From: Glasgow, Scotland
My taste of the late-war game for Japan has me rethinking how best to use fortifications to maximise the defensive advantages for Japan.
Previously, I've held the opinion that building forts everywhere was the correct course of action: for an investment in supplies, forts act as a force multiplier that can't be destroyed by naval or air power - it takes boots on the ground to break forts.
However, I'm starting to form the opinion that a limited selection of bases with forts built to level 7, 8 or 9 may be much more effective than a proliferation of bases with level 5 or 6 forts.
Additionally, forts need to be situated where they can take the best advantage of terrain: in effect, x3 or x2 hexes. Forts in open hexes are, in my view, a waste of supply. There are some hexes that deserve forts that have clear terrain, but these exceptions are few.
On Dec 7th, there's little scope for the Allies to mount offensive actions on the ground, so there's little need for Japan to develop forts quickly.
To that end, I intend to capitalise on this to develop forts in the Home Islands as quickly as possible. My reasoning behind this is that by 1945, I want to ensure that fort construction in the Home Islands is complete, so as to remove one drain on the limited supply production in the late war.
To that end, I will likely siphon off large numbers of engineer units from China and Manchuria to do a tour of construction duty in Japan before heading off to frontline bases. In general, I'd like to adopt a policy of digging from the inside of the Empire, moving outwards.
Below is my list of priorities:
This is a thorny issue. In an ideal world, I'd like to dig all the bases here to level 9 forts. However, it's impractical and monstrously expensive.
There are 9 potential invasion sites with clear terrain (One on Hokkaido, one on Kyushu, seven on Honshu). These deserve at least level 7 forts. There are numerous other potential landing sites in less suitable terrain, so these can have forts ranging up to level 6 as a measure of expediency.
Additionally, there are 12 major centres of industrial and aircraft manufacturing that deserve forts ranging from level 6 up to 9 in order to help defend against strategic bombing. Most of these will get level 9 forts, as their industrial value is immense.
Airbases will be developed concurrently with forts, with the goal of building level 9 airbases in suitable locations for late-war air engagements.
Tsushima and Iki-shima will be developed to level 4 and 5 airbases respectively to take advantage of the CD guns. Iki-shima forts will be dug up to level 6 (Tsushima starts with level 6 forts).
Construction priority will go East-to-West. Hokkaido first, moving westward along Honshu.
Kuriles and Sakhalin
The Kuriles will all get level 7 forts, and airbases up to their SPS value (but not beyond). The exception is Ketoi-jima, which will not be developed.
Toyohara will be developed into a level 9 airbase, with level 8 forts to defend it. Shikuka will not be developed beyond a small fighter base (level 2 or 3) to defend the oil.
They'll get forts up to their level 6 maximum. Iwo-jima will get a level 1 airbase, but beyond that there will be no development here.
Both Naha and Nago on Okinawa will get level 8 forts, and Naha will be developed to a level 5 airbase.
Ishihaki will get level 6 forts and a level 4 airbase, while Amami Oshima and Daito Shoto will get level 6 forts and a level 3 airbase.
I doubt I'll bother with forts here, as the clear terrain makes it essentially pointless. There will be extensive development of airbases on Formosa, however.