How should the Allies counter 2 ICs on J1?

  • 2007 AAR League

    What do you say on this?
    We are assuming standard Ger attacks on the Eastern Front and Egy.
    No German naval purchases, no UK IC Purchases.

    Should you go Pacific Fleet with the US, or should you just continue with KGF play , as the Allies?

  • I have found in my house games that this can be counter rather well.

    Frist the american’s have to make Japs spend money on Pacfic navy. Plus defend their southern islands.
    Groud D on Sin
    British landing in africa and holding off on wasting the India infantry.

    What has happened in are games is that the Japs can’t really get a head of steam with pressure on both sides. This is by no means a KJF game but more of a control both sides. These games have always been played with new players so the realibilty of what I say is probably suspect.

  • I agree with Rhineland, if the UK did not build an IC in India on round one, the only way to counter the Japanese buying 2 ICs in round one is for the US to put steady pressure on the Pacific side of the Japanese.  By making Japan spend IPC on fleets the Allies can reduce the effectiveness of those 2 ICs.  And if the Japanese decide to ignore the US fleets, the Japanese will quickly find they do not have the IPC available to build 6 tanks each round and protect their own capital from a potential US invasion.

    I think everyone knows that if Japan builds 2 ICs on round 1 that they plan on building 6 tanks per round and shoving them down Russia’s back side as fast as possible.  6 tanks cost 30 IPC, so making Japan spend their limited IPC to build fleets to counter the US Pacific fleets will effectively reduce the Japanese attack on Russia. They wont have the IPC to use 2 ICs.

    The down side to this strategy is that it takes IPC from the US front against the Germans on the Atlantic side, but if the Uk did not build an IC in India round one, the Uk will have the funds available to pick up the USA slack in the Atlantic against the Germans, giving the USA the IPC they need to put up a pacific resistance against the Japanese.  I would only hope that if the UK did not build an IC in India round one, that they would have at least taken Borneo and New Guinea, effectively harassing the Japanese instead of fleeing from the Pacific.

    I guess the key thing I always strive for is for the Allies to always have pressure on Japan some how while they make their main push against the Germans.  The UK and the US are the only Allied powers that can do this.  Russia does not make enough IPC to effectively defend/attack two fronts.  If the Japanese are left free run of the Pacific and of the Asian main land behind Russia, Russia is doomed.

    I personally always build a UK IC in India round one, because I think it is more effective for countering ANY type of Japanese strategy.  The UK can spend less IPC than the USA would need to for doing the same thing. (Harass and or contain Japan)  The Allies only need to slow down and occupy Japanese troops in the back lines long enough for the Russians to resist/wear down the German attacks till the UK and US can put heavy pressure on Germany.  But if the Allies do nothing against a Japanese round 1 purchase of 2 ICs, letting them blitz to the front lines of Russia’s weak back side, Russia won’t hold up against that kind of assaults.  They don’t have the IPC to do it.

  • I don’t think a japanese player who is handling his/her existing fleet well should often be forced to build additional fleets.  The US can certainly play a role in keeping them busy, and certainly killing planes is important, but the two battleships and two carriers are more than sufficient for japan to do a holding action.

    In general in the game, I prefer a neutralize japan first strategy, which involves simultaneous pressure form russia in the north with massive US (and initially british) fly-in of air support to buryatia, UK IC in the south, and an option for an IC in sinkiang if china has very few japanese forces in it at the end of turn 1.  Of course, it’s much more complicated and detailed than that (involving fleets as well), but the principle is that all three allies forcing japan to swat flies is enough to slow her down.

    Even a moderately successful delay in japan’s ability to break through is often enough for the allies to carry the day on other fronts.  But in my experience, there is actually a great possibility of actually shutting japan down even if they build two IC’s initially.  If things are going well, UK may be able to take a french-indo IC, which would signal that japan has pretty much failed.

  • More specifically, here’s a few principles I view as important if choosing to contest Japan’s control of asia:

    1. Russia needs >6 infantry ultimately in the north, and also must threaten to supplement with this with some offensive power (even if you don’t use it, the threat is critical).  examples include a plane landed in kazakh or a tank diverted from the western front (harder to manage).

    2. Buryatia is a critical massing point for the first turn or two, because it’s the easiest square for the US to reinforce with its massive airpower.  As long as it is held, us bombers built in  western US can strike asian sea & land targets without delay.  however, for russia to hold buryatia on turn 1 it’s best for UK to land a fighter there.

    3. Tanks in caucusus are necessary to supplement any IC in india.  You can’t gurantee japan won’t take india (by luck or skill), but you can leave the option of re-taking it so that british building in the IC there is not interupted.

    4. British troops in india also need offensive capabilities, preferably by turn 2.  this means that having a bomber (and your initial fighter) in striking distance of french indo at the end of turn 1.  This is all part of the general approach of forcing japan to make hard trade-offs against multiple threats.

    5. US ground troops, whether there’s an IC in sinkiang or not, are worth their weight in gold when you have significant air power available in asia.  Each ground troops you keep alive enables a potential US attack and leveraging of it’s air force to kill japanese ground forces.  Lacking ground troops, us air raids are risky and expensive.

    6. Make japan take losses.  Even if you end up ultimately losing the asian front, offensive moves are necessary by the allied powers to reduce the buildup of japanese ground forces.  If done long enough, japan’s full strength will emerge too late to save germany.  For instance, even if it’s “suicide” to move into manchuria with 8 russian infantry and a tank, it’s often still worth it.  A force that size causes enough damage on the defense that forcing a pile-on from japan is worth the cost.  The alternative of sitting and waiting while japan grows secure is what allows japan to overwhelm its opponents.

  • oh and sorry, to answer Perry’s initial post, if there’s no indian IC build i think it’s a waste of resources to send in us fleet against japan.  No single power can stop japan.  Better to KGF in that case.

  • My response would be a full commitment of the US to the Pacific theater. The US alone can handle Japan, I have done it and have had it done to me. With full naval builds on turn 3 Japan has to either start building ships or completely kiss its islands good bye. That is because after US three the US navy will outnumber the Japanese navy. Japan can buy some time with naval purchases and good maneuvers of its fleet but that is all they can accomplish. There is simply no way Japan can cover its high value islands and the homelands. All Japan can hope for in one of these games is that its initial purchases that were sent towards Moscow are enough to help Germany subdue Russia before they loose the islands and their income. If Japan spent its initial 30 IPCs on ICs I do not see that happening.

    As far as building an IC in India with the UK Japan will thank you for the free IC around round 3 or 4.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Yes, and I will always remember the look I imagine you had on your face when my Japanese forces took out W. USA.

    But I agree, generally speaking, if the United States goes full bore after Japan, Japan is doomed.  It becomes a game of killing Russia in hopes that Japan can build enough fighters/bombers to sink the American fleet or Germany can build a big enough threat that America has to pull off Japan to defend the Atlantic.

    It happens, but rarely.  Usually America ends up with a large army going up in Asia as they isolate Japan resulting, eventually, in Japan’s downfall.  This is why I prefer to build up a fleet of battleships with America, since for the price of 3 IPC, you can easily kill off 4-6 enemies each round. (When Japan is earning 8-16 IPC, that’s a lot of loss for Japan!)  3 Battleships sounds like a lot, until you look at how it is spread over time, mind you.

  • No offense but I couldn’t disagree with you guys more.  US can build an ultimately unstoppable navy and take some valuable islands by US turn 3…

    By that time japan should own half of asia (with 2-3 IC’s built), which easily offsets those losses, while germany will be dominating the western front.

    What that strategy forces is japan to build up infantry and stop putting as much pressure on russia, but a us fleet, and an eventual IC build in Borneo is not going to easily take and hold mainland asia.  Japan can and will manage to hold her own and retaliate to any incursion, which at that point is all she needs to do. US ground forces will be comparably limited and unable to take and hold ground.

    I do think that a strong us pacific fleet with sufficient transports can be part of an effective anti-japan strategy.  It works particularly well if the us hawaiin carrier manages to survive round 1.  But that in isolation won’t keep japan from taking and holding mainland asia.  And i’ve never played a game where I found purchasing a battleship to be a cost-effective choice for any power.  bombers are cheaper and far more versatile, IMO.

    When you think about it, the allies rarely want to spend a ton of cash to overwhelm and neutralize the massive japanese navy, just to earn ~10ipc’s late in the game.  In contrast, the japanese navy when left alive has some value, but not equivalent to it’s IPC worth, most of which is strong defensively (24+24+16+16+12+8+8= 108).  Using strong allied bomber presence in asia to force japan to position boats in a defensive manner is usually enough to tie them down without spending tons to actually kill them.

  • On the US going after Japan by building in the WUS, why is it that this strat has almost never been used against me?
    I almost never see this in other peoples games, someone who can give me a good answer?

  • I would say it is who you are playing and their preferences Subotai. I have seen this strat used in more than one league game here.

    eumaies, exactly how much is the US going to contribute to the fight between Russia and Germany by turn 3 in a KGF? On turn 3 when the US fleet first moves out it should already be ahead of Japan because the Japanese destroyer probably did not survive Pearl. That is a moot point anyway as Japan has more places to cover than they can be at. When the US engages Japans Navy it is at the US initiative. A battleship per round is nothing for the US to pull off and they add up quick as do those bombardments. If you are blowing 5 or 6 Japanese troops off the Map by sending in one infantry Japan will be feeling the pain on the mainland without the US even capturing one of the mainland territories.

  • depends on your approach, but the us can be funneling troops into norway starting US2. Or on US 1 with british support (or poor german fighter placement) they can begin to contest africa (which is worth $10 in IPC) and threaten southern europe as well.

    From an early stage and for the rest of the game the us threatens western europe at every turn, forcing germany to deploy defensive or counter-attacking troops, leavin them fewer troops available for use against russia.  It’s a direct and very quick impact.

    I totally agree the us fleet you build can mop the floor against japan’s fleet and take islands at will.  I just think it’s too little and too late if you’re acting alone and japan was allowed to dominate mainland asia in the meantime.

    a battleship per round is devastatingly expensive for the US.  aside from ground forces, early investments in transports and air power are a far more efficient investment to do damage to your opponents’ every turn.  I have never lost a game against an opponent who built a battleship with any world power.

    I mean, just assume that using transports, ground forces, or air power costs the US 2x whatever damage they do against germany or japan (it isn’t always that bad, but for the sake of argument).

    a battleship killing 2/3 of an infantry every round offensively in ground operations is irrelevant for it’s cost.  the damage it could do over 5 full rounds of game play is still nowhere near a 2x cost to 1 damage ratio you can get with other forces.  And for their main job of taking out any enemy fleet and holding ground, carriers and air power will do the job just fine.  The game was designed to reflect the historical inneficiency of building new battleships as compared to carriers, even though they are great units to start the game with.

    Per your example of killing 5-6 infantry a turn (with 7 battleships?? :P)…. you might as well build a ton of bombers, land them on an island and bomb japan for $15 IPC’s a turn.  It’s cheaper, though I don’t recommend that either.

    edit – final thought.  the difference in our experiences with battleships is probably because you’ve played games where the japanese opponent attempted to fight back against the us fleet build up.  In that case, i’m sure they did pay off comparably, because they had something worthwhile to kill.  But ignoring an expensive US battleship makes them pretty inneficient.

  • tell ya what eumaies, if you have Abattlemap we can play a forum game. You can take Axis with a bid of 8 I only require that you build 2 mianland ICs Japan 1. You even know what strategy I will employ so it should be an easy win for you.

  • that sounds awesome, let’s play.  but what’s battlemap?  I’d be happy to install it.  I currently play on gametableonline – have you played there?

    If we’re playing standards A&A revised i’m happy to play axis with no bid (no bonus troops).

  • Abattlemap is for all intents and purposes an electronic game board. It doesn’t do anything fancy. You might want to read the stickied thread here about help with it as it has some pointers. I will get us started down in the Play by Forum section.

    Download Battlemap here:

    You want the 0.79 version that is at the top. If I recall correctly all you have to do is unzip it and click on the exe. inside the folder.

  • First, one should think WHY did Japan build the 2 factories, instead of the usual 3tra 2inf or 3tra 1tnk or 4tra (with 2IPC from bid) ? If they would like maximum pressure in Asia, the best times to build these factories would be in turns 2-3-4, only to supplement the transports started early.

    More often, the 2 IC buy is an emergency response e.g. to the British ‘exploding’ around (Borneo, New Guinea, Solomons, bomber near), so Japan cannot defeat them all and cannot escort a transport mass together with the needed Pearl and China attacks.

    Then yes, that buy diverts 30 IPC that neither fight soon at sea, nor on land, so ‘helps’ the US decisions towards KJF. But that is still ‘far away’ enough of the decision ‘hump’ (as in the ‘hump of the camel’ or railroad ‘triage hump’).

    I’d jump to KJF on 1US if Japan has built 2IC AND took significant losses (1 carrier, e.g. if btl car didn’t sink the UK destroyer in sz59 easy enough; or 1sub 1fig 1bmb in Pearl)
    OR Japan didn’t attack Pearl at all - so US survive with sub car fig worth 36 IPC - that usually go down, often taking only the repaired hit on the Jap battleship.

  • '22 '21 '19 '15 '14

    I think buying 2 Factories in the first round is almost always a bad play for Japan. I’d only consider it, under the most blatant KGF conditions. If there is a possibility for an Allied Pacific game, a double Factory build on the mainland usually just leads to disaster.

    You should never buy a factory unless you can fill it with 3 tanks every turn. Japan doesn’t need a second until they are collecting at least 45+ IPCs per round, and even then its debatable. Transports provide more flexibility with less risk. Even the guys from the JTDTM Factory school of thought, usually won’t buy the second IC until the round 2 or 3. In a low luck game the dynamics are more favorable towards factories for J, but low luck distorts the mechanics so dramatically that its basically like playing a totally different game; and in my view not really worth taking seriously. Under standard dice rules, I’d never buy 2 factories in the first round. Its just asking for trouble.

    If I was playing Allies, the second factory would make me want to throw everything + the kitchen sink at the Japanese.

  • quite simply, transports have to be defended, and the allies can put have in range alot of threatening airpower before japan’s second turn…  and every ship that’s left defending them reduces your ability to cheaply destroy the various allied fleets that might be making a mess in the pacific on turn one.

    Other than that, the additional transports allow for 6 units a turn, similarly to the IC’s.  The additional transports give you the ability to grab guys more quickly from the islands, as well as the ability to push on india and africa faster and harder.  But each of these require some tradeoffs (ideally, mass troops in manchuria, but if india looms you may have to deal with that, slowing the flow of 6 units/per turn.

    transports assuming a factory build later also ends up reducing the flow of fast moving armor, if that’s necessary.

    Don’t get me wrong, i’m a big fan of transports, but they have their drawbacks too.

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