My question might be naive but why the hell are you fortifying the Philippines and wandering where his next move might be. He can now nuke the HI and for all intent and purposes the game is lost if you don't remove him from Hokkaido at least. Being a lowly AI player only, I suppose I can't give any significant advise, but I would just bring all the best troops back to the HI, try to load them all up from a port on the south west of Japan, and from there dump all the thousands AVs I could find on Hokkaido in a monstruous display of Bushido spirit while unleashing all I got in terms of air and naval power.
The goal of the game for you should now be to preserve the HI a little longer, who cares if he gets Singapore or the Marianas now...
Anyway this is just from my limited perspective of course...
This is a very good question.
First, let me state that there is essentially zero chance of me ever evicting him from Hokkaido. I believe this was true as soon as he landed. I conducted an analysis of what it would take to get rid of him, or even hold Hokkaido, and I determined this to be essentially impossible. He had 6500 AV landed, and I had around 1200 in position.
Fighting to retake Hokkaido would guarantee our swift defeat. I don't believe it was likely to succeed if I'd commited to it right after he landed, and now that ship has most definitely sailed. Very few of my ships would even make it to the beaches, let alone would my troops have any chance of evicting him. I don't see what would be gained by throwing away all my aircraft (and especially pilots) fighting over his territory.
Now, you've raised a very good question: assuming I don't take back Hokkaido, do I actually have any chance of winning the game (or fighting to a draw, not losing terribly, etc.). I believe there is a chance, but it is probably less than 50% at this point. But I strongly believe my only chance is to fight a strong defensive campaign. In fact, my tasks as I see it are:
1.) I need to prevent him from conquering Japan. In this, the IJA will have some support from the IJN and IJAF, but this will be mostly in the form of protecting the beaches. Of course, he is so close to Japan that he can almost land anywhere in Honshu at will. Thus, this is actually my greatest concern. I don't know if, even if I bring back most of the land units and build up an IJA reserve, the IJA is up to the task of this. I suspect the IJA, fully concentrated with large bases and air support, can hold off an allied amphibious assault on Honshu for now (I can rapidly concentrate over 10,000 AV at the landing site), but I'm not absolutely certain of this. If I can't stop him on the beaches of Honshu, the game is likely lost sooner rather than later.
2.) I need to blunt his strategic bombing of Japan. For that purpose I need most of my fighters over Japan, and maybe, just maybe, I can do enough damage to his bombers that he can't raze the homeland in time to win the game. Fighting over my own territory should help here. Hopefully I can recover most of my pilots and while he loses most of his. The Japanese had a nasty taste of fighting over enemy territory in Karachi, and it was ugly in terms of pilot losses. Let's see if I can turn the tables.
3.) I think I do need to prevent him from blockading Japan by cutting off the DEI oil. While the oil flows, I can keep up my production (notwithstanding strategic bombing losses). To this end, I do need to think about allied attacks on the Philippines, Formosa, Okinawa, Marianas, etc.
4.) Despite the allied presence in Hokkaido, I would like to retain large parts of the map if I can do so at a relatively low cost. This "safe zone" is vital IMO to allow me to maintain some deployment secrecy and protect the DEI. Additionally, holding an empire at the end of the game (if I am still alive), will be good for the point count.
5.) If I can, I would like to try to interdict his reinforcement stream to Hokkaido. However, I strongly believe that I should only attempt to do this when I see opportunities for favourable returns. Throwing away the IJN and IJAF in a suicidal attempt to cut off or retake Hokkaido is only a way to accelerate defeat IMO.
These objectives suggest to me that while obviously the defense of Japan should be (and is) formost on my mind, I ought not to simply abandon the rest of the map.
< Message edited by rader -- 12/11/2011 9:32:59 PM >