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To many airfield slots?



  • I have play a couple of games and cannot win against the following japanese strategy:

    • Build airfield fast: one on New Georgia on turn one, two on turn two on Bougainville and Choiseul, the last on New Georgia on turn three, perhaps on turn four
    • Have a constant flow of ground units to New Georgia
    • Play defensive: Do not attack any islands, do not attack any fleet units (two exceptions: not or porly protected fleets can be attacked with air units, attack with SUBs)
    • Stay with your fleet (battleship, cruisers, DDs) in sea zone F
    • Bridge two or more AA gun to New Georgia
    • (optional) Bridge as many ART as possible to get free shots at arriving american sea units.
    • Bring two FIGs each to the airfields on New Georgia, Bougainville, Choiseul.

    The americans have now several task:

    • Get control over Santa Isabel and Malaita. Easy.
    • Build airfields as fast as the japanese to hold step on victory point. Four airfields can build easily.
    • From round three or four on: damage one airfield or sink one capital ship in each round to hold step on victory points. Tricky, because the japanese player can bring additional supply tokens to each airfield; capital ships are well protected. You need luck to fulfill these. I see at the moment no strategy to do these constantly (I have some good experience with a heavy sub build, concentrating subs in sea zone G/I and attacking japanese fleet and CV at the same time as I attacked New Georgia heavy).
    • Damage/sink two airfields and/or capital ships in one round to win. Very tricky.
    • Get control over an island to get control over an additional airfield.

    The last point is my eyes a problem too.
    To get control over an airfield you have completely wipe out all japanese ground units on an island. This should be in round three to five, after these rounds the japanese should have enough supply tokens on islands to repair all airfields and win with five airfields vs. four.
    The best point to invade is from sea zone G as second player. In that case the japanese have to split ground forces to secure both New Georgia and Choiseul. Unfortunately the sea zones J and G are not connected, I can’t see any amphibic assault force big enough to wipe out all defenders in one turn. I think it must be in one turn, because the american supply line will be broken by have so many trannys in zone G, so that the japanese can bring reinforcment faster then the US player.

    This means the attack can be only at New Georgia via sea zone I. Well, let’s have a look:
    The japanese have the advantage of shorter supply lines. They need three tranny flotillas: Two switching playes between Rabaul/sea zone B, one stays in sea zone F and bridge ground units from Choiseul to New Georgia. The imperial navy stays in zone F, too.
    The americans need four tranny groups, shuttle between New Georgia/Guadalcanal and Guadalcanal/New Caledonia.
    Two AA gun on New Georgia combined with six FIGs from the islands around zone F and four FIGs from CV in sea zone B form an deadly umbrella over New Georgia and zone F. Use the bomber for additional ground combat in case of american attack on New Georgia.
    The ART on New Georgia (three or more) have free shots to the US navy. We have good (or should I say: bad) experience for aiming the US cruisers.

    I can’t see enough fire power from the american player to completely wipe out all japanese forces on New Georgia up to round five. After that … you remember: japanese supply tokens to repair damaged airfield …

    I also can’t see to bring three supply tokens and enough ground units on rounds one or two to New Georgia to use the airfield slot. After that round it should be to late, the japanese have build their fifth airfield.

    That all bring me to one conclusion: The second airfield slot on New Georgia bring the game out of balance.

    Any suggestions or ideas?

    Croggyl


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    First off. If the Japanese are moving on New Georgia turn 1 you will be able to take Santa Isabel with less units. The New Georgia airfield will only be their second and the US will build their second on Guadalcanal making things even. With taking two supplies from the Japanese on G’canal you only need 1 additional to build a field on Malaitia or Santa Isabel. This should give you twenty points of reinforcement to deal with taking the New Georgia strip.

    On turn 1 US reinforces with new transport and troops group and the addtional supply to build a field on Malaitia. They also get supplies to deploy units directly to the board from your base. Especially if Japan does not.

    I’ve been getting a Carrier and deploying directly to the board but in the case of an Air Field on New Georgia a Cruiser is probably a better option. Garrison Santa Isabel or not at all and move HARD on New Georgia. If they put that airfield within reach you must take it from them. They should not be able to repel a determined assault AND get ahead of you building other airfields.

    Dice will be dice of course but you should be able to keep pace with land units until you can assault his fleet which is in range of 4 bombers by turn 3.

    I do not have a board but frankly this sounds like an ideal situation for the US.


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    Okay I got the board out and I think you make a good point that this is a tough strat to crack for the US. They will have a slight edge at New Georgia if they make a commitment to keep it. I think though that the US has to hit it with everything they can muster on turn 2 even at abandoning Santa Isabel.

    I figure that it could be close enough to even at New Georgia to turn that land battle into the pivotal battle of the game. If the US doesn’t contest that opening move like there is no tomorrow, well there isn’t one.

    I think the best bet for the US is too just get one additonal supply on turn 1 and keep maybe a Destroyer back at base to deliver it to Malaitia. The two J supplies from G’canal can be taken to Malaitia via the TRN from base that brought two units from base to Malaitia turn 1.

    The US has 12 units (6 INF and 6 RTL) on board that can reach NG on US 2 (depending on G’canal casaulties) while the J’s have 14 (10 INF, 4 RTL) If the J’s go strictly supplies and ships for two airfields on Turn 2 the US can get even on the ground at New Georgia for what the J’s will spend on supplies.

    5 Supplies for 10 points, 3 TRNs for 6 for 16 points. The US can get 2 supplies, 2 TRN and 4 INF for 12 and be able to get slightly ahead on the ground. If both fleets consolidate US in I and/or G and in zone F for the J’s it will be even again because of the additional Cruisers for Japan.

    I guess the US has the choice to wait and try to maneuver or fight the even battle. With the extra reinforcement points the US can get an AC and get more FTRs into the battle from base or get a Cruiser for the extra land attack or just 2 TRN, 4 INF for its last 8 to come in further down the road.

    Certainly a tough call. 😐



  • @frimmel:

    […]

    I guess the US has the choice to wait and try to maneuver or fight the even battle. With the extra reinforcement points the US can get an AC and get more FTRs into the battle from base or get a Cruiser for the extra land attack or just 2 TRN, 4 INF for its last 8 to come in further down the road.

    […]

    Every turn later the J’s will have more ART and AA gun on New Georgia that will make the arrival of ships dangerous and give additional dices to the air battle. Tough, indeed. 😐

    Perhaps a concentration in sea zone G on turn 2 and a surprising combined DD/air attack on third round (US is second player) into sea zone B against the CV will be an option. I will try this out …


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    I haven’t played against or tried this strat myself so I don’t know how the toe-to-toe route will work out. Frankly I have no idea what the battlebox is going to do as far as dice. I’ve pulled that thing out and seen nothing on all twelve, hit five sub shots in a row my second game, seen more than enough hits but they were all from 7 to 12 when I only rolled 5. The only thing I can come up with as far as determining what to bring to a fight is– A LOT.

    I think the trouble is that turn 2 the US is first. To go after the J fleet in zone G they have the choice to run or engage and you would leave any Transports you were bringing up vulnerable if J runs from you. That could still leave you behind on the ground even if you defeat enough Navy.

    I would be curious how your next game goes.


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    What do you think of a US air attack on the J fleet if they move into zone G on turn 1?

    It would be four fighters only though. And J would be able to counter with five (four off the ACs from base and 1 from Bougainville) fighters and would have guns from a couple of cruisers. Probably not the best idea.

    Although since J would move fighters first it might be okay if they don’t cover ships in that zone.

    Which zone has J been landing from on turn 1?



  • @frimmel:

    […]

    I think the trouble is that turn 2 the US is first. To go after the J fleet in zone G they have the choice to run or engage and you would leave any Transports you were bringing up vulnerable if J runs from you. That could still leave you behind on the ground even if you defeat enough Navy.

    I would be curious how your next game goes.

    I don’t want to attack the fleet in zone G in turn 2. In the second turn I would attack New Georgia via sea zone G, the japanese stay in sea zone F so far.
    The naval attack that I have in mind is in turn 3: US is seond player, moves loaded trannys from zone J to I to continue attack, moves (empty) transport from zone G back to H, followed by all navy except the DDs. The japanese navy should stay in zone F. They need to secure their supply line from Choiseul to New Georgia. If they move to zone I to attack the trannys without naval escort, then the US is free to counterattack the japanese trannys in sea zone F.
    Ok, back to the DDs. US is second player and can move all (five) DDs into zone B, followed by heavy air. Could be the game winning move when sink one or more carrier.

    I’m curious for the next game(s) too. This evening …

    And for the first turn attack on japanese navy at zone G - I have learned (hard earned experience, these one) that an air-only attack to a air-protected navy is only a good move if the air shield is thin and I have many own aircraft: The ships will have a free shot on my air units, and if I have no or only some aircrafts left after that, the enemy navy will not suffer many losses. Could be a game winning move when hit and sink a capital ship, but these ships are generally well defended.

    In case of the first turn the japanese in zone G will have one more FIG and ground support, an attack would be suicidal. On the other hand an attack to New Georgia via air (if not protected from japanese aircrafts) is something completely different … 🙂



  • Im just throwing this out there, I havent played enough to know for sure, but if the Japs invest heavily into airfields and supplies, the equal and opposite maneuver would be for the Yanks to go all units. If NG has an airfield on the first turn, and they are spending even more on trannies and supply for more airfields, the Yanks should have a good shot at taking NG for themselves no (assuming you go with all unit purchases)?

    In the game I played as the Japs, I was in seazone G the whole game, from there you can defend everything you need to.


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    @Shr3dZ:

    Im just throwing this out there, I havent played enough to know for sure, but if the Japs invest heavily into airfields and supplies, the equal and opposite maneuver would be for the Yanks to go all units. If NG has an airfield on the first turn, and they are spending even more on trannies and supply for more airfields, the Yanks should have a good shot at taking NG for themselves no (assuming you go with all unit purchases)?

    In the game I played as the Japs, I was in seazone G the whole game, from there you can defend everything you need to.

    That is what my gut tells me to do as well.

    It was just that looking at the board and mentally moving pieces it looks like the best either side really will be able to do is stay even if it becomes all about New Georgia. With J taking the early lead in points it will come down to killing a capital ship to get back to even or two to win like Croggyl posits. I haven’t played a lot of games myself and my last two opponents I had just taught. I’m not sure how to tip the scales to the US favor if the Axis strat Croggyl describes works like I think.

    Each of my games so far had a nearly dead even battle and at least one you had to fight even though you’d be a couple of dice behind. I’m eager to hear about Croggyl’s next game.

    Has anyone seen just one side winning every time?



  • No the game is generally balanced and our games have been generally been very close and split. Most of the Japanese opponents I have faced and when I am them are usually more aggressive than the strategy Croggyl offers up. Even trying to reinforce Guadalcanal. It would be difficult to break Japan if they employed that strategy.

    I would send my fleet to dislodge them from sea zone F, at all costs, if they are busy with buying supplies, I would counter with ships. Airplanes be darned! They seem to be more dangerous to other airplanes more than to ships, so air superiority over F (with some dice luck) I would not worry about…too much. Make the IJN fight you or retreat. May the dice gods be with you.

    Frankly this is why we don’t really play with VP’s anymore, we keep track of them and the “victor” takes note but we fight till all islands are captured (except base cards) or till mental/ physical exhaustion.  😉



  • I have been wondering how effective this Japanese strategy would proove over time.  If the Japanese hunker down for a straight 5 v. 4 airfield victory, then there appear to be three American options that need to be explored.  First, can the Americans capture New Georgia after the first airfield has been built?  If the Japanese are building airfields as fast as they can, can the US player afford to buy enough planes and soldiers to win New Georgia?  Second, can the US player bomb the airfields enough to shave Japanese points.  The Japanese player needs to not just build the airfields, but also additional supply tokens to keep them operational.  Finally, if the Japanese player becomes too defensive, can he risk losing Choiseul instead of New Georgia?  This is the key to the game, I believe.  Generally I don’t see Bougainville, Malaita or Guadalcanal in play.  The fight is really won or lost on the three middle islands, Santa Isabel, Choiseul and New Gerogia.  If the Japanese sell out on New Georgia too much, Choiseul may fall to the US.  And if the US sells out on attempting to capture New Georgia too much, Santa Isabel may fall.

    I think it is clear the US player has a solid strategy in turn 1 to take Guadalcanal, Malaita and Santa Isabel.  Their supply lines are short and bases may be constructed quickly.  Also, the US player can occupy the bases with bombers more readily than the Japanese player.  These points need to be exploited by the US player.  It is realistic that the US player can go after New Georgia on turn 2.  Logistically, both players are the same distance away.  However, by a quirk of the board geometry, the US player needs more transports to supply New Georgia, giving the Japanese player an advantage there.

    In my current playtesting, I am looking at an opening round fight for Santa Isabel.  I hope to look at the possibilities of this Japanese strategy after that, because I noticed the same thing.  If the Japanese fleet holes up in Sea Zone F, what are the Americans going to do about that?  One thing I have noticed is that the battle box appears to create much more random results than AAR system does.


  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    Generally I don’t see Bougainville, Malaita or Guadalcanal in play. The fight is really won or lost on the three middle islands, Santa Isabel, Choiseul and New Gerogia.

    Agreed. I think though that if the Axis build on NG turn 1 then S. Isabel is forfeit to try and take NG for the Allies.

    One thing I have noticed is that the battle box appears to create much more random results than AAR system does.

    The battlebox is certainly what lends me to be a little quicker to engage in a battle I may be a few dice behind on. While you aren’t always reading all the results you are rolling 12 dice every time. It seems that subs hit way more often than in revised despite having the same combat value because there are so many dice being rolled.

    My statistics aren’t very good but it seems the odds of getting a hit aren’t really 1 of 3 but slightly better. There are 12 1 of 3 chances and then a 1 in 12 chance of one of those being in the right slot.

    So far anything goes with the Battlebox.  🙂

    So is anyone seeing a lot of big Naval engagements with all of the fleets and all of the air forces?



  • @frimmel:

    So is anyone seeing a lot of big Naval engagements with all of the fleets and all of the air forces?

    Every game so far, my friends are all A&A vets and are very often aggressive, In one game the Japanese reinforced Guadalcanal at the same time US forces were invading Bougainvilla. Usually turn 2 and 3 some large naval battle has occured or two small ones.

    Aggressive moves lend themselves to massive big battles, which this game has. Airpower seems less dangerous to ships in this game thus most of my friends don’t even sweat being down in the die count in these battles.

    Frankly if Japan stayed in Sea Zone F the US player would go looking for him and disregard the air cover. Of course he might lose too  😉



  • @Shr3dZ:

    Im just throwing this out there, I havent played enough to know for sure, but if the Japs invest heavily into airfields and supplies, the equal and opposite maneuver would be for the Yanks to go all units. If NG has an airfield on the first turn, and they are spending even more on trannies and supply for more airfields, the Yanks should have a good shot at taking NG for themselves no (assuming you go with all unit purchases)?

    […]

    Have tried these unit heavy approach. Bought only one token, fall behind VP from second turn on. Attack New Georgia heavy: Lost three land units, one cruiser, several air units before land attack, and attacked with 25 or 26 dices against 25 japanese.

    Was lucky with my two subs, could get one CV. Was more lucky with the japanese counter attack via air to my carriers - lost only the defending DDs.

    Regardless of some disastrous dices (not controlled Santa Isabel on first turn; four japanese ART hit three ships on amphibic assault to New Georgia; 24 japanese dices hit 12 times) I got so much land units to New Georgia that I failed the control of the island only about one point. With normal dices I could get control of New Georgia. But is that enough? No! You have to eliminate all japanese ground units before get control over the airfield, and I didn’t come close to that.

    My clonclusion so far: If the japanese bunkered on New Georgia, no land victory is possible (normal dices).

    Perhaps I will try an air based assault to the japanese airfields in next game, with an amphibious assault to New Georgia only for bind the air above this island and the japanese navy.

    If the japanese act as I described above, I see these scenario:

    Should be possible to get four fully loaded carriers with the US navy to sea zone I and four additional FIGs to the airfields on Santa Isabel and Guadalcanal to protect the fleet. Attack in the third round as second player and attack the two airfield on Bougainville with eight fighters. These airfields should not protected except with one AA gun, at these moment the japanese have to protect to many objectives: New Georgia themselve and two flotillas.

    Protect the US fleet in zone I with the four FIGs from Guadalcanal and Santa Isabel, if needed. If not, save these FIGs four next turn, perhaps attack japanese navy in sea zone B (the japanese carrier group should be there) if not protected.

    With some luck both airfields could be damaged. Will perhaps instantly repaired from the supply tokens that the japanese player might have in game right now, but with that tokens the fifth airfield on New Georgia will not build.

    With some more luck the battleship and the cruiser in sea zone I can damaged one more airfield on New Georgia. Than the japanese should lose some air units because of missing landing slots.

    Do not landing any ground units on that turn! They will be only cannon fodder. Fall back on turn four, bring four bombers to your airfields, replace any loss of FIG. Attack New Georgia again on turn five. Same procedure with the FIGs, additional attack with the bombers. Bomber from Malaita and Guadalcanal can reach Choiseul or sea zone B to attack airfield and/or carriers. Could be a good move to attack Choiseul (suicidal) with four bombers to bind japanese FIGs there.

    Could be possible to hold position in the VP run or take the lead. Could buy some time for perhaps some US subs, that can be added to the plot for sinking of the japanese carriers.

    Of course the japanese could decide to re-attack the amphibic force in zone I, but then I would return my own carriers to New Caledonia for better protection and put all naval and air unit in that attack. Should be all navy, 12 FIGs and five BMR. Sounds good … 😉

    Of course the japanese can try to protect the airfields with additional FIGs, but this will bring a gap on other places.

    Of course the japanese can attack the CVs in zone I with their subs, but such thing happens: The american navy have to risk their carriers near Midway and lost one, if I remember right, but the reward …

    We will see … 🙂


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