Japanese first turn



  • Hello to all, I am new on this forum.
    I’d like to have some advice on first turn for Japan.
    In my playgroup we do not use bidding (we assign randomly the nations to the players) so there are no difference in the initial setup. (I think, however, that if we used bidding any additional IPC for the Axis will be used by Germany to increase forces in Ukraine or in Libya.)

    In our games, British B1 moves are almost “standardized”.
    B1 purchases are 1 IC (for South Africa), and 1 TRN, 1 INF, 1 ART.
    Combat moves are:

    • DD from SZ 35 (off India) attach Japanese TRN in SZ 59;
    • Fighter from SZ 35 (off India) attach Japanese sub in SZ 45;
    • British Home fleet (1 BB, 2 TRN) lands troops in Algeria;
      Non combat moves:
    • Fleet off India flee toward South Africa (SZ 33 off Kenya);
    • Plane in SZ 45 lands on USA fleet at Pearl Harbour;
    • Fighters goes in West Russia;
    • Bomber goes to Moscow;
      Considering that on J1 there is only one Japanese TRN available, I usually buy 3 TRN and 2 INF with Japan, in order to transport 8 unit on mainland from J2 on (considering that I take 2 INF from FIlippine), relying completely n TRNs and nly buying IC after turn 3, when it becomes possible to produce more than 8 units.

    The problem is that with this B1 turn Japan moves are slightly slowed, because fleet in Peral Harbour require more effort to be destroyed, submarine may be sunk so less fodder is available, and only two units may be transported on the mainland in J1.
    In some of our matches this Japanese sloweness has been fatal for Germany and Axis!
    Is my answer adequate or Japan may try something different?
    I say that because, usually, in the subsequents turn I am forced to choose one attach direction between India, Sinkinag or Yakut, do not been able to put adequate pressure on Russia and Britain.
    Maybe I should buy an early IC? Or maybe I should buy fighters to increase offensive flexibility? (using central positioning for them, as in China for example)
    Or there is nothing to do because after such B1 turn things has to go as they go? In that case Japan should focus on conquer India and then head for Cacucasus or should try the northern route to Moscow?


  • 2007 AAR League

    your doing in my eyes the correct Buy, 2 inf, 3 trns.

    Hit pearl with SZ50 ac+fig+dest, SZ60 BB, japan fig+bmb, + sub if it doesn´t die. (if he takes the ships as casualties withdraw to (wake SZ), sparing your ships and making it harder to hit you.

    Kill Buryatia, otherwise they can do a dolitle raid on your new shiny transports.

    Transport 2 units either to fic with SZ60 trn or to Buryatia if it´s lots of infs there.

    If you send transport to fic you have a shot at hitting Australia by J2 (or egypt).

    Send SZ37 fleet+figfs after fleeing UK ships, your figs are more expendable kill Uk´s ships even at loss of the figs.

    Hit China with more or less everything else, if India is weak hit it to…  (1 inf might be spared from manchuria t go into Buryatia)

    Make sure you do a quick expansion by japan, if able hit Australia by J2, madagascar J3,  etc ect…  Africa is yours for the taking soner or later.  Making Japan hit 60 ipc´s by turn 6 or 7…


  • 2007 AAR League

    First, your purchase is flawed. There are 10 ground units within range of a TP in sz60 that are available to be landed. With 2 units being landed on the first turn, you are left with 8 and that is enough to completely fill the 4 TP’s you have on J2 so there is no need to build the infantry unless you have to place your newly built TP’s in sz61. If you can build the 3 TP’s in sz60, then save the $6 to give you more purchasing flexibility next turn. There is no point in buying units that you won’t be moving next turn and there are very few times when it’s a good idea to save so much money for the next turn but this is definitely one of them. The Allies can go in many different directions in the first turn, so having the extra cash to help Japan react more appropriately is the best way to play it.

    Second, on J2 build at least one more TP because you want to be able to clean off the isolated island infantry. Spending 8 or 16 IPC’s on one or two extra TP’s is well worth the investment when you can use those infantry to take the Allies’ Pacific IPC’s or even to just be able to add them to your forces in Asia. You’ll also need the extra TP’s to help you start landing in Africa later on so having about 6 TP’s total for Japan is usually standard.

    Third, if you are going to hit sz52, then you should bring enough units to give you a good chance for a first round kill. This is only my opinion and some people advocate bringing less than maximum force to give them the opportunity to attack more territory in Asia or help kill the remaining UK fleet on J1, but I hate sacrificing Japanese ships early in the game, for any reason, so I would advise against it. The only exceptions are that you must not weaken the China attack to make sz52 easier and must always protect your transports. You can build them in sz61 if you can’t spare a naval unit to protect them.

    Lastly, build an IC on J2. And a second one on J3 or J4. Don’t worry if all you are building is infantry and artillery for a while. You’ll need them. And armor built later can catch up to your advanced inf/art. In the early part of the game, Japan has more than enough aircraft support to make it a better idea to have gobs of infantry rather than a lot less infantry and a few extra armor. If you find it hard to keep the IC’s/TP’s fully loaded then you can always send one of the empty TP’s to clean off the islands a little faster until you are collecting enough income to max out your production capacity.



  • Thanks to both of you for your answers!

    Saving 6 IPC on J1 is a thing I have never tried, but I am considering it interesting, so in the following J2 I can build an IC without cutting too much the production of land unit.
    So the idea is to have 2 ICs and maybe 6 TRNs on J4.
    Six transport will be enough to attach also in south Pacific and Africa other than Asia mainland. In such a way it is possible to cut UK income, maximize Japan income and indirectly help Germany.
    The 2 ICs and the remaining TRN (about 4) should be able to put enough pressure on Russia.
    It sounds great! I will try it as soon as possible.



  • Is it really worth it to attack Australia and New Zealand if there is no more UK Navy in the Pacific?  I would think you would need to use the transports and battleships and fighters, etc. for Africa or taking over India and the rest of the territories that border a seazone.



  • Sometimes in my games I found that mighty Japanese fleet sit idle withou doing nothing very useless. Cutting UK income should be a good employment.
    Naturally Africa may be a priority in regards to Australia and New Zealand.



  • Looking in past threads in this forum I have discovered that there are other discussion about Japan strategies, that I have still to read!


  • 2007 AAR League

    @OneShot187:

    Is it really worth it to attack Australia and New Zealand if there is no more UK Navy in the Pacific?  I would think you would need to use the transports and battleships and fighters, etc. for Africa or taking over India and the rest of the territories that border a seazone.

    Australia, Hawaii, and New Zealand are worth 4 IPC’s total which is a significant swing of income considering that the Allies hold a 15+ IPC advantage for most of the early game.

    Those IPC’s are so individually small and remote that the US won’t bother wasting part of their income to retake them so you don’t have to leave forces behind for defense.

    You will need to build the extra TP’s for Africa later.

    It only takes a small portion of your navy and maybe one fighter for the effort.

    You won’t have to build any ground forces to attack them because the infantry you will use are already sitting around those territories doing nothing. You have to go get your infantry off your islands anyway and since you’re there……

    If you rush over to Africa you won’t be gaining any income because Germany usually holds those territories in the first 4 rounds. By the time my Pacific cleanup fleet is returning, they will be just in time to start claiming African territories the Allies have retaken from Germany.

    Those are my reasons. You don’t have to go after them but I consider spending the small amount of resources to do it worth the gain.

    And Romulus, grab Remus and ABattlemap and join in the fun here. There are a lot of good players to get ideas from and we always welcome new people.



  • Thanks U-505! I am organizing with TripleA, so when I will become a decent player I and Remus ( :-D) will be available for some play by email or even on line game! 
    In regards to the IPC of Australia and New Zealand I agree with you, 4 IPC less for the UK have to be considered. Furhtermore if US player is willing to liberate them and is aimed to prepare an invading fleet to attack New Zealand and Australia (instead of pumping troops in Europe, or in Russia) I think that Japan may “unroll the red carpet”!
    I like the plan of becoming involved in Africa after about 4 turns, that are about the turn in wich Allied had completed freed it!



  • @Romulus:

    I like the plan of becoming involved in Africa after about 4 turns, that are about the turn in wich Allied had completed freed it!

    I like the idea even more with a free S. Afrikan IC.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Buying a UOSA IC is a waste



  • @AJ:

    Buyinh a UOSA IC is a waste

    Do you intend the UK IC in South Africa?

    In our games it is effective. It match the number of units sent to Afrika by Germany, and UK is able to contest the control of the southern part of Africa, while sending units in Norway and then in Russia.
    When UK or USA are able to divert a fleet from sending troop in Norway, Germany is expelled from Africa.
    Moreover we often use the German Mediterranean fleet to land INF in ukraine or in Caucasus bombarding the russian, so Africa army is not reinforced every turn.


  • 2007 AAR League

    With a UK IC in South Africa, Germany should concentrate entirely on Russia except maybe taking Egypt or T-J for the income or to kill exposed UK armor. If Germany builds a CV in sz5, you shouldn’t be seeing any serious UK landings in Europe for quite a few turns.

    Building a UK IC anywhere except Norway splits their forces and allow Germany to hold them off more easily.  And I wouldn’t even build the Norway IC unless UK was making more than 32 IPC’s, which is rare.



  • In my games usually it turns out that Japan is small potatoes compared to Germany. Germany wins the war, Japan just makes things difficult for the Allies. This has been proven by our play when Japan has been totally abandoned  by the Allies and all efforts have focused on Germany.

    That said, in my experience there are some things Japan can do to make a late game Axis victory (even if Germany is KO’ed!) a possibility. The first Japanese turn, I believe they should buy one IC and a bomber. The American fleet at Pearl harbor should be crushed. If the British fleet in India is still around, it should be crushed, and if nothing has happened to reinforce India, it should be taken as soon as possible. The Russian space above Manchuria should be annihilated, as should China. All of this should happen as soon as possible. The IC should go in French Indochina and begin one of two strategies immediately - Either shoring up against an unconquered India or, if India is conquered, begin producing tanks to push into the Caucasus, Africa, and Siberia. While this is happening, the Japanese fleets (what’s left of it) should regroup off French Indochina or Japan and begin preparing for an American presence in the Pacific. The two bombers you’ll have can switch off between supporting your ground assaults and providing an extra bit of offensive power to your navy (thank god for 6 moves, they can be everywhere!). Try to maneuver the Allied navy into an attack on your navy, where your defensive fighers and carriers will pack much more firepower than their attacking equivalents. At all times, seek to deny them of the opportunity to destroy your navy completely. Harry them further by periodically invading Alaska or Canada. All the while, keep the pressure on Russia, denying them their rear area IPCs and even strategically bombing them in order to make Germany’s job easier.

    In this fashion, I have played games where, when Germany fell, all of the Allies were still alive, and yet Japan came out of nowhere and conquered Russia, then crushed an Allied tank force in Eastern Europe. It was a monster, with over 70 IPCs and two monstrous navies. Granted, it still seemed like the Allies would eventually win, but it was truly an epic Japanese game all the same.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    An IC in S. Africa does not make much sense to me.  I prefer to unload 8 units and a fighter into Algeria on round 1.

    2 Infantry, Artillery, Armor from England
    2 Infantry, Artillery, Armor, Fighter from E. USA

    Couple this with an Infantry from T-J; 2 Infantry from India ; 1 Fighter from SZ 35 and 1 Bomber from England to Egypt (Fighter and bomber to land in Fr. Equitorial Africa or Italian Africa) and Germany is effectively out of Africa.



  • @Eschaton:

    In my games usually it turns out that Japan is small potatoes compared to Germany. Germany wins the war, Japan just makes things difficult for the Allies. This has been proven by our play when Japan has been totally abandoned  by the Allies and all efforts have focused on Germany.

    Do not underestimate Japan contribution to final victory. German is the anvil and Japan is the hammer to crush Russia!   :evil:
    As you also said Japan has to do some important task on J1: destroy USA fleet at Pearl Harbour, and conquer Buratyia and China.

    As for the J1 buying I buy 3 TRN and save 6 IPC and then Buy the IC on J2 placing it in FIC. Several posts on this forum advocated this buying, I have tested it and it works very well for me.
    Buying the IC on first turn with a bomber leaves Japan without INF for at least three whole turn, in this case Germany had really to win the war alone.
    Buying three TRN, from J2 turn and subsequent Japan  starts to land 8 INF on Asia every turn, and also builds other 3 land units in FIC. Normally on J3 or J4 another IC may be build, and everithing else may be thrown to Russia.
    Meanwhile Imperial Navy may conquer Australia and New Zealand, and then invade Africa, damaging very much the UK economy.
    Without this help from Japan, Germany alone is doomed and cannot win the war alone, repeated UK/US landing in Norway and then Western Europe will first stop German surge and then deafeat her.

    Jennifer, i normally prefere to use all my fleets to lands units in Norway, and going to drop units in Algeria on UK1 and US1 leave my US fleet out of position for invading Norway on UK2/US2. So I prefer to build the IC and start to send troops in Norway on UK1 and US2, leaving at the IC in SA the role to contest Africa. Later, when I have some TRN to spare I sent a force to Algeria to kick off completely Germany from Africa.
    Naturally this may be effective only in our games, because Germany normally ignore Africa and use Mediterranean fleet to harass russia, performing landings in Ukraina or dropping an INF in Caucasus to exploit the bombard every turn. Also for this reason UK/US are more focused on sending as soon as possible troops in Norway and then in Russia.
    The problem is… when Japan come to claim Africa and gets a free IC in SA!  :oops:
    So for the future it can be useful to swith to your strategy. How do you organize the fleet movements when you send troop in Algeria in Uk1/US1??  :?



  • What is Japan going to do with an IC in South Africa???



  • @OneShot187:

    What is Japan going to do with an IC in South Africa???

    Nothing of particularly useful but… it simply can not be leaved in UK hand! 😄


  • 2007 AAR League

    If UK builds an IC in UOSA and I’m Japan I would be pretty happy … :mrgreen:


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    The nice thing about the Algerian landing is you combine the US/UK and USSR fleets.  Then you can move your fleets from SZ 12 to SZ 6 to land in Norway on Round 2, again with your fleets merged.

    Also, if you land those units in Algeria you can always take them up to Norway if you want, or you can keep Germany from getting +9 more IPC a round.



  • Yeah, but moving USA fleet from sz12 to sz6 do not allow to transport land unit (other than the units in Algeria landed in US1). Other US unit in US2 are in North America.
    I agree with you that landing so many unit in Algeria will stop more effectively African occupation than an IC in SA, but it will cost units and tempo.
    Moreover I believe that USSR fleet (a single sub really) may not reach sz12 on R1 i f I do not miss( right now I have not the map in front of me)


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Build 3 Transports, 6 Infantry on USA 1.

    Now you have 6 Infantry in England and 2 Infantry, Artillery, Armor in Norway on USA 2.



  • I do not want to seem dumb, but, only to better understand, I was persuaded that US fleet transported 2 Infantry, 1 Artillery, and 1 Armour from EUS in Algeria on US1. So to have them in Norway I should embark them, again, and then transport them in Norway, offloading from SZ6.
    TRN and units build in US1, may hit norway in US3, not before, if I do not miss.
    As I said before I have no map at hands, right now.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    Round 1:

    USA Buys 3 Transports, 6 Infantry
    USA Invades Algeria with 2 Transports, Destroyer, 2 Infantry, Artillery, Armor, Fighter and Bomber and joins
    {England: 2 Infantry, Artillery, Armor, 2 Transports, Battleship}
    {Russia: Submarine}


    Round 2:

    USA moves the Algerians to SZ 6/Norway
    USA moves 3 Transports form SZ 10 to SZ 8
    USA moves 6 Infantry form USA to England



  • Which is, hitting Norway in US 3 🙂


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