Why would Japan wait to attack? Am I missing something?

This game, measuring 35”x32” is compatible with the yet to be released Axis & Allies Europe 1940 game (coming in August 2010). This game includes newly introduced units such as mechanized infantry and tactical bombers.
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Craig A Yope
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Re: Why would Japan wait to attack? Am I missing something?

Post by Craig A Yope » Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:03 am

Whackamatt wrote:4) Alternate (or why I still think a J3 attack is viable)

By waiting until J2 or J3 for the attack the Japanese player can pool their forces in such a way that they have, in hand, a knockout punch. By waiting a few turns, they can bring their considerable at-start forces against either India or Australia. Yes, the Allies will see it coming, but without the economic advantage of a wartime US, they will have a hard time countering -- its especially dire for Australia as they have less of an opportunity to build up the INF screen needed to thwart a full-on J3 massed attack
I think you’re placing too much emphasis on the US wartime economy. Without buying a single unit, they can land 4 Fighters, 3 Tac bombers, and 4 Infantry into Australia before a J3 attack.
No, they cannot. The US can't move to Australia while not a war.

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Re: Why would Japan wait to attack? Am I missing something?

Post by Eagle » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:22 pm

Just one question to mr Whackamatt.


I assume this force will move to seazone 42 and Jave next ? It could of course move to Borneo or Malaya, that dont matter. Lets say UK purchased 2 subs T1. Then UK will threaten your Japanese fleet with 2 subs, 4 fighters and 1 Tac, and your fleet will sink. You cant occupie all 6 possible UK landing spots with 3 trannies, so any way you do it, your fleet are a gooner.
Or did I miss something ?

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Re: Why would Japan wait to attack? Am I missing something?

Post by WILD BILL » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:40 pm

I am favoring a J1 attack.

Eagle, I see Whack miss spoke when he moved the Jap ships to New Z ( sz 63), instead of Sidney (sz 62), but we knew what he meant.
The Jap navy moving into the DEI would be targets of the UK if they build 2 subs w/ its air. It would be a good fight though that should last 2 rounds, and that's only if Jap moves forward. If UK attacks, it should lose some of those valuable ftrs (and they'll be out of position). As Japan are you willing to give up some of your fleet to reduce the future def of UK w/RAF. If Jap spreads itself thin to take DEI, it will expose its few transports. So would UK go only after exposed tpts (minimal loss to UK), or after the fleet (could be a high price tag). If the UK builds subs (instead of inf), and loses part of the RAF, its def of India will be compromised. UK income is also plummeting, so it can't recover.
The same could be said for the small Jap fleet by Sidney. Yea Anz can/should attack rd 1, but it should cost them. The BB has a 50/50 chance of getting off a 2nd shot, if it wasn't dinged in the original battle.

Edit: Whackamatt, I have to ask why you don't leave one loaded carrier (or other unit) in Jap waters (sz 6) so you can build a couple very need transports rd #1. The only unit that can reach those waters is the US bmr from Hawaii. The Caroline fleet isn't under any threat at this point, and new transports would add a real threat to the UK/Anz in the very near future. Plus I always seem to need more transports w/Jap. If nothing else it would help to get more boots into Asia.
Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Why would Japan wait to attack? Am I missing something?

Post by JamesAleman » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:06 am

I came to the same conclusion, Japan turn 1 attack is likely an automatic win.

[OPERATION: TSUNAMI - A visionary plan for Japanese domination crafted by James J. Aleman submitted for peer review March 2010

1st Turn Japan

Objective 1: Sink UK fleet in Sea zone 37 [Battleship, 2 Transports]
Purpose: To destroy 34 IPCs in high value assets and prevent UK expansion [8 IPCs from islands] and consolidation of fleet assets.

Send: 2 Bombers [Japan] 5/7 movement.
1 Bomber [Manchuria] 4/6 movement.
1 Fighter [Formosa] 3/4 movement.

Combat Note: Due to High Priority be prepared to lose a fighter and bomber if it goes two rounds [unlikely]
Land in Kwangsi after combat. Fighter must land in Siam if it survives.

Objective 2: Capture the Philippines[2 Infantry, Fighter, Bomber] and sink U.S. fleet in sea zone 35 [Destroyer, Transport]
Purpose: To deny the U.S. 7 IPCs [2 Land, 5 National Objective] and to destroy 43 IPCs in high value assets:[1/3 of U.S. transports + bombers] and capture 1/6 victory city for a win.

Naval Battle:
Send: Submarine, Destroyer, Cruiser [sea zone 19]
Battleship, Cruiser, 2 Carriers, Destroyer, 2 Fighters, 2 Tactical Bombers, 2 Transports [Japan sea zone 6]
Battleship, Cruiser, Carrier, Destroyer, Transport [Caroline Islands sea zone 33]
Land Battle:
Armor, Artillery, Infantry [Japan]
Infantry [Okinawa]
Infantry [Paulau Island]
Fighter, Tactical Bomber [Caroline Islands sea zone 33]
Combat notes: Land battle is high value, lose aircraft if needed to take territory.

Objective 3: Disrupt Burma Road [6 IPC National Objective for China]
Purpose: To deny China the ability to produce artillery and destroy 9 IPCs of assets and prevent a consolidation of assets and a landing field.

Send: 3 Infantry, 1 Artillery [Kwangsi]
Bomber, Fighter, Tactical Bomber [Kiangsu] 3/4 movement - land in Kwangsi after battle.

Combat note: by sending in 4 land units it is probable that 3-4 will survive the fight, making a successful counter attack by China of 5 Infantry and 1 Fighter doubtful.[Potential to deny 1+6 IPCs]

Objective 4: Capture Kwangtung
Purpose: To deny the UK 8 IPCs [3 land, 5 National Objective] and capture 1/6 victory cities for a win.

Send: Artillery, Infantry[Kiangsi]
Fighter[Okinawa] 3/4 movement - land in Kwangsi after battle.
Tactical Bomber[Japan] 4/5 movement - land in Kwangsi after battle.
Fighter, Tactical Bomber[Manchuria] 3/4 movement - land in Kwangsi after battle.
Combat Notes: High value target, lose air units to secure territory.

Objective 5: Attack Pearl Harbor[Hawaii sea zone 26]
Purpose: To destroy 7 IPCs in high value assets and destroy 1/3 of U.S. transports [2/3 sunk on first turn].

Send: Submarine[Japan] 3/3 movement[sea zone 16 to 25 to 26]. Submarine can't be hit by scrambled air units.

Objective 6: Finish capturing 1/3 of Chinese territory and destroy 1/6 of Yunnan counter-attack force.
Purpose: To deny China 3 IPCs and gain landing fields. Also destroys 3 IPCs of units able to counter-attack high value Japanese Land Units.

Send: 2 Infantry[Jehol] to Chahar.
Artillery[Jehol], 2 Infantry[Shantung+Kiangsu], Mechanized Infantry[Manchuria] to Anhwe. [Strength in numbers for defense].
2 Infantry[Kiangsi], 2 Fighters+Tactical Bomber[Manchuria] to Hunan [3/4 movement - land in Kwangsi].

Objective 7: Capture French Indo China
Purpose: gain more income and position for counter-attack on Yunnan or to fill transports for Malaya or islands.

Send: 2 Infantry[Siam]

Non Combat Movement:

Defend Caroline Islands from Anzac Transport.
Send: 2 Fighters, 2 Tactical Bombers[Japan] to join Infantry left there for defense.

Defend Japan sea zone 6 Transport Build from U.S. bomber attack that lands in Guam.
Keep: Destroyer[sea zone 6], 3 Fighters, Tactical Bomber[Japan]

Advance Reinforcements for Chinese front.
Send: Artillery, 4 Infantry, 1 AA gun[Manchuria] to Jehol.

Defend Korea by keeping counter-attack land force in Manchuria to be assisted by Bomber Force and Japan based air units should U.S. occupy Korea in future turns.
Send: Infantry[Korea] to Manchuria, air units will be lost to recapture ground with Infantry.

Place turn 1 production: 3 Transports in sea zone 6[Japan]

Turn 2 Build: 42 IPCs: [Minor Factory Manchuria, 2 Infantry in Japan, 1 Carrier, 1 Destroyer in sea zone 6] Manchurian factory protects Korea and if captured is denied use to allies since it is destroyed.

Turn 2 Goals: Take Malaya for Factory[arm,art,2 inf] , Clear Shan State if land units are there, and take Borneo[1 inf or art] from Britain. Lose Air units to take Malaya. Use all carriers, 1 sub {to convoy raid India next turn}, 1 CR, 1 BB, 1 DD, 3 ftr,3 tac. Continue to take China to 6 IPCs, use aircraft to protect Yunnan counter attack artillery.

Turn 2 Non Combat: Send 3 loaded transports from Japan to Philippines. Scramble planes and maybe a destroyer to defend them. [from here turn 3 they complete Japan's islands National Objectives]

Send 1 BB, 1 CR, and remaining DD's to aid Japan carrier build and 2-3ftrs. {if US starting fleet in Hawaii} otherwise stay in Philippines to go were needed.

Send 1or2 more air units to Caroline to protect from lone transport raids from US and Anzac.

Destroy Anzac sub with a Destroyer and air power if it moves in range of Japan or Philippines.

Turn 3 Build: 47 IPCs: [Major Factory in Malaya, 2 Mechanized Infantry, 1 Tank for Manchuria factory, 1 Infantry for Japan]

Goals: take last 3 islands for National Objective. You can protect some transports, willing to lose 2. Turn 4 need carriers and transports to return to Malaya for turn 5 assault on India {6 transports saved or rebuilt with 12 land units, 4 Carriers, 16 planes/tacs and 4 bombers from kiangsi/carriers take India turn 5} India collects, 13 ipcs, 6, 3, 3, first 4 turns. if they use starting 16 that gives 41 ipcs or a max of 18 land units[all inf and up to 3 art/M.INF] and 5-8 air units (5 UK,1 anzac,2 US bombr) This assumes India did not move land units out of India/burma and they put every other asset into India by turn 4.

Turn 4 build: 67 IPCs: 4-6 art and 2-3 trans ports to build up to 6 trans with 6art/6inf on malaya for India assault turn 5. The rest will be inf for Japan as fighters will move to protect Caroline. If you wish to use 7 transports and have the money and men to defend Japan go for it.

Clear UK DD and CR so they cannot block India, if they moved out of range turn 2, then a carrier or 2 should have followed for clearing.

Japan sz6 Fleet and Philippine Fleet will move to Caroline to protect it with most of Japan's/Caroline's fighters.

Turn 5 build: 65-73 IPCs, build ships [Mostly DD's for blocking/fodder]and match US from either Malaya or Japanese Factories, remember to keep a garrison on Manchuria, so you can clear Korea if transports take it.

If US built 2 transports turn 1, the best threat to Caroline is 6 land units on turn 3, by turn 3, you should have 1 BB, 1 CR, 2 DD, 6-9 air units vs. US starting fleet and 2 air units, with 2 DD's you can even block an attack on the island from ships. Hence the value of large amounts of DDs in your later builds.

You will be out producing US/Anzac, China will be pushed to maybe 6 IPCs, India fleet moves back to Japan to pick up Hawaii Invasion force for turn 9-10 taking of last VC. Use Caroline Fleet to keep US at bay. After turn 4 55+ IPCs should go to ships 6 DDs/Sub per turn the other money can go into asia, US will need to build ships only, and load anzac men to keep up, but can't make headway in my tests. Remember by turn 5, Caroline islands is faced with only the first 3 turns of US production. Japan will be safe with inf built there, meaning US to attack it directly will have to produce men in addition to extra transports, they need combat vessels to gain ground on Jap Fleet, especially when the 4 carriers return to it.

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Re: Why would Japan wait to attack? Am I missing something?

Post by SgtBlitz » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:17 pm

I don't see a Global thread yet but I assume eventually there will be one. In the pacific theater its fairly obvious that there are advantages from attacking right away. But J1 attacks might totally screw up the game balance Globally, in that the US war dec can really screw up Germany/Italy's plans for Britain or Africa.

A J4 attack might actually be optimal in a Global game since Japan will not have to worry about German-Soviet neutrality if the German player is attempting Sealion. Britain will most likely be in bad shape by UK3 if the Germans are going all out against them, and US reinforcements not being available till UK4-5 could be a deathblow for Britain. At any rate, if Germany and Italy intend to go after the UK it will at least be a huge diversion to the Allies to clean up the Atlantic, so Japan is even more likely to have a free hand in the Pacific if the US ends up having to send all its units to UK's aid.

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Re: Why would Japan wait to attack? Am I missing something?

Post by britzrules » Sat May 01, 2010 7:22 pm

Japanese attack on turn 1 is not an automatic victory

I played a game as the allies last week, and the japanese player probably did 90% of what whackamatt suggested in the first post of this thread.


while this position looks very dominating you have to remember that the allies can work as a team.

Turn 1:


put fleet on hawaii, build get 3 transports & some bombers.


don't throw away infantry, dont bother with artillery, make the japs fight for each territory, pick your fights, better to not attack and put up a better defense than throw away men needlessly, make sure you force the japs to deal with forces as far north as possible.


think like a team player, you cannot win. stalling is key. tanks and infantry are your currency.


the unsung hero, build some infantry.

Turn 2:

Japs continued their attack taking more of china and start taking dutch east indies.


build small navy vessels, cruisers, destroyers & subs

heres the clever bit - most of the Japanese fleet is around the caroline islands, the other part is around the philapines. fly the bombers down to Queensland / new zealand - these now put pressure on japanese transports to have to be escorted.

the super clever bit - load the transports, and hugging the side of the map move the whole fleet towards newzealand - whats clever you may ask, have any of you tried using the line islands, and fiji for example? well they are out of the way so why would you.

the key thing here is hawaii is undefended, BUT the japanese player has a choice, do they go for the USA fleet thus putting their fleet in a very poor position to respond to the USA's "new" fleet, OR do they go for hawaii??

other allied powers continue with the UK making small counter attacks where possible but making sure it builds infantry each turn and only 1 tank.

ok stopping the step by step description here for a general idea (i dont want to give step by step cus it leads to too much analysing and whats the point in trying somebody elses idea in every detail?)

but basicly the theory is this, even with all the gains in whackamatts plan Japan does not have the resources to overwhelm all the allies on all fronts.

and by the USA sending its starting fleet towards ANZAC it serves too purposes, gives the japanese a victory city - hawaii - now being a victory city means you know where that jap fleet is going to defend and operate from, thus effectively saving ANZAC, secondly, a US fleet by turn 3 will be off queensland ( i think), thus allowing a small yet effective counter attack.

the result of the counter attack: secured ANZAC's bonus income, destroyed the small Jap fleet around the east indies, using the allies as a team allowed me to retake Java with ANZAC (increasing their income to 19) and liberate borneo for UK (bolstering that meat shield).

while not seriously weakening Japan it limited their options as the new situation was this:

Calcutta, heavily defended, by not allowing the fighters to die and building a new one, when eventually attacked by Japan (which if they had won would have won them the game effectively) calcutta had an AA gun, 17 infantry/artillery (aka meat shield) 2 tanks, and 4 fighters (aka: the real defense) with so many infantry the fighters and tanks really took their toll quickly.

Sydney: out of reach with US bombers doing small raids on Jap transports and any small fleets - ANZAC with its income builds subs, destroyers, cruisers & the odd transport to keep the little retaliatory invasions and liberations going

Hawaii - Jap fleet is pinned in place against the growing US fleet (US don't attack, keep building that fleet, particularly lots of subs and destroyers)

this was a long game, but basicly Japan ran out of steam and could no longer maintain the perimeter around their empire. the US fleet destroyed the japanese fleet around hawaii while the ANZAC fleet kept retaking islands and started a small but effective air force thus limiting japans retaliatory options.

and the Uk just sat and waited for the inevitable, its job was to hold and the longer it held the stronger it got. the stronger it got meant the more resources japan had to spend to build its offensive.

the theory

Allies: bad start but look to the long picture, japan cannot afford like the US to put fleets in unstrategic positions, i once left a transport out in the open by fiji just to tempt the jap player. with US reinforcements in australia it was used a launching platform to increase the UK's and ANZACs income to higher levels.

each plane destroyed or ship sunk is a small victory, japan can maintain an amy but not a navy or airforce forever. and by building up for large "decisive battles" means that japan ends up with big gaps to fill as opposed to say the US throwing a new small fleet / air force in each turn.

be prepared to sacrifice, its a game of mathematics: can you afford to lose 2 infantry to attack that territory? is it worth 6IPCs or is it worth some tactical advantage?

by sitting and waiting for a couple of turns means japan either sits or commits themselves to a course of action which ultimately the allies can probably deal with.

sorry for the waffling, but that is how i dealt with the japanese turn 1 attack.

and I have won with a japanese turn 3 attack too, but will save that for another time

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Re: Why would Japan wait to attack? Am I missing something?

Post by WILD BILL » Sun May 02, 2010 10:35 am

I think the key to any allied victory in Pac 40 is team work. If its J1 or J3 attack, the allies still need to work together very closely. If you lead w/US, make sure your in position to back them up w/the minor allies. Its like a reverse can opener. You open doors w/the larger force, then bring in reinforcements to protect your gains. You have to plan things out, and coordinate your efforts, while still making the best of your attacks of opportunity.

Giving up strategic tt to Japan (like Hawaii) might not look so great, but like britzrules said it will be hard for Jap to hold it (so far from home), and it would tie up forces he could use elsewhere. If giving up certain tt allows you to 1-2 punch him, then hell yea. The fact that Jap can't take an island and land planes on it that turn (scramble) is a big plus (his force is split). The allies can however take islands, then land other allied air units there to scramble, this is a major allied advantage that you must learn to use. Its similar to taking land tt, then bringing in allied back up, this is another allied only advantage, as Jap can't do it (no friends).

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Re: Why would Japan wait to attack? Am I missing something?

Post by ashbylaker » Wed May 05, 2010 11:13 am

Hey all, first time here.

Great thread on J1 attack - we've had no luck beating this strat yet, after about 5 games with a J1 (we've adopted a house rule that specifies no J1 attack, but that seems slightly tilted to the Allies, albeit it will be a long game).

Japan seems to have a lot of power off the start, so much so that they can take pretty much anything they want. I've seen India fall every time a concentrated effort has been made - there is no stopping it with the Japanese airforce, if totally committed.

Blitztrules, I'd like to point out that the US cannot buy 3 transports and bombers on its first turn; regardless of the Jap strategy it only starts with 17ipcs. Typo? Just make sure you're not collecting the 40 bonus ipcs until the end of the US' next turn, after a Jap attack (if I am mistaken, that would explain Japan's dominance in all my games :) I usually buy a carrier - not a perfect strategy as it is alone and one turn behind the fleet going to Aus, but with the planes already on the board it seems the quickest way to project power.

In terms of Japan going to Hawaii right away, I have tried this strategy and it almost cost me the game. You don't have transports to threaten to US coast, and you will ultimately be forced back, having wasted precious time sitting in Hawaii for 6 ipcs. I usually use a destroyer to block the path between Hawaii and Japan, and leave Japan defenseless. I find that if the US stacks both its fleets (back from Aus and from the US coast) on Hawaii on turn 3, Japan can either send another blocker out, or land planes in the mainland and buy on its next turn, before any attack, fodder. Scrambling is an amazing addition the game, btw :) Very dynamic defensive options...

On the US side, I've tried destroying the blocking DD, but having little to actually conquer the mainland, and taking Korea a 1 turn solution at this point (you cannot possibly hold it, or hold any factory you build, so early in the game), I find this a losing strategy. I actually recovered from it the last game to win, but that was on a J2 attack.

The best strategy for Japan, in my opinion, is to ignore the Allies, and concentrate on your income. Whether you drive for India or not, you need the DEI. The money, with Kwantung and Malaya included, is too good to pass up, and is what tips all of my games thus far.

On J1 I buy 3 transports, and launch a full attack. I take the phillipeans on the second turn, with the transports from Japan, allowing the previous transports to attack 2 of the islands. All the others fall J3, and the US has just reached Aus.

Blitz you mention having the US fleet on Aus on U3 for a counter, and I like this strat, but man is it hard to pull off! With the Jap mainland in no trouble until at least U4 - and that is only if he's kept his entire fleet up there, a sure losing scenario for the Allies - Japan has 3 carriers, 2BB, much fodder, in the DEI area.

Any attack (and I would make one myself) by the US would be pushed back immediately. I have even seen Java, with 10 fighters and 4 troops, fall to Japan, with its entire air force on Kiansgi with an air base. I know that with the US bombers in W Aus their fleet becomes more powerful, and it is worth it to trade units/ipcs 1-1 with Japan if you are the allies, because you are making slightly more a turn, but Japan's fleet can be so big defending the DEI (with sacrificing a few transports to keep you fleet grouped up) the US has no hope. Any attack force will be wiped out first combat round by the Jap fleet, and 5 ships can tip over. It's not worth it, IMO.

Now, that being said, it appears that is what you have to do, but with caution. I';d rather sacrifice transports than set myself back - those capital ships you start with shouldn't go into battle without proper fodder, otherwise their full potential is wasted. We try and chip away. We just haven't been successful yet. I will admit it is easier to make mistakes with the allies than it is with Japan.

We like putting a naval base on Southern Aus too, if Japan is controlling the DEI area, as it adds another route (NZ-S Aus) to the DEI.

A great game, to be sure, we just haven't found a way to bring down japan with a J1 allowed, they are usually at 70ipcs by J3.

A note on China, India. I've been successful with Japan by just ignoring Allied players trying to defend and only defend. China needs to bother Japan - its worth nothing for Japan to follow China around the NW - I just don't do it with Japan, I let them build their 20 infantry and 1 plane into a stack. It's no match for 10 Japan 4's (bombers and tacs) and another 10 3's with fodder, carefully planned, as soon as China tries to cause trouble!

So, I guess in conclusion, I find the balance to Japan on J1, and slightly to the allies with anything else. I have a good J3 game going, where I am playing Japan. I have 7 carriers on the board, but the US 4. It's gonna be close. It's round 5 or 6 and I've been at 68-69ipcs the past two turns. The Allies still have a few more bucks coming in, but it's gonna be a long road for them!

Alas, Larry has done a great job, it is a very dynamic game, and, of course, we cannot (explicit) wait for Oct. :)


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