I don’t know for sure, but I feel like any strong aversions to my post are from players who play many more games, and/or do lots of theory gaming, and/or play a lot of online A&A. I do none of those. I play a regular game with very good opponents every 3 weeks for real in person. I have tried this in a real life game 3 times and it has worked all three times, but all 3 times it has been against a different real life player as India. I find that if I played against Noll dozens of times on TripleA or something he would beat this as i just told him what I’d be doing, not to say he wouldn’t if I didn’t tell him.
BUT this strats strength and weakness comes from many more variables and contexts than I think Null is looking at. I feel as though he’s looking just at the battle in India and bad or worst case scenarios. If you take the whole game Global1940 mind you, not just Pacific, then all the players behave in certain ways, especially in games with 4+ players. Again, in a real world game, that you play with live opponents, who may have driven over an hour to get a game in and likely all have a new strat to try out based on performance in their last game… So with that in mind you have to think about what the allied players and the UK player especially is thinking. Most of the time they are thinking (in our group at least) that they will fly their air over to Egypt. Move at least 1 land unit through the middle east to activate Persia and (our group) attack Iraq before the Italians ever get a chance to activate it. Then they send their one transport to slowly take DEI with ANZAC and then start a Infantry Push Mechanic of some kind one territory at a time up the Burma Road. Not all players do this, but many do, their larger focus being on Europe where in previous versions of Alpha London often fell, Egypt was important and Japan usually has players that play more conservative so a Calcutta crush is often later than Moscow… They tend to take it slow.
Also a lot of UK players don’t like the idea of starting the war in the Pacific, especially not on UK1 or UK2. If they do it might be a wrinkle, but if they don’t you’re still green. Then there’s losing Yunnan on turn 2. This can happen, but usually you are crushing China to the point where they cannot do it, and only a UK2 DoW on Japan can accomplish this. And if they do, thats a whole stack less that can retake India if you do pull it off.
As for the US concern, They can be a worry… However they’re not in a position to actually TAKE Japan. with only a handful loaded transports and maybe 6 planes they likely wont be able to crack that nut. You will have all of your starting land units minus 2 plus any builds. I recommend a few planes as the first 3 turns go by. Hopefully by you J4 purchase you’ll have India’s money as well as yours, that should deter or repel any US4 invasion of Japan. But what the US does is highly dependent on the game, the player, and all manner of other events unfolding, to predict their behavior game to game is not really possible, so just react to what they do, with the Destroyers and Subs hanging back for rear-guard action and any builds in Japan and the mainland, along with some clever gameplay, and you should have the tools to keep the US at bay.
And as for India having all planes and all of their builds on India in UK3, I doubt it will happen often. At least in my experience (which is not the thousands of simulated games that many folks have around again!). I find that in a global context, what is happening in Europe far outweighs what’s going on in the Pacific in terms of attention and importance. The Allies main concerns are there and this strat, no matter how successful it is will be worthless if Germany is doing poorly.
And finally, if things do go bust, and I’m playing against say, Noll, and he’s playing the best 2 turns of his life with UK and thwarting me at every step, and making taking India a near impossibility, then not all is lost! If things seem impossible from J2, don’t move to India, instead play a normal game where you plod around the Pacific doing what ever it is most Japanese players do. You’re still in an excellent position from SZ36 to either threaten multiple key targets, or relocate anywhere you want (you are within 3 of the India, DEI, Carolines, the Philippines, and Japan). If it seems you are off of India and all the sudden its stacked to the heavens with defense units, then you still have options. You can head back the way you came, taking the DEI and Malaya, you can go the other way and throw your opponents for a huge loop when you land in the middle east and build factories there, or go straight to Egypt and prepare to make the UK’s Mediterranean plans go down the tubes. With the Japanese fleet plying the Med and Indian oceans the Japanese player can be a serious threat even if everything else when haywire and you lose your capital, you still control a powerful fleet that is in a place where the allies are weak. Also, in Noll’s worst case scenario, the UK is just sitting in India twiddling its thumbs with nearly 100% of its starting resources and subsequent builds. That’s GREAT for the Axis! You’ve effectively checked India. While you aren’t taking the place, they aren’t doing anything with it either. Meanwhile if the US is going pacific heavy you already won! Even if they eventually clobber Japan it doesn’t matter, ever last IPC that the US drops into the Pacific Ocean is a godsend for the Germany and the Axis overall.
I would posit this based on my experience with this game, and with playing Japan. The game of global is really just playing Europe with an interesting side story. The Pacific board doesn’t really matter. Japan’s job isn’t to win, its to pull as many Allied IPC’s onto the pacific board as it can to make Germany’s life easier on the real board. If the allies totally ignore you then you can help the Euro Axis eat away at Russia and maybe even get your 6/8 VC’s for a surprise victory, but you won’t. Its the Allies job to spend exactly enough IPC’s to prevent Japan from taking 6VC’s and not a penny more, and moving the rest to the Euro board, and its Japans job to pose a big enough threat to fool the allies into spending that penny more, and then some. So measure Japan’s success not in how many capitols or VC’s you capture, but in how many IPC’s you make the Allies waste by putting them on your half of the world.