Key to Allied victory: Indian IC?

  • Well, I’ll now stick my head out a little and retract earlier statements about not being able to hold India. This is since a major experience playing '41 is that just allowing Japan to grow is really a high risk strategy: even if you go all out KGF you will have to be lucky to get to Berlin before Moscow falls and a lot of the time a Jap fighter horde will be defending Berlin. Rather than taking those chances an India IC gives you the chance to slow down the Japanese advance early and the whole dynamic of the game then changes.

    So here are the advantages of going all-in for India:

    1. Forces Japan to focus on an area and gives other areas of the board a break, esp. US navy.
    2. If you keep building up UK and Russian forces there, UK IPCs will be more secure and also Japans production more normal -> major economic advantage.
    3. Japan can’t just go through China and Russia since then UK attacks vs. south Asia will be robbing those bonuses.
    4. You will have the time to finish off Italy and then invade France in good order. Esp. USA will be able to send forces both vs. Europe and Pacific. For example, being able to land US land troops and fighters in France after a UK invasion and with no Italian threat is a real pain in the butt for Germany since if France is then kept by the Allies, UK will build an IC -> game over!

    Of course, there are disadvantages, such as:

    1. Your allies must help you as the UK player. If the Jap plays aggressively, you will have to get 4-6 infantry and some tanks and fighters as well from Russia. In essence, Russia will have to bear losing Caucasus perhaps already on G2 and then retake it and keep playing in a more reactive way for the first few turns. And the US navy must be active and keep at least half the Japanese fighter force on carriers!
    2. You will probably be forced to transfer the UK fighters to India via Arkhangelsk. This means building up your fleet will be a slower process as UK, you don’t get the boost of building a CV with 2 fighters transferred onto it.
    3. You also commit some IPCs to the Pacific theater, again delaying a quick invasion of Europe.
    4. Russia being committed in India, Karelia will probably not hold alone. Rather than invading France the first two-three turns, you might find yourself embroiled vs. Germany in Karelia. Perhaps you might be forced to give the Germans control of Karelia temporarily in order to invade it again when they move forward vs. Moscow. And keeping down Italy will be left to the US, who should build up its East coast navy on turn 1 to immediately threaten the Italian navy together with those 2 bombers.

    But my thought know is that the pros really outweighs the cons and that India IC is a go! What have you found?

  • We havent really experimented with an Indian IC, but I definately favor some sort of Asiatic strat for the Allies… All the advantages you listed above are present if the US commits as well (in addition to or instead of). Personally I prefer a UK South Africa IC to India. India is a high-risk, high-reward play whereas SA is a more conservative and long term approach. I believe both will require the US to commit to the Pacific anyways.

    In any case, my experience has been that Japan left alone is a game-breaker. One way or the other the Allies have to translate IPCs into the Pacific. There is simply too much of an econ swing there to ignore it. I think protecting India in the early game risks too much for Russia to truly be effective but I would have to see it done to see what the true cost is. But at first brush my feeling is that the US can provide the Pacific power much more safely and close to as effectively as a UK/Russian investment. And the UK and Russia are better situated to use their IPCs against Germany/Italy.

  • India, in conjunction with other allied moves like russian ground unit support/7 inf in bury R1 moving into Manchuria R2, as well as some US pacific naval pressure (subs, surface fleet) might be a very good move.

    Recall that the IC can be a great delaying move.  With the new rules too, once the allies decide to abandon the IC if Japanese pressure mounts that high, the IC can be disabled through bombing, so it’s not a totally ‘free’ IC as some have said about Indian IC’s in the past editions of this game (or even this one).

  • But at first brush my feeling is that the US can provide the Pacific power much more safely and close to as effectively as a UK/Russian investment. And the UK and Russia are better situated to use their IPCs against Germany/Italy.

    The problem with letting USA fight it out alone vs. Japan is that it gets very difficult to outproduce them. The idea with keeping India is to keep Japan honest, somewhere around 40-45 IPCs instead of those impossible 50-55 IPCs you see if Japan runs rampant. Then USA can mount a credible threat without dumping all their IPCs into the Pacific. My impression of the game is that USA is in the best position to bring Italy down. It’s hard for UK to send their fleet down into the Mediterranean since they usually have to keep pressure on Karelia in the early game. And due to the Luftwaffe, splitting up the UK fleet is also difficult, leaving it to the Yanks to destroy the italian fleet.

    When Japan is hindered enough, you can then refocus all of your production to Europe for the final push against Germany (the early game you put 20 IPCs in Europe and ca 15 in India). Also keeping India means UK doesn’t drop down too low in production. South Africa as an IC is nice but it helps mostly to keep the African IPCs, hard to threaten Japan from down there.

    As for Russia, they should pull out their expensive units, fighters or tanks, as soon as India is secure and bring them back to their home front. Fighters are great here since they can be based in India and take part in your counterattacks vs. Caucasus. The plan is that once Moscow is in danger, you should be able to withdraw them!

  • One of the benefits of the south african IC is that you do not need to care about the italian fleet. Let the bad boys with their 10 IPCs bombard egypt or caucasus - so what? As long as the United Kingdom can occupy the italians in egypt all is well. If you sink the italian fleet you still have no additional fleet that helps in the mediteranean. The bombardment doesnt kill you and the U.S. world bombing tour can start in asia, where it can wear down the japs. Remenber, the seazone japan lies in is 4 seazones away from western united states and has 3 adjacent russian airfields. That means that the lone presence of bombers in WUS can tie down a whole fleet in front of japan. By the way, how many ICs does Japan build in J1 and J2 in your games?

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