia, you have a much better range on UK2, able to reinforce or retake India or Anglo-Egypt on UK2 as well as the ability to hit New Guinea and East Indies. Again, say that most of the Japanese fleet is consolidated off the Solomon Islands, with battleship and transports east of Japan at the end of J1. In the probable scenario that you moved the UK bomber east to help out the consolidated Indian fleet, and left UK infantry in India, I can retreat my Japanese infantry into China (technically, I suppose this is an attack); now the UK bomber will have no targets to hit and will either have to float around in Asia (which isn’t great after J2 unless it’s protected by a stack of Allied infantry, and even then, constant Japanese reinforcements force the Allied infantry stacks to retreat from the coast, pushing the UK bomber out of range, and the whole time the minimum fleet the bomber can attack should be 1 battleship 3-4 transports at a time - OR, the UK bomber can fly back west where it can do something, then the Japanese can start being REALLY aggressive with their navy.)
But I digress, let us say that I retreated, and you captured French Indochina on UK2 with Indian infantry. What is your UK fleet doing? Did you
Scenario 2B2: If you DO pick up infantry from Australia, you could immediately move to Anglo-Egypt on UK2, but by that time the German infantry and/or artillery and tanks should have blitzed Italian East Africa and taken Belgian Congo and French Equatorial Africa and are safely out of reach. Japan takes India quickly. Now, what has UK gained? If Anglo-Egypt is retaken at this point, Germany can counterattack from French Equatorial Africa and/or Belgian Congo and Libyan units, plus German transported units from Southern Europe plus possible German air. So if the UK attacks Anglo-Egypt in force, Germany simply counterattacks, and UK is left with almost nothing. What if UK consolidates at Kenya along with the Union of South Africa infantry? Then you have up to five infantry in Kenya,which does bolster the southern part of Africa, but in the meantime, Japan will be taking the weakened Australia and New Guinea and India.
Scenario 2C: UK fleet runs southeast of Australia to sea zone 40. Japan gets India early but has to face an early Allied attack in the Pacific. However, an industrial complex at India and a couple of transports from Japan plus fighters allow Japan to stall for quite a long time, while lending decent support to Asia.
So, for various reasons, I do not see that the UK consolidation of the fleet southwest by west of Australia is necessarily more difficult for the Axis. Germany retains control of Africa with US IPCs directed towards the Pacific; if US does not put IPCs in the Pacific, Japan can hunt down the UK fleet all at once at fairly little cost.