Defending Rangoon in force is nomally not a good idea against a live opponent.
In my last game as the Japanese, my Allied opponent tried the same thing stripping India of most of its ground units and shipping them to Rangoon. They were never seen again! With a stock map, Rangoon is a death trap for any Allied units left there when the Japs arrive. Ed also tried to defend on the river along the border. The Japanese 80+ experience Divisions had no problem crossing the river against the 50 experience Allied units and pocketing the defending Allies. Major disaster for the Brits as most of the Indian/British Army was destroyed within 4 hexes of Rangoon.
Going into this game I had no plans to invade India but changed my mind since no one was defending there any more. It took a few months but India was captured up to karchi and the base in front of it. The surrender of so many ground units in Burma also had a major effect on the victory point levels.
ORIGINAL: Ken Estes
I made a successful stand in Java vs AI in the v.1.804 stock WITP. I pulled as many LCUs to Rangoon as JA land advance allowed me, denuded rest of India to ports, shipping them to Rangoon to make the stand on the river line and city to the south of it. Rest of LCU in Malaya delayed, but were then too weak to hold Singapore very long. But holding Rangoon is a key for later, but must have air support. I kept all UK/CW air at Singapore in naval attack/escort mode until the air base damage became too bad, then withdrew LB and F to Rangoon, but took Swordfish, some Hudsons south to add to DEI air. All P.I. air withdrew to DEI, exc for a sqdrn of F left in Bataan for sacrifice defense/attrition. Exc for B17s [sent to Darwin with pol points], I conc all Allied/DEI air at Palembang, Batavia and Soerbaja, with some forward RC and LB in Borneo as long as no land attk threatened. The objective in all this is attrition of IJN transports, which are not well escorted at this stage of game. Keeping the LB in naval will increase experience fairly quickly from their initially abysmal performance, helped by the torpedo bombers (UK and Dutch), which can kill. Base units must be also concentrated to make this happen and I concentrate the LCU in the same ports, fortifying and mining with SS and the few ML [these have to pull out soon]. All warships have to leave Singapore southward and make for Batavia/Soerabaja, join ABDA Fleet and then evade initial IJN air and surface attacks, waiting for IJN/JA to commit transports to attack a vital port [again only defending Java and So Sumatra for keeps]. The PT boats [US and Dutch] are also held close for action, such as at Batavia or Palembang. I made no effort to save any Allied LCUs from the P.I.
I suspect I was just lucky, but NEI air sank Ryujo and beat up a CA in the Java Sea; The Betties from Tainan did not come south because I piled every Chinese corps [AI is timid in China] I could spare into Canton and swept all JA out of SW China, even beseiged Hanoi [forces initially from SW China, then 5 corps from Yenan - 4 more corps to Rangoon front], and AI kept the air in Formosa to hit them. The Chinese LCU gain much experuience just doing bombardments and resisting JA assaults; works if you bring enough corps together and later, with their 99 experience, they form a death star LCU.
By 18Mar42, Singapore and Manila-Bataan fell, but Java-Sumatra remained in allied hands, with a weak JA force ashore at Palembang and one town lost in Sumatra. AI must be really confused. The PoW SAG savaged a convoy to Palembang and the Dutch/CW air operating out of Java did great attrition on IJN convoys, largely unescorted or weakly escorted. Most of Borneo was lost and two towns in Celebes, but Makassar still held against a weakened IJN naval inf unit. Amboina was lost but Timor remained in Allied hands, about to be reinforced with air base units, the most critical shortage in all the game. I think my later successes in Rangoon-Burma and successful defense of Rabaul upset AI reinf of NEI after they took the losses, and exc for a weal landing at Koepang, nothing else was lost. This made for a huge difference in JA resources, because eventually the Java air bases dominated JA resource bases in Borneo/Celebes, with good attrition of IJN AK/AP and forays by KB did nothign to redress as I made the attacked base inactive and no accompanying phib assault came exc a weak one at Kopaeng.
I doubt this works in PBEM, but it is a modified Sir Robin leading to conc in Java and So Sumatra.