As I understand it, you would forgo taking back borneo on J1?
Correct. Unless you have the resources, ie your trn in Sz 59 killed the DD AND AC (or there are no UK units in Sz 59), or you feel it is safe to transport 2 units there. I would put that somewhere in the 4th position of importance, behind Pearl, China, and clearing Sz 59.
To me it looks like having trannies just limits your flexibility when Japan is in a bad situation on J1. Imo, the best way to counter USA for awhile is to have your fleet and fighters in position to attack it if it moves too early. But if your fleet is protecting your trannies and taking pot shots at the mainland, how can your fleet be in position?
Your fleet at Pearl should be large enough to deter a US counter and after that you can station 1 AC in Sz 60 and the other can be used to help take back Bor/Ngu or take Aus later.
You should still have at least 2 BB’s, 2 ACs, 4-6 ftrs after J1 plently to protect several trn landing spots and still threaten the US. I mean if they buy heavy navy on US 1 then Japan can counter with a couple of subs on J2.
IMO, the problem with the IC buy is you can’t get units that can attack until J3, and could hurt if you do infact have to buy a little more navy.
Ideally if you can go 3 trns on J1, that’d be great, but it is not terrible to only have to buy 2 add add some extra fleet protection. With trns you can attack several coastal ter if you have to. You’ll need trns anyway, and absolute worst case they make good naval fodder.
Why go with an AC when you could get an IC for that price and guarantee a presence on the mainland? If Russia comes in strong then you will be hurting for icps for awhile, especially if you dont get Borneo back right away.
B/c if it is a KJF - UK IC Ind + US fleet on US 1 - you are going to be hard pressed to maintain naval dominance for very long. An IC may guarantee an Asia presence but if you end up losing EI and Bor to the US and have your fleet chased to Sz 61 you are in even bigger trouble.
Russia can’t come in strong b/c you should have 4-6 inf left over in China (threaten Fic and Man) and you can then use at least 1 BB in Man or Fic, the other I think can reach Bor and you can use the J1 trns you bought to attack Man/Bury/Bor as well. Plus it is easier for your ftrs/boms to reach.
But idk for sure, that’s the problem. I used to think 2 ICs is the best counter to a kjf or even a partial one, but then you need extra infantry on French, which increases the chances of China going bad. I’m starting to lean towards 1IC, 1 fighter, and save 5 for J2. But I have been giving more thought to a naval purchase, but thats a hard bullet for me to swallow. I’m having trouble justifying if. Especially another AC. 2 should be plenty. Air is more the way to go to hit USA with some subs when the time is right.
I like to avoid the AC buy as well, but sometimes it is necessary, ie UK bom/ftr/sub in range of Sz 60 or 61, plus the US bomber and ftr on Hi.
My view is I’d rather spend a little extra on Navy early to make sure I secure the Pac (you can always sail the extra AC to the Med or use it to harass Ala or even the South Atlantic later) then to buy and IC and then realise it is impossible to defend it and keep a massive US fleet at bay.
I only buy ICs when I know I need to increase my production cap.