I play Axis 80% of the time, so I’ll refer to this from that point of view. A lot of plans are if/then statements. For instance…
if Russia leaves 12 inf on Amur on R1, J1, I attack it 100% and do a KRF strategy. With a single mainland factory, Japan can slowly kill off China and isolate (though probably not take) India.
Japan’s starting fleet has one more destroyer, two more carriers, and an extra battleship compared to the U.S.
J1 2 subs, 4 destroyers, 2 cruisers, 3 carriers, 2 battleships
Compared to the U.S.’ 2 subs, 3 destroyers, 2 cruisers (one on Atlantic side), 1 carrier, 1 battleship
UK/ANZAC can even that out with another battleship, cruiser, 2 destroyers between them. But only if you give them time to consolidate and add to their fleets.
Japan doesn’t actually need all their ships to take the money islands or most of their other objectives. They just need to enough to keep their transports afloat. So, I’ve decided Japan benefits by being aggressive at the opening, just like Germany does with the UK fleet, and taking the favorable match ups while it can. So I J1 attack Hawaii fleet, take the Philippines, sink UK’s battleship. If you’re feeling frisky, send your destroyer on the Caroline’s down to ANZAC for a 50/50 shot at their destroyer/transport. If the U.S. chooses to counter attack your fleet at Hawaii (with that destroyer), its around a 60/40, maybe 66/34 in favor of Japan. If the U.S. loses that counter attack, they literally have two transports, a cruiser, and 5 dudes. They’re out of the game for 3+ turns.
The flip of that is if you wait and let the U.S. alone, US 4 they’re sitting on SZ 6 with an enormous fleet you can’t really do much about (if they add 2 carriers and a few battleships, subs, etc to their mix) and you’re getting convoyed, losing Korea, China gets Manchuria back, etc. That’s my struggle against the U.S., usually.
IDK Wsinger, although I like to hit Pearl J1, as Japan I don’t want to get into a 60/40 battle with the USA in sz26 in the first round of play. You didn’t take Hawaii J1 so any hits on your carriers will cost you planes, and the US can go all in, or wait to see where you take your hits and pull out after a couple rounds and watch your planes die. Say you do take the hit from the USA (all US units are lost), and you have a carrier and 2 ftrs survive. Then the Anz hits you with a cruiser and 3 ftrs and you are toast because again you have nowhere to land planes. Even if somehow you survive the double hit you will have only crippled capital ships that can’t get to a naval base for a couple turns, and depending on what the US built on US1, you may not be able to out run them.
No as Japan I can’t afford to risk losing those capital ships on the first turn. I don’t want to replace them because I want to buy IC’s and ground units for them plus transports to get to my money islands. Japan needs to be aggressive in the first couple turns, but can’t get into bad situations that costs it more then half the JIN. They need to hit hard in battles with great odds, then pull back into a defensive position and set a trap.