• '16 '15 '10

    KJF Part 1: R1 and UK1

    In the interest of encouraging fun and varied Revised play (KJF instead of KGF), here are some thoughts on how to open a KJF with the highest probability of success.  The strategy below is an aggressive KJF designed to cripple Japan asap….it can be compared and contrasted with a more global KJF strategy like the one outlined here

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=13714.0

    KJF strategy aims for Allied economic domination by containing and neutering Japan.  This article will focus on the R1 and UK1 turns.  The most controversial part is the UK1 India factory.  No doubt, a UK1 India factory is high-risk.  But it also provides a  head-start for an aggressive KJF.   If the Allies intend a KJF from the start, rather than as a reaction to a problematic J1, then they ought to consider an India factory.  But bear in mind…a successful KJF starts with R1 and will not work without the participation of all 3 Allies.

    KJF is not advisable if there is a bid to Japan.  The bid should be either in Africa or in Europe.  Let’s assume that the bid went to Africa or a European territory that isn’t Ukraine.

    For the Allies to hold India, it will need support from Russians in Cauc.  From Cauc, the Russians can reinforce, deadzone, and recapture India.  Consequently it is critical to avoid losing Cauc on G1.  As an opening, the traditional dual attack on Ukraine (with all 3 tanks) and West Russia protects Cauc well.  3 tanks 3 inf is a good R1 buy, and at the end of R1 there should be at least 2 tanks on Cauc.  Other attack plans (all on WR, or WR/Belo) might work fine as well…but Ukr/WR ensures that Germany will not capture Cauc on G1.

    Deploying a traditional (normal looking) opening and using all available tanks in R1 attacks is vital for several reasons.  If you pull a tank and noncom it to Yakut or Sink, you demonstrate your intention to KJF, and a good German player will react accordingly.    Worse, you risk getting diced up in the opening R1 battles, leaving you doubly exposed to a German push.  Finally, if R1 goes bad, Allies can cancel the KJF with no harm done.

    Ukraine should be played first.  Be prepared to cancel the India factory if you get diced there.  Sometimes, you might score big on the first roll (say 4-5 hits) while the Germans don’t score (say 1-2 hits)—in this case you should consider pulling back to Cauc with your remaining units.  This will allow you to have a total of 6 tanks on Moscow and Cauc. These tanks are a huge asset.  They deadzone Karelia, and could potentially rush Asia.

    Don’t send Russian units to India—at least not on R1.  Instead, place tanks in Cauc so they are in position to liberate India.  You want the Japs to attack India J1—this means they will expose some air to aa guns, and that less units will go to China and Pearl, making each attack riskier for Japan.  When Russia counters India and China on R2, the Jap position on the mainland will look dire.

    Now for the non-combat.  In every KJF, mass 6 infantry at Buryatia.  4 inf to Sink creates headaches for Japan, and is necessary if you are considering a Sink factory.  4 inf plus 2 figs (landed in Kazach) will be in position to strike whatever Japanese units are left in China after J1.  This force can safely attack up to 5 Japanese infantry.

    Finally there are the 2 infs on Evenki—I recommend pulling them to Moscow for the Western front.  But if R1 went exceptionally well you might consider deploying them as reinforcements in Asia.

    So that does it for R1.  The Allies are ready for a KJF, but won’t commit until the German buy.  What you are looking for is an inf/art buy.  If Germany goes all armor, or goes naval, or leaves itself exposed, you would be well advised to switch to KGF.  Even a mere destroyer buy presents a problem because UK doesn’t have the resources to buy enough air to sink the German fleets AND defend India AND secure Africa.

    For the sake of this article, let’s assume Germany buys all land units, mostly infantry.  Let’s assume an Africa bid where Egypt is taken with 4-5 German units left over (if there is no Africa bid, UK should probably do an Egypt counter).  Germany either left the Baltic fleet in SZ 5 or moved it out.

    So UK needs to buy 1 factory plus (depending on the German deployment) either 5 inf, or 3 inf 1 arm, or 1 inf 1 fig.  In cases where you are playing an Egypt counter and the German Baltic transport will definitely die, then 1 fact 1 bomb should be considered.

    In Europe/Africa, you will need to play skillfully and flexibly.  Is Germany vulnerable in Africa?  Is a UK2 air assault on the Med fleet possible?  Is it possible to capture Karelia and allow a Russian tank to blitz Norway?   You will need to attack the German Baltic fleet—killing the transport is your main objective.   Over the course of the game, you will need to land units in both Africa and in Norway/Karelia/Arch, which requires using scarce resources intelligently and avoiding German air.  One of the main challenges playing this strategy is figuring out a way to contest Africa without diluting the KJF’s momentum…….suffice it to say it is hard to win against a good Axis player if the Germans are allowed undisputed control of Africa.   Destroying the Med fleet is vital—if  the RAF get a shot at it they need to take it.

    Fleet Deployments in conjunction with UK1 India….

    Now for the fleet complexities…what to do with the Indian fleet UK1?  
    Here are 3 suggestions for fleet deployments.  In all of these the UK bomber should land at Novo (or Cauc).  Note that destroying the 59 tranny is a critical battle, so any time you only send 1 unit against this tranny (15% to fail) you are risking the game outcome.  Fortunately, the AC or tranny can work as a fodder unit, or you can double up on 59 with the destroyer and the fighter.

    School 1: AC, fig, destroyer attk 59.  Sub attks sub in 45.  Ncm tranny to 36, fig to Bury. Other tranny reinforces Aussie.  Recommended against expert players.

    School 2: Fig attks 59 and lands in Bury, all UK fleet units to SZ 30.  Intention is to combine with US fleet at SZ45 on UK3—this creates an armada that threatens E. Indies on USA3. Probably fatally flawed (for starters, just attacking 59 with a fig is too risky) but it’s fun and worth a try.

    School 3: Fig + sub attk 45, destroyer attks 59, 2 inf to Borneo, 2 inf to NG.   AC either supports 59, blocks 36, or moves off to Africa.  Nice opening to incite less experienced players to spread themselves too thin J1.

    All of these can work well, and it is fun to try out original strats and create one’s own amalgam tactic.  While I’ve won many games with School 2 (a battle-tested approach used by many), I would recommend School 1 as the most difficult approach for Japan to combat (as far as I know, it was first outlined by Bmaster/Eumaies here http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=13074.msg362985#msg362985).  School 3 is arguably overzealous, but against some opponents it will yield rewards. Namely, if your opponent is inclined to attack Pearl and brings insufficient force, then that will set up a USA Pearl counter.  If you can take out half the Jap fleet on USA1, then you are well on the way to victory.

    Against more inexperienced opponents, a forceful approach is useful to incite them to attack too much on J1 and spread themselves too thin and open to counterattack.  Against an expert, you want to be careful what you put in play because the expert will choose a limited amount of targets and destroy them securely.

    The key to making the India factory work is undertaking a KJF that is so aggressive that India is the least of Japan’s worries.  If the Japan player commits everything to taking India, you can use that to your advantage!  Notice that at the end of UK1 Japan is not just facing India, it is facing a substantial naval offensive from the UK, and serious offensives from Russia in China and in Bury/Manchuria.  In addition, a Sink factory and/or a USA Pacific offensive is likely…so an experienced Japan player will be thinking about defense, not offense.  
    If building India is too risky for your blood, note that if you skip the India factory (spending all of UK1 against Germany) but still do all the other moves outlined above, plus the #3 deployment, then depending on J1 it may still be possible to pursue a full-scale KJF, with or without land factories.  Alternatively, sometimes it is possible to focus exclusively on Germany with the UK while using USA and Russian troops only in Asia as your land component.  What I would stress is that KJF against a good player requires some sort of land component—going after Japan with the USA fleet only and allowing Japan to gobble up mainland Asia is usually a bad idea. If you arrive fast enough  with the USA fleet then you don’t necessarily need Allied land factories…but you will need some Allied action in Asia to stop the Japanese from getting rich on the mainland.  Building India UK1 is risky, but it does have the virtue of getting your land component off to a running start.  It forces Japan to choose between focusing on the mainland or focusing on navy.
    So that does it for the basic R1 and UK1 moves…USA’s strategy will depend on how Japan reacts on J1.

    Good luck kicking Japan’s a**!

    **To summarize……
    Aggressive Land Based KJF includes

    R1 buy 3 inf 3 arm or 4 arm 1 art
    Attk Ukraine/West Russia.  Ncm 4 inf to Sink and 6 inf to Bury.  2inf on Evenki usually to Moscow, sometimes to Novo or Yakut.  Place at least 2 tanks on Cauc, figs on Kazach.

    UK1 (assuming an appropriate G1) buy 1 fact plus 15 ipc spent on planes and/or inf/tanks.
    Attk 59 with destroyer plus fig (with AC optional), sub attks sub.  Planes should attk Baltic fleet until the transport is destroyed.  Counter Egypt and Europe depending on the G1 turn.  Ncm fig to Bury, use AC or tranny to block 36,  If possible ncm figs to WR, bomb to Cauc or Novo.  4 inf on India.**


  • Good approach! +1 !

    I have still to do my soviet article, but yours is pretty good. It should be good seeing our KJF articles attached in articles section of this web (I mean blue pages, not the forum)  😉


  • hey zhukov,

    nice summary, it’s hard to review every contingency but this is a really great review of the key considerations.  I’ve actually been thinking of a slightly different kjf-focused article – less on the opening moves that make it possible and more about ways the allies can think about tipping points and next steps after the first move.  I might add it to your post here or at GTO.

    With regards to your summary, two small points I’ve thought about alot that i think are worth considering:

    1. Varthlokur was suggesting an interesting alternate strategy for russia that i don’t like but i think has merit.  Saving 1 tank from the ukraine attack to wait in moscow, which is risky and will cost you troops on average, but that let’s you decide based on the outcome of ukraine whether or not to go KJF.  and if things DO go well, then he sends the tank to yakut.  If things don’t go well, he reverts to kgf.

    I’m actually not a fan, because I hate to start the game off with a dissapointing loss, and i’m not convinced one russian tank in yakut is really that much scarier for japan, who doesn’t need to hold manchuria.  But i was impressed with the idea of contingency planning for a kgf.

    1. You mentioned landing 2 russian fighters in kazakh. I prefer to land 1 in kazakh, 1 in caucusus.  Both can hit china as needed, which is the main target on R2.  However, since in many cases you won’t need both to do that, if you need to shift back and hit the german front with the planes, it’s nice to have a more flexible setup, and then in turn be able to use and land planes in round 2 potentially in range of both eastern and western fronts.  You never know whether you’re going to have to pitch in in either direction, especially when running a a kjf.

  • I’ve tried School 2 quite a few times (also picking up 2 inf from Aus to sz 30), but I’m afraid that Japan can kill the sz30 fleet too easy without the fig. I’d rather just send the DD, AC and trn to sz 33 if I just use the fig for sz 59 (they will still be able to hook up with the US fleet later).

    An interesting thing to note is that failure in sz 59 might not be so bad for the India factory (only for Bury if you have stacked there). If Russia sends its 2 inf from Kaz to Per on R1, it has India deadzoned (Japan can only send 4 inf to India even if the trn survives, which Russia can kill and UK will then be able to build). Occasionally, I have built the factory on UK1 and then vacated India (this can also work if you don’t attack sz 59 at all). Alternatively, you can still place the IC in SAf if you’re really uncomfortable.

    What do you propose for the UK against Germany? If there is no Kar stack, I prefer taking the gamble in sz 5 and hitting Kar with the UK, allowing the Soviets to keep their income up to par for a while.

  • '16 '15 '10

    @KGB:

    I’ve tried School 2 quite a few times (also picking up 2 inf from Aus to sz 30), but I’m afraid that Japan can kill the sz30 fleet too easy without the fig. I’d rather just send the DD, AC and trn to sz 33 if I just use the fig for sz 59 (they will still be able to hook up with the US fleet later).

    What worries me more than the danger of a Jap attack on SZ30 is putting no immediate pressure on Japan, and allowing them to smash Pearl w/o consequences.  Plus Japan can position its fleets to block a fleet unification and they can put pressure on American fleet builds off LA right away (ie force USA to build in the Gulf of California zone).  Not to mention that there are many long-game counters to the fleet unification tactic–one time an opponent invested in fighters with Germany and then flew these into Asia to attack the Allied fleet when it was divided.  I prefer to put Japan in a situation where attacking Pearl is a risky proposition, since I’d rather have an extra American carrier than an extra UK carrier.

    An interesting thing to note is that failure in sz 59 might not be so bad for the India factory (only for Bury if you have stacked there). If Russia sends its 2 inf from Kaz to Per on R1, it has India deadzoned (Japan can only send 4 inf to India even if the trn survives, which Russia can kill and UK will then be able to build). Occasionally, I have built the factory on UK1 and then vacated India (this can also work if you don’t attack sz 59 at all). Alternatively, you can still place the IC in SAf if you’re really uncomfortable.

    The Bury stack plus UK fig seems indispensable to effective KJFing–it puts immediate pressure on Jap transport builds…and it gives USA a chance to attack Jap fleets if they are vulnerable and safely land.  So the SZ 59 tranny must be destroyed.

    What do you propose for the UK against Germany? If there is no Kar stack, I prefer taking the gamble in sz 5 and hitting Kar with the UK, allowing the Soviets to keep their income up to par for a while.

    Hitting Karelia plus Russian Norway blitz seems the best choice, but most top players anticipate this move and block it.  So the next best alternative may be fleet unification at 12, if it can be accomplished safely.  But in that scenario the Ukraine fig should be out of contention…


  • I just wonder if you know the Caspian Sub Policy Paper dealing with the issue of Indian factory. I have always thought it basically demolishes the idea of factory build UK1 and certainly I cannot see how your strategy would counter the CSub people counter to make it Japanese ownership by round 3. Or have they made any mistake in their calculations?

  • '16 '15 '10

    I’ve learned alot from CSub, but that particular paper is the oldest and certainly not one of the better ones.  It doesn’t account for the factor that even if the Japs roll over India J3, the Russians can liberate India and then the British can build there again on UK4.  If Japan drops everything else to put all it has into taking India the way that paper advocates, it should backfire, because the Russians can retake India, as well as press into China/Manchuria, and the USA should make major headway in the Pacific, and may well build factories on both Sink and China.

    There’s no disputing that the India factory is risky and is not the most economically efficient way to spend UK resources.  But it’s pretty darn useful in a KJF where all 3 Allies are putting pressure on Japan.  The UK is a critical power in KJF because its the last to go before Japan, so other powers do can openers for it.  So a tank factory in South Asia can have a huge impact.


  • @Zhukov44:

    What worries me more than the danger of a Jap attack on SZ30 is putting no immediate pressure on Japan, and allowing them to smash Pearl w/o consequences.  Plus Japan can position its fleets to block a fleet unification and they can put pressure on American fleet builds off LA right away (ie force USA to build in the Gulf of California zone).  Not to mention that there are many long-game counters to the fleet unification tactic–one time an opponent invested in fighters with Germany and then flew these into Asia to attack the Allied fleet when it was divided.  I prefer to put Japan in a situation where attacking Pearl is a risky proposition, since I’d rather have an extra American carrier than an extra UK carrier.

    You can like the sz 30 unification or not, I’m just saying that if you do it you have to do it right. That UK fig makes a huge difference - without it, a sz 30 hit is relatively safe, but with it it becomes incredibly risky. And Japan can still attack Pearl if it does sz 30 (SS, DD, fig, bomber - this is riskier). I think the UK AC, DD, 2 trn, sub can do more to Japan than take 2 figs or so with them in sz 30 - by using the School 1 approach (which makes Japan’s life much harder if you’re going to throw away those units anyway), or keeping the AC/DD/trn handy for a unification in EI/NGu on UK 4.

    It’s true that Japan can move its EI stuff to sz 45 on J1 to preempt a unification, but then it will have a really hard time shipping units to FIC on J2, which puts your India factory in a good position.

    @Zhukov44:

    The Bury stack plus UK fig seems indispensable to effective KJFing–it puts immediate pressure on Jap transport builds…and it gives USA a chance to attack Jap fleets if they are vulnerable and safely land.  So the SZ 59 tranny must be destroyed.

    I agree that stacking Bury and putting the UK fig there is a really nice tactic, just don’t lose sight of what it’s useful for. It ensures Japan can’t do Pearl heavy and build 3 transports (it works especially well if you have the UK sub in sz 45 as well). But if Japan attacks sz 30, it will keep its BB in sz 60 anyway, so you’re not constraining Japan in any transport builds.

  • '16 '15 '10

    Good points.

    Personally I wouldn’t consider attacking a combine in 30 unless UK had loaded 2+ inf onto the transports….it’s potentially risky in dice and puts the IJN out of position, plus costs 2+ Jap figs.  However, I’ve seen 30 owned enough times to understand your caution.  Forgoing SZ 59 doesn’t seem like an option…that gives Japan a dominant position on the mainland, and Axis easily squeezes out Russia.  So that would leave us with a delayed combine option as Func describes in his SAF strat paper.  But this also has its weaknesses…in this case the soonest USA could take East Indies would be USA4, and with no factory up until USA5…that’s a long time to wait before bringing substantial pressure on Japan from the Pacific…in the meantime Allies will be in dire straits in Eurasia.

    For me personally, the fleet combine tactic stopped working against good players so I stopped trying it.  KJF seems to require a more aggressive approach.


  • The problem in KJF is that you have to make tradeoffs - you can invest into keeping Africa, establishing a UK/US mainland presence in Asia or keeping the UK Pac fleet intact, but it always comes at a cost in another theater. I think that you either need to put extra pressure on Japan (by building an India factory or an agressive fleet placement) or contest Africa for a pre-planned KJF to work. With that in mind, unifying the fleet has two advantages:

    • it can enable a US2 move to Sol

    • it forces Germany to be careful around Africa, because UK can land with 3-4 inf plus air in Ken or Egypt. With that in mind, building a SAf factory on UK2 becomes a possibility (you send the loaded trn with Aus inf to SAf on UK2, and move the rest of the fleet to NSW) and you can kill the German Med fleet on UK2

    That said, Japan can still send its entire fleet so Sol on J2 to thwart the unification and even if it doesn’t, getting to Sol and capturing and keeping EI are two different things. Furthermore, you have given Japan a good start on the mainland (and the income base that comes with it).

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