AAPacific is a great game and, in my opinion, an underappreciated member of the A&A family. I have played many games of AAPacific against what I believe to be some of the best players in the world (in no particular order, Tordenskjold, El Ravager, KittenofChaos, AndrewAAGamer and Andycool) but interest in the game appears to be waning. Over the next few weeks, I propose to post a series of essays on some of the tactics of AAPacific in the hopes of generating some discussion and interest in this great game. It may be a bit of a false hope and perhaps a bit presumptuous of me to assume anyone would like to read my musings on the game but the only cost is my time and I’m prepared to make that sacrifice. Discuss this article in the forums.
The India Crush
The India Crush is one of the most frequently discussed tactics used in AAPacific games. In short, it is an all out assault on India by Japan such that India falls by J3 or J4 leaving the Allies with no opportunity to recapture. The India Crush comes in two forms, which I will call the Kill India First (KIF) strategy or the Kill India Only (KIO) strategy. The Kill India First strategy opens the game with the intention of creating the possibility of a J3 or J4 attack on India should the opportunity arise. Whether to follow through on the KIF will depend on the success of J1 and J2 and the countermoves implemented by the Allied players. KIO is an all out attack on India by J3 or J4 with no thought of alternative paths to victory. While under a KIF, Japan could still win the game by a VP win or Australia capture, the KIO leaves no such options. India must be captured or Japan loses. The J1 opening under a KIF is very different from that used in a KIO. This essay will deal only with the KIF strategy and will leave for later, discussion of the KIO.
Japan’s advantages early in the game are three fold. First, Japan’s forces, at the start of the game, greatly outnumber the Allied forces on the west half of the map. Second, as a result of Japan’s first round surprise attack, that numerical superiority is going to be greatly enhanced by the end of J1. Finally, Japan greatly outclasses the Allies in the mobility of its forces as a result of the number of transports it owns, the location of ports and airfields it controls or will control after J1 and the number of fighters with which it starts the game. These three advantages mean that the Japanese player can bring overwhelming force against India by J3 or J4 and the Allies are hard pressed to respond.
The exact J1 opening implemented to initiate the KIF can vary but there are certain minimum requirements.
- Japan should buy 2 Transports. These will be used to move infantry from Japan to Malaya to India by the end of J3 or infantry that can be used in a J4 attack on India.
- Japan must clear sz38, 46, 43, 27 and 9. It is critically important to the India Crush to kill the Allied subs in sz38 and sz27. Sufficient force must be brought to those sea zones to ensure that the subs do not escape by diving.
- Optionally, Japan can send the FIC bomber to clear sz54 of the UK transport. If, before you start the game, you are leaning towards an India Crush then the sz54 attack is recommended. If you want a more balanced opening then send the FIC bomber to sz46 or Malaya.
- Japan must capture Malaya, Philippines, New Guinea, New Britain, Midway and Java.
- Japan should capture Kiangsi, Kwangsi, Hongkong and Anhwe.
- Optionally, Japan can capture Suiyuan.
On J1 Non-combat movement, Japan must move its three sz20 ACs to sz27 to join up with 2 DD, 1 BB and 1 Trn located there. The sub that started in sz26 must move to sz28 to prevent a substall by the UK sub in sz29. It is absolutely critical to a successful India Crush that the Japanese fleets be free to move on NCM because it is the only way they can reach India before sufficient Allied reinforcements arrive to prevent a successful capture of India. Japan should land its bombers in FIC or Formosa, 2 Ftrs in Formosa, 2 to 4 Fighters in FIC, 2 Ftrs in sz43 and 6 Fighters in sz27. A fighter or two from Midway will be landed on Marianas island. One transport that starts in sz26 should pick up the two infantry in the Marshall Islands and land them in New Guinea.
For the purpose of this essay, I will not discuss in detail the Allied counter response. I will leave that for the essay entitled “The Anti-Crush”.
On J2, Japan should clear sz47 and clear the path between sz27 and sz43. If there are any UK or US ground units in Shan State or Yunnan, Japan should kill as many of those as possible using the infantry in FIC and fighters and bombers on Formosa but should not make an attack that will risk losing the majority of its air force.
If the Allied players has moved the sz50 fleet into sz48, 49, 51, or 52, it should be destroyed. If the sz50 Fleet has been moved to sz42, Japan has the option of ignoring the Fleet because it is out of position to save India.
Optionally, Japan might conduct an SBR attack on India to cut the number of defending units that the UK can build. This should only be done if the bombers are “excess” and not needed for other fights.
For a J3 attack on India, the objective on J2 is to move 8 transports and 2 DDs into sz47 loaded with 13 Inf and 5 Rtl. This fleet is supported by at least 1 BB, 1 AC and 2 Ftrs. At least 6 fighters, 2 Bmrs and 4 infantry will be located in FIC. A couple of fighters can also be flying CAP in sz46 protecting the 2 Trns that were built on J1 and moved to sz46 to drop their infantry in FIC.
On J2, the sz27 fleet (3 AC, 2 DD, 2 Trns, 1 BB) is moved to sz43 and drops off 5 Inf and 1 Rtl in Java. It may have a couple of fighters on the ACs but this should only be done if you can spare any from FIC (there must be 6 there).
On J3, all of the ground forces in sz47 attack India along with 2 bombers and 8 fighters (6 from FIC, 2 from sz47). You may be wondering, how can all those fighters reach India (a move or 3) and still have a place to land. The answer is based on port to port movement. The ACs in sz43 can move to sz54 (Java port to India port) on NCM if Japan is successful in capturing India, therefore it is a legal attack. Eight fighters will land on the ACs in sz54.
To win the game, Japan must hold India until the start of J4 and therefore must prevent a successful counterattack from the Allies based in Burma. This is done in three ways. First, towards the end of a successful attack on India, take aircraft as casualties, leaving as many ground units alive as possible. Second, any excess air or ground units that can reach Burma should make a suicide attack to cut down as many Allied units as possible. Third, those ground units that were placed in FIC and Java at the end of J2 can be moved during NCM to India using the ports in Malaya and Java. Using these tactics should provide a defending force in India of between 11 and 20 units. The Allies will be extremely hard pressed to retake India.
A J4 attack is a little riskier for Japan because the UK will have had one more turn to build defending units and the Americans may have been able to get defending bombers or fighters to India. These can arrive through proper use of the “Anit-Crush” which will be discussed in a future essay. For the Allied player, blocking the India attack until J4 is critical because it is almost impossible to defeat a J3 attack. The Allies have simply not had enough time to get reinforcements to or build reinforcements in India.
The India Crush is one of the key tactics available for the Japanese to win the game early. The key to its success is the port to port movement available to the Japanese fleet and transports. In a successful India Crush, the Japanese carriers that start the game off of Midway will have moved 9 sea zones and stand off the coast of India at the end of J3. Only the use of ports gives Japan this incredible mobility.