Rich, the answer to this one will vary widely. Some players will tell you that your goal is simply to survive, while others will tell you that you can effectively hold in some places and even make a few strategic gains in others - read a few AARs and you'll see what I mean. Both of these answers can be correct, or at least partially so, depending on who you're playing (the AI, a newer Japanese player, or an experienced Japanese player.) Whatever the case may be, at least in the beginning do your best to try to consolidate your forces whlel at the same time sacrificing the occasional Chinese unit in order to slow up early Japanese advancements. Block a railroad, hold a road junction with a token unit, etc., and by all means go ahead and take Ichang in the first few turns (because you can), but after this it'll depend a lot on your play style, tolerance for risk, opponent, and overall goals.