From: Stillwater, OK, United States
Well, my Allied strategy at the beginning is typically an anti-merchant campaign. It helped in UV, and in WiTP it is even more effective. The more APs and AKs you sink, then the Japanese AI/player has to make a choice: Commit them to invasions, or use them to gather resources. No matter what choice he makes, he either cripples himself in the long run, or gives you some breathing room and time to regroup.
So, what I typically do is during the first phase of the war, use the US Asiatic Fleet, Force Z, the Dutch fleet, and anything you can spare from Colombo to destroy as many merchies as you can. When you have to, fall back to India and Australia.
If you use the Lady Lex and Big E off Wake, you can net several APs, plus sink some CLs and DDs. During the first part of the war, Kwajelein is a FEEDING GROUND of transports, and its so early that the Japanese can't put a lot of bombers there. In my current gme (Mar. 42) I have done 2 Carrier raids on it, the first with Lexington, Saratoga and Enterprise. On this raid, I netted about 8-10 transports and a few smaller craft, all for one torpedo hit on the Sara. On my last raid, using Lexington, Enterprise, and Yorktown, I netted about 4 transports, a sub tender, 2 minelayers, a few patrol craft, and a CL, plus badly damaged Kwajelein's port facilities, for the loss of about 12 Wildcats and 5 SBDs.
Acting in this way will not only begin limiting Japanese offensive actions, but also let your carriers start gaining valuable experience. If you send your carriers up against the Japanese carriers without any, then the war is going to get a lot harder.
However, this strategy does not mean retreat from warships. Force Z, in one of the opening days of the war, sank 1 CA and put 3 others out of commission for about 6 months.
Just because you are on the defensive early in the war doesn't mean you can't fight. If you pinprick the Japanese enough, you can cause him to bleed.
Designer of War Plan Orange
Producer of Carrier Force
Allied Naval OOBer of Admiral's Edition
Avatar is of me with my 1918/1967 FTR Ishapore Sht LE Mk III*.