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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan

 
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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/1/2009 7:48:11 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sajbalk


quote:

ORIGINAL: Extraneous

(PiF) The Persian Royal Cavalry unit upgrades in 1940 from a 3 - 4 to a 4 - 4.



Are you sure about this? I did not think there were upgrades or heavy units in MWIF1.



True.

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Post #: 151
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/1/2009 11:31:34 PM   
brian brian

 

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The only Japanese unit that could reach Teheran on the first Axis impulse would be a division that was already stacked in Hainan or Canton with one of their Kongo class battlecruisers, their only transport option with range 5, which would be needed to do a port-to-port move to Bandar Shupar so the unit could then rail-move to Teheran if the Russians hadn't used a 5 movement point CAV to ZoC the rail line. Any unit coming in from a TRS could only debark, which comes after rail movement. Adding a disorganized, quite-soon-to-be-out-of-supply division to Teheran adds very little to the defensive strength of the hex. Or if the Japanese had a unit in an East African port they could accomplish this, but that requires it's own multi-impulse op to set up.

Japanese intervention in Teheran is just not that simple or even very likely. War in Persia is all about who controls the oil wells. Unless the Russians have CW help or an expensive (with Barbarossa on the horizon) Paratrooper unit laboriously deployed to within range of Bandar Shupar or the northern oil hex, requiring an HQ or Engineer in several of the potential base hexes (And now the three oil resources are in three separate hexes to make this more complicated), the Japanese will have the option of intervening and landing their own units on at least two of the oil wells. The Persians can also just simply set-up their CAV in Bandar Shupar for additional insurance that the Japanese troops will have a port to land in and this would also put a ZoC on two of the oil wells, making things fairly risky for a Russian para-drop as well as fairly difficult for a CW landing in 1940 with the very limited liftable assets they could have by then.

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Post #: 152
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/2/2009 2:33:26 AM   
Extraneous

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


quote:

ORIGINAL: sajbalk


quote:

ORIGINAL: Extraneous

(PiF) The Persian Royal Cavalry unit upgrades in 1940 from a 3 - 4 to a 4 - 4.



Are you sure about this? I did not think there were upgrades or heavy units in MWIF1.



True.



You mean that the spreadsheet at Froonp's website is wrong?

See line 1465 and 1466 of the Pions WiF-AiF-PatiF spreadsheet.


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Post #: 153
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/2/2009 4:08:34 AM   
paulderynck


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Extraneous


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


quote:

ORIGINAL: sajbalk


quote:

ORIGINAL: Extraneous

(PiF) The Persian Royal Cavalry unit upgrades in 1940 from a 3 - 4 to a 4 - 4.



Are you sure about this? I did not think there were upgrades or heavy units in MWIF1.



True.



You mean that the spreadsheet at Froonp's website is wrong?

See line 1465 and 1466 of the Pions WiF-AiF-PatiF spreadsheet.


The spreadsheet is right, your interpretation is wrong. The Persian forces are better (replaced) when you play Patton in Flames. For WiF they don't change.

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Post #: 154
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/2/2009 5:17:56 AM   
brian brian

 

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I would also note here that one of Japan's nice advantages in a war with Russia in 1940 is their brand new long range Zeroes, so I generally build those in Jan/Feb 40 and the AI would be wise to do the same. One of those landed in Bandar Shapur can make the Russian TB-3 pilots a little nervous.

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Post #: 155
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/2/2009 6:58:03 AM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: paulderynck


quote:

ORIGINAL: Extraneous


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


quote:

ORIGINAL: sajbalk


quote:

ORIGINAL: Extraneous

(PiF) The Persian Royal Cavalry unit upgrades in 1940 from a 3 - 4 to a 4 - 4.



Are you sure about this? I did not think there were upgrades or heavy units in MWIF1.



True.



You mean that the spreadsheet at Froonp's website is wrong?

See line 1465 and 1466 of the Pions WiF-AiF-PatiF spreadsheet.


The spreadsheet is right, your interpretation is wrong. The Persian forces are better (replaced) when you play Patton in Flames. For WiF they don't change.

For WiF, you can also play with heavy units, which is not the case of MWiF 1.

If you play with heavy units, the Persian CAV can upgrade. It does not automaticaly though. The heavy unit is not used at setup. It must be replaced by the owning major power, after he have added the Persian force pool to his, using the normal heavy units replacement rule.

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Post #: 156
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/2/2009 1:35:45 PM   
Extraneous

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL:  larssto

Hmm....Maybe I am using the wrong setup file, but in mine the 1-5 CAV is a DIV. Which leaves the USSR with 50% chance of getting a 5-mover corps in Asia/Pacific.

Given the setup of your original post (Post 113), I would have thought that the Persian AIO would choose a Border type defense with its CAV in Bandar Shah, praying for intervention from the Japs. One or more 5-5 SCS with a DIV from Canton/Hainan or a 4-4 TRS floating in the 0 Box in the South china Sea, should be able to put peacekeepers in Teheran in one impulse. Whether a Japanese AIO would be smart enough to spot the potential threat to Persia and have these units in position is another matter.

A way to focre the Persian AIO's hand and have it setup its unit in Teheran is to have a simultaenous western threat to Persia, i.e. a land unit on the western shores of the Caspian. This means more units will have to be stripped from Siberia, making a Japanese adventure in Siberia even more likely, assuming the USSR still wants to DOW in turn 1.

Convoy route 6 as originally proposed does make sense if the Japanese AIO spots a USSR threat to Persia. It's a very low-risk option as Japan is not at war with anyone that will sink its convoys, and the convoys can be retrieved later if the threat disappears.

I think that any USSR adventurism in Persia will need to be decisive, and will necessarily be a high-risk high-reward type decision. Where is Stalin's spy in Tokyo?

Lars


Your right its a Cavalry division I just need it to soak up losses and claim gound. It moves with the 2 Siberians. 

Excellent plan. But you can rail a unit from Europe to Bakau on the 1st impulse and not strip more units from Siberia.

Richard Sorge, Stalin's spy in Tokyo, is getting information on Japanese tankers gathering in Canton.


brian brian post # 152
The only Japanese unit that could reach Teheran on the first Axis impulse would be a division that was already stacked in Hainan or Canton with one of their Kongo class battlecruisers, their only transport option with range 5, which would be needed to do a port-to-port move to Bandar Shupar so the unit could then rail-move to Teheran if the Russians hadn't used a 5 movement point CAV to ZoC the rail line. Any unit coming in from a TRS could only debark, which comes after rail movement. Adding a disorganized, quite-soon-to-be-out-of-supply division to Teheran adds very little to the defensive strength of the hex. Or if the Japanese had a unit in an East African port they could accomplish this, but that requires it's own multi-impulse op to set up.

Japanese intervention in Teheran is just not that simple or even very likely. War in Persia is all about who controls the oil wells.

quote:

No this is about who can control Persia and its oil.

The amount of time necessary to construct a CP is 4 turns a Tanker is 5 turns so until any new builds come out the Japanese have the capacity to get 1 oil from Persia if they can set up the convoy line.

For a time, the Japanese can deny the USSR the oil. But the Japanese can only ship one oil per turn from Persia.

If the Japanese player hasn’t converted his CP’s to Tankers at start he doesn’t have the CP’s to convert to Tankers to set up the convoy line at all.


quote:


At the start of any friendly impulse, a player may freely convert any of their face-up convoy points in port into tanker points, or vice versa.
When doing so, it takes 2 convoy points to convert into 1 tanker point, or 2 tanker points to convert into 1 convoy point.



Unless the Russians have CW help or an expensive (with Barbarossa on the horizon) Paratrooper unit laboriously deployed to within range of Bandar Shupar or the northern oil hex, requiring an HQ or Engineer in several of the potential base hexes (And now the three oil resources are in three separate hexes to make this more complicated), the Japanese will have the option of intervening and landing their own units on at least two of the oil wells.

quote:

I disagree with the need for CW support or paratroop units.

By “the Japanese will have the option of intervening” do you mean the Japanese can DoW the USSR or do you mean “Japanese peacekeepers”?



The Persians can also just simply set-up their CAV in Bandar Shupar for additional insurance that the Japanese troops will have a port to land in and this would also put a ZoC on two of the oil wells, making things fairly risky for a Russian para-drop as well as fairly difficult for a CW landing in 1940 with the very limited liftable assets they could have by then.


quote:

If the Persians set up their Cavalry in Bandar Shupar the USSR marches into Teheran unopposed and Persia falls.


If the Persians set up their Cavalry in Teheran the USSR can attack at 6 to 1 odds (if you use OPTION 67 that’s a +11 to the die roll).

1 – 5 Cavalry
6 – 4 Siberian
5 – 4 Siberian
At least 6 points of tac air

On the assault chart a +11 has a:
20% chance nothing happens
20% chance the USSR takes 2 losses the Persians are destroyed
30% chance the USSR takes 1 loss the Persians are destroyed (I would loose the 1 – 5 Cavalry)
30% chance the USSR takes NO losses the Persians are destroyed



< Message edited by Extraneous -- 9/2/2009 1:45:47 PM >


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Post #: 157
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/2/2009 3:00:28 PM   
micheljq


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I agree that the Japanese has better things to do than sending units in Teheran, the only interest for them in Persia are the oil fields.

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Post #: 158
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/2/2009 7:07:56 PM   
composer99


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quote:

Saudi Arabia is to close to CW bases and their oil. Do you want to risk a DoW from the CW?


Extraneous, unless the CW can hammer my convoys during the surprise impulse, as Japan, I would be pleased to see a CW declaration of war over the Middle East. The lost US chits, no extra US chits for Japanese DoW, and early access to CW territory to conquer is priceless. Chances are the CW is too busy in Europe to really fight me anyway.

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Post #: 159
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/3/2009 12:41:31 AM   
Extraneous

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL:  composer99

Extraneous, unless the CW can hammer my convoys during the surprise impulse, as Japan, I would be pleased to see a CW declaration of war over the Middle East. The lost US chits, no extra US chits for Japanese DoW, and early access to CW territory to conquer is priceless. Chances are the CW is too busy in Europe to really fight me anyway.


Map of the Middle East

How committed are you to get that 1 oil?


Are you’re just after the oil then as it has been discussed you can land a division from a Kongo class battlecruiser (see: brian brian Post #182).

You’re not much of a threat to the CW.



Or will you be a serious threat by committing a HQ to conquer Saudi Arabia?

If you’re committing a HQ where will it start?
 
What AMP will be used to transport it?
 


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Post #: 160
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/3/2009 5:58:36 PM   
composer99


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Extraneous: The Saudis can muster up a single 1-factor cavalry corps to fight any invader (Japanese, Soviet, or otherwise) and no reserve units (to my knowledge).

If that unit sets up on the coast to defend the oil against seaborne invasion it will get bypassed (especially if it is disorganized).

If it sets up in Riyadh then it is a longer campaign to take the city as you will require 1 HQ, 1 other corps and 2 divisions to ensure the job is done, but done it will still be. I figure 1-2 turns depending on turn length and weather.

If Japan is the one doing the job it needs 2 TRS and 2 SCS (for the divisions), all of which can be brought over from the start of the game assuming they base in Canton. Include some shore bombardment and CVP support and you're in like flint.

Since the Saudis can no longer hold the entire coast on the Persian Gulf the divisions can get ashore for free (0-factor notional on surprise) and allow the HQ and corps to debark for free.

Assuming the Japanese do the deed in 1939 the Allies do not have the chits in the pool to handle a declaration of war against Japan by either USSR or CW (unless they are doing a no-US-in-Pacific gambit which is out of the scope of this discussion).

The units committed can then be sent back to Canton to assist in the Chinese campaign in early 1940 or used to expand the Japanese presence in the Middle East. 1-2 land units can be filtered over as the game goes on to cover against partisans.

Japan doesn't care about being a serious threat to the CW in 1939. In 1939 it wants to secure resources and oil so it can be a serious threat against the CW in 1941-42 and stand up (sort of) to the US in 1943-44.

If CW really does declare war on Japan in 1939-1940 all it is doing is opening the wide expanse of territory in the Indian and Pacific oceans to Japanese conquest. I speak from experience in this matter. For Saudi Arabia, it is not worth it.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/3/2009 7:09:42 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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"In like Flynn".

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Post #: 162
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/3/2009 11:09:42 PM   
Extraneous

 

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So you’re going to ship Umezu 5 - (3) – 2 from China to Saudi Arabia. You should have no problem with your conquest.

But in China…

Will you retreat, send Yamamoto, send Terauchi, or just leave the units there out of supply?

Until you get a HQ in there you have no threat potential to the Chinese. 


Looks like Japan will not DoW the USSR while all those units are in Saudi Arabia either.



In Like Flint is a 1967 film directed by Gordon Douglas.

In like Flynn - To be quickly and/or emphatically successful, usually in a sexual or romantic context.





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Post #: 163
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/4/2009 4:28:26 AM   
brian brian

 

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Advance built Yamashita is the HQ of choice for the Japanese in the Middle East. The Japanese can just ignore a Saudi CAV in Riyadh, there is not much gained by a tricky logistics campaign across the desert. Just drop a 4 point garrison unit on the oil well, which you need in case of Partisans anyway, and you're good to go. A Japanese campaign is pretty tricky to set up though; you will need to use bases in Italian East Africa because if you invade from less than the 3 box, even on a surprise impulse the notional has enough strength to possibly defeat division invasions. Setting it up is a multi-impulse, multi-turn operation requiring the Battle Cruisers, Carriers, Marine divisions, Convoy points and TRS units too (reorg the CPs in Mogadishu). I've been thinking it would be a good script for the AI to try, mostly to test long-term operations.

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Post #: 164
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 9/4/2009 1:27:22 PM   
micheljq


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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

Japan doesn't care about being a serious threat to the CW in 1939. In 1939 it wants to secure resources and oil so it can be a serious threat against the CW in 1941-42 and stand up (sort of) to the US in 1943-44.

If CW really does declare war on Japan in 1939-1940 all it is doing is opening the wide expanse of territory in the Indian and Pacific oceans to Japanese conquest. I speak from experience in this matter. For Saudi Arabia, it is not worth it.


I agree I don't think it's a good strategy for Commonwealth to DOW Japan in 1939-40 either, it is bad for U.S. entry, and what can they do, they are already quite busy in Europe.

Japan, even in 1939 has a strong carrier force, better than the Commonwealth. If the Royal Navy shows it's nose in Indian Ocean, Japan can engage it's fleet and do a lot of damage. Oh, you can forget about your convoys in Indian Ocean.

Edit : on the other hand, at what makes WiF great, a Commonwealth's player could want to try a "maul IJN early strategy" by trying to engage it's carriers against IJN's (Imperial Japanese fleet) carriers trying to soften the IJN for later, but at what cost?


< Message edited by micheljq -- 9/4/2009 2:28:13 PM >


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Post #: 165
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 7/8/2010 12:10:59 AM   
brian brian

 

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OK so I've been having some fun playing some solitaire WiF using the cWiF map at last. I never did play cWiF, I just used it to make screen shots to make a paper map of China at the euro-scale, then shelved the half-completed mess.

I also just read this whole thread. Aside from Patrice's excellent strategic framework in the very first post, there is very little discussion of how exactly Japan should fight in China, and little discussion of how much force to commit here or where to send it. (Strategic bombing is discussed...I vote Yes; Japan should bomb early and bomb often, even burning oil to re-org the bombers to go more than once a turn).

But with few players having experience playing in China at this scale, how does one decide which part of China to fight in? I am beginning to figure out some things I will use in future games.

First though I would just repeat that my #1 preferred Japanese strategy is still to take all they can get in the Middle East and Siberia. This will leave less resources available to fight the Chinese, but I think you can get more return on investment in those two areas, unless Germany gets seriously bogged down in Spain or ashore in England. Then Japan will have it's hands full. Also even with the latest optional US Entry modifiers for far-flung Japanese adventures, some mods I don't expect to see in MWiF, I still feel this way, though they make it better to do it without bases in Italian East Africa, which makes things more challenging but not impossible.

Right from set-up, Japan has to make these decisions. Their first main decision is north or south?

The south has two advantages ... two resources are within reach, and the calendar is moving out of the monsoon season and on into campaign season, whereas in the north the Japanese could enjoy as little as one impulse of good weather in some games.

In the north there is only one resource to capture in the short run, at Si-An. A second disadvantage after the approaching bad weather is that the terrain favors the defense perhaps a bit more here.

Now in the south the Japanese have to decide if they would rather base their drive from Canton or from the interior of China around Wuhan or the rail connection south of Nanking. Expanding out of Canton is initially a bottleneck, but puts more pressure on the Chinese front around Nanning than a campaign approaching Chang-sha from the north or east does.

And this being the Orient, there is of course a third Middle Way. It can work very well to drive straight west along the weather line west of Chang-Sha, which is where the Burma Road allows HQs to use it for supply purposes, but does not allow moving in reinforcements via rail moves. Taking advantage of the good weather on either side of the line can allow the Japanese to make good advances. The disadvantage is that there is nothing to gain economically in this region once the Chang-sha area is cleared. The big advantage is that you begin to directly threaten the Chinese economic heartland and they can't ignore that.

[One tangent before I reveal the conclusion I have reached. Playing cops and robbers with cavalry and fast infantry divisions is indeed fun on this map, but has become over-rated a bit to me. One down-side I noticed as the Japanese is that their own division raids cut into their strategic bombing campaign as they dedicate their long-range Nell bombers (NAV3) to possible defensive ground support missions for their deep raiding divisions. If they don't the Chinese warlords and any new reinforcements near their home areas just wander over and swat these mosquito attacks quite simply. These tactics hold promise for the Chinese as well but I have had less time to move one of these games deeper in to the war to find out.]

So what I think I will do the next time I set up the Japanese for a game on the big map of China will to be to return to a favorite strategy in regular WiF - go 'all in' against Mao right from the first impulse of the game, even though you won't get as much time to do this as you would with a major campaign in the south before the winter of 39-40 slows activity in the north. The reason is that, given the nature of the Chinese force pools at start, if you don't start pressuring the Chinese Communist forces they will quickly build up into a very solid force that will be much more difficult to dislodge in the summer of 1940. Also, the geography of the north does give the Japanese a few possibilities in that the desert hexes will quite frequently remain in clear weather, allowing units at the edges of the desert to trace long supply lines back to HQs sitting in hexes with more inclement weather. This allows a flanking threat to the west of Si-An, as well as making it quite simple to threaten the Chinese economic goodies in the Lan-Chow region, forcing one and even two ChiComm units to remain there, out of the main fight at Si-An, and without a rail connection between the two Communist cities for them to shift their forces on interior lines.

Naturally though the first time I tried this the Japanese rolled less than 11 on their first two attacks in the north and the strategy did not work. Mao's forces were still quite strong in the summer of 1940. But I look forward to the game where Japan rolls well on their initial attacks in this area and the ChiComms are back on their heels right from the get-go. And once Japan sets up in an area it is not easy to shift their effort to another area, except for their not-so-great air assets.

Oh and I would like to add to this now long article that I have been playing with only the cities present on the traditional WiF paper map and I have seen no problems for the Chinese defense. Running the Chinese is quite an art-form, fitting for military strategy questions in one of the oldest empires on the earth. Carefully selecting the blitz table in combat and carefully planning their retreat in terms of when to have the Chiang HQ-I (which is never allowed to be in the actual front line) move backwards has worked perfectly well.

One last question I have been wondering is if the beta-testers can comment on their experiences playing on the new map? The one play-through Lomyrin shared with us was great and I am interested to hear what other players have been experiencing on this map without discussing the MWiF program itself?

(in reply to micheljq)
Post #: 166
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 7/8/2010 3:58:24 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Brian,

Just in case you are not using the revised China maps (done July 30, 2008), here they are again. The big change here was moving the course of Yellow River (Patrice hauled buckets of water for months).




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 167
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 7/8/2010 3:59:13 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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2nd and last of 2 in the series.




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 168
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 7/8/2010 4:35:20 AM   
brian brian

 

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oh yes, your map is much prettier than mine. but grease pencils can divert the Yellow River fairly effectively too...

this is a point for the Chinese AI thread I guess, but I have learned a lot about Chinese tactics. the new map really makes the option to use the blitz table become a good choice for the Chinese as they have much more room to trade away to the Japanese while their units retreat from battles, or get blitzed to the production chart temporarily. the Japanese can gain ground but can't always reduce the overall size of the Chinese army if China makes such a choice consistently.

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Post #: 169
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 7/8/2010 8:41:23 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

oh yes, your map is much prettier than mine. but grease pencils can divert the Yellow River fairly effectively too...

this is a point for the Chinese AI thread I guess, but I have learned a lot about Chinese tactics. the new map really makes the option to use the blitz table become a good choice for the Chinese as they have much more room to trade away to the Japanese while their units retreat from battles, or get blitzed to the production chart temporarily. the Japanese can gain ground but can't always reduce the overall size of the Chinese army if China makes such a choice consistently.

Yes, not losing units is key to the Chinese survival - but that's true in WIF FE too. Take away Chinese production capacity and kill Chinese units faster than they can be rebuilt is how Japan wins in China.

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RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 8/2/2011 11:44:26 PM   
brian brian

 

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well this thread is gone too and we can't have the strategic thinking of the bad guys lost in space now can we? Here is the counterpart to what I just bumped the German thread with:


So one day early this summer there was a long line at my local
K•Mart and I decided to skip that and waste a few more minutes
perusing their bookshelves. I was quite surprised to find a copy of
"Rising Sun Victorious: An Alternate History of the Pacific War," a
volume I had been considering special ordering since reading a
similar volume on Germany last year. (Somehow I suspect I'll never
see a similar edition for Italy). The original publisher of both was
Greenhill Books in the UK and Stackpole in the US, who both
publish a specialty line of alternative history titles, but the volume I
found was a cheap regular (not a 'trade') paperback from Presidio
Press / Ballantine, so these titles must be enjoying some
commercial success; this mass-market edition includes a bonus
second sub-title "It could have happened ... and nearly did." This
lucky find probably took a year or more off my time to ever get
around to finishing this project.

Once again, I will synopsize each of the ten chapters, and include a
brief summary of how each might apply to a game of World in
Flames, but this time I will go sequentially from the first chapter. For
this book once again the overall editor is Peter G. Tsouras, and the
author list features experienced military history writers and/or
professional Military Intelligence officers.

#1: Hokushin - The Second Russo-Japanese War - obviously from
the title, more of the Soviet-obsessed Army planners prevail in
Japan's major strategic choice of 'Go North' or 'Go South'. One of
the things I really like about these books is the bibliographies for
each chapter. This one nearly right off the bat references a familiar
figure for WiFCon attendees, David Glantz, but more importantly
reveals the works of one Alvin D. Coox. This author has written a
probably incredibly detailed book on the battle of Nomonhan, given
that the page citations feature numbers greater than 1,000, as well
as another book on the lesser known border incidents at
Changkufeng/Khasan in 1938. If you ever wanted more info on
these arcane battles of WWII, the material is out there. In this
alternative, Japan strikes at the Soviet Union in August of 1941.
Ditching their original “Hachi-Go” plan of driving towards Irkutsk
based on the fore-mentioned battles with the Russians, they scale
back and focus on seizing the Soviet Maritime Province from south
of Khabarovsk to Vladivostok, wisely placing General Yamashita in
overall command. The Soviets play into this by moving divisions
from Siberia to the German front a bit earlier than historically,
frittering away said units at Kiev rather than holding them for the
decisive struggle in front of Moscow. The Japanese attack is a
resounding success, taking Khabarovsk and Vlad. by December.
The IJN destroys most of the Russian submarine forces with
surprise strikes on their docks. Meanwhile, Stalin is deposed as the
USSR unravels from both ends. Roosevelt steps in as mediator in
the spring of 42; with no political capital at home for war in the
Pacific after the Japanese staffed their Siberian adventure with
large and very public withdrawals from Indo-China and parts of
China itself, he trades away the Netherlands East Indies for a
continued American presence in the Phillipines and prepares to
face a very large wolf on the other side of the Atlantic.

WiF perspective: I think a Japanese attack on the Soviet Far East is a no-brainer, and only needs to be timed carefully with German strategy. Even better is lulling the Soviets into doing the DoW, and of course it can sometimes be a simple matter to get even more goodies in Persia. The extra resources and Vladivostok's red factory certainly help prepare the Empire's defenses against the might of the U.S. of A. Would they be a decisive game-winner? Probably not, but it might add a few turns to Japan's existence at the end. But most of you reading this know the ins and outs of Russo-Japanese war in WiF. And if Barbarossa is on-going at the time, you might as well make a try for Chita or at least the 4th Siberian resource south-east of there, but Japan’s logistics can limit this desire. I would also like to note that I think the WiF presumption that every major port has bomb-proof SUB pens has always seemed a little generous to me, though I also feel SUBs are a bit under-powered in WiF, particularly against enemy capital ships. This chapter also only briefly touches on the political ramifications in America had Japan pursued this strategic line. I've always thought the USE chit roll for a Japanese DoW on the USSR should perhaps be a -7 rather than a +7 for a country so anti-Communist, and of course WiF lacks any mechanism to simulate the US entry ramifications of theoretical Japanese concessions in China. And like many alternate historical lines, this one would work best in a more open-ended game that would allow more independent play by the various Major Powers, a la a true Days of Decision game, Avalon Hill's classic "Diplomacy."

#2: Failure of War Plan Orange - Somehow in the election campaign of 1940, American war planning for the Phillipines becomes a political issue, leading Roosevelt (and tangentially MacArthur) to guarantee a strong defense of the islands and the precious "American sons" stationed there. This leads to the dusting off of the ancient War Plan Orange which presumes that upon outbreak of war with Japan, the American battleship fleet will 'fight their way through' in WiF parlance, from Hawaii > Wake > Guam > Manila, defeat the IJN in the process, and thus allow reinforcements to reach the Phillipines. The Japanese pick up on this shift in American planning and cancel their strike on Pearl Harbor, instead merely invading the Phillipines on December 7th. MacArthur is caught off guard, losing most of his air assets on the ground, but to save some face he falsely claims his B-17s sink six Japanese carriers in the South China Sea. Halsey is rather skeptical, but for the BB admirals it's damn the torpedoes. However since the torpedoes in question are the famous 'Long Lance', the joke is on them as Japanese attrition tactics destroy nearly the entire pre-war Pacific Fleet with only the Arizona and the Augusta temporarily reaching Manila in exchange for the loss of the Hosho, Ryujo, and the Mutsu. (The Americans commit their CVs to disparate regions of the Pacific singly and lose the Lexington and Saratoga). Shaken by such a massive defeat, Dug-Out Doug is forced to sign the truce with Japan. The NEI is again sacrificed, this time for Japanese guarantees not to invade New Zealand or Australia.

WiF Perspective: Of course, WiF has no way to simulate the civilian pressures on the decisions of the leaders of the Western democracies. But many a WiF game ends early when a player throws in the towel, and losing 7 battleships, 2 carriers and a whole bunch of cruisers all in one turn could perhaps lead a player to push the re-set button. Perhaps. The author of this one, Wade Dudley, does note "It is difficult to imagine any simple set of circumstances that would have allowed Japan to win any form of victory in WWII.", and that is important to keep in mind for all ten chapters. But in WiF you only have to survive past turn 36; the challenge of that for the Japanese is why we play the game I guess.

#3: 3rd Wave at Pearl Harbor - Several quirks of history break for the Japanese and Pearl Harbor is an even more devastating blow. The Enterprise is not delayed by bad weather for two days, putting it much closer to the action, and is found by Japanese recon; half of the first wave is diverted to sink her. Meanwhile at Pearl the USS Nevada gets up steam as per history, but rather than grounding herself off to the side, she is blown up at the narrowest point of the main channel, effectively ruining Pearl as a fleet base for six months. With no chance of a USN sortie and one CV already accounted for, Nagumo launches the great what-if of this battle, the 3rd wave of bombers. These complete the destruction of the base, including the famous oil-tank farm, the machine shops, and the submarines as well, though this costs the Japanese the Zuikaku and Shokaku, lost to the strike force from the Enterprise that launched before her destruction and refuels between waves in Hawaii. Pearl is completely ruined until April of 1942, just when Yamamoto returns with the Combined Fleet, this time escorting ground forces...

WiF Perspective: Pearl Harbor, Schmearl Harbor, who cares? I don't think this could win the war for the Japanese in WiF or history. The Essex class would still turn the tide eventually in history; in WiF losing Pearl just teaches the US player that Calcutta can be an even better base, since the game makes it a US primary supply source with no concern for the massive logistics investment that would actually be required to make this happen (I would think the shipping required from the USA would have delayed Overlord quite substantially), and lets you sail through an enemy held strait of Malacca as many times as you want with nary a scratch. WiF could really use a new naval unit - light coastal forces to represent torpedo boats and other tactics that make restricted coastal waters dangerous for capital ships.

#4: Intell operations in the Coral Sea - The Allied press replicates the famous slip-up of the Chicago Tribune, revealing the Allied success at breaking Japanese codes, after the Battle of the Coral Sea rather than after Midway. The Japanese change all of their codes before Midway, and add 4 additional light carriers with 120 more planes to the strike force. This is done via human couriers while radio planning remains the same; two light cruisers take on the call signs of the carriers leading the feint towards the Aleutians, for example. The actual resulting battle of Midway is not described in this chapter, rather the historical chess-like operations of the small carrier forces in the south-east Pacific in the spring of 1942 and the thinking that leads the Japanese to discover their signals problem. Another chapter in this book informs me that wargame designer John Prados has written an entire book on this very topic of Japanese naval codes. I hope to find a copy.

WiF Perspective: Not a lot is applicable here, though the implications are more developed in the next chapter. The game could really use a way to simulate code-breaking and the resulting advantages for high-level military commanders, but that would be hard to design without decreasing playability, WiF's #1 most important trait. I'm hoping this will be possible some day in editions of the computer version after the first.

#5: Nagumo's Luck - USN Commander McCluskey returns to Midway rather than turning northwest and never finds the Japanese CVs; they are thus unmolested to launch their massive strike against the US flat-tops and sink all three of them. The Battle of Midway is a decisive Japanese victory, including a conquest of the island itself. For a while things look positively giddy for the Axis world-wide as the US panics and cuts off Lend-Lease to the British and the Russians, reeling under the German attack in the summer of 42. The Japanese drool at the prospects of bombing the US west coast at will and even using their battleships to shell American airplane factories, conveniently located up and down the Pacific coast. They also decide to destroy the Panama Canal, St. Nazaire style, by blowing up an explosives laden destroyer in the main lock. But this author brings the fun to a halt as the Japanese inexplicably can't get these operations under way until early October. By then the US has moved the vulnerable factories inland and set up a ground-based version of a modern AWACS plane in the islands off of Los Angeles, as well as deploying their second most secret weapon of WWII - the anti-aircaft proximity fused shell. When the Combined Fleet arrives the successes of all the land-based air the US can muster leads Yamamoto to break off combat after just thirty minutes, well before the surface units are in range to bombard. US submarines take out the Japanese Panama expedition with just three torpedoes, turning the special destroyer into a mini-mushroom cloud and sinking the escorting CVL with two more. History returns to it's nearly normal course.

WiF Perspective: Losing three carriers is not a devastating blow to the US in 1942, nor is losing Midway as a base. Such a victory for the Japanese would probably benefit them the most on the back-end as the US campaign in the Pacific would be a bit delayed getting in motion and a turn or two of survival might be thus gained in 1945. The author has some interesting ideas that aren't possible in WiF, such as a Strategic Shore Bombardment mission that would be great fun. By 1941 Japan would only have a maximum of two carrier planes with 1 strategic factor each, though if playing without the cvp units the Combined Fleet could put a small dent in US production for a turn or two at the most via strikes on the west coast.

#6: Samurai Down Under - After the Battle of the Coral Sea Japan decides to green-light an invasion of Australia. However they also continue the Midway operation as planned, with the historical results. The landings in Australia stay within land-based air range from Japanese-held Port Moresby and never threaten even Brisbane and probably just make MacArthur's subsequent advance into New Guinea a bit easier. Without further developing alternative outcomes such as the carrier battle that one would think would probably have occurred as the US went to relieve an Australia threatened by a bigger Japanese expedition had there been no Midway, this scenario really goes nowhere except to illustrate that showboat MacArthur and Australian General Blamey probably wouldn't send each other Christmas cards after the war.

WiF Perspective: None really; at a minimum in WiF one would want to occupy Brisbane and deny the USN a great base, at least temporarily. Who has ever even seen units placed in Cairns and Townsville by either side in WiF? Even if Japan goes 'All-In' and conquers Australia, it rarely has the shipping to exploit the captured resources for long, as in WiF Calcutta generally replaces one of Australia's historical roles as the base for a USN SUB campaign. Nor does Japan always have the army and the lift necessary to make this an easy operation. It is nice to sever the Pacific in two, but that comes at the price of increasing the size of the defensive perimeter and doubling the size of Japan's critical convoy routes. It is unfortunate this book doesn't try out a Japanese attack on South Africa, an exciting op in WiF particularly when the Euro-Axis has made the Med into a private lake, but the professional Military Historians writing these probably rightly judge that Japan would never have been able to pull off the needed logistics for that.

#7: The Japanese Raj - Again Japan gives in to temptation to expand their war aims, this time setting their sights on India. One kick and Britain's Indian Empire collapses like the rotten house of cards that it already was. The British grant independence to the Muslim areas, leading to the creation of Pakistan during the war rather than after, and manage to stop the Japanese in front of Karachi, though the US is really the power propping up the place. Ceylon becomes the Malta of the Indian Ocean and never falls, though with no more Burma Road Chiang Kai-Shek is a goner as well. However, given the Japanese exploitive occupation policies, they find India impossible to rule and eventually must give it up as the Americans threaten from the East. But with no organized enemy in China, the Japanese Army is able to keep the Allies from getting any closer than the Mekong River. Unexplained details in Europe keep the Russians out of the Pacific War, and dealing from a position of greater strength, the Japanese 'win' the war by trading the Phillipines back to the war-weary Americans and the Empire survives, albeit with two new problems named Ho and Mao. Strategy & Tactic's David C. Isby wrote this chapter and it is an excellent analysis of internal Indian politics and the real effects WWII had on the subsequent history of the sub-continent. In this alternative, the Japanese occupation changes the post-war dynamics quite a bit and India and Pakistan live happily ever after.

WiF Perspective - Calcutta is the Leningrad of Asia, without any winter weather of course, and a campaign against it can run smack into the game mechanic of placing reinforcements even in totally surrounded hexes. (I always hate that with a passion). Then if you manage to take the hex, it is still a long way to Dehli. However, a Japanese attack on India can net some economic gains for the Japanese, with an easier convoy route home that is actually made safer once Calcutta is taken. I like an Indian campaign for Japan but I do wish undertaking it would have some effect on the relatively absurd situation in WiF China. Would it win the game? It can help get you there I think, but as usual that it can become only a matter of how many turns it gains you in 1945. Perhaps if your European Allies are similarly successful, it could put Japan over the top.

#8: Morale Check at Guadalcanal - The US never relieves Admiral Ghormley from command in October of 1942 and he decides to withdraw from Guadalcanal rather than continue to expose fleet assets to Japanese attacks while trying to maintain supply to the Marines ashore. Further ramifications for the Pacific War are not explored.

WiF Perspective - again none. I've seen games of WiF that no one ever placed a unit on Guadalcanal. Given WiF's playability trade-off of allowing any Pacific island to be an airbase, the place just isn't that important in WiF.

#9: Kurita keeps going - The Japanese activate their Sho-1 plan in response to US landings at Leyte Gulf as per history. Halsey takes the bait and inexplicably leaves the Surigao Strait uncovered. Kurita sinks the force of 'Jeep' carriers he encounters first and then sails on into Leyte Gulf and massacres American lift assets; on the ground the Japanese Army almost eradicates the now un-supplied beach-head. American casualties are the heaviest of WWII. Peace advocates in the Japanese government offer to give back everything taken after Dec. 7, 1941 in exchange for the survival of the Emperor and their original gains in China. Roosevelt, hammered in the press for the disaster in the Phillipines and mindful of the approaching elections, accepts the offer.

WiF Perspective - I could see this happening in WiF. A 1/10 split against a US player that got sloppy arranging his forces in the sea-boxes could really hurt. Heck, this could maybe even happen two rounds in a row, taking out a big pile of the CVL's in one round and then a couple loaded AMPHs in another. Without enough replacements on the build spiral full of O-Chits for the end-game, the American time-table to take objective hexes before the end of turn 36 could be effectively wrecked. You always have to remember when playing WiF that the pieces are made out of cardboard, and if the Axis have too many left at the end, you did it wrong. The historical Japanese certainly had no problems with that philosophy, they just didn't roll high enough.

#10: The Kyushu Turkey Shoot - Four atomic bombs don't rattle the Japanese, particularly after the military launches yet another coup against the leaders who want to surrender after the first two. The Russians have Machuria and probably more; Japan has nothing left...except 12,000 hidden planes that don't really need much fuel to crash in to the now quite nearby American fleet. The Divine Wind Typhoon of October 1945 (a historical storm) takes out enough American shipping that decoy operations are no longer a possibility. When the Americans appear off Kyushu at last, the Japanese strike. Without long flights over the ocean vulnerable to American CAP and the inability of American radar to pick up Kamikazes approaching from the Japanese mountain ranges, the suicide planes sink lots of loaded transports. Losing two out of four Hospital ships and their blood supplies mean American wounded become American dead...and then comes the losses to radiation sickness no one had foreseen after the Americans resort to the first attempts to use nuclear weapons somewhat tactically. With monsoon season on the way, once again the Americans cry Uncle and let the Emperor continue his rule. A very well-written piece carefully extrapolated from the Okinawa experiences as reported in detail by Samuel Eliot Morrison.

WiF Perspective - If you are invading Japan in November of 1945, you have of course already lost and are just playing it out to see what happens. Don't you wish you had vetoed that nasty Kamikaze optional way back before the game started? Note that the American occupation authorities eventually dismantled the mentioned 12,000 planes and discovered enough fuel reserves to fly them.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 171
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 1/4/2013 5:30:52 PM   
composer99


Posts: 2325
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From: Ottawa, Canada
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One way the new map scale helps Japan:

In WiF:FE there is a resource Japan controls in China that can be easily blocked by Chinese ZoCs (usualy the Communists); the Chinese set up in the mountains and are a pain to dislodge.

In MWiF the resource (which I believe is the one 3 hexes northeast of Chengchow) and its rail lines are safely at some remove from the nearest Chinese-controlled hex.
----------

Further to brian brian's comment on pursuing the attack in China, using the new map scale (as I did when I had CWiF) I like to develop two axes of advance against China.

(1) The northern advance, from Chengchow to Sian (now a bit easier to take, I think, as it is easier to flank and not as well protected by rivers).

Depending on timeframe, losses, and whatever else I want to do as the Japanese (early war against USSR? Middle East adventures?) where I go from there in the north could be one (or more) of:
- form up a defensive line in the mountains around Sian (with possible outlying defences elsewhere to prevent envelopment manouvre by the Chinese late-war)
- advance further to take Lanchow, hopefully putting the Communists out of action
- swing south to advance on the Szechwan (Chungking & Chengtu) - because of all the mountains this is probably a diversionary attack so an advance from southern China can do the real work


(2) The southern advance, to secure the rail line and resources from Changsha to Nanning; this will be a pincer with forces advancing from north of Changsha and from Canton (and possibly from Indochina later on).

Depending on timeframe, losses, and other actions, where I go in the south from there could be one (or more) of:
- pushing along the Burma road to Chihkiang, Kweiyang, and even Kunming
- if the above succeeds (at least to Kweiyang), pushing on to Chungking in conjunction with an advance from the north
- depending on timeframe, forming up a defensive lines in the mountains between Nanning and Chihkiang or the mountains northwest of Kweiyang

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(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 172
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 1/4/2013 8:22:06 PM   
brian brian

 

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I have played with a euro-scale map of China a handful of times, using printed screenshots from CWiF.

If the Chinese are smartly played, they are quite resilient on the new map, as there is so much more space they can trade for time. Especially once the USA is in the war and Japan must do regular naval impulses, while the Chinese can maneuver in unlimited amounts.

As Japan I came to only two conclusions so far....it is great fun to mess with the Chinese using your paratroopers, backed with your various long-range air assets. This can shut down the Burma Road. The Chinese have lots of options to harass the Japanese in return; one Japanese solution is to station mobile forces, including their mechanized divisions, on the north China plain to deal with Chinese raiding units.

Since those two conclusions I haven't been able to formulate much for Japan, as we have moved onto experimental games with a different Partisan system and a radically different situation in China as a result, which has no relation to a WiF RaW 7 AI.

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 173
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 1/4/2013 10:02:09 PM   
michaelbaldur


Posts: 3993
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From: denmark
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for china it is business as usual. defend in the mountains and use Raiders and partisans to block Japanese resources ...

with this scale the most important Chinese units are the cavalry ... especially those 1BP divisions ..

you use them as suicide Raiders ...move out and cutting rail lines and taking resources.

which means that Japan need to move HQ to kill them ..if the cavalry stay away from the HQ and the coast.


how to counter this ... I really don't know. the Japanese don't have enough units to protect everything

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I work hard, not smart.

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(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 174
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 1/5/2013 1:51:40 AM   
Extraneous

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: michaelbaldur


for china it is business as usual. defend in the mountains and use Raiders and partisans to block Japanese resources ...

with this scale the most important Chinese units are the cavalry ... especially those 1BP divisions ..

you use them as suicide Raiders ...move out and cutting rail lines and taking resources.

which means that Japan need to move HQ to kill them ..if the cavalry stay away from the HQ and the coast.


how to counter this ... I really don't know. the Japanese don't have enough units to protect everything


Chinese partisans are more dangerous.

Appearing from nowhere for free, cutting off supply to headquarters, blocking rail lines to resources, and raiding airbases/harbors.



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University of Science Music and Culture (USMC) class of 71 and 72 ~ Extraneous (AKA Mziln)

(in reply to michaelbaldur)
Post #: 175
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 1/5/2013 3:15:43 AM   
paulderynck


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From: Canada
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True, if only one knew they'd show up with the same certainty as that of having a Cav Div around...

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Post #: 176
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 1/5/2013 12:36:34 PM   
Centuur


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It is impossible for the Japanese to keep everything covered in China, except when he doesn't attack anywhere in the country.
It looks like the unified map has the opposite effect of what I thought. It makes the Chinese front in a stalemate, because if the Japanese attack, he's short on troops on other parts of the country to defend what he's got there.

Quite a strange thing. It looks like the best defence for the Chinese is a good small offensive somewhere else on the map, aiming to reclaim lost cities. Mobile forces seems to be everything on this huge map.

Perhaps the breaking down of corps into divisions by the Japanese can counter this (especially when playing with Chinese Attack weakness, which is of course historically correct...).

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Post #: 177
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 1/5/2013 2:49:51 PM   
Extraneous

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: paulderynck

True, if only one knew they'd show up with the same certainty as that of having a Cav Div around...


GASP we agreed again is it a sign of the pork lips or what

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Post #: 178
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 1/7/2013 7:52:23 PM   
brian brian

 

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Japan has difficult grand strategic choices to make in the game. They have to survive turn 36. To do this, they need to expand their defensive perimeter, and eliminate all Allied bases or potential Allied bases inside that perimeter. They also need to expand their economic resource base to be able to build up enough to survive war with the USA, which is inevitable in every game.

How does China fit into that? There are resources to be had there....and potential threats to Japan later on if the Chinese are ignored. You can't sign a peace with them.

One strategic choice is an attempt to conquer China. Another is to set limited goals of only some economic gains in China. A final option is to simply hold what has already been gained, perhaps combined with a strategic bombing campaign to keep Chinese production low. Such an air campaign can almost be considered an option to add to any of the three main ground strategy choices.

Lately I have been thinking that a good conquest/some gains strategy might be to threaten both northern China - Si-An & Lan-Chow - and the central Chinese heartland around Chungking, while actually aiming at another strategic goal altogether.

Si-An is actually difficult to take on the new map with good Chinese play, with many strong hexes they can hold in front of and on the flanks of Si-An. But a threat to Si-An can not be ignored by the Chinese, and a major upside to threatening Si-An is a split in the Chinese defense areas, which can not mutually aid each other.

Japan has this same problem somewhat, although they have the advantage of a mobile offensive capability - aircraft - that can switch axes of advance with ease, generally as the weather allows on each front. This would be a prime skill of a Japanese AI attack on China. They can also use the railroads somewhat to move key land units between fronts.

But Chungking is a long, long way from Chinese start lines. The mysterious strategic goal I alluded to above could become Kunming instead. If the Japanese can clear Chang-Sha and then Kwei-Yang or whatever the name of that factory is east of there on the Burma Road, the Chinese defense will again be split. At this point I think Japan should go for Kunming, as the Chinese will likely make it their second priority over their capital and economic center - Chungking. At about this point Japan has to once again manage timing assaults with the weather in the North Monsoon Zone vs the North Temperate zone, ideally clearing the areas NE of Canton and West of Chang-Sha just as winter ends and good campaign weather is about to emerge in central China.

Kunming is where any aid from the West will arrive in China. So it or the other end of the Burma Road (i.e. in Burma) should probably be a main Japanese AI objective in a Conquer China or Gains-From-China grand strategy. If Japan can take Kunming, they could probably dramatically improve their chances of ever completely conquering China. It might be best to approach before the Chinese situation appears urgent enough to the West to ramp up aid to China.



As for managing the partisan threat, Japan too can take advantage of more divisions, and a prime helper here would be making their one possible additional Cavalry division. If MWiF gives it the same 5 movement factors as their cardboard WiF counter set, that might be worth more than their 3-4 CAV unit. China is not so large there need be much of a supply gap between an inland HQ and a coastal port, and a 1-5 CAV division in supply can eliminate any 0 factor PART unit. Or perhaps ride into any woods before a 0 factor PART can take shelter there. In one large-China game I played, the Chinese PARTisans eventually set up the People's Republic of Wuhan by placing PART units in the many woods hexes in the Wuhan area...a major Japanese operation was required to retake the area. But then Japan launched a good half dozen or more "Bandit Suppression Campaigns" throughout the war in China. One won't often see this in a game of World in Flames however.

(in reply to Extraneous)
Post #: 179
RE: AI for MWiF - Japan - 2/14/2013 7:27:39 AM   
Joseignacio


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From: Madrid, Spain
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Up! I am playing Japanese. And I don't want this page to be very far, hehe

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Post #: 180
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