Jap transport bid



  • I was thinking of placement at sz37 or 50.  I like 37 for the J1 attack on Australia, India, or Egypt, but sz50 would be great for picking up all of those stranded island infantry.  The inf. from Solomon, Caroline, and New Guinea tend to get left there otherwise.  So, really, it’s like getting an extra transport AND 2-3 infantry since you’ll have an easy way to put the islanders to good use at the beginning of the game.  Those infantry will then invade New Zealand (J1), Australia (J2), Madagascar (J3), and then, of course, Africa.  I’d say that transport is well worth it if it’s used to pick up those territories.  The Allies have little chance of liberating those once Japan gets control of them.  So, that’s an extra 4IPCs per turn from J3 until endgame because of the extra transport.  Of course, the transport could also be used for fodder against the American or British navy on Round 1 if need be.  I can barely stand the thought of not using the bid for Germany, but a Jap transport in the right place on J1 would really give you a head start.

    So, the question is, does this pay off?  You would almost certainly forfeit the German tank blitz through Africa without a bid there.  Britain would surely counter Egypt on B1….though it should keep them from considering an attack on Borneo…which would be another plus to Japan.  Compared to the German African bid, do you think the Jap transport is just as good of an option?


  • 2007 AAR League

    Yes, if you’re a strong German player, a Japanese transport can be very effective. If you’re really bold, you could always forgo Egypt on r1 and hit it harder on r2 with everything you can. And that Jap transport, if it was in range, if Russia stacked Bury, you could hit Bury with more men from Japan.



  • I think I want to experiment with those transport bids. They aren’t new but they’re not common either. I find that Germany doesn’t usually get a lot out of Africa with strong Allied play and Japan could pick up the slack. One perk to the Carolines bid is that the Russians may be in for a nasty surprise if they try to stack Bury. The big bonus to the Carolines bid isn’t simply to sweep island infantry but to start by taking Hawaii on J1. That’s 3 US fighters killed on Japan’s first turn, it makes the US guard LA, and can set up a J2 attack on Australia.



  • I didn’t think about invading Hawaii.  I have it at an 85% chance of success with an inf and art from Japan and 2 inf from the Caroline transport with the 1 fighter for support.  That’s good enough in my book……and the Allies are down 1 extra fighter.  With the lost American fighter and the transports for fodder, your Jap navy should be safe from a US1 counter after the pearl harbor attack.  Afterwards, you have several good options on J2 with the transports.

    I don’t know if I could stomach not attacking Egypt on G1.  The British Indian Ocean fleet would then move right through the Suez canal and be a real pain.  Perhaps you’ve found a good way to combat this in your games.



  • I don’t think I could skip Egypt either.

    @The:

    If you’re really bold, you could always forgo Egypt on r1 and hit it harder on r2 with everything you can.

    Why would you skip Egypt? Unless Germany’s going for Caucuses or West Russia on G1 and needs either the Med ships or the Luftwaffe to do it, I can’t imagine why Egypt wouldn’t be attacked.


  • '16 '15 '10

    I think a Jap transport to the East Indies fleet is the strongest transport bid in Revised.  Threatens Aussie, India, and SZ34/Egypt.  Unlike a German tranny bid, Axis gets to use it the rest of the game.



  • Jap trannie bid is pretty nice indeed. It makes Polar Express very very quick and that’s good news for axis. I tried z50 with great success, but probably eind is also nice



  • @Funcioneta:

    Jap trannie bid is pretty nice indeed. It makes Polar Express very very quick and that’s good news for axis. I tried z50 with great success, but probably eind is also nice

    I’ve played mostly KGF style games but have only once faced anything like a Polar Express. It was a live game several months ago and even though Japan was forced out of Alaska, I lost. At the time, I had no skill in managing German navies as the Allies and was logistically stupid with the USA so I can’t give my opponents all the credit for the victory, my play was inferior. Right now, the only times I’ll invade North America as Japan is if I grabbed LA from right under their noses because they’re too busy in Europe to watch my Pacific transports. Then by taking Alaska and West Canada I’m able to trade LA for a while for the income and shuck distraction.

    When you do play as Axis, you must be setting yourself up for either a Kill Russia First or a Polar Express by buying transports and then committing to a strategy depending on Allied moves. What are the main factors in the decision between KRF and Polar Express? US in the Pacific would probably be a good reason not to Polar Express for instance. If the USA sets up a West US shuck, does that automatically rule out a Polar Express? If USA sets up an East US shuck, does that automatically mean Polar Express? Suppose the UK decides to unite fleets in z30, then how can Japan sail over to North America and keep the UK from sailing the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean?

    Let’s say that you determine conditions are favorable for a Polar Express. When is the first North American landing, J2-3? Does Japan usually have a mainland Asia factory in addition to the Alaskan one? How much ground does Japan gain in Asia if the bulk of their income is going towards America?

    Have you been more or less successful with Polar Express than KRF or a more typical Axis strategy? Do you attribute a lot of that success to the opponents being inexperienced in playing against that Japanese strategy? What sort of bids best suit this sort of Axis strategy, the traditional units to Libya/Europe or a Japanese transport?

    Polar Express is something I’ve been curious about for a while but Func, you’re about the only person I’ve seen talking about. Can you shed some light on the strategy and post a link if there’s a good game that demonstrates the merits of a Polar Express.



  • @Fleetwood:

    Polar Express is something I’ve been curious about for a while but Func, you’re about the only person I’ve seen talking about. Can you shed some light on the strategy and post a link if there’s a good game that demonstrates the merits of a Polar Express.

    IIRC, Polar Express is a strategy for AA50, not Revised. If you are trying to invade the US through Alaska with Revised then it will be 8 Jap units landing on Alaska/W. Can. against 10 US units being built in W. US, every turn.

    Trying something like this is like the Canadian Shield strategy: it only works against unexperienced players.



  • The Polar Express can be defended against, but it’s not as easy as it might seem. If Japan has a lot of transports (7 or so) in sz 60, that can force the US to make a 10 unit build in WUS, leaving Japan the option of simply going about its business and having set back the US considerably.

    In my league game against Funcioneta this year I found out that Japan is also quite flexible about pulling out if it decides to dump units into Ala. Both parties must deadzone WCan (since Jap trns will be in reach of WCan and WUS must be defended from an Amphib assault, moving into WCan is tricky for the US) - if Japan can hold WCan, US is in huge trouble (defending both WUS and EUS in that case is extremely hard). But with many transports in the Pacific, Japan can relatively cheaply ship all of its units back to Asia in 2 turns, leaving the US with a big stack in WUS. The Polar Express certainly makes for an interesting game, and the Allied player has to stay on his toes.

    As for the transport bid, I’m not a big fan of sz 37. I don’t see why you would want to attack Aus on turn 1, against India it only deters a factory (something which, while being a viable strategy, Japan shouldn’t be terribly afraid of), and if you want to use it against Egypt you might as well have placed a German bid in Africa anyway. sz 50 is interesting though - it deters a Bury stack (which I’m quite fond of when playing the Allies, but others might not) and the Hawaiian mainland attack accomplishes three things: it bags the plane, puts you in the ideal position to rack up Haw/NZ/Aus ASAP (some players forego (some) of these IPCs, but that adds up substantially over the course of a game) and it forces the US to incur some delay defending the West Coast.



  • @KGB:

    The Polar Express can be defended against, but it’s not as easy as it might seem. If Japan has a lot of transports (7 or so) in sz 60, that can force the US to make a 10 unit build in WUS, leaving Japan the option of simply going about its business and having set back the US considerably.

    • J lands 10-14 units on Alaska/E. Can
    • US reinforces W.US with 10 units or more
    • J leaves Alaska and lands units on Buryatia.
    • US buys 3-4 transports and infantry. US moves all tanks to E. Can and infantry to W. Can or C. US.
    • J Units for Buryatia head to Yakut
    • US buys 4 transports more, moves all inf to E. Can or E. US, picks up 3/4 inf and 3/4 armor and lands them on UK/Algeria.
    • J units move to Nov.
    • 6-8 US units land in W. Eur.

    Significant setback for the US? Only if you don’t know how to set the US ‘shuck-shuck’ properly. And meanwhile J didn’t put pressure on Asia/Africa during the 2 turns it took to go to North America and back. With the result that Russia and UK income haven’t suffered a big dent and they were free to focus on dealing with Germany (and in 2 turns G starts feeling the pressure of 8 US units on Europe).

    I’d say significant setback for Axis since J got its priorities wrong. You need to kill Russia before G falls to the Allies, all the rest are unnecessary distractions.



  • As for the transport bid, I’m not a big fan of sz 37. I don’t see why you would want to attack Aus on turn 1, against India it only deters a factory (something which, while being a viable strategy, Japan shouldn’t be terribly afraid of), and if you want to use it against Egypt you might as well have placed a German bid in Africa anyway. sz 50 is interesting though - it deters a Bury stack (which I’m quite fond of when playing the Allies, but others might not) and the Hawaiian mainland attack accomplishes three things: it bags the plane, puts you in the ideal position to rack up Haw/NZ/Aus ASAP (some players forego (some) of these IPCs, but that adds up substantially over the course of a game) and it forces the US to incur some delay defending the West Coast.

    Yes, I agree, there’s too much else for Japan to do on turn 1 before an attack on Australia.  I like the opening invasion of Hawaii.  From there, conceivably by turn 5, it’s NZ/Aus/Madagascar/South Africa all using the bidded transport.

    As far as the polar express goes, I may take Alaska at some point if I don’t see any tanks in W. U.S. or E. Canada.  That way, I should at least hold Alaska for 2 turns.  Even so, I haven’t yet decided if it’s really worth sending units there instead of Russia……even if it’s just 1 or 2 infantry.  They’ll easily be countered, and would likely have more utility as part of an infantry stack moving toward Russia.  The 2 IPCs gained in Alaska will probably be short-lived.  Although, I once won a game as the allies where I ignored Japan’s capture of Alaska and kept shucking to Europe.  U.S. was deprived those 2 IPCs, but it wasn’t a game-breaker.  I don’t think either Japan or U.S. can afford to send much there in a KRF/KGF game.



  • @Hobbes:

    @KGB:

    The Polar Express can be defended against, but it’s not as easy as it might seem. If Japan has a lot of transports (7 or so) in sz 60, that can force the US to make a 10 unit build in WUS, leaving Japan the option of simply going about its business and having set back the US considerably.

    • J lands 10-14 units on Alaska/E. Can
    • US reinforces W.US with 10 units or more
    • J leaves Alaska and lands units on Buryatia.
    • US buys 3-4 transports and infantry. US moves all tanks to E. Can and infantry to W. Can or C. US.
    • J Units for Buryatia head to Yakut
    • US buys 4 transports more, moves all inf to E. Can or E. US, picks up 3/4 inf and 3/4 armor and lands them on UK/Algeria.
    • J units move to Nov.
    • 6-8 US units land in W. Eur.

    Significant setback for the US? Only if you don’t know how to set the US ‘shuck-shuck’ properly. And meanwhile J didn’t put pressure on Asia/Africa during the 2 turns it took to go to North America and back. With the result that Russia and UK income haven’t suffered a big dent and they were free to focus on dealing with Germany (and in 2 turns G starts feeling the pressure of 8 US units on Europe).

    I’d say significant setback for Axis since J got its priorities wrong. You need to kill Russia before G falls to the Allies, all the rest are unnecessary distractions.

    Hmm. There are some complications for the US. I don’t know how the US shuck is set up. Just using two stacks of transports in sz 10 and sz 12 and not moving ground units to ECan is very easy to mess with. Moving all or part of your units from WUS -> WCan -> ECan works great against pesky 1 unit incursions into Ala, but because of its naval and aerial assets Japan will be able to attack any units in WCan at very advantegeous rates. If Japan lands 10-14 units in North America, just having 10 units in WUS won’t suffice - you need more than that to deter a landing in WUS, or have enough tanks handy in EUS to retake it. And any inf builds in WUS will have a hard time getting into the fray in Europe if Japan retreats - not only does it take 2 turns for them to reach ECan, you also have to make sure they won’t get smoked if they pass through WCan.



  • If the US player ignores the 7 transports at range of Alaska/W. Can then he just make a serious mistake.

    If J decides to keep his offensive on the US, then it means that the units being used there aren’t going after Russia nor is J’s income raising much on Asia or Africa. J is simply trying to kill the US but they are almost matched in production and the US is defending.

    Meanwhile G is having to deal with R/UK by herself… I’ll take that deal anytime 🙂



  • Japan going for the USA isn’t something that should be the Axis grand plan, it should happen if the Americans leave themselves vulnerable. You’re right on that. I’ll take Russia/UK vs Germany any time as long as Allies have Africa.

    But you must consider the geography. If Japan is allowed to hold Western Canada, the Americans most cost effective defense for WUS is of course infantry. Then what happens when Japan shifts to Eastern Canada? America will need to move over to defend EUS so they’d better have a lot of tanks for mobility.



  • @Fleetwood:

    But you must consider the geography. If Japan is allowed to hold Western Canada, the Americans most cost effective defense for WUS is of course infantry. Then what happens when Japan shifts to Eastern Canada? America will need to move over to defend EUS so they’d better have a lot of tanks for mobility.

    Agreed with the Africa part (I never, never let G have Africa). And yup, if the US allows J to take and hold W. Can then things get interesting on North America 🙂



  • The key for Japan is speed, and that trannie bid aids great. I find if Polar Express is well done, the first assault is round 2, 3 as much, and a turn later a IC for Alaska. If well done, USA is out of Europe and Africa the whole game unless they continue ignoring the invasion (and that spells doom for USA itself), and if Germany is well played and holds some ground in Africa (mad, saf, ken) while holding UK + soviets at EEU or better, Karelia, axis will have economic advantage and will win in the long run. This destroys in fact the point of KGF

    Of course if allies try fight the Indian or Pacific oceans, no point doing Polar Express. Polar Express is my solution against a 100% of KGF games. I know allies will start the suck at WUSA 80% of times and I take that into account. Anyway a proper J1 buy with both PE and JTDTM is 3 trannies, 2 inf or 4 trannies if you let 2 IPCs to Japan

    The only times I lost with a Polar Express where because I did it too slow (I think 2 times only), and one of them where the soviets who saved the day in Asia. Any Polar Express needs at least one IC at Asia (mainly FIC) just to ensure soviets don’t ruin the day, and if Japan hits the 50s, maybe 2 asian ICs. Speed and more speed is the key: allies left the iniciative in Pacific, so Japan must take it and don’t let escape the prey even for one second



  • The WCan attack is important: Japan can send all they have in Alaska and also units from Japan directly to WCan if needed without much damage to Japan’s shuck due that Perry channel unfrozen (I like this the slingshot effect). It seems like if testers viewed the Polar Express as possible when designed, because the map seems allow that move specifically with that marvellous CUSA territory that makes a take and hold of WCan a deadly move if Japan does. Revised was really well tested in my opinion

    Add a bit of salt to the wound: many players move the USA aaguns to Africa and get WUSA SBRed by Japan bomber (by a bomber parked in Bur, or EUSA if bomber is parked in Ala, then they must sink 5 IPCs to another aagun  😉



  • @Funcioneta:

    The key for Japan is speed, and that trannie bid aids great. I find if Polar Express is well done, the first assault is round 2, 3 as much, and a turn later a IC for Alaska. If well done, USA is out of Europe and Africa the whole game unless they continue ignoring the invasion (and that spells doom for USA itself), and if Germany is well played and holds some ground in Africa (mad, saf, ken) while holding UK + soviets at EEU or better, Karelia, axis will have economic advantage and will win in the long run. This destroys in fact the point of KGF

    The key for J is an incompetent US player. And if you are holding a strategy dependent on the other player making mistakes then you’re dead. US can hold off any J invasion if properly played and Polar Express strategy it hurts more the Axis than the Allies.


  • Moderator

    @Hobbes:

    The key for J is an incompetent US player.

    That isn’t really true.  One of the benefits of the Polar Express is the element of surprise.  Japan can play an absolute normal looking go after Russia strat early only they can shift to Polar Express.  
    Consider this, within the first 2-3 turns, Japan has at least 1 IC, and 4-5 trans.  An Asia Shuck usually has 1 trn going around getting Aus, NZ then HI and the other 4 trns are doing a 2x2 combo with 4 units to Bury and 4 units to Fic.  Well in this case all Japan needs to do, is when they plan to take HI, just drop off the 8 units to Bury instead of the split.  Now 10 units can hit WCan it this took absolutely no planning by Japan.  And even deadlier move would be to drop 2-3 more trns (with 5-6 inf to Japan) in Jap Sz and maybe back track an inf or 2 to Bury and now the threat from Japan is 14-16 inf to Ala or Wcan.

    If Japan goes to Ala they can atack Wcan the following turn with 20-24 units (give or take), plus probably 4 ftrs, 1 bom, 2 bbs.  Not an easy thing to defend, particularly when the US must also protect WUS if Japan holds Ala.

    Even if the US is using an 8 unit shuck starting in Wus, it can’t prevent the heavy landing to Ala and the follow up threat to WUS/Wcan if the Japan player sees a possible opening.

    And if the US player appears to be too well defended for a full Polar Express then Japan can nix the extra trn buy and continue to offload to Asia while trading Ala with its HI tran and BBs/ftrs.  And perhaps in the trading of Ala the opportunity may arise to hit the US reinforcements in Wcan.

    Again, the really good thing about Polar Express is Japan doesn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary in the first few turns.  Japan always buys trns and always buys an IC or two.  But you get to see how the US player sets up his shuck.  Anything less than 7-8 units to Wus can really open the door for Japan, and I wouldn’t necessarily call placing 6 units on Wus every turn incompetent.



  • @DarthMaximus:

    That isn’t really true.  One of the benefits of the Polar Express is the element of surprise.  Japan can play an absolute normal looking go after Russia strat early only they can shift to Polar Express. 
    Consider this, within the first 2-3 turns, Japan has at least 1 IC, and 4-5 trans.  An Asia Shuck usually has 1 trn going around getting Aus, NZ then HI and the other 4 trns are doing a 2x2 combo with 4 units to Bury and 4 units to Fic.  Well in this case all Japan needs to do, is when they plan to take HI, just drop off the 8 units to Bury instead of the split.  Now 10 units can hit WCan it this took absolutely no planning by Japan.

    @Hobbes:

    If the US player ignores the 7 transports at range of Alaska/W. Can then he just make a serious mistake.

    If the US is already paying attention to 7 transports then he will pay attention to those 5, specially if Hawaii has been attacked and there’s a J fleet there and J just decided to change its unloading routine.

    If playing against anyone who has never faced or heard about this strategy, J will have the element of surprise. But if you’re into surprising unexperienced players there are plenty of ways to do so.

    Perhaps it is better to ask: can this strategy work against opponents who have successfully countered it in the past?



  • You are not going to surprise anyone with a traditional JTDTM anyway, and JTDTM means 50% of axis wins and also needs speed to work. My win ratio with Polar Express is better than with JTDTM

    If you don’t try, you will never know if works or not. The same applies for a balanced approach with allies (the so-called KJF)  😉



  • @Funcioneta:

    You are not going to surprise anyone with a traditional JTDTM anyway, and JTDTM means 50% of axis wins and also needs speed to work. My win ratio with Polar Express is better than with JTDTM

    If you don’t try, you will never know if works or not. The same applies for a balanced approach with allies (the so-called KJF)  😉

    Out of the hundreds of games I’ve played both board and online I’ve seen opponents trying this strategy  and I lost once or twice but in all other attempts it failed because I was aware of it.

    This is called learning from other people’s mistakes, if you see someone pointing a loaded gun at his own head and pulling the trigger you don’t need to try it yourself to know it is a bad idea.

    But if it is so effective why don’t you see players complaining more and more on the Revised forums about it? People desperate about tips on how to counter that crazy Japanese strat that defeats the US.

    Funny how that doesn’t happen… 😉



  • @Hobbes:

    This is called learning from other people’s mistakes, if you see someone pointing a loaded gun at his own head and pulling the trigger you don’t need to try it yourself to know it is a bad idea.

    But if it is so effective why don’t you see players complaining more and more on the Revised forums about it? People desperate about tips on how to counter that crazy Japanese strat that defeats the US.

    First, that’s a extreme comparation (the gun vs the Polar Express, I’m not going to die if I lose one A&A game, and it’s not a 100% lose if I try Polar Express while the gun in the head is so). Is irrelevant for this talk

    But the effect if more people would try Polar Express and work would not be complainings: people simply would cease doing KGF all the time and start making a balanced approach, because a allied Pacific fleet cancels any chance of Polar Express. I guess also bids would be down to 3-5 as much



  • @Funcioneta:

    @Hobbes:

    This is called learning from other people’s mistakes, if you see someone pointing a loaded gun at his own head and pulling the trigger you don’t need to try it yourself to know it is a bad idea.

    But if it is so effective why don’t you see players complaining more and more on the Revised forums about it? People desperate about tips on how to counter that crazy Japanese strat that defeats the US.

    First, that’s a extreme comparation (the gun vs the Polar Express, I’m not going to die if I lose one A&A game, and it’s not a 100% lose if I try Polar Express while the gun in the head is so). Is irrelevant for this talk

    Actually if someone dies or not from it depends how well he aligns the barrel with the brain. And the point I was making is quite relevant: it is a bad idea that will do harm to whom tries it and so is Polar Express to the Axis.

    But the effect if more people would try Polar Express and work would not be complainings: people simply would cease doing KGF all the time and start making a balanced approach, because a allied Pacific fleet cancels any chance of Polar Express. I guess also bids would be down to 3-5 as much

    So, if I get this right:

    • Allied player is afraid that J might attempt a Polar Express so he decides to built a fleet with the US.
    • Japan decides instead to go for Asia
    • US has 3 options with this Pacific fleet: either try to challenge Japan in the Pacific, which is an uphill battle; pull it back to the Atlantic, which take 2 turns; or leave it there.

    Essentially the money the US spent on the Pacific fleet won’t have any immediate impact and it will take a long time and investment before the US can threaten Japan or safely reach the East Indies/Borneo/Philippines. Meanwhile Russia is feeling the pressure of both Germany and the japanese troops and the US just lost precious turns to reinforce Europe because J could do a Polar Express. Which would actually work against the Axis, at least in my opinion.

    Sounds great for Axis: no wonder the bid gets lower for them 🙂


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