From: Southern California
I remember the first time I started a Grand Campaign as the allies in WiTP. I was so overwhelmed. So many decisions, what to do? It is quite overwhelming.
But then I realized, this is not a game that you need to have a full plan of everything from day one - at least if your playing against the AI. Remember you have 5 full years, 365 turns per year to do stuff. That is a long, long time.
You start the game with a few plans and attacks, then as the days and weeks pass, you learn the map better, you learn your units better, you add to your plans, you adjust your forces, by the time you get into day 20 of the grand campaign (around January 1942) you will be surprised you will know the map much better, you will know your units much better, you will have a strategy rolling along, and you will find turns getting much easier because it will be just modifications of what you are already doing.
The first few turns are the hardest, and don't worry if you haven't figured everything out in turn one, just start moving along, turn after turn, you knowldege and grasp of the situation grows deeper and deeper. The good thing about this game is that it does move along slowly compared to other games and lasts much longer. So it is not the end of the world if you forget to do something on the first turn.
I also recommend playing allies first grand campaign if you are indifferent. They have more of a defensive role in the beginning, so things are a bit slower for them in the beginning, as opposed to the Japanese who have to move fast in the beginning, and the other advantage of playing as the allies is you don't have to worry about economic production like the Japanese do - which is a monster by itself :)
This is good advice. I agree completely. You will soon know without conscious effort where every island is.
I was at lunch the other day at work and somebody started talking about Brunei. Someone asked, "where is that?"
I answered, "North coast of Borneo, on the South China Sea, almost due South of Hong Kong 800-900 miles".
After somebody looked it up on their Crackberry, they were impressed.
Much easier to play the Allies, I think.