US Pacific Strategy



  • Hi All,

    My buddies and I purchased this game several months ago and are becoming quite addicted.  This is a great site, as I’ve spent hours over the past months perusing the forums and watching some of the online play.  It’s paid off!

    The one thing that I havent seen yet is any real great US Pacific strategy.  I’m assuming its because the best strategy is NOT to spend heavy in the Pacific, but stick to the Atlantic (Africa/Germany)?

    -Does anyone ever ACTUALLY take Japan?
    -Is KJF REALLY “KILL japan first,” or does it just mean spend heavier in the Pacific to slow Japan down?
    -Does anyone ever counter a heavy Pearl, knowing that you’ll lose everything, but take a chunk out of the Japanese navy (J battleship should usually survive…i think?)
    Maybe thats not a horrible idea, since US has a decent enough income to rebuild what they need?

    Our last game the US player spent some on a Pacific navy and brought over the Panama destoryer as well…seemed like he spent most of the game in a checkmate with the Japanese navy.  I guess this would help tie Japan up a bit-maybe slow them up into the mainland?  The Sing IC has been pretty standard in our games, but never really seems to be that great a hindrance.  We play OOB rules, no bid (still not great on allied strategy, so games are pretty even right now)

    Anyway, does anyone have any good strategies for US in the Pacific?  What would your US1-US3 builds be?  I’m assuming that you still need to purchase for Atlantic, but you will definatley be later on arrival to Germany.

    Lets assume everyone else has opened pretty standard:  Japan takes China, goes Pearl heavy and a three transport build.  What might a good US Pacific build/strategy be?  Sorry…rambled a bit, but still learning.



  • @Mach:

    The one thing that I havent seen yet is any real great US Pacific strategy.  I’m assuming its because the best strategy is NOT to spend heavy in the Pacific, but stick to the Atlantic (Africa/Germany)?

    KJF and KGF is largely a matter of preference.  Personally, I think KGF is more certain and involves more dice in less individually crucial battles, making for a slow but steady stranglehold that tightens on the Axis.  It’s the flashy kids that like to go KJF.

    -Does anyone ever ACTUALLY take Japan?

    Once you kick Japan out of Asia and kill the Japanese fleet, the Allies reinforce Russia through an Alaska-Soviet Far East convoy.  If Russia is in no danger, the Allies can turn their attention to Africa, then just whittle Germany down with vast numbers of IPCs.  In the meantime, the US can either build battleships or destroyers with Destroyer tech to whittle down Japan’s numbers without taking any losses.  It’s VERY expensive to do this, but it’s the easiest “no-brainer” way to actually kill Japan.

    But if you’re playing to 9 or even 10 VCs, then consider UK has London and India, US has Washington and Western US, Russia has Russia and Karelia (with the push against Germany), and the Allies also have Phillipines and Kwangtung for 8 VCs.  One or two VCs more and it’s over, and with the Allies pressing on Germany, both Southern and Western Europe are threatened.  Anyways, with such amazing economic superiority, it’s just a matter of either reducing Japan with bombardment or pushing loads of infantry into Europe; it’s clearly just academic and the Axis probably resign well before that point.

    -Is KJF REALLY “KILL japan first,” or does it just mean spend heavier in the Pacific to slow Japan down?

    Naw, you just try to neutralize Japan.

    -Does anyone ever counter a heavy Pearl, knowing that you’ll lose everything, but take a chunk out of the Japanese navy (J battleship should usually survive…i think?)

    If I think the Japanese battleship will survive, I’ll probably just leave Pearl alone and build up at Western US.  If I were doing KJF, I’m spending 30-40 IPC a turn for boats and fighters.  The Japs are spending 10-20 after their initial transport build.  The Japs have a bigger starting fleet, but the US catches up real quick.  Battleships are a big deal - if I have to lose the Western US battleship that would allow me to soak up a hit every turn in naval combat, and leave the Japanese battleship alive, then what was I thinking allowing the attack in the first place?  Better not do it.

    Maybe thats not a horrible idea, since US has a decent enough income to rebuild what they need?

    Not HORRIBLE, and sometimes even the RIGHT move.  But I’d really think about it.

    Our last game the US player spent some on a Pacific navy and brought over the Panama destoryer as well….seemed like he spent most of the game in a checkmate with the Japanese navy.  I guess this would help tie Japan up a bit-maybe slow them up into the mainland?  The Sing IC has been pretty standard in our games, but never really seems to be that great a hindrance.  We play OOB rules, no bid (still not great on allied strategy, so games are pretty even right now)

    Naw.  First, US needs to buy a LOT in the Pacific, not “some”.  Doesn’t sound like US necessarily did that.  Second, US at Ssinkiang is a speed bump unless there’s an Indian IC and lots of IPCs being spent in the Pacific.

    Any else than almost whole hog means the US stalls against Japan’s 2 battleships 2 carriers 5-6 fighters 1 bomber and 5-7 transports.  You need BIG TIME stuff to crack that especially as by the time you get in range there’s liable to be a few Jap subs lurking with that fleet.

    Anyway, does anyone have any good strategies for US in the Pacific?  What would your US1-US3 builds be?  I’m assuming that you still need to purchase for Atlantic, but you will definatley be later on arrival to Germany.

    No.  No, you will not be “later on arrival to Germany” or any such thing.  If you go KJF, you CANNOT HOLD BACK in the Pacific.  You could bleed strength off to Sinkiang or Africa, but every LITTLE bit adds up and gives Germany and Japan that much more time to push on Russia.

    Lets assume everyone else has opened pretty standard:  Japan takes China, goes Pearl heavy and a three transport build.  What might a good US Pacific build/strategy be?  Sorry….rambled a bit, but still learning.

    I haven’t seen a Pearl heavy as “standard” in quite a while.  The US counterattack to Pearl heavy is pretty unpalatable for the Allies, but with some bad dice by the Japs on J1, the US counterattack possibility opens up, and that’s a Jap battleship and a Jap carrier that you’re never going to get back blown to pieces.

    Anyways, before going US Pacific build/strategy, you have to check the board.

    1.  Three tanks one or two infantry equivalents in Anglo-Egypt is bad news; the Germans can grab African IPCs.  True, if the Germans do this, those are vital units not used in Europe, but in a KJF game in particular, the US will probably stall to some degree against Japan, meaning those IPCs will add up.

    2.  If Russia put 6 infantry at Burytia and Japan smashed them (maybe forgoing Pearl to do it), and say Russia bought something other than infantry on R1 (maybe 2 inf 2 art 2 tanks or a fighter and infantry), maybe accompanied by a 2-3 territory attack including most likely Ukraine/West Russia which bleeds out Russian tanks - if that happened, US has got to get its ass in gear; Germany AND Japan will probably be thinking about heavy tank builds to smash Moscow.  (They can do it REAL fast too)

    3.  Situation in India/Indian Ocean - depending on the Japanese move, more or less UK fleet may survive.  If it’s more (probably dependent on the UK move) then the Allies could join the UK and US fleets up maybe third or fourth turn (at best) for a fleet that has US attacking and UK moving in to reinforce.\

    4.  Pearl Harbor status - there?  Gone?  Able to counterattack with good odds of wiping the Jap battleship?

    A few other hotspots to check, like maybe Algeria or whatever, but in general, you have to LOOK AT THE D*** BOARD.  Saying you are going to follow some kind of scripted plan regardless of what’s going on on the board just lands you in trouble.

    That said, if you think the indicators are favorable, you probably lead with 2 carrier 1 fighter build on US 1 threatening moving US fleet of 1 transport 1 destroyer 2 carrier 4 fighter 1 battleship to Solomons on US2 with build of US2 of 5 subs and bomber at Western US threatening any Japanese counter of Solomons (see, you need to spend a LOT in the Pacific).  From there, the US lines stretch thin, as the US has to push into Japanese waters to pose a threat.  If the US extends from Solomons on US3 moving 5 subs 1 bomber (optional 1 destroyer 2 transports from E. US) to Solomons and rest of the fleet to East Indies (say), the US needs a US3 naval and/or air build to prevent Japan from smashing Solomons and cutting off the US fleet in the Pacific (Japan can move on subsequent turns back west, and the US fleet cut off from reinforcements has to run).

    So you can see that for the reasons listed, I think US needs a US1, a US2, AND a US3 navy/air build to really contest Japanese control of the waters, and without going into details, Japan can fight the Allies off in the Atlantic for a decent time if the US even cuts 16 IPC a turn from that expenditure.

    So that’s US1 2 carriers 1 fighter, US2 5 subs, US3 transport if the E US transports used for Africa plus fighters.  (You need fighters for the Pacific battle as well as fodder subs; fighters are more cost-effective as attackers when you have sufficient fodder, and fighters can be used to attack land as well as sea for when the campaign proceeds to the Asian coast.

    I ignore the role of UK during this, but the UK has to do its part either by stalling Germany in the Atlantic and Africa probably producing transports in the Atlantic to drop units into Archangel or Algeria, or by producing an industrial complex at India and saving the Indian fleet to help US when it reaches those waters and giving a starting point to roll up the Pacific rim from.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Maybe Bunnies never takes Japan, but I’ve done it a few times in my Kill Japan First games.

    It really breaks down to whether or not Japan goes insane with infantry on Japan to stop you, or hopes to have enough fleet to survive an attack. (The latter never works out well for Japan.  All Japan can hope to do is slow America enough that Germany can get some luck and get into Moscow first.)



  • @Cmdr:

    Maybe Bunnies never takes Japan, but I’ve done it a few times in my Kill Japan First games.

    It really breaks down to whether or not Japan goes insane with infantry on Japan to stop you, or hopes to have enough fleet to survive an attack. (The latter never works out well for Japan.  All Japan can hope to do is slow America enough that Germany can get some luck and get into Moscow first.)

    In my experience, with a successful KJF (they do NOT always succeed, nor do KGF) by the time Japan is contained, the Axis player(s) quit(s).  The outcome is obvious, it’s just a matter of two or three hours that could be better spent with BEER! (or the equivalent).

    When it comes down to beating a dead horse or drinking beer, WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE?  Sure, you beat the dead horse for amusement sometimes, but generally it’s good ol’ beer.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I find Japan generally makes a huge tactical mistake from over confidence.  Many of the so called “good” players on the internet will forget that attacking fleets actually have the advantage over the defender unlike on land battles when the defender generally has the advantage.

    This results in under defended fleets leaving openings for American to sneak through and land troops on Japan resulting in Japan falling well before the Axis player figures out the game is lost.



  • Okay thanks guys…lots of food for thought.

    I guess this is what I was really getting at:


    "That said, if you think the indicators are favorable, you probably lead with 2 carrier 1 fighter build on US 1 threatening moving US fleet of 1 transport 1 destroyer 2 carrier 4 fighter 1 battleship to Solomons on US2 with build of US2 of 5 subs and bomber at Western US threatening any Japanese counter of Solomons (see, you need to spend a LOT in the Pacific).  From there, the US lines stretch thin, as the US has to push into Japanese waters to pose a threat.  If the US extends from Solomons on US3 moving 5 subs 1 bomber (optional 1 destroyer 2 transports from E. US) to Solomons and rest of the fleet to East Indies (say), the US needs a US3 naval and/or air build to prevent Japan from smashing Solomons and cutting off the US fleet in the Pacific (Japan can move on subsequent turns back west, and the US fleet cut off from reinforcements has to run).

    So you can see that for the reasons listed, I think US needs a US1, a US2, AND a US3 navy/air build to really contest Japanese control of the waters, and without going into details, Japan can fight the Allies off in the Atlantic for a decent time if the US even cuts 16 IPC a turn from that expenditure.

    So that’s US1 2 carriers 1 fighter, US2 5 subs, US3 transport if the E US transports used for Africa plus fighters.  (You need fighters for the Pacific battle as well as fodder subs; fighters are more cost-effective as attackers when you have sufficient fodder, and fighters can be used to attack land as well as sea for when the campaign proceeds to the Asian coast.

    I ignore the role of UK during this, but the UK has to do its part either by stalling Germany in the Atlantic and Africa probably producing transports in the Atlantic to drop units into Archangel or Algeria, or by producing an industrial complex at India and saving the Indian fleet to help US when it reaches those waters and giving a starting point to roll up the Pacific rim from."

    So if “conditions are favorable” there IS a time where US wants to/can shoot their whole wad in the Pacific, ignoring the Atlantic; at least for the first few rounds.  I just hadnt seen it done much in the games I’ve watched.

    In the games we’ve played so far, the US pretty much abandons the Pacific; and Japan hasnt capitalized on this, so hadnt seen the need…probably been a mistake on Japans part.  I guess they NEED to threaten Cali, if US ignores it.  It seems to be pretty much an all out dash for Berlin/Moscow in our games, but we’ve just picked the game up, so still learning.

    Next time I’m allies, I’ll try something a little different (KJF) to mix things up a bit…if “things look favorable.”  🙂



  • @Mach:

    So if “conditions are favorable” there IS a time where US wants to/can shoot their whole wad in the Pacific, ignoring the Atlantic; at least for the first few rounds.  I just hadnt seen it done much in the games I’ve watched.

    In the games we’ve played so far, the US pretty much abandons the Pacific; and Japan hasnt capitalized on this, so hadnt seen the need…probably been a mistake on Japans part.  I guess they NEED to threaten Cali, if US ignores it.  It seems to be pretty much an all out dash for Berlin/Moscow in our games, but we’ve just picked the game up, so still learning.

    Next time I’m allies, I’ll try something a little different (KJF) to mix things up a bit…if “things look favorable.”  🙂

    Japan can’t afford to shenanigan around in the Pacific TOO much.  Sure, capture Australia &c.  But Japan CANNOT just go Operation Hollywood (i.e. attack California).  If Japan puts enough in W. Canada to seriously threaten W. US, that’s a serious SERiOUS drain on the crucial India area, as well as delaying progress through China and Yakut.

    There’s different ways for Axis to push on Moscow; tank dashing and infantry pushing.  Each is appropriate to particular conditions.



  • Is it even wise for the Japs to go for Australia? In a lot of our games, taken Australia results in a crucial loss of time for the Japs. And since the Allies usually choose KGF, time means everthing for the Axis because the Japs will have to win the game for the Axis.



  • @FM_Rommel:

    Is it even wise for the Japs to go for Australia? In a lot of our games, taken Australia results in a crucial loss of time for the Japs. And since the Allies usually choose KGF, time means everthing for the Axis because the Japs will have to win the game for the Axis.

    Depends.  If America’s going KJF, Australia never gets taken until and if Japan reverses America’s push.  If UK builds a UK1 IC, there’s a juicier target.  If neither are true, Japan should go for Australia early and work west to drop survivors in Asia for the big push on India/Persia.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Rommel:

    I used to feel the same way.  Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Madagascar, taking them with Japan reminded me of playing Robber Chess (where you take ever last piece you can from your opponent instead of trying to out maneuver him.)  Just felt dirty.

    However, I’ve grown to realize that those territories together are 5 IPC a round and none of them are likely to be liberated until the game is already over.  That’s roughly 10-12 rounds of income (discounting the first 2 or 3 rounds because you need to get there and take them) that’s still about 40-60 IPC.  Not only that, but it’s ALSO -40 to -60 IPC to the allies for a difference of 80-120 IPC.


    Bunnies, I have to admit, “Operation Hollywood” made me chuckle!

    Would you mind terribly much if I wrote my article on how to take down America first and used that as my title? (It’s going to be a while before I write it, so stop salivating Djensen, you’ll get it when I’m done!  I just want to iron out a few more wrinkles.  Right now people are not expecting it, I need them to get some practice defending against it before I know it works most of the time.)


  • Moderator

    In response to the initial post, yes there are some good US pac strats.  And for the purposes of calling something a KJF, you don’t need to actually take Japan usually either booting them out of Asia or taking the big islands is usually enough, unless Germany is next too Moscow or stacking in Cauc or something.

    If I go with a US Pac strat it revolves around lots of ftrs and ACs.  The ftr/ac combo forces Japan to at least leave a token defense in sz 60 once you have 2 ac/4 ftrs in Sz 55, and as you get to 3/6 and 4/8 it all but assures that most of the big capital ships will all be back in Sz 60.  As soon as you have the slightest def advantage you move to Sol is.  You may need another turn or two of build up there, but with the ftrs and ACs at Sol you can now cover the entire Pac with your ftrs and it is only a matter of time before the big islands fall.  The problem is you have to be on your game with Russia and the UK and need to at least give the US 6-7 turns.  Typically you can make the Sol move by round 4 and it will probably be another rd or 2 before you can then advance to EI.  Also if Japan is going full steam to defend against you it could take longer as well, but then the Asia push migh be a little weaker.

    I like to unify my UK fleet in Sz 30, if Japan attacks they lose some ftrs and have a BB and AC way out of range (if they survived) and this gives the US the ability to have Pac dominance a lot earlier.  If they don’t attack you might be able to swing some of the UK ships around Aus and meet up with the US at the Sol is.



  • @Cmdr:

    Bunnies, I have to admit, “Operation Hollywood” made me chuckle!

    Would you mind terribly much if I wrote my article on how to take down America first and used that as my title? (It’s going to be a while before I write it, so stop salivating Djensen, you’ll get it when I’m done!  I just want to iron out a few more wrinkles.  Right now people are not expecting it, I need them to get some practice defending against it before I know it works most of the time.)

    I can’t take credit for “Operation Hollywood”.  The name and the plan were cooked up a long time ago by - I forget who.  All I remember is that it was a plan to hit W. US, pretty sure it was through W. Canada.

    Bunnies P



  • @DarthMaximus:

    In response to the initial post, yes there are some good US pac strats.  And for the purposes of calling something a KJF, you don’t need to actually take Japan usually either booting them out of Asia or taking the big islands is usually enough, unless Germany is next too Moscow or stacking in Cauc or something.

    If I go with a US Pac strat it revolves around lots of ftrs and ACs.  The ftr/ac combo forces Japan to at least leave a token defense in sz 60 once you have 2 ac/4 ftrs in Sz 55, and as you get to 3/6 and 4/8 it all but assures that most of the big capital ships will all be back in Sz 60.  As soon as you have the slightest def advantage you move to Sol is.  You may need another turn or two of build up there, but with the ftrs and ACs at Sol you can now cover the entire Pac with your ftrs and it is only a matter of time before the big islands fall.  The problem is you have to be on your game with Russia and the UK and need to at least give the US 6-7 turns.  Typically you can make the Sol move by round 4 and it will probably be another rd or 2 before you can then advance to EI.  Also if Japan is going full steam to defend against you it could take longer as well, but then the Asia push migh be a little weaker.

    I like to unify my UK fleet in Sz 30, if Japan attacks they lose some ftrs and have a BB and AC way out of range (if they survived) and this gives the US the ability to have Pac dominance a lot earlier.  If they don’t attack you might be able to swing some of the UK ships around Aus and meet up with the US at the Sol is.

    Thanks Darth!

    Do you still go for the Sing IC build, in this case?  Germany, seeing this build up will need to push harder for Russia, I’m assuming; as they would expect that Japan is going to be late on arrival?  Maybe?  I’ve read before that in a KJF, Germany needs to push for Russia.

    I’m going to give this a go in our next game, to mix things up a bit.  As stated before, we have yet to have a match where the Pacific is contested and Japan gets off too easy.

    Yeah, I’ve seen lots of threads on the UK fleet unification.  Do many of you actaully attack the fleet on J1?  You’re gonna lose a few fighters and proably forgo China by doing this, right?  Either way, that sounds like a good move, if you plan to build US heavy in the Pacific….either weakens Japan from the get go, OR UK fleet can join up.

    Thanks for all the ideas everyone.



  • @Mach:

    Thanks Darth!

    No love.  >.>

    Do you still go for the Sing IC build, in this case?  Germany, seeing this build up will need to push harder for Russia, I’m assuming; as they would expect that Japan is going to be late on arrival?  Maybe?  I’ve read before that in a KJF, Germany needs to push for Russia.

    Well, let’s see what DM says.

    I’m going to give this a go in our next game, to mix things up a bit.  As stated before, we have yet to have a match where the Pacific is contested and Japan gets off too easy.

    Yeah, I’ve seen lots of threads on the UK fleet unification.  Do many of you actaully attack the fleet on J1?  You’re gonna lose a few fighters and proably forgo China by doing this, right?  Either way, that sounds like a good move, if you plan to build US heavy in the Pacific….either weakens Japan from the get go, OR UK fleet can join up.

    Thanks for all the ideas everyone.

    If UK unites its Indian and Australian fleets, either UK unites at SZ38 northwest of Australia or it unites at SZ 30 west-southwest of Australia.  One sea zone, but it’s a big difference as the SZ38 unification allows Japan to throw in a fodder sub and destroyer, whereas SZ30 forces Japan to drop a capital ship (battleship or carrier) or a fighter with each loss.  (SZ38 is far more threatening but Japan can counter far easier)

    Assuming SZ 30:

    Possible Jap attack on SZ30: battleship carrier 4 fighter vs UK: 2 trns 1 sub 1 destr 1 carrier 1 fighter probable loss 1 Jap fighter and UK: 2 trns 1 sub.  This is risky for Japan with poor dice, but with good dice, Japan may scoop the entire UK navy for 2 fighters.  If Japan retreats after first round to SZ38, anticipated Jap loss 1 fighter anticipated UK loss 2 trns 1 sub, and UK is forced to go directly west towards Africa (as if they don’t, Japan can crush them).

    In any event, doing this leaves the rest of the Jap fighters without a way to Pearl (they can’t land anywhere), but Jap: 2 fighter 1 bomber are still in range of China.

    This is probably better if UK bomber is in range of SZ 38.  Rest of Jap fleet can unite with Jap battleship and carriers at SZ 38 for fodder, and UK navy forced to move west as described above.

    But this DOES allow US a quick start in the Pacific with its additional sub, carrier, and fighter.

    Possible Jap attack on SZ30 part II: battleship carrier 3 fighter vs UK: 2 trns 1 sub 1 destr 1 carrier 1 fighter probable loss 1 Jap fighter and 2 UK trns.  This is also risky for Japan with poor dice, but again Japan can retreat to SZ 38 for 1 btl 2 carrier 2 fig, but if there’s a UK bomber at Persia, it’s anticipated UK: 1 sub 1 destr 1 carrier 1 fighter 1 bomber vs Jap: 2 carrier 2 fig 1 btl (23334 vs 033444 but Japan forced to OOL free battleship hit, carrier, fighter, fighter, carrier, battleship so it becomes horribly expensive very quickly).

    However, this allows Japan to hit Pearl with 1 sub 1 destr 1 fig 1 bomber (probably transport too, assuming Kwangtung transport survived to pick up the J1 transport slack) and China with 2 fig.

    This is probably OK only if UK bomber NOT in range of SZ38.  No additional Jap fodder at SZ38 (as Jap fodder used at Pearl) means risking both Jap carriers may be knocked out by end of UK2, and with the loss of Jap air on the UK navy J1, the loss of Jap air on the US navy J1, and the UK counter, Japan is ill prepared to deal with a KJF.

    This is probably a bad plan if UK bomber in range.  It is very vulnerable to bad dice first with the J1 attack on the UK fleet, then again with the UK2 counter (I can hardly stress how nasty this possibility is especially with the UK bomber but even possibly without), and again with the J1 attack on US fleet, although that particular risk can be mitigated by using the Jap transport east of Japan as extra fodder (assuming the Kwangtung transport survived).  It very probably drains Jap air at UK, and very possibly some at US even with transport fodder.  But it does present some chance of taking on Pearl, China, and the UK fleet.



  • “No love.  >.>”

    Bunnies, you ARE da man!

    Geez….I never thought about the UK bomber landing in Perisa; or even realized that it could reach for that matter…  :oops:

    I just gotta get some more games under my belt.

    Thanks


  • Moderator

    Bunnies laid it out pretty good there.  But NO, I don’t build a US IC in Sin.  
    Before I say any more, this UK/US strat assumes no Germany naval buy on G1.  It can still work with a Ger AC buy but it gets a bit more tricky and if they buy more trns or threaten unification in Sz 7 on G2, all bets are off and here you’ll need the US to focus on the Atlantic.

    I don’t like the IC b/c you need Russia to solely focus on Germany and they can’t spare the extra defense, so I’m not sure how long you’d be able to hold it.  I like to retreat the Allied forces and use them to either help in trading Ukr or nit pick Japan as they move their initial inf into range.

    I also like a nice stack of about 5 inf, 1 aa in Per for the UK, with Bomber to anyone of the following Mos/Cauc/Novo/Yak, and UK ftrs to Wrus.

    If you are brave you can even pick up the 2 inf on Aus and have them sitting in Sz 30 on your unification move.  This makes an even more inviting target for Japan, but again the cost is high for them and if they see the bomber in Novo/Mos/Yak they may think something is up.  It also weakens the attack on Pearl.  This means if they choose to attack China, Sz 30 and Pearl, while they should win all three, there is still a chance one or more goes horribly wrong for them, not to mention they still have to worry about the UK bom which means Sz 60 (or even sz 61) could be in jeopardy on UK 2.

    For the US buys in rd 1, I’ll go 2 AC and 1 ftr or BB and AC and the DD from sz 20 to Sz 55.  In the Atlantic you have 2 trns and 1 dd and you start out with several ground units on North America and Hi.

    The UK most likely will need to buy an AC and go to Alg on both UK 1 and 2 (or uk 2 and 3), as the US follows up with trns and DD.  You might have to even unify in Sz 8 in rd 1.

    Now with your fleet unification in Sz 30 (if it wasn’t attacked), you pull the 3 inf from Aus in rd 2 and go back to Sz 30.  This allows you to hit Afr or the Middle east in Rd 3 as your Atlantic ships continue to unload in Alg.  Or if you already pulled the 2 inf you can immediately go to Afr.

    If your fleet is sunk, again it costs Japan some fairly powerful units and with the US 1 naval buy you already have naval parity, you may even beable to move to the Sol Is in rd 2 if Japan bought and IC on J1.



  • @DarthMaximus:

    If you are brave you can even pick up the 2 inf on Aus and have them sitting in Sz 30 on your unification move.  This makes an even more inviting target for Japan, but again the cost is high for them and if they see the bomber in Novo/Mos/Yak they may think something is up.

    I did this in my last game as the Allies, sorta. I only brought 1 man on the transport because the economics of that battle tilted toward Japan (if I recall correctly) when there are 2 men on the transport, especially if Japan exercises the option to retreat.

    @DarthMaximus:

    It also weakens the attack on Pearl.  This means if they choose to attack China, Sz 30 and Pearl, while they should win all three, there is still a chance one or more goes horribly wrong for them, not to mention they still have to worry about the UK bom which means Sz 60 (or even sz 61) could be in jeopardy on UK 2.

    In my current game as the Axis I attacked SZ60, Pearl (heavy), and China, and won all three (low luck helped). I had to storm China with only 7 men as all my planes were occupied, but since my transport off Kwangtung wasn’t attacked by the UK destroyer I could reinforce FIC with men from the islands and a surviving plane from SZ 60 to prevent its capture. It set up Japan quite well and they’re still doing pretty good (6th turn) even though the US is doing a KJF strategy.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I’d almost tip the scales economically in favor of Japan hitting SZ 30.  I’d rather lose the British fleet in SZ 30 and do massive damage to Japan then lose the American fleet in SZ 52 and do no damage to pitifully little damage to the Japanese fleet.

    Not to mention, Japan’s now sitting with a battleship a good two or three turns away from the American war effort.

    Or, Japan can ignore the SZ 30 fleet, and risk the allies trying to unify in the Pacific. (I honestly wouldnt, but the threat is present none the less.)

    I’ve found, however, that even players who CLAIM they’ll attack the SZ 30 fleet if you unify, no one really WILL attack it.  And he knows who I am talking about.  Twice it was presented, twice he failed to attack it.  So the SZ 30 fleet unification is pretty safe all in all.  Far safer then running the fleet in multiple directions (SZ 42, SZ 45, SZ 59, SZ 34, SZ 52 (Fighter)).  Now you allow Japan to use Battleships to clean up your scattered forces without doing damage.

    On top of that, the unified British fleet (even with only one infantry on it) can easily go to India or hit E. Indies.  That’s a BAD spot for England to have an Industrial Complex!  Though, I’d prefer 2 infantry on the transport, that way you can have 7 infantry and an AA gun in India on UK 2 if the fleet is NOT hit.



  • @Cmdr:

    I’ve found, however, that even players who CLAIM they’ll attack the SZ 30 fleet if you unify, no one really WILL attack it.  And he knows who I am talking about

    That wasn’t me.  But I would like to point out that if you leave something else open at the same time you unite at SZ 30, your opponent is not OBLIGED to take the lesser bait of SZ 30.

    That is to say, if your opponent determined that given the particular moves you made, that attacking SZ 30 was less preferable to another move, why would your opponent be LOCKED into taking SZ 30?

    As well, just because your opponent chose not to hit SZ 30 doesn’t mean unification at SZ 30 is sound.  Perhaps in doing so you left another opening that was more profitable than attacking SZ 30.

    Attacking SZ 30 is not something you can force your opponent to do.  It is something your opponent can CHOOSE to do, and when choosing to do so, your opponent can choose to full attack, strafe, or not attack at all.



  • I have attacked SZ30 in SEVERAL games… usually with a Japan win, though with some significant losses (the loss of the FIGs is the most detrimental, especially when the US just goes KGF after Japan blows their wad in SZ30)

    Not sure if I ever attacked or avoided a unified SZ30 fleet in my past games against Jen.

    Learned from bitter experience…
    1.  Japan CAN kill the SZ30 fleet, but then the USA just goes KGF, and Japan sans 60% of its air power is too slow to do any damage to Russia.
    2.  Japan FAILING to kill the SZ30 fleet if they attack is DRT (Dead Right There) if the Allies go KJF
    3.  Ignoring SZ30 requires that Japan go TRN heavy on J1 and consolidate their fleet and prepare for a grind-out…
    4.  If a J1 attack on a UK SZ30 combined fleet goes VERY well for Japan, it leaves the Allies in a serious pickle…  Africa, Southern Asia, and the Pacific are all Axis controlled VERY quickly.

    The odds though are for a far weaker Japan than is normal, a SLIGHTLY strengthened Germany, and a stronger Russia.  The gain for the Axis is insufficient to justify the prolonged income of Russia

    And for those keeping track at home, that IS a change from my position a year or so ago…


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    No one is obliged to attack anything.  That’s not the point I was trying to make.  The point I was making was that there are a few blunderbusts out there who spout off vociferously about how easy SZ 30 is to attack and sink with Japan winning on J1 that, when presented with the opportunity, never do.

    So why is that?

    It’s not because there is a better target anywhere on the board.  It’s Japan 1, not like someone left 5 bombers open to an infantry attack.  So why don’t they do it?

    Because the cost to Japan is astronomical.  Just a singular round of combat lower then predicted (and I’m talking as little as Japan getting hit one more then expected, or hitting one less target then expected) and the battle is lost for Japan.  It’s a VERY high risk, VERY low reward move.  It chews up a lot of high value resources and sinks a lot of worthless junk that England almost always never has on UK 2 anyway.

    Let’s look at the prospects:

    Japan attacks SZ 30:

    Japan: 4 Fighters, Carrier, Battleship
    England: Fighter, 2 Transports, Submarine, Destroyer, Carrier (note: Carrier dies last unless England is getting pounded, then fighter dies last)

    Odds:  Japan wins with a Damaged Battleship and a Carrier (note: the carrier would have to die after the fighters due to landing zone issues.)

    30% chance of Japan being wiped out.


    That leaves Battleship, 2 Fighters, Destroyer, Submarine to hit SZ 52. (Assuming you use the bomber to support your infantry to take out the American fighter in China.)

    Japan: Battleship, 2 Fighters, Destroyer, Submarine (Note the carrier in SZ 50 cannot be brought because it is dedicated for fighter recovery from SZ 30 battle, it can be moved after combat if the fighters have been lost in SZ 30 as expected.)
    America: Submarine, Carrier, Fighter (in that order)

    Odds: Damaged Battleship, lost Submarine and/or lost fighter as well.



    So what does that leave Japan with?

    2 Battleships
    2 Carriers
    Destroyer
    1 or 2 Fighters

    That’s a very large kick in the pants to Japan.  And don’t forget that one of those Battleships and Carriers is out in the middle of no where, assuming they live in the first place.



  • @Cmdr:

    The point I was making was that there are a few blunderbusts out there who spout off vociferously about how easy SZ 30 is to attack and sink with Japan winning on J1 that, when presented with the opportunity, never do.

    I think I may have been one of those about a year and a half ago…

    A few quality Allied players showed me my previous error, which had been promulgated by previous lesser players.



  • @ncscswitch:

    Learned from bitter experience…
    1.  Japan CAN kill the SZ30 fleet, but then the USA just goes KGF, and Japan sans 60% of its air power is too slow to do any damage to Russia.

    Lol.  Come on, you should know you need air with Japan.  Either you need to defend KJF or you need to trade in Asia or you need to reinforce Ukraine/Caucasus . . . you need those fighters!

    2.  Japan FAILING to kill the SZ30 fleet if they attack is DRT (Dead Right There) if the Allies go KJF

    So why didn’t you strafe and pull back to SZ 38?  You don’t HAVE to kill the SZ 30 fleet.

    3.  Ignoring SZ30 requires that Japan go TRN heavy on J1 and consolidate their fleet and prepare for a grind-out…

    "Ignoring" SZ 30 or not, Japan should ALWAYS build 3 Trn on J1; can you give me the circumstances when 3 transports is a BAD idea for Japan, even if the Kwangtung transport survives UK1?  And just why would Japan “consolidate its fleet” - sounds like you’re talking defensively - when it should either do Pearl or SZ30 strafe or both?

    4.  If a J1 attack on a UK SZ30 combined fleet goes VERY well for Japan, it leaves the Allies in a serious pickle…  Africa, Southern Asia, and the Pacific are all Axis controlled VERY quickly.

    The odds though are for a far weaker Japan than is normal, a SLIGHTLY strengthened Germany, and a stronger Russia.  The gain for the Axis is insufficient to justify the prolonged income of Russia

    And for those keeping track at home, that IS a change from my position a year or so ago…

    So just what DO the Rus1 and UK1 turns look like?  Where’s that UK bomber?  What did the India fighter and Australian sub/transport do?



  • Strafing SZ30 is a problem in and of itself…

    The FIC FIG, if it is brought to the battle, is DEAD no matter what (no range to leave SZ30)

    So just  ATTACKING SZ30 guarantees that Japan will be shy almost 20% of their FIGs, regardless of the outcome of the SZ30 strafe and other battles.



  • @ncscswitch:

    Strafing SZ30 is a problem in and of itself…

    The FIC FIG, if it is brought to the battle, is DEAD no matter what (no range to leave SZ30)

    So just  ATTACKING SZ30 guarantees that Japan will be shy almost 20% of their FIGs, regardless of the outcome of the SZ30 strafe and other battles.

    Man, if you’re hitting 2 trns 1 sub 1 destr 1 carrier 1 fighter, with a battleship, a carrier, and fighters, you’d damn well better expect a fighter to bite it anyways.

    You keep talking like losing fighters is something horrible Japan will never recover from.  It’s bitter, but if Japan obtains a better position by dropping fighters than it would by keeping its fighters, then obviously Japan should drop fighters.

    Get what you want, and pay for it.


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