TANK ROUTE CLEARING/AIRSTRIKE OPTIONS
I don’t think the tank clearing is a gambit, although its a potential tactic.
Whether the Moscow plane strike is used depends on the Allied play at the border. Most of the time, they won’t be used to clear a tank path, but its an additional option. If the Allies overplay Asia then its a straightforward German assault at the weakpoint. Japanese troop placement varies with the Allied response, but Manchuria seems to work better overall. Mongolia is important in most runs and usually worth the 3IPC cost.
The Japanese may need multiple roads, depending on what Brittain can land to stop it. Usually its easier to just get the borders. The entire Moscow airstrike thing is a gamble, but so is any power move in a game, such as going after the fleet. 12-14 axis planes, with only brittain in between moves, can drop a hammer on a pretty good size holding force. If the forces in Moscow try and block access they have to be certain that they can get every one. If even one route stays open, they will need enough troops to survive the air raid. This means they need to send enough units to lock a victory over the course of two or three seperate battles. These generally aren’t favorable trades for them. They also have to cover any tank blitz routes. US/UK can commit airpower to assist, but thats expensive as well and may make the fleet vulnerable.
Japan can frequently open up more fronts than the Allies can safely shut down, even working quickly. Been able to manage it most games. Not saying that it can’t be stopped, but its not as easy as it seems. Russia is going to be hard pressed to keep its tanks in reserve.
The preferred use is to have Japan open multiple infantry fronts, likely holding at least one. The tank is kept in reserve if possible, as it represents another access path. Allies must react and close those gaps, possibly losing the balance against Germany. Its actually pretty hard to stop from happening, at least without conceding Karalia to the Germans.
In this particular game Japan chased down the British transport, and carried a fighter. Actually lost the fighter, but the Japanese were able to make it work. Bomber tried to finish the job unsuccessfully, could have been a major issue. Transports stayed out of enemy air range; in the sea of Japan except the landing on the Soviet beaches on R2.
You may have something with chewing up the British Transports. They can rebuild, but it buys time. It also really weakens EE. Worth exploring. Been meaning to do that, but wanted to run the other a few times. Was the original plan to just setup a favorable point exchange and get the groundtroops later. After actually trying it got into this conversation and facing the superfleet, I started looking at the potentials in later usage of the luftwaffe. Some good possibilities in creating a delay by knocking out the transports and withdrawing.
Extremely risky move, could break either way significantly if there is a big swing in the opening roll. Could leave crippled or could be facing a pretty even fight against whats left of the superfleet. Easily as risky as trying to strafe in EE. Still, all options are on the table. One of those places where you want to see an average attack/defense or better on that first roll. That said, if survivors make it they can always boost the Japanese efforts, even a couple could help.
I’ll look at heavy China, but I think it opens less fronts and will be easier to defend against when the perimeter is reached. Also gives the allies 2 more infantry and a fighter 2/2/4 to the stack later to defend with and saves the Japanese three one point attackers. Sinkiang also becomes another hole for the Allies to plug, they can’t really afford to let Japan keep it. Worth a look though, might be misreading the value of that approach as I haven’t tried that move for Japan in about fifteen years. I agree Russia can’t hit Manchuria without getting massacred and losing valuable units they will need at the gates of Moscow.
London Strat Bomb
Strat Bombing London is risky, obviously, likely worth it if the British IPC count drops too far though, often enough.
I think the bomber is a free agent. Add that option to the list of choices:
Stratbomb (83%) avg IPCs 3.5, but notably variable
Try for the sub (66%) zero risk
Hit the British transport in Canada – also affects british fleet total, (75%)
Support an Egypt Strike (probably needs a fighter escort as well. Could change Africa a lot. Lands in libya with the tank)
Stratbomb Karalia (every unit there counts too)
Support the Battleship Hit (Increases survival chance 10%, I think the bomber is the more valuable piece there)
Support the Fleet strike in North Sea (moderately increases chance of two ships surviving, insulates fighters and increases chances of getting the fleet in one shot).
Fly it to Manchuria (30% chance of being shot down) potentially useful in that theater.
Moscow using infantry.
Pretty much what I’ve tried to do. Usually the only viable option unless Asia goes really sideways for the Japanese. Might be able to build a wall/counter attack source in Novosibirsk, with some other troops, but I don’t think that works. The picket helps, but Japan has a lot of ability to concentrate force.
ya I’m happy with it. For this strat anyhow. If a battleship ends up surviving all the way thru Panama, it makes a nice boost to the US coast raider, increases the threat level on the West coast as well as giving it the ability to hop.
The transport can also grab New Zealand and the abandoned Australia instead of the West coast or Venzuala. If the battleship lives, Panama is another option for the transport to hit. Creates another element that the allies have to track and respond to, if nothing else. The BB isn’t a huge asset, even if it lives, but it will eventually get into play somewhere and might serve midgame fleet protection duties.
The Med Move
Western Med in 2, North Sea on 3. This one is interesting and has interesting implications.
Upside is that the allies have to consider that grouping a target, and its going to cost them some planes most likely, which will be in high demand in a couple of turns. Allies could potentially commit a lot of airpower to this battlegroup.
If ignored, might make Axis able to cripple the superfleet.
Allies have less certainty about where the planes will strike, forces more fighters to protect the ships. Significantly disrupts the allied supply chain into Russia. Its late enough that an allied factory in finland isn’t an option, especially if the US is holding it.
Ties up an infantryman in Gibralter. Spain isn’t a likely allied target, so its stuck unless you pay its cost to get it out of there or hold out for the Japanese. Spain is better left closed for the Axis as it tends to benefit the allies positionally. Upshot is the infantry man there is dead unless the game takes a highly unexpected turn.
Also less force in Africa which is already marginal and won’t get reinforcements until turn 3 at best, probably quite a bit later. Puts a lot of IPCs in the hands of the allies that the Germans could be using; 26 points/turn swing for the whole continent, pretty important and midgame may hinge on that jump. More luck needed in Africa, although the Brit bomber (if present) may decide it has more important things to do than chase down tanks.
Don’t like this part of the plan. Taking it down unsupported with fighters is probably going to cost you one, frequently its going to cost you both of them. Don’t think its a good trade, potential disaster for a small unit battle. Rather lose the bomber than a fighter anyhow, as defense outweighs range in this strat. Germany can afford to lose one fighter, maybe. Losing two means without a very good exchange means they’ve wasted their first round buy.
Doing the fleet strike might or might not be a good trade for the loss of troops in EE. Have to play it out to see.
The balance on the Eastern front is situational, but it keeps the Soviets from putting too much into the Japanese and offers a secondary punch to secure Russia if it plays out well.
I think the Germans need a very big stack there. Every unit has to be responded too, if its not on the line, the Soviets can safely siphon troops towards Japan. Its also may be the support force for Japan or present a direct threat to the Soviets if needed. There’s a large stack of units that are fast enough and large enough to reach any of Germany’s holdings from that position. If the Soviets go light on that front, the Axis could draw down, but I don’t think that benefits them particularly, except that it may let Germany place tanks in reserve protecting the Capitol better. On the balance, I don’t think reducing the forces there is a particularly good plan without a very good reason. Maybe, possibly to try and lure the Soviets out of position when Japan comes, but thats probably a weak ruse.
Since new buys are probably going in Berlin, and South Europe is almost always safe. The western front can’t get hit hard until turn 4 at the earliest. A turn 3 strike should be easy to repell, but may also be optional, depending on the circumstances. Even if lightly held, its a death trap for at least the first wave that lands, if Germany chooses to make it one. Allies moving on Western Europe disrupts the Finland supply chain and changes the game dynamic quite a bit, favored the Axis when I tried it. Later an allied position there can be a problem, but since the big action should be on round 3 or 4, I don’t see a light hold as that much of a liability. If done and responded to it displaces forces for both sides. Given the overall situation for the allies, Finland seems to play much better.
DEAD ZONE MANAGEMENT
However with that in mind. I’ve been expirimenting with using larger deadzone task forces.
With the Luftwaffe giving air support the infantry tend to fare well and get a favorable exchange rate. Obviously you can’t overextend doing this or leave your heavy units without too much fodder, unless you want to try and encourage the soviets to overextend right before Japan hits them.
If the soviets respond to the deadzone, they are taking a bigger risk per unit as the volatility is higher and they have limited air support. They have to be careful not to over allocate, and increase the chances of being hit hard by a direct German Strike. As the stack size increases the relative impact of the two Soviet fighters decreases and the exhange rate overall weakens for the Soviets. If they have mixed builds, it strips away some of the shielding for the main stack. The situation is more dangerous because the Germans negotiate a better exchange rate overall than the Soviets do and creates bleeding that can tip the balance.
If they fail to take or choose to ignore the deadzone then Germany gets a favorable IPC swing as well as gaining the potential to send a stack of tanks with a bit of infantry cover right next to Moscow.
Obviously this could be very expensive and may require the Germans to open up EE significantly. The upside should force a counter that doesn’t have the benefit of finland based units or sea units, possibly when the Soviets can least afford to do so. May force the airforce back to Germany, where an airstrike has to cross a second AA gun to be exercised. Obviously this isn’t a move to be taken lightly by Germany as it may set up Southern Europe to get taken as well as putting a large army of mostly tanks in peril and without aircover. That said, it could be a good play in some circumstances.
Germans have to be careful doing this so that they don’t make a strike on EE favorable. A lot of how that works out depends on whether the soviets are making mixed force buys or strictly defensive buys and the overall force commitment situation.
A US turn 2 factory would put tanks/airpower on the line faster and free up some transport slots for infantry, not sure whether its a good idea for the allies though in terms of the opportunity cost. Another use would be that they could reinforce the superfleet if needed by using it as a shipyard. Of course if f Karalia goes then the factory probably goes soon thereafter.
Infantry hits the ground in round 1 because its already there and is probably needed. Any tank bought in Round 1 can reach Moscow and presents a blitz option. Not sure that its justified, have been just buying the usual 2 trans, 3 infantry, but maybe is a good option. Problem is that its a blind buy as asia hasn’t started yet. Might try it at some point.
Any round 2 tanks can provide some mop up ability and may be able to give a second wave at Moscow, especially if the Germans are in a position to mix it up in Karalia, of course they are also less boots on the ground and you very likely will need some infantry unless the Allies completely collapsed on the first round for some reason.
Japanese usually want to buy a bomber in round 3, for additional punch as its the only unit that can reach the front line in one move. The ground troops can be made up for later, the place will be swarming with them starting round 5 if the Moscow hit is successsful. An additonal transport is another option.
Infantry is favored over tanks because you need troops that can hold factories if you are planning on building them. That and the tanks you are churning out later will need shock troops and position holders. If you hit Moscow even once, you can likely build tank assembly lines later. Japan should have enough transports to move infantry from Japan in the later portion of the game. Replacement/additional air power might be worth considering instead of factories if Moscow goes down, but I’m leaning towards a tank funnel. India and the FIC make a nice combination if Moscow is still being disputed. India is close to Africa by tread and somewhat close to Germany. India is also close to any existing allied forces, so don’t build there unless it can be held.
If Japan had enough airpower to survive, a Bomber squadron and the existing fighters might be able to give the Axis another shot at a fleet strike and buy enough time for Germany. Assuming it can get there before the Allies get a mainland factory of their own in Europe.