AARe: Japan too weak?



  • I’ve been playing AARe face to face with some friends for a while now, and I’m starting to think Japan is too weak.

    In AAR, Japans strength lies in it’s ability to expand quickly and get up to an income level high enough to match US Pacific fleet purchases. If the US spends all it’s money countering Japan, then Germany has much less to worry about, and with luck can hold Africa for an extended period of time.

    In AARe, a select few movements by Russia and Britain (Stack Bury, inf to Sink, Kwan tranny, possibly Sol Sub and Borneo), coupled with the Non-Agression treaty, and solid naval NAs for America, pretty much ensure that Japan has no chance for early expansion, and thus cannot stop the US from gaining a naval advantage and taking the Island territories.

    Of the last four games played, three have been Allied victories where Japan had lost all it’s Island income. Japan is usually outnumbered navally by round 4. The US can throw it’s fleet away in a suicidal attack and still win the game, since the US can afford to replace it’s fleet losses while the Japanese cannot. This is especially true if Britain built an India or Australia IC, since Britain can then follow up with attacks on Japanese islands before Japan even gets a chance to respond to the US attack the previous round.

    I’m almost of the opinon that the Non-Aggression treaty should be revised or eliminated. I think it hamstrings the Japanese so much that not only is it extremely difficult to win, but it is also not much fun to play…I know my friends and I have been dreading being stuck with Japan when we bid, and bids have been edging upwards over these last few games.

    Thoughts?



  • @Aretaku:

    I’ve been playing AARe face to face with some friends for a while now, and I’m starting to think Japan is too weak.

    A KJF allied game plan in Revised is also a very powerful strategy.  It is just more difficult to run compared to a KGF.  In Enhanced, KJF is more doable for USA, however it’s not unstoppable, IMHO.

    In Revised, generally its the Germans who get whooped up on, so many players do not have alot of experience in playing a conservative Japan which must focus on only one of two goals.  It can not be a naval AND an Asia ground force power when much allied pressure is put on them.  This is true in both Enhanced AND Revised.

    @Aretaku:

    In AAR, Japans strength lies in it’s ability to expand quickly and get up to an income level high enough to match US Pacific fleet purchases. If the US spends all it’s money countering Japan, then Germany has much less to worry about, and with luck can hold Africa for an extended period of time.

    I concur as I’ve typed above

    @Aretaku:

    In AARe, a select few movements by Russia and Britain (Stack Bury, inf to Sink, Kwan tranny, possibly Sol Sub and Borneo), coupled with the Non-Agression treaty, and solid naval NAs for America, pretty much ensure that Japan has no chance for early expansion, and thus cannot stop the US from gaining a naval advantage and taking the Island territories.

    I’m almost of the opinon that the Non-Aggression treaty should be revised or eliminated. I think it hamstrings the Japanese so much that not only is it extremely difficult to win, but it is also not much fun to play…I know my friends and I have been dreading being stuck with Japan when we bid, and bids have been edging upwards over these last few games.

    For every action (strong allied pressure on Japan) there is an equal re-action (less pressure on Germany).  In Enhanced, Germany is the real Bear.  But the German player must do more with less allied pressure than just buy inf and tanks as a ground unit push by Germany is relatively easy to contain for a long enough time for Japan to be taken out of the game.

    The German player needs to think of innovative ways to keep the allies honest if they pressure Japan hard.  A Strong Atlantic navy is a great way to do this. Keep UK on threat of being amphibiously assaulted, force great losses with convoy raids that force defensive buys for the allied atlantic fleet.  Germany can invest in rocket technology to slow UK and Russia enough to overpower their ground forces once a dominant navy is in the atlantic.  You can also assist Japan via shared techs of jet power (3 loaded Jap carriers with six fives are hard to sink) or super subs.  In Enhanced, the shoe can be on the other Axis foot… Germany must take the pressure off Japan instead of the other way around that is often seen in Revised.

    Learn to play a very conservative Japan.  Do not try to do too much as to conserve all your units.  Japan needs to hold 4 VCs once the German Bear has knocked down the Kremlins doors.

    The Non-argession treaty also can help Japan to keep Russia from moving in on the Japanese asian territories.  Concentrate on building an unstoppable IJN.  Take two naval national advantages.  Kaitens are helpful with their reduced cost.

    Yes, Japan can be tough to play in Enhanced.  But a shift in philosophy when playing them can help the axis win when played properly.



  • I agree with Axis Roll. You should play a conservative Japan, the same thing you would do in KJF in Revised. Both sides are stronger, Japan has some interesting NAs up its sleeve and so does the US with nas/convoy raiding, but the basic remains the same.

    He’s spot on with Germany being the bear. You have a huge incentive to keep a large German navy (convoy raiding the UK), and if you keep that up with large gains in Africa, you might be able to run over both UK/Russia.

    For Japan, they have great ways to play conservative. Banzai infantry gives your land war much needed firepower/flexibility, you can use less fighters than normal and worry less about picket inf + aa guns. +1 dice point to a cheap unit is a very powerful bonus (yeah lasts one round, but that is often the most important round, and when you think about it most battles don’t last more than 1-2 rounds anyways). Kaitens gives you some much needed naval fodder, and in case those carriers aren’t reinforced, then it’s time to give the American’s a huge headache by suiciding into them. I would probably pick those two NAs. Banzai to break through the land war, Kaitens to give you cheap naval fodder.

    I would also at some point consider going with lots of heavy bombers. That really keeps the US honest, because it is a very hard unit to counter navally speaking. Between cheap subs and heavy bombers, you could tie up the American’s navy for a while. Then hopefully Germany is going nuts, and if it isn’t doing well, then hopefully it’s more of a dice issue or a strategic mistake, and if it’s neither of those, then it’s just time to up the bid.

    The hardest part I think in AARE is that the US can conduct convoy raids on Japan; this really encourages a big sub strategy using naval industry/reinforced carriers. But on the flip side, Germany can convoy raid UK. You have to adjust to AARE’s ruleset, because it’s designed not to be exactly like AAR. German navy + victory cities are the biggest things to keep in mind, because those are the things that give the Allies headaches they didn’t in Revised.



  • @axis_roll:

    For every action (strong allied pressure on Japan) there is an equal re-action (less pressure on Germany).

    But as I stated, it takes only a few simple moves, and no additional resources on the part of Russia and Britain, to hamstring Japan and leave the door open for America. Any additional spending by Britain or Russia against Japan after that is merely icing on the cake.

    In Enhanced, Germany is the real Bear.  But the German player must do more with less allied pressure than just buy inf and tanks as a ground unit push by Germany is relatively easy to contain for a long enough time for Japan to be taken out of the game.

    The German player needs to think of innovative ways to keep the allies honest if they pressure Japan hard.  A Strong Atlantic navy is a great way to do this. Keep UK on threat of being amphibiously assaulted, force great losses with convoy raids that force defensive buys for the allied atlantic fleet.  Germany can invest in rocket technology to slow UK and Russia enough to overpower their ground forces once a dominant navy is in the atlantic.  You can also assist Japan via shared techs of jet power (3 loaded Jap carriers with six fives are hard to sink) or super subs.  In Enhanced, the shoe can be on the other Axis foot… Germany must take the pressure off Japan instead of the other way around that is often seen in Revised.

    So if Germany is spending all this money on fleet and tech, how are they making ANY progress against Russia? Russia has no Japanese front to worry about if America is bringing heavy pressure against Japan

    Learn to play a very conservative Japan.  Do not try to do too much as to conserve all your units.  Japan needs to hold 4 VCs once the German Bear has knocked down the Kremlins doors.

    The Non-argession treaty also can help Japan to keep Russia from moving in on the Japanese asian territories.

    I’ve seen a three power attack (US from Sink, Russia from Bury, UK from India) easily sweep aside all Japanese mainland resistance.

    This is especially true if any additional efforts were geared towards Japan (Siberian conscripts, British India factory, US Sink factory, heavy airforce deployment)

    Concentrate on building an unstoppable IJN.  Take two naval national advantages.  Kaitens are helpful with their reduced cost.

    Yes, Japan can be tough to play in Enhanced.  But a shift in philosophy when playing them can help the axis win when played properly.

    @Bean:

    I agree with Axis Roll. You should play a conservative Japan, the same thing you would do in KJF in Revised. Both sides are stronger, Japan has some interesting NAs up its sleeve and so does the US with nas/convoy raiding, but the basic remains the same.

    He’s spot on with Germany being the bear. You have a huge incentive to keep a large German navy (convoy raiding the UK), and if you keep that up with large gains in Africa, you might be able to run over both UK/Russia.

    I’ve yet to see a game where Germany can keep up with BOTH the UK navy and the Soviet army…even with convoy raids

    For Japan, they have great ways to play conservative. Banzai infantry gives your land war much needed firepower/flexibility

    It’s also nearly useless unless you’re planning on a ground war in Asia, which cedes your Island income to US/UK

    you can use less fighters than normal and worry less about picket inf + aa guns. +1 dice point to a cheap unit is a very powerful bonus (yeah lasts one round, but that is often the most important round, and when you think about it most battles don’t last more than 1-2 rounds anyways). Kaitens gives you some much needed naval fodder, and in case those carriers aren’t reinforced, then it’s time to give the American’s a huge headache by suiciding into them.

    I would probably pick those two NAs. Banzai to break through the land war, Kaitens to give you cheap naval fodder.

    I don’t see how Japan can afford to split it’s focus, especially considering it’s lack of ability to expand…they only have so many IPCs to work with, and are often already in the hole if Borneo went badly.

    I would also at some point consider going with lots of heavy bombers. That really keeps the US honest, because it is a very hard unit to counter navally speaking.

    They also can’t help defend your fleet, and cost more than Japan can really afford, and that’s without needing 4-6 tech dice.

    Between cheap subs and heavy bombers, you could tie up the American’s navy for a while.

    What stops America from splitting it’s fleet? The bombers can only reach so far, and subs alone cannot do much to a fleet unless they have a significant advanatage in numbers.

    As I said…America can afford heavy losses, Japan cannot.

    Then hopefully Germany is going nuts, and if it isn’t doing well, then hopefully it’s more of a dice issue or a strategic mistake, and if it’s neither of those, then it’s just time to up the bid.

    I’m seeing a 9 to 11 IPC bid in recent games…and it still isn’t enough.

    The hardest part I think in AARE is that the US can conduct convoy raids on Japan; this really encourages a big sub strategy using naval industry/reinforced carriers. But on the flip side, Germany can convoy raid UK.

    The US can raid Japan without fear, since there is no credible threat to US income.

    Germany cannot raid UK without fear, since a heavy fleet gives the Russians a free hand.

    You have to adjust to AARE’s ruleset, because it’s designed not to be exactly like AAR. German navy + victory cities are the biggest things to keep in mind, because those are the things that give the Allies headaches they didn’t in Revised.

    Germany’s only real chance to gain VCs is against Russia. How can this be achieved if they go heavy on fleet, especially since Russia has no credible second front to worry about?

    Japan’s only real chance to gain VCs is HAW and AUS…both of which can be easily defended by the US.

    Even if Japan ignores the US and goes full ground against Russia, parking a fleet in SZ 60, the US simply builds ICs in the Islands once taken and starts harrassing the Japanese coast.

    I agree that Japan must play conservative…but I fail to see how doing so gains the VCs necessary to win, especially since you both advocate Germany splitting it’s focus onto two fronts, making it that much more difficult to make a significant breakthrough.



  • AARe’s rules and VCs make the game very different.
    Allies has to do something about Japan because of the Pacific VCs.

    If 9-11 IPC isn’t enough for you, let Axis_roll show you a few tricks.
    He is an experienced AARe player.

    Play against him.
    Or observe his (and others) AARe games in the play by forum section.

    I think Axis_roll once said bids are more in the order of 4 IPC.



  • Germany can afford the navy and tech over several rounds because they will basiscally be making upper $40’s in IPCs very quickly.

    I’m assuming that UK is NOT going after AES UK1 or else Japan should have a much easier time taking India.  This should allow Germany to start grabbing african cash very quickly, should be gone by G3.

    A bid of 6 should allow Germany to take and hold AES, giving them a quick boost in cash very early in the game.

    With a push early on to Russia (even trading units at a loss to bleed Russia), Germany can easily afford several subs rounds 1-3.  Round 3-4 should be a good time to determine tech needs if any.

    What is the Axis doing with a bid of 9?  If Japan is so badly hurting, I hope it’s going to Japan in some fashion like 3 inf in FIC or a transport in East Indies/Carolines.  Remember, a Japan under pressure should focus on only one thing and do that extremely well:  Asian armies or Imperial Japanese Navy.

    Japan also should not be that afraid of breaking the treaty on their terms, even if they do not win the battle that breaks the treaty.



  • @axis_roll:

    Germany can afford the navy and tech over several rounds because they will basiscally be making upper $40’s in IPCs very quickly.

    Which they need to build ground units to pound on Russia, I’d say.  If you blow IPCs on tech and navy with Germany, it had better be to Sea Lion London, and you had better win.  Well, that’s my position.

    I’m assuming that UK is NOT going after AES UK1 or else Japan should have a much easier time taking India.  This should allow Germany to start grabbing african cash very quickly, should be gone by G3.  If UK can’t crack Anglo-Egypt on UK1 (assuming Germany took it on G1), then UK should probably attack Borneo.  Or whatever that 4 IPC island is that has 1 inf on it.  The Allies, if going KGF, can always unite off Algeria on G2 with US tanks and storm through Africa, retaking it quickly.  Admittedly, Germany will get lots of IPCs for a while.

    But either way, I don’t think India falls that quickly.  On J1, your infantry is probably going to Ssinkiang; on J2, your transport build from J1 reaches French Indochina.  Only by J3 do you have a pretty sure lock on taking India without losing it right away.

    A bid of 6 should allow Germany to take and hold AES, giving them a quick boost in cash very early in the game.

    With a push early on to Russia (even trading units at a loss to bleed Russia), Germany can easily afford several subs rounds 1-3.  Round 3-4 should be a good time to determine tech needs if any.

    WAT?  “Several subs” for Germany on rounds 1-3?  omg, the heresy!

    What is the Axis doing with a bid of 9?  If Japan is so badly hurting, I hope it’s going to Japan in some fashion like 3 inf in FIC or a transport in East Indies/Carolines.  Remember, a Japan under pressure should focus on only one thing and do that extremely well:  Asian armies or Imperial Japanese Navy.

    3 inf in FIC is the turbo India Japan plan, which I use sometimes but haven’t seen with other players yet.  More usual with bid of 9 is the stricture that only one unit can be placed per territory, making for 1 infantry in Libya and 1 tank in Algeria, allowing added units to Anglo-Egypt on G1, allowing Germany to hold Anglo-Egypt past UK1.

    Japan also should not be that afraid of breaking the treaty on their terms, even if they do not win the battle that breaks the treaty.

    Wat treaty?  Agh, you are playing with those National Advantages!  Agh!



  • @Aretaku:

    I’ve been playing AARe face to face with some friends for a while now, and I’m starting to think Japan is too weak.

    It isn’t Japan that is weak, but the Axis as a whole.  Japan by itself isn’t horrible.  Yes, u heard me.

    In AAR, Japans strength lies in it’s ability to expand quickly and get up to an income level high enough to match US Pacific fleet purchases. If the US spends all it’s money countering Japan, then Germany has much less to worry about, and with luck can hold Africa for an extended period of time.

    Oh yeah, that fast expansion and a high income level.  The fact that Japan starts with 2 battleships 2 carriers 1 destroyer 1 transport (assume UK attacks on UK1) 6 fighters 1 bomber is really no big deal, especially when matched against the AWESEOME US starting 1 battleship 1 transport 3 fighter 1 bomber.  CLEARLY, Japan is suxx0rz.

    No, okay, in all seriousness - No.  A great deal of Japan’s strength is in the units it starts with.  Japan has to make the most of its starting units and not blow a lot of IPCs on stupid things like industrial complexes.  Seriously.

    In AARe, a select few movements by Russia and Britain (Stack Bury, inf to Sink, Kwan tranny, possibly Sol Sub and Borneo), coupled with the Non-Agression treaty, and solid naval NAs for America, pretty much ensure that Japan has no chance for early expansion, and thus cannot stop the US from gaining a naval advantage and taking the Island territories.

    Well excuse me, but if you are playing NAs then the whole game is a frickin wash because of no-brainer Superfortresses.  Well shoot, Superfortresses and Colonial Garrison/Radar and that god-frickin awful Lend-Lease Act, and . . . well, it’s pretty disgusting.  Just dump the NAs already for god’s sake.  Panzerblitz is good, Banzai is tolerable, but honestly . . . just dump the frickin NAs for god’s sake.  If you MUST have NAs, figure out how to balance it with a hella fat bid or maybe use nerfed Larry Harris NAs.

    Yeah, if you’re using NAs, then Japan isn’t great, but it still isn’t bad.  Build 3 transports 1 tank on J1 standard, and wait to see where the US puts its buy.  If it’s in the Pacific, then start buying a few fighters.  You can still expand in Asia, frankly.  You have a buttload of air, use it until you have to pull it west.  You don’t have to do much until the US starts messing with the 4 IPC islands.

    Of the last four games played, three have been Allied victories where Japan had lost all it’s Island income. Japan is usually outnumbered navally by round 4.

    Look, if you’re seeing a train coming at you, step off the tracks.  Same thing - if you see the US coming at you with a big naval hard-on, you should have started buying fighters on J2.  There is NO WAY Japan’s navy and air force should go down by round 4.  By round 4, US might have more units on the board, but US has to move those units west before they can do anything useful - by which time Japan should have even more fighters.

    The US can throw it’s fleet away in a suicidal attack and still win the game, since the US can afford to replace it’s fleet losses while the Japanese cannot. This is especially true if Britain built an India or Australia IC, since Britain can then follow up with attacks on Japanese islands before Japan even gets a chance to respond to the US attack the previous round.

    If Britain started with Colonial Garrison, it is hella hard to crack India.  So start with a nice big fat bid.

    I’m almost of the opinon that the Non-Aggression treaty should be revised or eliminated. I think it hamstrings the Japanese so much that not only is it extremely difficult to win, but it is also not much fun to play…I know my friends and I have been dreading being stuck with Japan when we bid, and bids have been edging upwards over these last few games.

    Thoughts?

    Non-Aggression treaty is almost the LEAST broken of the Allied NAs.  Honestly, you let me have Out of the Box Superfortresses, I will make you cry.  If you give me Lend-Lease, I will actually make you throw up.  Yes, I am a cruel, cruel owl.

    Basically, you want whatever bid that will allow you to get India on J3.  J1 build transports and do Pearl, J2 drop units off in French Indochina and fly all air there, J3 hit with everything.  US can hit some low IPC islands by there, but you can move east on J4.

    The tricky thing is that the Allies can pull out of India before J3, let Japan take on J3, then counter, since Japan’s fighters can’t land in India on J3.  If the Allies DO recapture India right before J4, then Japan’s screwed, because it’s just about that time that Japan has to pull the fighters off to start help defending the islands.  So you need a LOT OF GROUND in India to hold it.  A LOT.  Keep this in mind when you bid.

    It wouldn’t hurt to give Japan Long Range Aircraft to start with either.  Frankly, I would insist on it.



  • New Paint Brush:

    This is Enhanced we are talking about… From your posts, it does not appear that you noticed that.

    The NAs in Enhanced are TOTALLY different.

    Please comment on the appropriate rule set.



  • @axis_roll:

    New Paint Brush:

    This is Enhanced we are talking about… From your posts, it does not appear that you noticed that.

    The NAs in Enhanced are TOTALLY different.

    Please comment on the appropriate rule set.

    Hellz no, I didn’t notice.  All I saw was “AARe” in the OP, meaning, I assumed, Axis and Allies Revised, which COINCIDENTALLY is also what this board is for.  I assumed that Axis and Allies Enhanced would be in the “Other Axis & Allies Variants” board.

    OMG!   :roll:

    I mean, yeah, a lot of times I’m not having the same conversation as anyone else in the room, but usually it’s because I’m doing it deliberately, or maybe because I just don’t care.  But this time, yeah, I really didn’t know wat happened, lolz.

    (shakes warning finger) I blame you for this!  All of you!  bad!

    As far as learning Axis and Allies Enhanced - well, I hear a lot of positive reviews, but my stance is that I will only learn editions that I will be able to easily find people to play with.  Since Enhanced isn’t on TripleA, and since I don’t have a lot of FTF opponents, I won’t use Enhanced, as good as it may be.  😉  (I don’t even know the first thing about Enhanced, really)



  • I think Axis Roll is right, you don’t have to majorly invest in navies or split actions with Germany/Japan, Aretaku.

    All Germany has to do is build 1 carrier on G1, and slowly add a sub per round while looking at the UK’s response. It’s even cheaper if you use wolfpacks. The UK should have a horrendous time, because they are going to be immensely divided - they have to first field a navy that’s defensively more powerful than what Germany can bring (and Germany can bring a lot with divebombers/wolfpacks), but simultaneously worry about getting into Africa because they are losing a lot of income there. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the German navy is further bleeding their income, up to $8 per round. So UK has to liberate Africa, defeat the German navy, and get troops to Europe all by itself without US assistance. That is going to be tough with such a small income, if not impossible due to also having to maintain an IC out in Aus/India. Each $7 sub that Germany adds is a $9-$10 destroyer that the UK has to match, and that $7 sub is also bleeding income at the same time. And that $10 destroyer isn’t helping you liberate Africa unless you then also spend some time teching, more money not directly overcoming the German navy.

    And with Japan, I would almost certainly focus on the land war, because Japan needs some income to counter the US’s convoy raiding and natural high income. Japan’s navy can hold out defensively for a few rounds, giving you time to dump lots of Banzai onto the mainland. By the time Japan needs to add more navy, then it has most likely broken through on the ground war too so you have the income to match the US, and thankfully you don’t need your fighters as much on land due to the Banzai push. I would keep adding cheap Kaiten subs for a while, and when things go south of the border, then run away with Japan with the goal of migrating to the Mediterranean and then on to convoy raid the UK eventually  :evil:

    One thing that has become extremely tricky is where to build a complex with Japan in a KJF, because if you build it in one of the original Orange territories, it can/will get convoy raided at some point, which sucks!


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Japan NA 1:  Most Powerful Battleships, buy a BB and some transports
    Japan NA 2:  Kaiten Torpedos (not because you want suicide subs, but it makes them cheaper.)

    Get Super Submarines and Combined Arms then ask America to attack you.

    None of that is going to divert HUGE amounts from your war in Asia. The BB will only cost you 15 IPC (20 IPC -5 for your first BB purchase under the National Advantage.)  The Submarines will pay you back as you raid America’s shipping in W. USA.



  • Super subs doesn’t help a whole lot on defense (it doesn’t add any punch on defense in AARE), am I assuming that you’re getting is just to force the Americans to bring in a couple extra destroyers to counter the lowered detection rolls?

    I think it’s going to be extremely difficult to maintain a defensive position outside of SZ60, how do you propose to continually raid the US? I think Germany could probably do it on E. US if they’re keeping UK suppressed, but it might be a tad hard with the US reinforced cars/naval industry pumping out 100% navy while you still have to buy something for land, eventually you can’t keep up the raiding.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Super Submarines are two fold.  1)  It makes it harder to find you.  2)  It turns your kaitens into one hit battleships.



  • Well I think you are spending too much money on navy, and I question how your subs are going to pay back for themselves in convoy raiding. The US is spending 100% on navy, and with naval industry/reinforced carriers your suicidal kaitens aren’t going to help a whole lot. That’s still at best sending a 7 IPC to 66% of the time kill a 9 IPC unit (destroyer is the best cost ratio you can suicide with, since reinforced carriers are about immune to single blasts and double blasts has a low success rate and also is only an even trade in IPCs).

    Most Powerful Battleships is good, but you have to follow up diligently with say a battleship per round if you want to create the unstoppable strafe happy navy.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    But you have a good three rounds before you need to really keep up with America, maybe 4 if you play your cards right.

    And the raiding would help out.  5 Submarines = 10 IPC a round if you can ever knock out the American fleet, which, honestly, is doable, but difficult.


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