Thoughts on Japanese Strategy



  • As a disclaimer, I’m really a noob to the game, as are all the other people I’m playing with, so please take that into account. We haven’t managed to even get one full real game in (real meaning we understood all the rules and followed them).

    As a further point of clarification. We’re playing revised with ALL the special rules in effect, so that changes things a bit I’m sure for those who don’t play that way.

    So this game I’ve been playing the US, and I’ve begun to realize that I’ve done some pretty stupid stuff, and that if Japan hadn’t messed up there’d be some trouble at this point.  Of course Japan hit Pearl early on, knocked out my carrier, and whatever other sea units I had there.  They also tried to take China but due to extremely bad dice rolls they were slaughtered on both attempts, the casualties surpassing 8 infantry and a couple planes on their side, and a loss of 1 infantry each time on my side, replaced of course by chinese divisions. Japan have lost their battleships, and some transports, although they have a IC on the territory right next to China, and north of Indochina. (still not familiar with all this stuff).

    Now I’ve figured out the enormous potential of a US special I previously considered useless. The B-29 Flying Fortresses, which make bombers immune to anti-aircraft fire. It seems that this would make the US able to quickly begin strategic bombing Tokyo on round 2, depriving Japan of 8 IPCs each round. (while I’m loving it as US right now, I’m wondering if it would be going to far to call it game breaking) Basically at this point I’m thinking Screw Hawaii, I’ll pull my fighters back from there and prepare to defend if Japan tries anything funny. Then start building transports and ferrying tanks and Infantry like mad to midway, and bringing over  few bombers as well, probably ought to have the battleship and maybe some other sea units to defend my transport chain. Basically the goal is to establish an effective base to keep strategic bombing Japan constantly from round 2 onwards.  Not only that but Japan will be forced to build up defenses as they’ll see this as a direct threat to Tokyo itself, after all if the capital falls it’s all over.  With a seriously nerfed economy, and the pressing need to defend Tokyo, Japan should be screwed with an only 20-25 IPC economy, and UK pressuring them from India, where they got a free IC thanks to the colonial garrisons.

    Well that took a while, but it’s important because thinking out the US and UK pressure on Japan helped me formulate my emerging Japanese strategy.  It hurts that a friend has the game, not me, so I can’t take a look at everything Japan starts out with.  I’m thinking right now though that if you even have only two transports, a banzai attack on midway should succeed if it is in transport range (can’t remember how far :p) on the first round. Hopefully installing 2-4 infantry with defense 3 thanks to dug in defenders, drawing out that strategic bombing to at least round 3.

    Then of course I think it’s of high priority to take India, higher priority even than Pearl.  That India IC every game so far has proved to be Japan’s undoing, forcing endless wars over Indochina that Japan can’t afford, and stopping them from sweeping across the mideast to threaten the caucus. So that would probably be the main thrust of my second attack, trying to take that out in the first or second round.  Now the problem is that UK has that stupid radar, which means their AA gun hits on 2 as well as 1. I’m not in a mood to slaughter a third of my airforce on a stupid AA gun, so the only potential for airforce I see in India would be to fly around the AA gun and take out the UK navy.

    If possible I would still try to hit Pearl a little. But I don’t see it as being too crucial. Of course I also doesn’t remember all what is there. If someone would mind explaining the significance of aircraft carriers, I would really appreciate it. Right now they seem pointless to the point of insanity.  Before we thought they were necessary because we thought planes couldn’t land on islands, well turns out that ain’t true. So right now I view them as utterly worthless, but there must be something we’re all missing.

    As first buys for Japan I’m thinking a transport or two, and then maybe some planes or tanks. The ultimate goal is to take India before they can stock up, giving Japan a crucial IC and removing all British presence from the Pacific.  Then thought can be given to finishing off China. Taking out Russia is bad for Japan initially thanks to the NAP special.  Japan really  has to wait until they can use Sinkaing or the mideast to threaten the caucus and russian interior.

    I’m also thinking after India falls taking out Australia real quick would be useful, don’t know if New Zealand would be worth the trouble. The map is fuzzy in my mind, don’t know all the units Japan starts out with.

    Well that’s my thoughts so far, obviously I need another glance at the map and what stuff Japan starts off with. Thoughts and criticisms are welcome.



  • Most people alter the B-29 rule because it becomes really unbalancing.

    Edit: Hitting Pearl is almost always important as Japan. Never neglect it. Although there are different levels of units you can use to achieve this, never ever forget it.

    If you download TripleA, you can see the starting configurations of Japan.



  • Well if the B-29 rule was out that would really help Japan.  Could you elaborate on the damage US will do if I don’t hit Pearl, and also point me to the link for whatever this tripleA thingy is?


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    You want to hit Pearl because you do serious damage to the American navy at little or no cost to Japan.  If you let the navy live, good players will take it and use it against Germany making any Naval/Air Force attacks on the Allied fleet even harder to succeed.  Others will use it as a seed to quickly out number the Japanese fleet in the Pacific.

    As for B-29s, they are worse against Europe.  You can do 16 IPC to Germany, only 8 to Japan (that’s assuming no one builds industrial complexes.)




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