RE: Australia, though John 3rd took it in his AAR, his opponent made several critical errors that allowed that to happen. Against decent Allied play, Australia is un-takeable IMO.
Now, crsutton correctly points out that certain areas are indefensible, like Northern Oz, NE Oz, actually pretty much any hex above Brisbane. But a couple simple steps can safeguard Sydney at a minimum:
1. Starting December 1941, move US troops to Australia. Prioritize it, even before Fiji or New Caledonia. Start with base forces, a tank unit or two, some Marines...you can scrape up some stuff in December to send.
2. Start digging forts in Sydney, and send at least 2 divisions there. Maybe more. Melbourne, start digging. I would combine all the Australian Militia units you can.
3. There are a number of Australian CD units. Place them in some spots like Albany, Newcastle, clear hexes near major targets
4. Starting Dec 7th, load any spare ship you have at US West coast with Supplies, and move supplies/fuel to Oz. Turn off the Heavy Industry. You can also load a convoy at Cape Town for Oz. Also load all the fuel you can get out of DEI and take to Perth. You may only have a couple months, so get what you can there.
I think the 6th or 7th Australian Divisions, maybe both, can be diverted to India. This requires a backfill, though, with some US forces
There is no reason not to start sending US troops right away, because even if your opponent does not invade Oz, it's a great launching point anyway for counterattacks. You may as well get started early.
Thanks, I usually try to get at least a couple base force/engineer units and the II Ftr HQ headed to Australia early, I will have to look at some tank units, makes sense that that's a good place for them. I am looking at combining the divisions at major ports, I am planning on shifting one to Perth but the others will cover the major SE cities, with the independent Cav brigades covering the smaller ports in between. I see a lot of people saying NE Oz is untenable, I had planned on trying to build up Townsville (probably because it is so important when I played the Guadacanal scenario), is it that much at risk?
I guess it comes down to the IJ can take almost anywhere it wants, but it cant take everywhere, if I strengthen Perth and Townsville (and Darwin gets some DEI refugees) he can probably take 2 of the three, but I'm hoping not to give all of it away, if that makes sense. (Of course, against the AI it seems I don't have to worry too much, but I want to get good habits early).