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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan

 
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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/9/2008 3:21:05 PM   
Mitchellvitch

 

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Japan can also be a brutally frustrating country to play - timing is critical, and an early mistake or run of bad luck (or stroke of genius by the enemy) can unhinge a whole game, leaving you little option but to establish your perimeter and then just sit it out as America grinds its way towards your heartland. I am recalling specifically getting jumped on a surprise impulse by Russian subs, and losing a huge chunk of convoys in '40, which had a knock-on effect on my production that I never really recovered from.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/9/2008 4:23:24 PM   
Kaletsch2007

 

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That's why i love the play Japan. It's the most challenging and complex power in the game. Also the one with the most possibilities. Even, if i lost all that games so far, i am still looking for challenges, not solutions

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/9/2008 4:32:51 PM   
wfzimmerman


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a guy can dream: what does it take for Japan to win a resounding victory?

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Post #: 63
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/9/2008 5:03:42 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wfzimmerman

a guy can dream: what does it take for Japan to win a resounding victory?

Maybe reading this thread from post #1 can help ?

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Post #: 64
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/9/2008 5:48:03 PM   
wfzimmerman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

quote:

ORIGINAL: wfzimmerman

a guy can dream: what does it take for Japan to win a resounding victory?

Maybe reading this thread from post #1 can help ?


Gee, Patrice, of course I did that. What I was bemoaning was the absence of "how to conquer California" or at least "how to take Honolulu".

there are what, six ports on the Western U.S. coast? Take those, plus the Panama canal, and you have a moral victory, even if the US eventually comes back. If you throw everything eastward, is there a strategy that gives you a chance of doing that?

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/9/2008 6:09:22 PM   
brian brian

 

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Japan wins when the US comes in slowly, or is too hesitant about attacking the Japanese perimeter. My last game as Japan, I was on the winning side despite rolling less than 8 on every land attack against more than one unit. This luck came back to save me whenever the Chinese had a good attack they rolled low, and by 1944 were still several hexes from Shanghai thanks to a web of defensive ground support, defensive HQ support, and ARTillery units. Unfortunately all of my well-planned counter-attacks against new USMC bridgeheads suffered similar results on the dice, and the US had broken the Malay barrier in the summer of 1944 when the game was called. I don't think they would have been able to land on the mainland by the summer of 1945 as they hadn't yet risked operations inside my perimeter and Japan had taken virtually no naval or air losses, only lots of MIL, INF and an occasional MAR. A trio of captured resources had bulked up the economic output but a devastating series of very lucky PARTisan rolls (several 10% chances through-out the Co-Prosperity Sphere; Siberia, China, Korea, China, and the Phillipines all in a row) had returned production to normal. But the Japanese held the Persian oil-fields for three years and were emptying force pools and building up oil stocks.

I now greatly prefer a Middle East strategy for Japan, which has to be co-ordinated with overall anti-Russian Axis strategy.

Taking Honolulu is an interesting strategic exercise for Japan. I think a lot of players bet the farm on the surprise-impulse, one roll type attack. I think it is a little better to build up in the Hawaiian islands with some ART adjacent and a definite cut to the US supply line, rather than hope your searchers on that one impulse can find all three CP lines you need to cut. But for me this has only been a theory as when the decision has come I've either had too many good fish to roll up in seaweed elsewhere, or Pearl had an insanely great defense that wasn't worth the 3 turns required to take it down.

And I'm really looking forward to playing Japan against an early Allied DoW strategy.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/19/2008 4:42:14 PM   
wfzimmerman


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I've just been reading a copy of H.P. Willmott's A GATHERING DARKNESS, about Japan 1921-1942. He makes the argument that Japan carried out the first strategic bombing campaign against China 1938-1941.

Query: can a STRAT campaign against China be effective as part of a "finish China first" strategy?

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/19/2008 6:47:16 PM   
npilgaard

 

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In the early part of the game I think it can be quite successful to strat bomb China while simultaneously attacking on land.
Japans early bombers have very poor ground strike capabilities (1-2 factors) anyway, and most have 1 strat factor (and up 2-3 a little later).
Doing an unintercepted 1-factor strategic bombing is 40% chance of removing a prod point, and Chinas production is very low, so even only 1-2 prod pts removed per turn can reduce the Chinese production by maybe 15-40%

I have tried doing a fair amount of strat bombing in '39-early '41 while doing a China first, and it worked fairly well. Especially if it is possible to take an air impulse, then ground strike a hex for later land attack (using only 1-2 bombers - mainly the best tac factors or short range FTRs - and ART) and then do strat with the remaining bombers. A HQ (or even two - just be sure to leave one to support the land attack) and TRS at sea will then reorg the bombers (and maybe ART), and during next impulse (often a combined, allowing 4 air missions) then the hex can be ground struck again before conducting the land attack (even a few strat bombings can be carried out). Most of the time it is better to do a 1-factor strat bombing than a 1-factor ground strike, imho.

Haven't tried it myself, but it seems to be a viable option to do strat bombing even if not going all in for China. I think that it is not unusual that the Japanese player takes the easy Chinese resources, cuts Chinese access to the other 'outer' resources (and Burma road if possible), and then stop attacking China. That means no 'attack in home country'-prod bonus, and combined with strat bombing (using spare ac and air moves) that can slow down the Chinese build up of offensive force, freeing Japanese land units to be used elsewhere (especially if playing with Chinese attack weakness).

So, strat bombing China is not a bad option at all, imho (although the air missions may be required for other, more important things, especially if in war against USSR or US)

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/19/2008 6:55:49 PM   
Norman42


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wfzimmerman

Query: can a STRAT campaign against China be effective as part of a "finish China first" strategy?



I've found a STR campaign against China quite effective.

Firstly, Japan's bomber aircraft are poor at strategic bombing, but...they are poor at pretty much everything aside from the NAVs. Their STR factors are often equal to or better then thier TAC factors, so using them in the strategic role instead of ground strike/support isn't a great loss.

Second, China has little or no air defence. The Chinese airforce can usually be avoided or shot down, leading to the nice +1 for not intercepted.

Third, even the loss of 1 build point to China is a far greater percentage of her total production than say 2-3 build points off Germany or the UK. Often the loss of 1 build point can force China into being unable to build a certain unit during a turn. This can have a large cascading effect on China's overall prodution if units keep getting pushed back in the build schedule.

And lastly, Japan really doesn't have much *else* to do with their non-sea-factor aircraft. The vast majority of the time they are based in defensive roles. Having them sortie late in turn to attack the Chinese factories is putting them to some use.

There are downsides of course, the key one being oil usage. If that aircraft just sits there in a defence/reactive role in china it uses no oil unless it flies in ground support. There is also the prospect of partisans attacking the flipped aircraft in China if they are positioned poorly.

Overall, I've found a STR campaign against China to be one of the most effective in the game just due to their dearth of production; any loss is huge. A 1BP loss per turn, when they are producing only 5BP, is a 20% loss in production. To get the same effect on Germany or Britain you would need to destroy 6-8 BPs(which would be considered an extremely successful STR campaign turn)

For the campaign to be most effective it needs to start early, so that China doesn't have their force pool already emptied out and the production loss being negligible. Every turn you can delay China building a unit (especially a "gravy" unit, like an aircraft or HQ) is that much longer you will last in China. Killing Chinese units before they are even built is one of the most efficient uses of Japan's mainland forces.




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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/19/2008 8:01:50 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Thanks. I'll ad this to the AIO's arsenal when playing Japan.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/20/2008 9:22:07 AM   
brian brian

 

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love the 'Supply Sub' in CoiF for this very purpose. And the '2' strategic factor NAV-3. If that plane isn't drawn at start, it is a very good build.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/22/2008 9:44:33 PM   
wfzimmerman


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It seems to me the most effective way for Japan to try to take Siberia is

1) timed for simultaneous or shortly after Barbarossa
2) with maximum strategic depth, i.e. with the strike as far west as possible.

I see a 3 x 3 matrix for the AI:

attack before Barbarossa (timed together with Axis?)
next impulse as Barbarossa
a short time after Barbarossa (as soon as Siberians rail westward?)

v.

attack

far west
near west
directly at Vladivostok

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/26/2008 1:54:33 AM   
brian brian

 

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of course, the whole thing is a little different now with the latest errata. Russia can surrender whenever it wants, so you might as well get in to Vladivostok's red factory right away.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/27/2008 1:26:13 AM   
Norman42


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

of course, the whole thing is a little different now with the latest errata. Russia can surrender whenever it wants, so you might as well get in to Vladivostok's red factory right away.



Any link to the latest errata?


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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/27/2008 9:35:41 AM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Norman42


quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

of course, the whole thing is a little different now with the latest errata. Russia can surrender whenever it wants, so you might as well get in to Vladivostok's red factory right away.



Any link to the latest errata?


I personaly prefer to wait until ADG issues a free errata document before posting / exchanging / publishing the complete list from the annual (because if I do and if everyone does, there will be lots of errata 2008 annual files, and I prefer if there is only one, the official one from ADG). But here is the part I think brian brian refers to :

**********************************
USSR-Japan peace (WiF 13.7.3), add to WiF option 50
The USSR may surrender at any time during its first war with Japan. In addition to hexes given up per the existing surrender rule, all hexes on the Pacific Map are surrendered to Japan. Japan may surrender at any time to the USSR during their first war. In addition to hexes given up per the existing surrender rule, Japan also cedes Manchuria to the USSR.
**********************************

spacefargo has posted a document listing all the errata somwhere I don't remember where, but this is not officialy from ADG.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 4/28/2008 8:37:37 PM   
composer99


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

of course, the whole thing is a little different now with the latest errata. Russia can surrender whenever it wants, so you might as well get in to Vladivostok's red factory right away.


The USSR can surrender whenever it wants, yes, but at the cost of Vladivostok and all the other USSR hexes on the Pacific map... so Japan now has the option of either taking Vlad right away or waiting (unlike with the earlier rule where it had to wait if it wanted a prolonged war).

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/1/2008 5:31:25 AM   
brian brian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

of course, the whole thing is a little different now with the latest errata. Russia can surrender whenever it wants, so you might as well get in to Vladivostok's red factory right away.


The USSR can surrender whenever it wants, yes, but at the cost of Vladivostok and all the other USSR hexes on the Pacific map... so Japan now has the option of either taking Vlad right away or waiting (unlike with the earlier rule where it had to wait if it wanted a prolonged war).


that's a pretty good consideration. Maybe it would be better for Japan to drive hard at Chita and hope to force the Russians to concede everything farther east or lose their best base for a comeback. That would be the reality of it. But in WiF, every city east of Chita is a potential advanced base for a come-back, so I would never surrender anything as the Russians. What would be the point? That's kind of how I look at it now as the Russians, and with a big map to have fun running around on, I would have even less reason to ever surrender...unless the Japanese offered me something like some build points maybe. Make the Japanese earn every valuable hex; even if it is 1941 and you can't afford to put any units over there (but a couple that are too slow to run from the panzers are just fine waiting for a banzai charge at the end of a stretched Japanese supply line), by 1942 you can afford to leave a CAV or two; by 1943 this grows to a few INF, and the oozing/TB-17+unlimited+divs fun begins.

But anyway, I think if Japan embarks on this adventure, now they would want to start at Vladivostok AND the cities on the upper Amur and hope to get them all before the Russians can afford to defend them. Best-case scenario is to take them all and deploy a long-term defensive force along the rail line from Chita to Harbin. There are other wrinkles to this thinking in the Middle East though.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/1/2008 6:03:43 AM   
Norman42


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With that new surrender rule I too don't see much reason at all for the USSR to surrender to Japan, ever. Maybe if the Soviets had 7-8 units trapped out of supply and isolated on the Pacific map by stellar Japanese pre-1941 play I'd consider it just to get my units freed up in time for Barb, but otherwise...

The Japanese can't really advance much deeper into Russia then Chita anyways, nor do they gain much by trying, so surrender really gains you nothing. Let them keep trying to slog through to Irkutsk...you are probably saving China at the expense of a few hexes of empty Motherland.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/2/2008 7:40:53 PM   
wfzimmerman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian



But anyway, I think if Japan embarks on this adventure, now they would want to start at Vladivostok AND the cities on the upper Amur and hope to get them all before the Russians can afford to defend them. Best-case scenario is to take them all and deploy a long-term defensive force along the rail line from Chita to Harbin. There are other wrinkles to this thinking in the Middle East though.

This is a good question whether the axis of defense should be E/W or N/S. Looking at the map, the most defensible position W of Chita is at Lake Baikal, but that freezes during winter, right?

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/3/2008 7:35:58 PM   
wfzimmerman


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what do people like to do with the Japanese ATR? I have one to set up in the Day of Infamy scenario (I am a beta tester) and not quite sure what to do with it.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/3/2008 8:09:10 PM   
Norman42


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I generally use it in China/Burma to reorg units that had to flip when moving into bad terrain. In MWiF this is much less of a problem due to the euro map scale change, so it might see use elsewhere.

I also use it on Japans 'supercombined' assault to get a toehold in the Phillipenes if I have a para unit available, but its primarily a reorganization tool.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/3/2008 11:41:30 PM   
wfzimmerman


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i have trouble wifzenning the ATR's reorg abilities ...

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/4/2008 2:26:57 AM   
Taxman66


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Why?  That was the primary use of all the ATRs durring the war. 

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/11/2008 4:36:00 AM   
brian brian

 

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on the supercombined it's fun to sail the ATR into Bangkok with the parachute division.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/20/2008 5:41:41 PM   
hakon

 

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If Japan attacks Russia with a strong force in 1941, simultaniously with a dedicated attack by Germany in the west, there is a lot of reason for Russia to surrender to Japan, mostly because this lets the USSR rail every single unit from Asia to europe, while still hoding Chita, and maybe even the resource SE of Chita.

Also, if Russia is stuffing the border, and is at war with Italy already, they may want to avoid any fighting with Japan in 1941, so they surrender as soon as Japan attacks if they attack in 1941.

Cheers
Hakon


quote:

ORIGINAL: Norman42

With that new surrender rule I too don't see much reason at all for the USSR to surrender to Japan, ever. Maybe if the Soviets had 7-8 units trapped out of supply and isolated on the Pacific map by stellar Japanese pre-1941 play I'd consider it just to get my units freed up in time for Barb, but otherwise...

The Japanese can't really advance much deeper into Russia then Chita anyways, nor do they gain much by trying, so surrender really gains you nothing. Let them keep trying to slog through to Irkutsk...you are probably saving China at the expense of a few hexes of empty Motherland.


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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/21/2008 4:08:42 AM   
brian brian

 

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I think Russia can always afford to leave a couple-three, (and NO more) cheap units (and more importantly, slow - the slow ones aren't much use in a 41 Barb) behind in the Pacific, and make Japan earn it's rewards somewhat. The US will thank you at least. I'm not saying Russia should overcommit in Asia, that is a classic mistake that has lost the Allies many a game of WiF. But I don't see any point at all in surrendering...depending on the situation in the Middle East, that has too many angles to be a cut and dried decision. Besides, if you surrender, it might be a pain in the butt to re-DOW Japan later in the war when you want to. And there is too much fun to be had with the 2-5 Cavalry that can't fight the Germans anyway. Japan just doesn't have the logistics support to deal with land campaigns over large areas like Siberia.


I also like to use the Japanese ATR (or more likely the Flying-Boat NAV/ATR) to fly the MTN corps to the lake in NW Manchuria for a surprise drive on Chita.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/21/2008 5:13:32 AM   
wfzimmerman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

on the supercombined it's fun to sail the ATR into Bangkok with the parachute division.


what does that get you?

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/21/2008 11:10:40 AM   
hakon

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

I think Russia can always afford to leave a couple-three, (and NO more) cheap units (and more importantly, slow - the slow ones aren't much use in a 41 Barb) behind in the Pacific, and make Japan earn it's rewards somewhat. The US will thank you at least. I'm not saying Russia should overcommit in Asia, that is a classic mistake that has lost the Allies many a game of WiF. But I don't see any point at all in surrendering...depending on the situation in the Middle East, that has too many angles to be a cut and dried decision. Besides, if you surrender, it might be a pain in the butt to re-DOW Japan later in the war when you want to. And there is too much fun to be had with the 2-5 Cavalry that can't fight the Germans anyway. Japan just doesn't have the logistics support to deal with land campaigns over large areas like Siberia.


I also like to use the Japanese ATR (or more likely the Flying-Boat NAV/ATR) to fly the MTN corps to the lake in NW Manchuria for a surprise drive on Chita.


In the case of a 1941 barb combined with a determined Japanese attack on the USSR at the same time, if you only leave 2-3 units in Asia and Japan attacks in force, you have to expect to loose at least Chita, and possibly have Japan pressing on all the way to Irkutsk in 1941. While that's not the end of the world, it's definitely worse than surrendering all hexes on the Pacific map (which you will lose anyway). Especially if you can keep that resource SE of Chita, it's much better. We find that this situation is quite common in our game, since we typically see China being conquered some time in 1941 or 1942, which frees up enough Japanese ground units to attack both the USSR and the allies.

If China is still strong, and Japan is setting up for attacking the allies in strength, Japan will often not have the musscle to send a strong force into Russia. In this case, it may be ok to try to make a stand. (3-6 japanese land units can of course be stopped by 2-3 russian defenders). But if Japan attacks Russia with 10-20 units, Russia will either have to set up 6-10 units in defense, or at least face losing Chita. And 6-10 extra units vs Germany can really make a difference.

Cheers
Hakon



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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/21/2008 8:32:00 PM   
Norman42


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quote:

But if Japan attacks Russia with 10-20 units


Hmmm I can't see where Japan would ever scrape up 20(!) units to attack Russia with, unless they completely gave up on a pacific war, built no naval units, and China completely collapsed by mid 1940. Seven or eight units is usually considered a massive commitment to Russia for Japan. Twenty...I can't say I've ever seen that. For that scale of investment(ie the entire Japanese army), Siberia is little reward.

I'd gladly trade Siberia for Americans on Formosa in 1943.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 5/22/2008 6:28:29 AM   
brian brian

 

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There is a nice oil hex in ATR range of Bangkok.

Hakon, why do you see China conquered so often? I have heard other players mention that, but I don't find China that hard to keep alive. A few lucky Japanese attacks can send the Chinese snowballing down the slippery slope, sure. But as long as they don't foolishly pick up the attack dice themselves I don't think they are likely to be conquered in 1941. What have your Japanese discovered to slay the Dragon every time? Maybe we need an AI for China thread?

I guess I can see that one advantage to the USSR surrendering to Japan; every resource counts, and every garrison point in a stuff. But Chita should be fairly tough for the Japanese, again unless the Chinese were bored in 1940 and decided to have fun with the attack dice. How many points do you score in negotiations for deliveries from Uncle Sam by leaving some roadblocks in front of the Japanese? And if Japan can afford that kind of attack on Russia, won't they just start over again in 1942 and take Chita then? How about the Russians just leaving the Cav division somewhere southwest of Irkutsk, is that worthwhile?

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